Whether you are a backpacker, flash-packer, or luxury traveler, having the right gear is an essential component of a good travel experience. Nothing beats being prepared…except maybe being prepared without feeling like you’re toting everything plus the kitchen sink. Here’s a list of my travel essentials: practical stuff that tucks neatly in my luggage and gives me a peace of mind on the road!
This bad boy is just great. You can carry it around on your keychain or tuck it in your purse and probably won’t even notice it’s there until you need it. Then, the tiny bundle becomes a full on daypack perfect for toting your freshly acquired market goods or other fancy things you’d rather not lug around. It’s really not suited for carrying electronics since it’s not padded, but everything else is fair game!
I’ve used this for just about everything! When my flip flop broke in Italy, when I got a blister from walking all day in Greece, and when the only jacket I had got a rip in it after a near fall hiking in New Hampshire, Gear Aid was there to piece me back together. A lot of people carry duct tape (I do too, sometimes) but this gear tape goes on and comes off clear, making it a much more fashionable option!
Living in Massachusetts, also known as the “Land of Blatant Shaming for Not Recycling”, I am disturbed by the lack of recycling options abroad and just how many plastic bottles I was going through in areas where the water wasn’t safe to drink. After testing what felt like a million different bottles and feeling like none of them ever really got clean, someone told me about the Vapur Water Bottle and it was love at first sight. And the best thing, this bad boy folds up neatly without monopolizing precious space in your luggage. It also has a carabiner clip and can be frozen for an ice pack if needed. And, people from Boston won’t judge you….
This portable safe it clutch! Literally. Hotel safes are suspicious at best and leaving electronics and valuable behind in your accommodations is always a risk no matter where you are staying. I’ve had things go missing at top hotels so please believe there are sticky fingers everywhere Instead of carrying all your electronics and valuables with you, put them in your slash-proof PacSafe and tie it down to something sturdy in your hotel room, like a pipe, and rest easy knowing your stuff will be there when you get back. You should also grab a combo lock to go with your Pacsafe in order to properly lock it.
This fancy charger meets all your charging needs in one. I really like it because it has an outlet to charge all of my devices including my iPod and those requiring a micro usb. I also have a Jackery and another portable charger (I like to have juice!) but this is the only one that can charge multiple devices at once. It looks a bit bulky but it’s rather compact and pretty light. Never have a dead phone or camera again!
Another Sea to Summit product that’s so compact it’s borderline ridiculous. When folded, this pillow fits easily in the palm of your hand but blows up to a nice size pillow perfect for the plane, train, or camping. You manually inflate the pillow with a few easy puffs and viola! Instant comfort. Unless you have an abnormally small head, skip the ‘regular’ size and go for the large.
These multi-purpose ties can be used for pretty much anything. They are sturdy, waterproof, and just the thing you need to attach your jacket to your luggage or keep your electronic cables together. Allegedly, they also make a good emergency stand in for hair ties. A cheap but useful addition to your luggage!
Keeping up with chargers and cables is just plain annoying. Throw some SD cards in the mix and keeping up with all your stuff can become a headache pretty quickly. This organizer is soft and lightweight and conveniently rolls up all your cords and things into a neat little bundle. It’s also waterproof and has a few little zippered pockets. Save yourself the pain of digging through your bag looking for your thumb drive and snag one of these handy contraptions.
I see this on a bunch of ‘female packing lists’ but I think it’s a must have for anyone, especially solo travelers and those going out into remote areas. I didn’t have mine with me when I was stuck in the woods and I definitely regretted it. There are lots of whistles out there but this one packs a noisy punch. Great for warding off animals, especially dogs, fending off that sketchy guy in the alley, or signaling for help if you’re lost or injured.
Who doesn’t love a screaming baby on a flight or the endless evening street noise native to pretty much all of Western Europe and Asia? Pop on these hush puppies (lol, I couldn’t resist the pun here) and you’ll barely be able to hear your own thoughts. The QC series has a tiny control box that allows you to decide between two canceling options. You can also listen to favorite tunes with quality that only Bose can produce.They come in earbuds too, which are just as awesome and more compact. These are a pretty penny but definitely worth the investment.
What’s in your bag? What gadgets or items make your journey smoother?