Travel Gadgets & Gizmos

For all of those planning to take advantage of Amazon Prime Day going on today (especially with the offer for free money with the purchase of one of their gift cards…), here are some of the gadgets and gizmos that we never travel without:

Gadget Organizer, from

Gadget Organizer, from

Luggage Related:

Luggage Scale

For the occasional Economy flight where we want to make sure we’re not going over the baggage allowance permitted. Trust me, over time the price of the scale pays off in offsetting the silly fees you’re charged if you go even a pound over the limit…

Luggage Locks

One of the very few uses I give locks on my bags is to make it absolutely obvious that I’ve had stuff taken from my bags. This proves especially useful when traveling to places known for having shady luggage handlers or custom controls. Not that it prevents anyone from breaking the lock or TSA from unlocking them with a skeleton key, but at least it does help me find out right away so that we can file a report before leaving the airport.

Packing Cubes

Very useful to get a lot packed into your normal sized bags. I used to have the vacuum bags, but you need a vacuum cleaner and so on, so these guys are a bit more friendly and it keeps stuff organized. I know which cube has my ‘formal’ clothing, which one my sporty stuff and it helps me not make a mess of the content of my bags while rummaging for something in particular.

Shoe Bags

Because the concept of having my clothes anywhere near the shoes I wear when I step on any random street does not sound that appealing to me.

Add a Bag

Crucial for when I travel for work, and sometimes for fun too. It lets me “tether” my small bag/briefcase/laptop backpack to my carry-on and still have one free hand and a less sore back.

Dry Bag

Extremely useful when adventure travel is involved. We’ve taken ours scuba diving, under an Iguazu waterfall and even to keep our stuff dry from the incessant Seattle rain.

Wine Bag

Ok. You laugh at me now, but when I tell you that you can actually buy excellent wine for a few bucks outside of the US (say, Argentina or Chile, New Zealand, etc), you’ll want to make sure to check a bag like this one full of inexpensive bottles and have them survive the trip. Heck, even expensive bottles.



Power Converter/Adapter Kit

A pretty basic thing to bring anytime you travel internationally. And a pretty annoying thing to forget and have to emergency buy on location. They’re extremely expensive if bought at airports/convenience stores and when I’m carrying expensive electronics for work, the last thing I want to trust is a crappy converter.

Car Charger

Yup. You also want to never forget this one if you’re planning on road tripping somewhere during your international travel and end up with a dead phone.

Anker Portable Battery

Life saver. All you have to do is remember to charge before leaving your hotel room if you’re planning on being away for too long and/or using your phone excessively.

Noise Cancelling Headphones

They’re pretty steep in price, but it’s definitely one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. It enables me to actually listen to the movies I’m watching while flying without the airplane noise getting in the way. Also, pretty useful when I want to nap in a long haul flight without any noise waking me up. Great for cancelling out chatty seat mates and the occasional snorer as well.

Headphone Splitter

Excellent idea when you’re traveling with a companion. I’ve tried many, many other ones that ended up being really low quality or would stop working 2 or 3 flights in. This one shows no sign of quality loss when you plug your second headphones. Or third! You can actually go up to 5, but I have never felt the need to share with the whole cabin.


Personal Care:

Electric Toothbrush

No need to slum it when you’re on the road. I use this one at home and I know all I have to do is getting it in the case and throwing the case in my bag. Battery last for about 5 or 6 days without charging, so for any trip longer than that I also carry the charger, and my beautiful pearly whites have nothing to fear.


Yeah. The last thing I need is spending my vacation days sneezing at the world.

Eye Mask

I know, I know. You get them for free in First and Business Class. But for those who fly Economy or for the occasional coach flight every once in a while, you should have one of these. I have to admit to never using them. They annoy the crap out of me and make me feel like I can’t breathe, but I wish I could wear them and not be awakened by someone’s reading lamp or light coming from a window. Jon wears them on every flight and sometimes at home too.

Disinfecting Wipes

Have you seen the tray tables? And the armrests? Seriously, have you? Ewww. That’s all I’m gonna say.




An adventure travel must have. Scuba diving, bungee jumping, going on a safari, hot air ballooning? No problem.

Polaroid Cube

We bought this guy on an impulse because it looked small and easy to operate. It’s turned out pretty good and helped us record some awesome shots.

Canon EOS Rebel T5

This beauty goes with us on every trip, and it’s what we use the most for our trip reports. The quality is astounding and the price not exorbitant. At the end of the day, you don’t want to go to a safari in Africa, where you spent thousands of dollars to get there and have crappy phone pictures.





What are your favorite must have items when traveling?


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Author: Ben Nickel-D'Andrea

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  1. Now if only there was a way to use the portable battery to power the headphones. I am notorious for forgetting to turn off the headphones and have to do without noise cancelling until I can find more AAA’s! Great list

    Post a Reply
    • I’ve done the same thing… which is why I always stock up on AAA batteries 🙂 Maybe we should have added that to the list!

      Post a Reply


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