I have to admit, I’m kind of a gear head. I simply love browsing randomly through the offers of my local outdoor and travel shop. It’s amazing how much new (sometimes super useful, sometimes completely useless) travel gadgets the travel gear industry releases.
Obviously every traveler has his own preferences and needs. I always focussed on three key characteristics when it comes to travel gear: It should be:
lightweight – durable – multi-functional
I’m not a big fan of replacing rundown equipment every other month and therefore I’d rather invest a little more money for a high quality product I can rely on, and that lasts significantly longer.
So lets dive right into it. Here is a roundup of travel gadgets I purchased and used over the last 6 years of traveling to over 40 countries.
15 essential Travel Gadgets
Fifteen items to bring on every trip
Travel Gadget Nr. 1
Swiss Army Knife – Victorinox Hercules
The absolute classic piece of travel gear. A Swiss Army Knife is an essential travel gadget and second to none when it comes to quality manufacturing and reliability. It doesn’t matter if you need to open a can for dinner, cut some wood for a bonfire or simply wanna open a bottle wine or a can of beer.
Travel Gadget Nr. 2
Travel Towel – Cocoon
When backpacking, every gram counts. Therefore a good travel towel is indispensable. It’s light, it packs tiny, it doesn’t smell and it dries incredibly quick. Travel towels are available from numerous brands and in countless sizes. Just choose the one that best fits your needs.
Travel Gadget Nr. 3
Travel Pillow – Sea to Summit Aeros Ultralight
If you’re traveling on a budget, chances are, you gonna wait for ages in airports, and train stations. You gonna spend countless hours on planes, in buses and pick ups, on boats, horse carts and god alone knows what other vehicle. A good travel pillow will sweeten those often exhausting hours. This one is super comfy, light (60 gm) and packs up to just 5,5 by 7,0 cm.
Travel Gadget Nr. 4
Ear Plugs – Ohropax
It seems like a law of nature that in every dorm, there is at least one dude sawing logs all night long. Therefore this travel gadget is a life saver (i.e. a sleep saver). A good pair of ear plugs will enormously increase your sleep comfort. Ear plugs are available as
Travel Gadget Nr. 5
Neck Tube Scarf – Morf
A scarf to keep you warm, a hat to shelter you from the sun, a bandana or sweat band for hikes, a mask to keep dust out. A neck tube scarf is an extremely versatile travel gadget that can be used in numerous ways. Furthermore it’s light, very affordable and it packs super tiny.
Travel Gadget Nr. 6
Travel Adapter – Urophylla
An all-in-one travel adapter helps you to stay charged up while being on the road without carrying around heaps of different adaptors for every single device you own. Hostels often provide only a few outlets. Way to less for all the devices that need to be charged. With this travel gadget you can charge up to three devices at the same time. One via the normal outlet and two via usb.
Travel Gadget Nr. 7
Power Bank – Anker PowerCore 5000
Another life saving travel gadget. This ultra compact power bank made by Anker charges all of your devices via USB. It is just 10cm tall and 3cm wide and iPhone 6s can be charged up to two times.
Travel Gadget Nr. 8
Travel Bottle – Platypus
The Platypus is a BPA free, reusable plastic bottle that weighs 80 % less than a normal water bottle. When empty, the soft bottle rolls up so small, that it fits basically everywhere. It comes in two sizes (0.5 l and 1.0 l) and with two different cap systems to choose from. A Closure Cap or a dual-valve HyperFlow Cap.
If you fly a lot, this travel gadget is a must have. Just bring it to the airport empty, and fill it up with tap water after passing the security check.
Travel Gadget Nr. 9
Flashlight – Led Lenser M5
A good, reliable flashlight should be part of every packing list. Be it for hiking in the dark, reading in a tent or finding your way to the hostel toilet without switching the lights on. I love the Led Lenser M5. It’s lightweight and slim yet powerful and long burning. It operates on just one standard AA battery and with a 100 lumens it provides many hours of bright light.
Travel Gadget Nr. 10
Travel Tubes – GoToob
These travel tubes come in three different sizes – 1.25 fl. oz, 2 fl. oz. 3 fl. oz. and basically take up almost no space. All GoToobs are food-safe and approved for airline carry-on. The wide opening makes it easy to refill it.
There are obviously cheaper versions of those kind of tubes, but as I said in the beginning: I’m a gear head and love those little gimmicks like the suction cup and the content identification. Plus, there’s a lifetime warranty.
Travel Gadget Nr. 11
Dry Bag – Ortlieb
I’m a big fan of the Ortlieb products. They’re really well made and super reliable. A dry bag is a super handy travel gadget. Especially, when you’re up for some adventure travel. Be it kayaking, hiking in rainforests white water rafting or even swimming through canyons. A dry bag keeps all of your important stuff protected from water and dust. Their available in various sizes and from multiple brands. Just pick the one that best fits your needs.
Travel Gadget Nr. 12
TSA Padlock – combination padlock
A small padlock belongs in every backpack. I prefer one without keys cause that’s one thing less you can possibly lose. This 4 digit combination padlock is TSA approved and can be used for your luggage, your backpack or for the lockers provided by most hostels. It obviously isn’t the safest lock ever, but still increases security to some degree and protects your stuff from most petty thieves.
Travel Gadget Nr. 13
Headlamp – Explortek
No matter if you’re hiking a volcano in Guatemala, cooking your dinner on an island in Belize, or simply wanna read a book in your tent or dorm room, a headlamp is an indispensable travel gadget. And this headlamp is a beast. It runs on 3 AAA batteries that deliver a super bright 160 lumens. It is waterproof, lightweight and the light intensity is adjustable in 6 modes to meet your needs .
Travel Gadget Nr. 14
Dry Bag Pouch – Mpow
I’m using this pouch for all the stuff that has to stay dry, no matter what I’m doing. That means my passport, copies of my travel insurance and ID card, some cash, as well as one of my backup usb sticks go in here. Be aware, that this dry bag pouch is quite slim, so you can’t put your mobile and your passport in here.
Travel Gadget Nr. 14
USB stick – Kingston
The Kingston Data Traveler has a capacity of 64GB and is USB 3 compatible. It’s very small, super light and there’s a key ring integrated into the durable metal case. I use three of those USB sticks to back up my photos and to store important documents, in case I lose the paper version. Keep in mind to encrypt the USB stick, for when you lose it or it get’s stolen. You don’t want anybody to get access to your very personal data.
Any questions or comments? Any suggestions on useful travel gadgets? I’d really like to know what you would recommend. Just drop me a comment below. I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
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Disclosure: The links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I’m not getting paid by any of the above mentioned brands or companies.