by Andrew Heinzman on
Are regular tripods bending you out of shape? Flexible tripods can inspire you to take photos and videos at impossible heights and angles. They’re a great (and tiny!) addition to any camera bag.
The easiest way to make travelling more fun is to get rid of the little annoyances like searching for a place to charge your phone or getting slapped with baggage weight fees. These awesome travel accessories will do just that.
Now, before starting, this isn’t a list of the super obvious stuff. I’m going to assume you’re packing sunscreen and sunglasses if you’re going on a sun holiday, right? And you’ve brought a travel adapter if you’re off to Europe? Instead, we’re going to look at things you might not have thought about, or even if you did, probably slip your mind when it’s time to travel.
I’m blessed with the amazing ability to sleep anywhere at anytime, but if you aren’t, you need a good face mask and set of ear plugs. They might take a bit of getting used to, but being able to block out the bright lights and loud noise of the highway or nightclub that wasn’t mentioned on the Airbnb listing can be a vacation saver.
In a pinch, any eye mask and a set of earphones will do, but we really like the Alaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask ($8.99) and Speento Earplugs ($16). Sleep is essential so it’s worth getting them beforehand instead of relying on a shop at your destination. These picks also featured in our list of hotel accessories for bringing home comfort on the road.
Packing cubes are a suitcase revolution. Instead of just tossing every sock into the gaping maw of your open Samsonite, you can carefully pack your clothing into individual packing cubes. Whether you want to pack all your socks and underwear in one and your T-shirts in another or all your gym wear together and your pulling pants and shirt separately, it’s up to you.
Packing cubes are largely the same so you can’t go wrong with the AmazonBasics 4-Piece Packing Cube Set ($22). It comes with a small, medium, large, and slim packing cube so you can easily pack whatever you need. If you want more cubes, just order a second set or order each of the sizes individually.
The cable that comes with your smartphone is fine for using at your desk but hopelessly limited when you’re travelling. What happens if there a couple of people trying to crowd around a single outlet? Or if the nearest one is buried underneath the bed? That’s where a nice, long 10 foot power cable comes in.
Anker’s 10 foot cables are available in Lightning ($14.99), Micro USB ($11.99), and USB-C ($11.99) varieties. They’re all designed to be durable with each cable tested to withstand 1000s of bends and support upwards of 80kg. Perfect for tossing in your suitcase for every eventuality.
Smartphones are a huge part of travel. Mine is my boarding card, hotel checkin reference, and of course, entertainment system. While not being able to listen to Spotify might be a drag, not being able to get through airport security because your boarding card is out of battery is a nightmare. That’s why you should always carry a powerbank.
A word of warning. Airlines are getting warier about people carrying loose large batteries on planes (thanks Samsung!) so, if you’ve got a monster powerbank already, it might get confiscated.
With that in mind, we really like the Anker PowerCore II Slim ($34). It’s got a 10,000 mAh battery which is enough to fully recharge most smartphones 2-4 times without being a ridiculous fire hazard (or getting you grilled by the TSA). It’s also slim and light so can fit in a pocket, and at less than thirty bucks, losing it isn’t vacation ending if security decide to be stroppy.
No shopping trip to New York is complete without the gut wrenching terror of standing in line waiting for your bag to be weighed at check in. Are you just under the weight limit or are you going to need to remortgage your house to get home with all your luggage? It doesn’t need to be this way.
With a small digital luggage scales you can weigh your bags in the comfort of your hotel room. That way, you can shuffle around your packing to make sure no one bag is over the limit. No more rooting through your dirty underwear trying to repack in front of everyone at the airport. You can balance your packing load before you end up in a cold sweat a the check-in counter.
We’re fans of the Dunheger Digital Luggage Scale ($13). It’s got a weight limit of 110lbs so, no matter how over packed you are, it’ll work.
If you’re off on a beach vacation it doesn’t matter if your t-shirts have a few wrinkles on them, but if you’re showing up to do business—or just want to look sharp—you need a way to travel with your nice shirts and pants without destroying them.
The Eagle Creek Pack It Garment Folder ($29) keeps your clothes as wrinkle free as possible in your bag. They might need to hang for a bit if you’re a stickler, but should be quickly wearable as soon as you unpack. The Medium size can hold up to 12 garments so, unless you’re packing for your family’s annual Blues Brothers themed reunion, it’s the one to go for.
The right gear makes a big difference when you travel. If I’ve missed any of your favorite accessories, let me know in the comments.
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