When there are so many new gadgets on the market it can be difficult to decide which items deserve a place in your suitcase and which are just space eating toys. Then there are the age-old travel accessories that your great uncle John swears by. I personally feel lost traveling anywhere without my trusty tent and hiking boots, but for most people, neither of these things would be classed as essential items.
We’ve taken into consideration the needs of the average of traveler, including backpackers and city hoppers and put together our very own list of travel accessories which we feel are worth considering before hitting the road. We’ve even made it easy for those with limited luggage space by separating out the useful items which could be scrapped from your packing list and the ones which should never be left behind.
Never go anywhere without these essential travel accessories:
1. Noise Cancelling headphones
It’s everyone’s worst nightmare. A 12-hour flight with that guy 2 rows back blasting R&B tracks out of his ‘personal’ music player and how about when you’re tucked up your hotel bed trying to get some beauty sleep but the couple next door has other ideas. Noise canceling headphones are generally light-weight, compact and available for a range of budgets so don’t leave home without them.
2. Universal plus with multiple USB ports
Sadly, well over 100 years after the discovery of electricity, the world still can’t come to an agreement on which power outlet is best and it’s a pain in the neck carrying multiple plugs along with all your other bits and pieces. Pick up a universal adapter with dual USB ports and at least one power input for laptops and you’ll never have an issue charging your electronics.
3. RFID Protection Travel Wallet
Inside every bank card and passport is a tiny chip which contains a large amount of personal data. Admittedly the chanced of someone stealing this data is fairly slim but these days its better safe than sorry. An RFID protected travel wallet will help to keep your personal info safe and it’s also useful for keeping your documents organized.
4. Micro Fibre Travel Towel
Light-weight and quick drying fabrics are one of the most useful additions to your travel kit and I never go away without my microfibre towel. Nowadays they’re very affordable, come in a range of colors and sizes, from face cloths to bath towels, and only take half an hour to dry. Even if your accommodation the very best fluffy towels then a compact alternative is still handy for taking to the beach or using as a picnic blanket.
5. Unlocked mobile phone
If your working online while you travel then an unlocked mobile phone is a must. In fact, even before I began working online I always opted for unlocked dual sim handset. International roaming charges can cost you a fortune so picking up a local sim card in the country you’re traveling in and popping it into your unlocked mobile is way more practical.
6. Packing cubes (organizers)
A few packing cubes help to reduce the amount of your holiday you spend rummaging around inside your backpack or suitcase, blindly pulling out items if the hope of finding the sunscreen before you start to sizzle. They’re particularly useful if you’re sharing a suitcase too or if you just want to keep the dirty socks separate from the clean ones. Contrary to popular belief they actually create space instead of taking up space when packed right.
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If you’ve still got space in your suitcase we recommend the following items:
1. Wireless Travel Router
You’ll find that, in most of the world, Free Wi-Fi is advertised in big bold letters in just about every cafe or restaurant and will be available in all hotels or hostels so really this travel accessory is for people who specifically require a secure and fast internet connection or prefer to travel in less developed rural areas.
2. Folding water bottle or Thermos Flask
While on the road it seems almost impossible to avoid using disposable products, with all that time you spend waiting around in bus stations or grabbing a bottle of water on the go. Environmentally conscious travelers should consider carrying a folding BPA free water bottle, they’re virtually weightless, take up very little space, and save you money if you’re traveling long term. Even if you’re not so green-minded, an aluminum thermos flask is a convenient accessory for keeping your water cool on a long hike or enjoying a cup of hot coffee on a long bus journey.
Many suitcases now come with built-in combination locks and other safety devices but if you plan to stay in hostel dorms for most of your travels then you’ll need a decent padlock to keep your belongings safe. The suitcase locks are pretty good & considering you have your backpack with you when you head out (not always) we thought the padlock was more on the list of useful but non-essential travel accessories.
4. Travel Laundry Kit
Yes, this is the 21st century and yes, you probably will find laundry services in just about every destination on your travel itinerary. That said, who actually wants to hand two weeks’ worth of dirty undies over to a horror-struck hostel receptionist. If you’re on a longer trip and want to travel a bit lighter then we recommend that you get used to washing your essentials in bathroom sinks and hanging them around your bed like Christmas decorations or head out to the nearest laundromat.
5. A bulky Travel Pillow
Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, bus, car, or hang glider, a travel pillow will make the world of difference on long journeys. Okay, perhaps not the latter form of transport. Unfortunately, some of them can also be a bulky and awkward item to fit inside your luggage, so it might actually be more of a hindrance than a help.