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essential travel gadgets you didn't know you need

So, you are here because you love traveling! Maybe you even live for it? Traveling can be so nice and easy, but there are also some really annoying things if it comes to it. That is where essential travel items are for!

To help you with making traveling a lot nicer, I collected 100 of the greatest travel tips, tips on packing your suitcase and staying safe while traveling. Now I will show you some essential travel items that will change the way you travel from now on!

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1. Luggage scale

A luggage scale can be small and lightweight and solve a lot of problems. Whether you only go on a round trip flight or traveling to different locations, you don’t want to pay extra money for luggage.

Especially now, when it can go up to hundreds of euros for a few kilos. With a luggage scale, you can check your suitcase before you leave the hotel and decide if you can take that extra souvenir, leave those stolen hotel shampoos in the hotel or book some extra kilos for your flight.

2. Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are a wonderful invention. They make sure you can take more stuff in your suitcase, or take a smaller suitcase. It also helps to keep your suitcase clutter free. The cubes are easy in a suitcase, where as the sacks are easier in a backpack.

The packs have a firm form, and the sacks don’t have one, so you can just cram those in your backpack. The sacks are available in different sizes. I use one of 6 liter for my underwear, 12 liter for my shirts and 20 liter for my pants, dresses and towels. Take different colors, so you can see what is in what when you need it!

The smaller sacks are also very easy to take to the beach or another place. As they are waterproof, I put my wallet, phone and everything in there and when I go into the water, I take it with me. This way it stays dry, safe and sand-free.

3. Power Bank

I can’t say it enough. I love my power bank. A power bank gives the opportunity to charge your phone or tablet anywhere. From the plane, beach and anywhere.

A power bank with more than 20000mAh can charge your phone a couple of times before you have to charge it again. You can also invest in a solar powered power bank and just charge it while laying on the beach!

4. Anti-theft backpack

I was not sold on an anti-theft bag when I started traveling, but when I bought one, I kinda loved it. I just felt a bit safer while walking on markets and busy streets in Thailand. That was the first time I used it.

Space is a bit more limited than a normal backpack, but if you plan it well, you can fit a lot in there. Some also have a way to connect your power bank to the back, so you can charge the phone while walking and using it.

My backpack during the Co van Kessel bicycle tour through Bangkok.

I have the XD Design Bobby right now and I love it. But after the trip, I noticed that there are a lot more stylish anti-theft backpacks also. So there is something for everyone. Just find the look you want and feel a bit safer.

anti theft backpack - essential travel items

5. Good headphones

So not everybody loves headphones, but I started to love them. They block out a lot of noise or even all of them and you can enjoy your quiet moment. (or just listen to Disney songs with nobody noticing)

I have been a fan of JBL for a while now. From the boxes, earphones and these headphones. They are cheap, not immensely big, almost noise canceling (and not paying for that label!) and they actually don”t hurt my ears after a few hours.

Sometimes headphones start to hurt after wearing them nonstop for 2-3 hours. These don’t. You have the bluetooth or the normal version. I decided to go bluetooth, so that I am not struggling with the cords.

Just remember that they are useless with the plane entertainment system them. I forgot that and did not have my earphones with me. So I ended up using the provided headphones what I rather avoid.

6. Foldable water bottle

A foldable water bottle can be really easy if you go to a country where you can drink the tap water. But also on every other trip.

Buy a big bottle of water, divide it and only carry what you need. When your bottle is empty, you can just fold it and put it in your backpack.

The best thing? You will save so much plastic! Especially in countries where you can drink the tap water, like the Netherlands, and you don’t have to buy any plastic bottles!

You can also get this past security on the airport or concerts and just fill it up. This will save you money in the long run and save the planet in the meanwhile!

7. TSA approved lock

It is always a smart idea to put a lock on your suitcase or backpack. But it can’t be a normal lock. For security, it has to be a TSA lock.

This basically means that the security on airports have a key to all these locks. So they can get into your bag if they see something weird. But others do not have this key.

You have key or number versions of TSA approved locks. Even though a lock with a key is easy, it is also a bit more dangerous. What if you lose your key?

So the best thing is to go with a number lock and not choose 000 as a code.

It is also very handy in hostels, trains and other places. So a smart thing to pack.

8. Travel Wallet

When you travel, you have a lot of papers and documents. With a travel wallet, you can keep it all together and find it easy in your bag.

Most travel wallets have place for your passport, cards, money, phone and your flight ticket. If you have you travel wallet within reach, it will by easy and quick on the airport.

9. Travel Scarf

The travel scarf is a multifunctional scarf. It is big enough to use as a blanket, cover you up for temples and churches, but also to keep your stuff safe.

The scarf has a hidden pocket for your passport, phone or some money. This way it is safe and you have it close.

10. TSA clear toiletry bag

If you have traveled before, you know the clear plastic bag in your hand luggage rule. They are very strict with liquid, makeup and other products.

But as long as you put it in a clear bag, it is al fine. With this toiletry bag, you get everything through security and you can use it for your whole trip.

If you also use the bottles, you don’t have to throw anything away, but still have your own shampoos and everything.

Essential travel items

So here you go, 10 essential travel items. There are a lot more handy and clever travel gadgets, but here is a start.

I personally use most of these or want to try them out. But all the travelers I met use at least one of them.


What is your favorite essential travel item?

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travel essentials you didnt know you need (1)
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  • Rebecca

    21 December 2019

    I didn’t know that TSA had certain locks. Or about needing a clear bag for your toiletries. Thanks. I’d like to carry a backpack, but I’ve seen so many places where you’re not allowed in with one. I’ll be traveling by train, so I’ll be carrying it all around. Decisions, decisions. Great article!


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