25 Useful Travel Items, Gadgets and Accessories

You’re about to make use of that round-the-world fare and left your packing for the last minute. No worries. Here’s a checklist of 25 useful items, gadgets and accessories you’ll be be thankful to have while abroad.

Flexible tripod

A tripod is one item most casual photographers think they never need … until they need it. Flexible tripods pack easily, work wonders in a pinch and prove ultra-handy in the rainforest, on the beach or in the city.

Merino Wool Base Layer

Master marketers in Australia and New Zealand have done well to extol the magic of Merino wool worldwide. In reality, base layers – from shell shirts to thermal underwear – made of the stuff save your skin on planes and in chilly climes.

Cashmere socks

Whether you pound pavement or scale mountains, foot comfort is paramount while abroad. Cashmere socks cost a pretty penny but make a superb investment.

Pocket trench

A fashionable, travel-specific trench with ample pockets is a wise purchase. A comfortable jacket with room for all your vitals frees up the need for extra bags.

Portable e-reader

The best gadgets save space and, indeed, save and kill time. With a portable e-reader, you can keep the novels at home and store them on one skinny screen.

Tablet computer or smartphone

A good tablet computer or smartphone is a home office, entertainment console and communications device all-in-one. Perfect for planes, in hotels, cafés and the beach, they have become the defacto essential gadget.

Laser keyboard

And to go with that tablet or smartphone, a handy laser keyboard. Comes in a tiny cube and emits a realistic QWERTY keyboard on any surface.

UV water purifier

Turn almost any tap or natural water source into potable water in seconds and safely hydrate.

Noise-canceling headphones

Noise-canceling headphones tune out the din of planes, terminals and urban life and let you concentrate and observe in silence.

Circumaural headphones

If, however, you prefer some tunes, a good set of circumaural (full-size) headphones will give your digital music some punch.

Flash drive

Be efficient on the go and store important documents, images, music, videos and other files on a nifty flash drive for rapid access anytime, anywhere.


A sturdy and portable multi-purpose utility tool is a common sense item too few forget at home. Just remember to check it before you pass security.

All-organic hand sanitiser

Most hand sanitisers reek of chemicals and do more harm than good. All-organic brands are healthy alternatives and travel well.

Smart travel containers

A funky, colourful set of travel containers is a cool way to store personal care items and demonstrate to airport security personnel that you respect the 100 ml limit on liquids at the same time.

Sleep mask

On epic, trans-oceanic flights, a good sleep mask helps ensure that your nap is deep and restorative.

Retractable cable lock

Lock up your bags securely with a strong, easy to store retractable cable lock and relax at hostels and dodgy bus terminals.

Travel adaptor

You took a trove of gadgets with you but forget the travel adaptor. Now you have 12% battery life left on your tablet and the only electronics store is 225 km away.

Power strip with USB port

Because you can never have enough plugs.

Comfortable walking shoes

Walk the streets of Tokyo, Paris and New York in style while ignorant tourists traipse about in stilettos and plastic clogs.

Notepad and pens

Sure, tablets and smartphones rule but paper and pens have not gone the way of the Dodo just yet.

Medical kit

Forget what you think you know about travel medical kits. The new ones on the market look so cool you may just cut yourself on purpose. Resist the urge.

Lavender oil

One item sure to not be in that trusty medical kit, however, is a small bottle of lavender oil. This superstar essential oil is spectacularly useful – it soothes stress, relieves headaches and is a stellar anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral agent. Use it on cuts, scrapes, burns and dry skin.

Travel wallet

We rarely, if ever, use a wallet at home but when we travel, a multi-purpose, utility wallet is a good tool.


One small-ish travel bag is all you need by day if you know how to pack – and if you invest in a good one.

Durable waterproof

Preferably a lightweight jacket that repels both wind and water. In this case, you do get what you pay for.