The Best Travel Gear and Travel accessories

Written By: The Planet D

Our travel gear has evolved over the years, and while there are still a few old standby items that we recommend, there are a lot of new ideas for you to add to your travel list too. Things have changed a lot in travel. We have to think about a few more things when stepping on a plane, eating out, and staying in hotels. We’ve updated our travel packing list to include the best travel gear for 2023 and beyond!

Best Travel Gear and Travel Accessories

Enjoy our suggestions of items to add to your travel gear list.

When we travel, we carry a lot of electronics including cameras, computers, iPhones even a drone. It’s our job, so we go overboard with gear, you don’t have to carry so much, but the travel gear listed below are great options to support the electronics you bring with you. For charging, storing, and keeping everything safe we’ve got you covered.

Cool Travel Tech Gear

Travel and Tech Gear

1. Belkin Mini Surge Protector

The Belkin Surge Protector has three plugs to charge multiple items as well as two USB ports to charge things like your iPhone or camera. We can charge five items at once and only have to carry one adapter with us. The surge protector also ensures that our electronics never get fried in unstable environments. We travel to some sketchy destinations and it’s not uncommon for power surges that could easily ruin your computer.

2. Portable USB Charger

Have you ever made a point of going into a coffee shop or restaurant just to use a plug to charge your phone? Well, if you get yourself a portable USB external battery charger you won’t have to worry about missing calls or updating facebook during your travels ever again.

Make sure to get one with two outlets and 20000 mAh so you have lots of charges. We’ve charged GoPros and cameras with our portable chargers and never miss a shot! This has been a lifesaver on safaris when we’re out all day and the batteries go dead on our cameras. We never miss a shot!

3. World Travel Adapter

Forget all the different adapters you used to have to dig out of a drawer before traveling, now you can get all the world’s power outlets in one cube. The World Travel Adapters have come a long way. Wherever you land, you’ll have the right plug at your fingertips in one compact place. All you have to do is fold or pull out the right plug for the right country and you are good to go. We will never go back to the old individual adapters. Check it out.

See our full travel packing list at The Ultimate Travel Packing List (By Professional Travellers)

4. Gear Ties

Have you noticed that with all the electronics that we’re all carrying, our charging cables are getting all mixed up and tangled? When we pack our iPhone cables, computer chords, and camera chargers, we wrap up all the loose ends with Gear Ties They’re way better than tape or zip ties because they coil and uncoil with ease.

Best Travel Organizers

Travel Organizers

5. Packing Cubes

These nylon sacks help to organize our gear and clothing and free up a lot of space. I put my clothes in color-coded cubes. Underwear in white, shirts in red, shorts and skirts in blue. They are lightweight and durable and we have had some of our packing cubes for nearly a decade. We can stuff our clothing into them and have a completely neat trip back. We recently read that Eagle Creek has gone out of business, but they are still on Amazon for now here at Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Cubes. That is what we use, but you can also look at Osprey Ultralight Packing Cube Set

6. Compression Cubes

If you want to save space in your travel bags, Compression Cubes are an amazing addition. The Eagle Creek Compression Cube Set is an excellent choice. They act as stuff sacks where we can cram our clothes into a bag and then zip it closed to free up even more space in our backpacks. We cram odds and ends in, pack it to the max and then use the second zipper to compress it down to a small and neat little bag holding everything.

7. Toiletry Bag

A good toiletry bag has really kept us organized, neat, and clean. The Packit Wallaby is a great organizer that we can hang on the back of doors. Its zipper pockets keep things from falling out and it is compact enough that it doesn’t take up the space of bulky leather toiletry bags. Read more: Best Travel Organizers for Smarter Packing

8. Foldable Hiking Bag

Even if we are staying at a five-star resort and using our travel pro suitcase instead of a backpack, we like to keep a small foldable hiking bag on hand. This bag is a great lightweight option to add to your packing list. It saves space, is very lightweight, and folds up to pocket size. It is perfect to fill with beach items and essential hiking gear and it can hold some small photography equipment. We always have it as part of our travel gear list. Check it out on Amazon

9. Dry Bag

Another accessory we keep in our bag is a small waterproof dry bag. Get dry bags that are lightweight. when kayaking, hiking through rain, or heading out on a boat, we love having our photography gear and even our wallets in a waterproof bag rather than a regular bag. Plus, if you are kayaking or canoeing, you can hook the bag onto the boat so you won’t lose your valuables. Buy it now

Unique Travel Gadgets

Travel Gadgets

10. Hidden USB

Luckily she was organized and had all her travel documents backed up. You too can keep backups of all your documents in a USB that never has to leave your body. USB Bracelets and necklaces can hold all backups of your travel documents in one place. Get your Hidden USB here.

11. PacSafe Products

If you are traveling to an area where you don’t feel completely secure or if you are taking a lot of public transportation, we highly recommend PacSafe.

When traveling India, we wrapped the PacSafe’s steel coil around our bags and locked them to our seats and slept easily with peace of mind. When we stayed in questionable accommodation, we’d put all our electronics inside and lock them to something secure. It is amazing for peace of mind.

Read more at The Best Anti Theft Travel Bags and Accessories Another option for this is to get a padlock and bike chain. It doesn’t completely cover your bags, but it does secure your bags.

  • PacSafe Items we use:
    • Pacsafe RFIDsafe Blocking Travel Organizer – This carries all my money, passports, and credit cards and it blocks anyone trying to steal our information.
    • PacSafe Bag Protector – the steel net goes around your luggage or backpack protecting against theft and you can lock it to anything. This is the best travel gear for anyone backpacking, staying in dorms, and taking a lot of public transport.

12. Iron Socket VPN

While it isn’t exactly a travel gadget and is more of a virtual gadget, this is a great addition for any traveler. If you are using public wireless wifi, a VPN can help to add security to your computer. If you have to do banking, you can cloak your IP address keeping others off your system. A VPN is a must for travel to countries like China too. Behind the iron curtain, you can still access Twitter and Facebook. We also love watching TV when traveling but we find that a lot of our favorite shows aren’t available overseas. A VPN allows you to change your computer’s IP address. Check out Iron Socket VPN

13. E Sim Card

We use Airola for our international sim card. It is a virtual e-sim and we don’t need to change any SIM Cards or put on any stickers. We just purchase data before leaving for our destination and then when we land, we activate the e-sim switching easily from our home sim to our travel sim.

14. Portable Wifi

We’ve been taking things one step further than a SIM Card these days. While traveling in Europe and always rent a MiFi. It’s a personal wifi that uses 3G and allows up to 5 devices at one time to use the Internet. It’s amazing to keep up to date on work and to stay connected with your friends and family.

You order it online and they deliver it to your hotel when you arrive. Once you are done with it, you send it back in the return envelope and you are all done. It’s that easy. There are a few options, we tend to use TepWireless.

Electronics Travel Gear

If you want to take your organization even further, this top-rated electronics organizer is economical, well laid out, durable, and the perfect size for traveling. What I like about its multiple elastic loops for all our cords and it has a holder for SD cards as well. See it here: BAGSMART Electronic Organizer Travel

Travel Gear Electronics

15. Laptop or Tablet

Even the regular traveler who isn’t working might want to carry a laptop or tablet these days. I have read that remote controls carry a ton of germs. Download your favorite series or travel movies and watch them on your laptop and then you can avoid the entertainment system on the plane and in your hotel room. My laptop has become one of my most used pieces of travel gear. The Macbook Pro 13 inch is small and lightweight like a MacBook Air, but it has the power of a full MacBook Pro for video and photography editing.

16. Portable Hard Drive

When taking travel photos, you want to make sure that you have memories to take home with you. It’s important to back up your photos while on vacation. I’m not lying when I say that we’ve met more than one person who has lost all their photos during their and didn’t back them up. Even if you want to keep the photos on your SIM Card until you get home, back them up on a hard drive too. We love the Samsung T5 2TB hard Drive. This tiny hard drive is as lightweight as it gets, it hold a ton of data and is high quality. I can edit videos directly on this.

17. Noise Cancelling Headphones or EarBuds

Whether you are on a flight, a bus, or a train, noise-canceling headphones are a lifesaver. Many times people are talking too loud, children are crying or there is a lot of noise in general. We put on our noise-canceling headphones (We like Apple’s earbuds pro) and with some mellow music, we sleep like a charm.

18. GoPro Hero 9

For waterproof sports cameras, you really can’t beat the GoPro. We have been using GoPros since they first came out and the GoPro Hero 9 is revolutionary. With a front screen, and a great mic for adventure travel (you don’t necessarily need an external mic for quick talking). It is waterproof, takes high-quality 5k video, and has amazing steadiness if fits all our needs. Add it to your travel gear today. Details here.

19. Kindle Paper White

I actually prefer reading on my iPad, but I have a Kindle as well and it’s great for the outdoors or in bright sun. Save browsing books on the shelf and browse on your own device so that you can sanitize and read with ease. Kindles are great for travel. They are lightweight, free up space (in comparison to several books) and save money. My Kindle editions of books are cheaper than hard copies. Get this Kindle Paper White – it is now also waterproof which is awesome at the beach or by the pool

Best Luggage and Accessories

Sterling Pacific Carry-on Luggage

20. Carryon Luggage

Known as the “Rolls Royce of Luggage”, Sterling Pacific is the top choice for luxury travelers, frequent fliers, and pilots. The 35 L carry-on weighs only 11.5 pounds and its streamlined design is made to fit in the overhead compartments while being roomy enough to hold clothes for a long weekend trip. Its elegant aluminum design is a head turner with full-grain Italian leather handles, a retractable full-aluminum trolley, and Aluminum Wheel Housings making it elegant yet durable.  If you are looking to buy a gift for a traveler in your life, or want to treat yourself to a luxury item, you will love this piece of luggage that stands out from the competition.

best luggage brands carryon level 8

Another favorite of our carry-on luggage is the Pro Carry-On with Laptop Pocket by Level8. It is a prime example of specialized, lightweight luggage. The bag is made with aerospace-grade material to maximize protection yet minimize unnecessary weight. It glides easily, has a pocket for my wallet and laptop and easily fits in most overhead compartments.

21. Roller Luggage / Suitcase

We have graduated from backpacks to TravelPro lolling luggage for our travels. When traveling to cities, islands, or resorts, we really love using proper luggage with wheels. The TravelPro is a high-quality travel bag that has lasted us for years. It is lightweight, durable, and fashionable. Our checked luggage is TravelPro Maxite 5 Spinner – If you are traveling to a place that has paved roads and sidewalks, this is the best travel gear for you. Four wheels make it easier to roll and they tend to be more durable.

22. Rolling Duffel

If you aren’t ready to make the switch to a suitcase Eagle Creek’s 28 Road Warrior rolling duffel is fantastic. It’s not too big so you won’t overpack. it stands up on its own with ease and it is made for stacking packing cubes and wardrobe envelopes.

23. Backpack

Okay, I know I said we don’t use backpacks anymore for our luggage, but that is not entirely true. When traveling to Africa on Safari, to the polar regions on an expedition, or if we are going overland in Southeast Asia, a backpack is still the best option. They are easy to throw onto buses, carry over beaches, and lug through subway stations. We recommend the Osprey Fairpoint for men and the Osprey Fairview for women.

Carryon vs Non-Carry On

Dave and I don’t do carry-on only. We have been traveling around the world for nearly two decades and we rarely travel carry-on only. What’s the reason? We carry a lot of camera gear when we travel and that pretty much fills up our travel bags. Between our drones, DSLR cameras, laptops, and hard drives, we wouldn’t have a lot of room for our clothing and toiletries.

Besides, we don’t just do beach vacations. We often backpack through mountains, and different climates so we travel with an array of gear including everything from winter layers to hiking boots and water shoes. Just make sure you have a care packing in your carry-on. If you do have a delay and have to wait for your travel bags you will want the essentials.

To help decide what travel bag is right for you, read: The Best Anti Theft Travel Bags and Accessories

Best Travel Photography Bags

Best Travel Photography Bags

24. Adventure Camera Backpack

Shimoda Explore 40 adventure camera backpack is well organized and can hold all of my photography gear. In addition to that, it is durable, comes with a rain cover, has a waterproof zipper, utilizes a rear entry (so I don’t have to worry about thieves), it uses a modular insert system that allows me to customize the inside of the bag and take things in and out with ease and it is carry-on friendly. I use it for hiking and walking around the city. It is by far my favorite photography backpack to date.

25. Small Camera Bag

Deb uses the Peak Design Messanger Bag for her videography gear. It is a fantastic piece of gear that she wears over the shoulder. It carries my DSLR video camera, Go Pro Hero 8s, phone, and computer. Plus there are pockets for wallets and phones. Peak Design Everyday Messenger V2

Photography Gear

We have an entire article sharing our complete photography gear list.

You can take a lot of great photos these days with your smartphone, so if you aren’t looking for completely professional photos, our iPhone combined with the GoPro Hero 9 does the trick. But we also have a drone, 3 DSLRs (two for photography, and one for video) plus a small vlogging Sony camera. See our complete photography gear list here.

Health and Safety Gadgets

best travel luggage level 8

26. Collapsible Refillable Water Bottle

Get this collapsible water bottle to take through airport security and to reuse cutting down on waste. Staying hydrated helps your immune system so having water on hand is a must. Being Collapsible, it goes through security with ease and save space in your carry-on bag. Buy it here.

27. SteriPen

The SteriPen purifies water in a snap, it is a great compliment to your water bottle and it an essential part of our travel accessories. You can fill your reusable water bottle with tap water and even water from lakes and rivers and purify the water using the Steripens UV lighting. Another alternative that we have used is a LifeStraw. It is a great two-in-one water bottle and water purifier. But I prefer the water bottle with Streripen as I can purify a lot of water at once and I don’t have to drink out of a filter, I have an open lid. But check it out here and decide what works for you.

28. UV Phone Sanitizer

Let’s face it, our phones are a cesspool of germs. We carry them everywhere, they are a part of us, but we never clean them properly. This UV Phone Sanitizer and Charger kills 99% of bacteria and viruses that build up on your phone. It’s fast easy and will help to keep the germs away. Get it on Amazon for $27.95

29. More Travel Accessories for safety

It’s a good idea to pack a few travel essentials for hygiene and cleaning in your carry-on bags. Travel-size hand sanitizer spray, disinfectant wipes, and surgical gloves are great items to keep on hand. We always have surgical gloves in our first aid kit. Make sure they are lightweight, travel size to go through security (less than 50 ml)

Travel Essentials

Travel Gear Essentials

30. Travel Insurance

We never travel without travel insurance and in a post-COVID World, this has never been more important. We have used our travel insurance on four continents including being airlifted out of the Amazon when Dave broke his back. We have several articles highlighting the importance of travel insurance that you can read below. But the best advice we can give is to call your company before you fly to ask about restrictions, what it includes, how much your deductible is, and what activities you are allowed to do on your vacation.

31. Ear Plugs

These may seem obvious, but I cannot tell you how many times I’ve forgotten my earplugs. Or I have forgotten to keep them on me while riding on a bus or train. If you don’t want to sleep with music, make sure you pack earplugs. When backpacking around the world on a budget, you will be staying in some pretty loud hotels (say someone snoring next door?) and earplugs are a must for any world traveler. Get them on Amazon

We now also use a white noise app and listen to the sound of a fan or ocean waves to rock us to sleep. It drowns out thumping music and loud neighbors.

32. Headlamp

I know what you are thinking. But I have a flashlight on my phone! That is true, but a headlamp is a must for hiking, camping, or even doing astral photography. It is more powerful than your phone light and it is hands-free so you can wear it on your head and get all your tasks done. We like to invest in a high-quality headlamp for optimal lighting and this Black Diamond headlamp is also rechargeable by USB. Read our tips for camping: 25 Camping Tips and Hacks for Happy Campers

For more ideas for travel gear and gadgets, check out the Ultimate Travel Packing List

Do you have any travel gear suggestions that you can’t live without? Have you discovered a new gadget or item that everyone should pack in their travel kit? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

travel gear
Ultimate travel gear guide

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Book Your Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner. We have used them for years and have found that they have the best flight deals.

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor.

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Safety Wing - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Book Your Activities: Looking for walking tours, skip-the-line tickets, private guides, and more? Then we recommend Get Your Guide.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

Leave a Comment

28 thoughts on “The Best Travel Gear and Travel accessories”

  1. Not a gadget, but I take several feet of gaffer tape (think duct tape for the real world) with me when I travel. It can be rolled on itself for travel (or around a qtip, if you must). Can be used for “field expedient repair” of shoes, pants, and bags.

  2. Why oh why have I only just came across your site! You guys are amazing. This list is so handy, a couple things I never thought about. I am about to make the move out to Australia and do a working holiday visa for a couple years before maybe making the full move out. Your guides are really helpful! Stay safe!

  3. Hey guys – just came across your list. Great stuff! I love the Belkin surge protector. I never take a trip without mine. I would add the Dream Essentials Escape Luxury Sleep Mask – I honestly can no longer sleep without it. It has little eye sockets – awesomeness. Also a pack-it folder is a must. At least if the trip involves wearing descent looking clothes. I love the Bluff Works pants though. I’ll have to check them out.

    • Thanks for the tip on the mask. We’ll check it out. We’re also going to look for the folder, we have never had to worry about clothes looking good in the past, but now that we are doing more business travel, it’s becoming an issue and we didn’t know how to pack nice clothes without wrinkling them.

  4. I am so so happy you wrote this article – it has on it almost everything we have been talking about. Ugh – all my business ideas out the window haha! As you can imagine, packing up a motorbike is really challenging as both weight and size are critical.. very similar to backpacking. Sadly, we have 3 panniers to share so items are very, very limited. We have been looking into solar chargers, which may be a good addition..?

  5. Wow! I want every single one of theses gadgets! They seem so useful! It’s a shame I’m reading this now, just a day before a 3 weeks holiday. I’ll make sure to check them out for next time!:)

    Thanks for the list!!

  6. Hoborolls is an idea but I just use my side pockets for small items, one for my 4 pairs of socks, and the other for my 5 pairs of Pop&Go PopandGo Knickers.

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  8. Love the Hoboroll from GobiGear and the Belkin. Those are always in my gear bag. I’ll have to check out that VPN. I have been using Hide My Ass for a while now which is great too.

      • In China, we used Astrill, which is another really popular VPN. I don’t know about the HMN (other than the great name), but Astrill allows you to switch locations. Personally, I find Portland and Seattle to be the best connections.

        If you can beat the Chinese government, you can beat anyone! Hehe

  9. Awesome suggestions – I love finding things that just work, that just make sense. Keep the gear reviews coming!

  10. Thanks! I’ve enjoyed using the Belkin many times. It helps at airports when the electrical outlets are all taken. I can offer to share and help others and myself! The Lacie HD has also been a useful travel ally. I look forward to checking out your other recommends.

    I also suggest packing SPF clothing from SunPrecaution. You still need Sunblock for your face and hands, but it can easily take care of the rest of you and is versatile for jungle, sea or restaurant.
    Happy Travels!

  11. Love the suggestions, going to look more into mifi.

    One thing we use that saves us a bit of money traveling through Central and South America is the Steripen. You just pop it in your glass of tap water for 50 seconds, and hey presto, you have purified water! It’s crazy how buying bottled water all the time can eat into your travel budget.

  12. Excellent list! I was looking at the Lacie Rugged Hard Drive a few days ago. I think the items 4, 6, 7 & 8 are must haves for any traveler these days.

    • No, thats the only problem i have with it…since it is a surge protector, it cant handle autoswitching/220-240v. Otherwise, I take it everywhere, even using it on planes.

  13. Wonderful article. For me it has to be my Grid-it to keep all my wires neatly arranged and flat and GoToobs for perfect liquid travel containers. Now Im really hoping there’s a female equivalent to those gorgeous Bluff Work Pants to help with stylish travelling!

  14. I have the clothesline and must admit that it is super useful.I’ll have to check our the hoboroll and mifi. Thanks for sharing.