Whether you’re out exploring medieval villages in Transylvania or island hopping in Thailand, let’s face it, your trip will run far more smoothly with the right travel accessories. This list is the result of some intense first-hand research – you’re welcome. We went camping without any matches, lost our luggage and suffered from heinous sleep deprivation, so you don’t have to (we know, not all heroes wear capes). Value, quality and durability are buzzwords here, so fill your basket and get out there. With the right kit, the world really is your oyster. Trust us, you only regret the portable phone charger you didn’t bring…
Here are the 11 best travel accessories:
1. Get a Life (Straw)
You’re striding through the foothills of the Andes and decide to stop for a cooling drink from a crystalline stream. Too often this scenario ends with nausea, cramps and Delhi Belly but it doesn’t have to always be this way. Introducing; The LifeStraw Go is a refillable bottle with a filter in the lid that gets rid of 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of waterborne protozoa, meaning you can drink from rivers, streams and even puddles safely. Let’s face it, one-use plastic bottles stopped being acceptable around the same time the word YOLO faded out of common use!
2. For digital nomads
Is it a mobile charger? Is it a Wi-Fi modem? The Skyroam excels at both. Not only does it have five, yes five, USB ports that allow you to charge multiple gadgets simultaneously, but it also gives you one-touch access to unlimited WiFi in more than 120 countries (wow). Whether you’re mountain biking in Montana or blogging from a beach in Bali, you’ll have access to the latest 4G LTE mobile WiFi across multiple devices. With 16 hours of battery life, this is a digital nomad’s ultimate work buddy and you don’t even have to brave the Monday morning commute to hang out.
3. Picture this
Olloclip; the ultimate one stop shop for anyone with an interest in travel photography (yes, that does include golden hour selfies), this handy set of clip-on iPhone lenses contains a fisheye, super-wide and macro 15X lens, all designed to work in selfie mode too. The pendant stand opens to create a pocket-sized tripod and the set also includes a microfiber cloth and lens caps. Keep them on hand ready for action and you’ll find that even the most casual snap will have that professional edge and as every good photographer knows, the best camera is the one you have with you.
4. Pillow talk
If you’re particular about your pillows, you’re going to love this little number from TravelRest. The All-in-One Ultimate Travel Pillow combines a fluffy velour cover (think tracksuits in the 1970s – and don’t tell us trackies aren’t your comfiest clothing item) with memory foam inserts, making it one of the most luxurious options on the market. The cross-shoulder design puts less pressure on your neck than traditional models, while a body sling guarantees you the sweetest of dreams even when napping on a seat without a back. When you’re finished, deflate it and roll it neatly away into its little bag, before clipping it to your backpack. Magic.
5. Cancel that noise
Whether blocking out the grunts of a snorer in a dorm room or drowning the mayhem of Tokyo’s metro, a pair of noise-cancelling headphones is a must. No matter what your budget is, there is a pair of noise cancelling headphones waiting for you to get your lugs into. You’ll be bopping or napping in no time.
6. Light our fire
You’ve parked the van up on a deserted beach, spent the afternoon digging for clams and you’re ready to steam them over a driftwood fire. But someone has forgotten the matches and it’s too windy for a lighter. Avoid this classic camping scenario with the Exotac NanoStriker XL, a ferrocerium and magnesium rod and a striking tool that’s small enough to be used as a keychain. When it’s screwed together it’s completely waterproof too.
7. Luggage locked down
Few things spoil a holiday more than emerging from a cramped plane only to discover that the airline has lost your luggage – even worse if you’re on your way to a special occasion or had valuables in the bag. Ensure you’ve always got one eye on your stuff with LugLoc, a GPS tracker that is connected to a sleek phone app. So, if the unfortunate happens and your bag goes awry, you’ll be able to see exactly which airport it has ended up at and receive real-time updates so you’re the first to know when you can expect it back.
A set of smaller bags that fit inside your big bag may sound gratuitous but try packing cubes once and we swear you’ll never look back. Simple yet devastatingly effective, they essentially turn your backpack into a chest of drawers, one for your undies, one for tops and one for trousers. Eagle Creek’s pack of three are made from ultra-durable, lightweight fabric and the zip pulls are inspired by climbing ropes, making them super strong. There is a lifetime warranty, but with quality like this, we doubt you’ll need it.
9. Eye spy (a good night’s sleep)
While we happen to think travelling is the best thing ever, there’s no doubt that it can disrupt your sleep routine. Guarantee a good night’s shut-eye while improving blood circulation in your face with this heated eye mask.
10. Tap that
We live in an age where there is a specialised app for every occasion, but if you’re planning on getting just one, make it TripCase. It allows you to link all the bookings from a trip, including planes, buses, hotels and car rentals and provides useful information that airlines often overlook, like total travel time and airport maps, as well as what sort of plane you’ll be flying in. You can also save receipts (great if you’re freelancing) and book Ubers from inside the app, pretty handy if you ask me.
11. Snap happy
Do you love the vintage feel of Polaroid pictures but hate having to carry a bulky camera around? The petite KiiPix printer lets you print snaps straight from your iPhone. It’s wireless and folds flat, perfect for travelling, and you can even add filters and other effects. Ideal for festivals or as cute keepsakes for hostel buddies and a great way to bring your travel journal to life as you go. What to do at that tedious border crossing? Scrapbook!
Have YOU got any awesome accessories that you can’t travel without? Let us know in the comments
About the author
Imogen Lepere is a travel writer with a soft spot for anything quirky, surprising and incongruous. Her adventures include teaching in Kathmandu, riding the Trans-Mongolian railway and living with a nudist colony in Greece. She currently splits her time between London and Melbourne, where she can normally be found with a glass of wine in one hand and a pen in the other. Read more of her work here or follow her on Instagram.
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