Whether you try to pack light or prefer to throw in everything you might possibly find useful, there are going to be some travel accessories and gadgets that you just won’t want to leave at home. These are the things that make your life easier – or more enjoyable – while you’re away. If you’re keen to make sure you’re carrying the right gear, why not check out Mundana’s picks for must have travel accessories and gadgets in time for your next trip?
Packing cubes help turn a large suitcase or backpack into something much more organised. They come in a range of sizes, so buy a collection so that you can separate your smalls from larger items such as T-shirts or dresses. At the start of your trip, you’ll notice that it’s far easier to find what you’re looking for. As the holiday wears on, you can use them to separate dirty laundry from what’s as yet unworn. Whether you roll or fold items, packing cubes will help ensure your clothes stay largely crease-free. Many travellers use a separate packing cube for their toiletries, and so if there are any leaks or spillages, you won’t unpack to discover everything you’ve brought is covered in shampoo. Packing cubes also help save space, as they compress bulky clothing. So, if you’re keen to reap the benefits of travelling with carry-on luggage only, this is a good start.
Ergonomic travel pillow
Nothing ruins the start of a holiday faster than a stiff neck after a long haul flight. Be smart and invest in an ergonomic travel pillow, which will also come into its own on an intercity train journey or if you’re the lucky one who gets the passenger seat on a road trip. But it’s not a case of one size fits all. Just as some of us prefer a soft pillow at night yet others might prefer something firmer, there are many different kinds on the market. You’ll find travel pillows that wrap around the neck like a scarf adjustable collars and everything in between. Ideally whatever you choose will be portable, supportive and above all comfortable. It’s worth shopping for one in person so that you can try a few on and find the one that best fits your shape.
Waterproof phone case
Whether you plan to spend a large proportion of your vacation on the beach, kayaking on lakes or rivers or something adventurous like trekking through the rainforest, you’ll be glad you packed a waterproof phone case. You can swim safe in the knowledge that someone’s not walking off with your valuables yet have your phone on hand for impromptu selfies to share with friends and families back home. You should have enough room inside to slide in your hotel room key and the wherewithal for purchasing incidentals. Some are more waterproof than others, however, so if you’re planning on having it submerged for any length of time, check the water resistance rating to make sure it’s up to the job. The best cases are also dust and shock proof, making them useful in a far greater range of environments.
A tablet can act as a one-stop entertainment centre, and as such, for many travellers it’s been a must-pack item. Download your favourite movies and television shows. Never again will you have to rely on whatever choice the airline has made for you. Load up your Kindle app with your favourite novels and immerse yourself in a good book. Throw in a few of your favourite games – cards, Scrabble, or Sudoku perhaps to get those brain cells working, or something addictive like Bejeweled or Candy Crush. If you intend to play it on the plane, make sure whatever game or activity you choose doesn’t require internet access. Another really important thing to remember is your charger and back-up power pack. There’s nothing more frustrating than running out of battery midway through a journey.
As travellers, we’re becoming increasingly aware of how our actions have consequences for the planet. One easy change we can all make is to reduce our use of single use plastic. For instance, we can carry a refillable water bottle rather than rely on buying disposable ones as we go along. There are plenty of excellent ones on the market, some with beautiful designs that make a statement, some that place the emphasis on functionality over everything else. Think about whether you’ll prefer a spout or a straw. Choose squidgy pouches that can easily be squashed flat. Track down a collapsible bottle that folds back to almost nothing or slimline versions that slide effortlessly into the outside pocket of your day pack. Some feature double walled insulation to keep your water cold, which will be a definite advantage if you’re travelling somewhere that’s likely to be hot.
Personal safety is a particular concern for solo female travellers. In fact, though, such gadgets can be a blessing for anyone. If you’re holidaying in a crowded city, you might be concerned about being pickpocketed. Opting for a backpack or bag that can’t be slashed is a bonus. A fine wire mesh keeps your valuables safe even if you’re unlucky enough to be targeted. Some travellers prefer to disguise their belongings and there’s an increasing number of clothing items that feature hidden pockets. Simply zip your phone or wallet inside a specially-designed scarf and no one will even suspect that it’s there. Some cheap but very effective items you can purchase prove that ensuring you’re safe doesn’t have to cost much. A pocket whistle or a cheap but fake wedding ring are two very different ways of dealing with unwanted attention. If it’s your bags rather than yourself you’re worried about, invest in a portable tracker. Tuck it inside your suitcase as you hand it over. You’ll no longer need to stress about lost luggage. It might not be with you, but at least you’ll know where it is.