Fresh off a Thailand trip and headed over to Bali any day now, we’ve updated our top suggested Travel Gear & Gadgets Hot List for 2023. Most of these will make your trip a lot smoother and less stressful leaving more time to GET OUT THERE. Since we recommend products to our travelers on a daily basis and get constant feedback on what works best from our customers and our own travels, we feel our tips are the most tried and true.
Let’s start with your long-haul flight (defined as anything over 8 hours). Unless you are in Business Class, you are probably dreading this part of the trip. Seriously! Who wants to sit in a cramped chair likely next to someone with a few bad habits for hours and hours on end?!? Well, we can help make it a bit more comfortable and possibly even promote some sleep with our first item, this Portable Airplane Travel Footrest Hammock.
You won’t believe the relief this gives you even in Premium Economy where you may have one of those calf rests. Take turns propping your feet up in one of these hammocks and using the regular foot rest (and getting up and walking about) and you will find way less swelling and uncomfortableness. We’ve seen way too many swollen legs from water retention and all of the other things that happen from traveling 38,000 feet in the air with no place to stretch your legs. Trust us – these work and will reduce swelling in your legs and feet.
Another item for inflight, especially Economy where washed blankets are a rarity, is this Practical 4-in-1 Travel Blanket with Poncho, Zippered Pocket & Stuff Sack. You had me at Poncho. Come on! Who else hates it when your blanket falls on the ground? And the zippered pouch is great for storing your passport, pen, and phone for when you need to fill out those Immigration and Customs Forms appear on your tray table while sleeping.
Our next favorite can be used onboard your flight and then again during travels. We love to use them on the plane and they have multi uses while you are traveling: this reusable tote by LOQI.
These are great for long haul flights – after you go through security then rearrange all of the heavy items into your carry-on from your personal item (there’s a whole blog on that trick), put your necessary inflight items (headphones, wet wipes, mask, blanket, travel pillow, iPad, etc) in the tote so you can place it nicely under the seat in front of you next to your personal item. What’s in the tote should be the items you will need access to if the lights are out and your row mates are sleeping. The personal item can hold your larger items you may need before landing like a fresh set of clothes, books and magazines, etc. All the rest of your items can go up in the overhead bin in your carry on. Once you land your tote folds up into a small pouch you can use it later during your travels to carry around for groceries, souvenirs (say no to plastic!), beach or pool gear, dirty shoes, or snacks while you are in transit to your daily excursions.
One of our newest finds is strictly for coffee lovers (mostly everyone these days, right?)… these travel ready Copper Cow Coffee Pour Overs will help you bounce back when you feel jet lag creeping up on you and give you a sense of ease and comfort when you aren’t too keen on Nescafé Instant Coffee found in most hotel rooms. (We like the Churro Flavor which often sells out, so try the Lavender version as well). Do you add cream and sugar? You’ll love these packets with a Vietnamese Coffee vibe.
Sometimes you just need a backpack but don’t want it to count as your carry-on. We love these Ultra Lightweight Packable Backpack Water Resistant Hiking Daypacks because they have so many practical uses in addition to or in place of the above mentioned packable tote and is another great way to say no to plastic for those times when being hands free is the most practical way to go.
We love packing cubes and compression pouches and since there are so many we like, we’ll recommend the Amazon Basic 4 piece starter set because of the varied sizes and low price. Getting a set with different sizes is best so you can Tetrix them together to fit perfectly into your luggage. We are currently digging the slender shape for underwear and smaller items. Pack them last to fit in where room is left over. This type of packing works great for tours or travel where you move around a lot and don’t have time to unpack and pack. The cubes work as drawers and help you keep organized and on top of things. Once you become a “packing cube packer,” you can’t go back to the old way.
Smart Phone batteries get eaten up super fast while you are traveling. It’s a fact, most likely having something to do with roaming, no matter how you set your Settings. So here’s the tip – Don’t leave home without an external power bank, or two (make sure you carry these in your Personal Item or Carry-on and don’t check them). We tell our customers over and over to bring these, and still some think they will be fine without one. If you will be out of your hotel room for more than 4 hours at a time, day in and day out, you will need one. We have revised our strategy on how many mAh your power banks should have and our new system is to bring one that’s anywhere from 10,000-15,000 mAh and a second MagSafe or similar type for quick charges (MagSafe is iPhone only). Our first suggestion is for the more powerful one like this INIU Portable Charger. It’s 10,000 mAh with 22.5 W (so good for charging devices up to tablets but not laptops). It fast charges with a USB Type C and has 2 additional USB A ports (original USB port size). It’s smaller than most and very travel friendly. Pair this with an even smaller back up charger like this Euker Wireless Portable Charger. This is a 10000mAh Magnetic (Wireless) Power Bank that attaches directly to your iPhone. It includes a stand for FaceTime or watching videos. Note that we find these to eat through charging quickly and aren’t really good for more than two full charges. *(Bonus tip for those with Samsung Phones, try one of these iWalk portable charges that fits directly into your phone’s power port with no need for cables.)
We feel these are crucial. You never know when there might be a power outage and having a fully charged power bank can get your (and your roommate’s) device(s) charged up with room to spare. Sometimes hotel rooms cut the power (not just the A/C) when you leave the room meaning nothing will charge while you are out of the room so having a portable power bank will allow you to avoid that issue all together. And, who likes to charge their phone while they sleep but wants the phone nearby? Well, in most hotels in Southeast Asia have very few outlets (sometimes just one) and these are rarely conveniently located. Don’t forget to bring an extra cable for the almost guaranteed situation when your travel buddy needs to plug into your charger because they forgot theirs back at the hotel.
One item you may judge as a luxury item is this BESTEK Universal Travel Adapter 100-220V to 110V Voltage Converter but don’t be so quick to label these as unnecessary. They act as a powerful hub for those bringing cameras or laptops and need the extra wattage. This one handles up to 250 W and helps power more than your hair straightener or dryer. Why do we like this so much? To start with, remember what we said earlier about there being limited power outlets in your hotel room? Well couple that with two people sharing a room with multiple items to charge each night (and in some cases, hair dryers and flat irons or shavers to plug in somewhere). These are one-stop “charging stations” with three USB Ports, three AC Outlets and UK/AU/US/EU Worldwide Plug Adapters, Power Converter for Hair Dryer and appliances. You’ll love having this gadget along.
Not convinced you need all that juice, we still urge you to bring a 5-6 foot power hub like this Tessan Power Strip with outlet plugs AND two sizes of USB ports. As mentioned earlier, most outlets are way across the room from where you need them to be. You’ll find this gadget so practical, you’ll even bring it on domestic trips.
While we are on the topic of charging devices, you’ll likely need a Wall Adaptor. Our current favorite is the set by Apple. These individual type are better because they fit close to the wall, but many like the box shaped, universal style better for its all-in-one practicality. Note that if you opted to purchase the Voltage Converter, you won’t need the Power Strip or Adaptors because it comes with all you’ll need, making it a better bargain, albeit a bit heavier.
Ok, that was 11ish tips, and most of them electronic items, but by far this is the category that gives most travelers angst. Of course, that’s not all. We have a whole list of our favorite items listed on our website under What To Pack including luggage, shoe, and clothing favorites. Our choices are ever changing and these Packing Lists are updated regularly so check our website often at www.getouttheretours.com or if you’re of the Instagram type, we regularly post there with links to the most popular sections of our website via our Link in Bio functionality.
What are YOUR favorite Gadgets and Gear? Comment Below and we’ll Feature a few of our favorites on our Instagram Feed. If we feature your tip, we’ll send you a sticker just because we know you’ll love it.