Whenever I go travelling, there are certain gadgets that I will never leave without. There are general items like your phone, charger, or socket adapter, but I won’t be talking about the likes of those today. I personally use a few items you may not have thought of that totally improve my travel experience. Here are my 7 favourite travel gadgets in completely random order!
1. Universal Travel Tripod
One of my favourite travel gadgets is my travel tripod. Both my smaller camera and DSLR camera can fit on the little tripod (not at the same time, of course). I have a larger tripod that I like to use to get stable images when I’m filming, but tripods are also essential for long exposure photography.
One downside: the regular tripod is never going to fit in my hand luggage. No worries, my little travel tripod can fit into any bag. It probably wouldn’t be stable enough for getting that perfect shot of the starry night sky. Nevertheless, it still works wonders for less ambitious long exposure projects, like this photo I took of Paris by Night.
2. Mini Compass
When I’m abroad, I usually use an offline map to navigate. Other times, I prefer to just use my little compass or compass app to determine the general direction. I don’t really like to track every street when I’m travelling. When there is no need to be precise about my route, I like to check my location once in a while and use just my compass to make sure I stick to the right direction. It worked like a charm when I was exploring Beijing. A phone might run out of battery, but a little key-chain compass definitely won’t.
3. GoCustomized Phone Case
My most recent addition to my favourite travel gadgets is my custom-made phone case. People will never misspell my name ever again! Seriously though, making my own phone case was a blast. You can pick any photo, but I thought it would also be cool to create my own design with my logo on a vintage map.
The phone case I chose has a full wrap print and matt finish. I prefer a matt finish since it’s much more scratch-resistant. I may have also already dropped my phone flat on the ground when I was in Venice last week. Luckily, everything is still intact. So, there you have it: this case 100% passes the test. You can make your own LG G3 case or any other type of smartphone case. GoCustomized is a great option for making personalised phone cases, so I’m proudly collaborating with them for this blog post. Click here if you’re a Dutch reader!
One item I definitely cannot do without anymore is my powerbank. It has saved me so many times, I will soon be getting a second one. Instead of bringing travel guides and maps, I mostly use apps and offline maps on my phone. I also regularly like to do some real-time microblogging on my Instagram. All of that, of course, sucks the energy right out of your battery. It’s great to have everything you will ever need on your smartphone, but it will be totally useless if the power runs out. A powerbank is a must for me.
5. Mini Flashlight
One item that may seem a bit ‘old school’ is a flashlight. I can definitely use my phone as a flashlight, but what if your phone dies and you can’t charge it? At least you’ll have your flashlight as a back up. If you’re going hiking, camping, or road tripping, anything can happen. To me, a flashlight is a basic item that you should never forget to bring. Whether you need to fix your car, read some text, find the toilet, your mini flashlight will save the day (or night). It’s much easier to manoeuvre than a smartphone.
6. Optional: Travel Binoculars
Travel binoculars belong to the optional travel gadgets category, depending on which destination and activities you’re planning to do. I usually don’t bring my travel binoculars on city trips, for example. Then again, when I travelled to Cape Town I knew I was going to see some amazing views from the top of Table Mountain. If you have some space in your suitcase, find a little spot for your binoculars. Travel binoculars are super light and great to have on hiking trips, road trips, and safaris (still on my bucket list).
7. Handheld Luggage Scale
Last but not least! Whenever I go on short trips and only take one piece of hand luggage, I usually don’t worry about the weight. It’s hard to fit the full 10 kg in a small suitcase, so that’s never really a problem. Whenever I go on longer trips, however, I’m always careful about how much my suitcase weighs. It needs to be checked in, so the suitcase will definitely be weighed at the desk before the flight.
Sometimes you end up ‘accumulating’ stuff during a trip, but you’ll still have to fly back home with the same weight restrictions for your bags. I always bring my handheld luggage scale to check my bags and shuffle some of the weight around if I need to.
If you’ll be travelling this summer, be sure to also check out my tips and tricks in my summer travel favourites blog post for 2016!