The Best Travel Gear – Unique Ideas for Smart Packing

Our travel gear has evolved over the years, and while there are still a few old standby items that we recommend, there's a lot of new ideas for you to add to your travel list too.

travel gear

Ultimate travel gear guide

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

Cool Travel Gear – Tech

dave and deb travel gear

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.

 Read: The Complete Travel Photography Gear Guide for all our camera and video gear

Belkin Mini Surge Protector

belkin best travel gear

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.

Read: 8 Great Travel Organizers for Better Packing

Portable USB Charger

travel gear belkin

Have you ever made a point of going in to a coffee shop or restaurant just to use a plug to charge your pone? 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!

Gear Ties

best travel gear

Have you noticed that with all the electronics that we're all carrying, our charging cables are getting all mixed up and tangled? Thanks to a tip from our pal EarthXplorer, we've solved that problem with Gear Ties.

essential travel gear, pack smart

Now 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.

Lacie Rugged Hard Drive 3.0 Thunderbolt

cool travel accessories

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. The Lacie Hard Drive is light weight and super rugged.

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.

Travel Gear – Safety

personal safety products pinterest

Hidden USB

unique travel accessories hidden usb

We got this piece of advice from Under The Yew at her amazing post Travel Safer with Personal Safety Items. Recently a friend of ours had her passport stolen in Grenada and had to get to Panama.

Luckily she was organized and had all her travel documents backed up. You too can keep back ups 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.


pacsafe traveling gear

In India we locked everything of value in our pacsafe when we left our beach bungalow

If you are traveling to an area that you don't feel completely secure in, or if you are going to take a lot of public transportation. We highly recommend the PacSafe. When traveling India, we could sleep easily on the overnight sleeper trains and never have to worry about our packs.

We wrapped the 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: 9 Anti Theft Accessories for Safe and Secure Travel

Iron Socket VPN

If you are on a 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 other's 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 because let's face it, Who can live without Twitter these days?

We also love watching TV when traveling but we find that a lot of our favourite shows aren't available overseas. A VPN allows you to change your computer's IP address. You may be in Istanbul, but you can pretend that you're in New York. It's an excellent tool for watching Netflix or buying movies on your favourite movie channel. It's also great for security.

Travel Gear – Packing Organizers

unique travel accessories

Our latest set up w/ packing cubes, hobo roll,

Eagle Creek's Pack-It Specter Cube Set

cool travel accessories

Fellow Travelers have been raving about these packing cubes for years and Dave and I only just discovered them. At only 2.2 ounces they're ultra light weight and are an amazing way to organize your clothes. They're durable and water resistant too.
best travel gear packing cubes
If you want to add more room to your bag, the Eagle Creek Compression Cube Set  is an excellent choice. 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.

Hobo Roll

Hoboroll Manual unique travel accessories

When we were first sent the Hoboroll, we resisted using it. We tried packing our clothes in it once and gave up. We decided that we could just roll our clothes ourselves. Luckily we decided to give it another try. We now pack all our underwear, socks, bating suits, buffs and bandanas in one hoboroll. It's cleaned up our backpacks and the great thing is that we can stuff all kinds of small clothing items into different compartments and then pull the straps to compress the sack down as small as possible. It's given us a lot more space in our backpacks and tidied up our items. We no longer have underwear and socks in separate sacks or scattered loosely in our bags, we now have one bag with all our stuff nicely packed away in an organized manner.

Eagle Creek Pack it Wallaby – Toiletry Bag

best travel gear packit wallaby

We've been using the same toiletry bag from Walmart for years. It's bulky, it's heavy and it's way too big. Now that we have our Wallaby, we are packing smarter and taking less, but it's still big enough to hold all we need. There are several compartments to organize your stuff and there's even a hanger so you can put it up on the back of a door.

Travel Gear – Communication

KnowRoaming World Sim Card

cool travel gear international SIM Card

KnowRoaming is the easiest solution to international data roaming and cell phone usage. It is a micro sized sticker that you put on your home SIM card. Once you activate it, it is ready to go. You decide how much money you want to load onto your SIM card for each trip and you can top up anytime. It never automatically tops up your account, so you never have to worry about spending more than you want. The KnowRoaming SIM sticker doesn’t affect your home cell phone plan and only activates once you land in another country. It remains dormant until you decide to use it. You don’t have to activate should you choose not to. Read all about it here. 

ThePlanetD readers receive a 50% credit when you use the Promo Code DDSave50: Visit KnowRoaming for details. 

Portable Wifi

Morning Coffee, checking emails unique travel gear

Morning Coffee, checking emails

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 using 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 envelop and you are all done. It's that easy. There are a few options, we tend to use TepWireless.

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.

Read Next: Packing tips for Europe

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