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Make Travel Suck Less With These Seven Gadgets and Accessories

Graphic: Pablo Ortega

Traveling can be as stressful as it is exciting, but avid travelers tend to have a few products up their sleeves to make the experience running smoothly, and the key is to be as efficient as possible.


Shacke Pack
Image: Amazon
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Packing Cubes

Hotel stays that last at least a few days are great in terms of organizing your clothes: you can unpack them, hang them in the closet, and then repack once it’s time to go back to your daily routine. However, if you’re planning several stops during your vacation, that’s when your suitcase can become a nasty nightmare: you’re in a rush, you can’t even find time to separate your clean clothes from the dirty ones anymore, and then you end up packing your clean underwear with your shoes…no bueno. Get these affordable packing cubes to keep everything in its place. They’ll change your life, they include a dirty laundry bag, and come in nine colors to boot.

Document Holder

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I’ll always remember the day when my best friend and I were getting ready to travel overseas for the very first time, and I lost my boarding pass somewhere in the airport. It wasn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things (in the end, a good samaritan turned it in, and my friend finally stopped yelling at me), but it made me realize that stuffing all of your important documents in your pocket is a very bad idea.

This wallet has been designed with a philosophy of “travel first.” There is a pocket for your passport, a compartment for boarding passes, three slots for credit cards, a key holder, and a pen holder. It also has awesome reviews.

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ProCase Travel Gear Organizer
Graphic: Shep McAllister
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Cable Organizer

Between your phones, your tablet, your headphones, your laptop, your camera, your Switch, and your wearables, you always end up with so many charging cables that it’s easy to leave one at home and then get stressed out on vacation when you can’t find the one you need. That’s why I recommend having a spare cable for every single device, and always have them packed in a cable organizer like this one. That way you won’t have to worry about packing all your cables before traveling, or leaving one behind.

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Universal Travel Adapter
Graphic: Shep McAllister
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International Travel Adapter

It’s easier than it seems to forget a travel adapter when you are traveling all the time. We tend to buy individual adapters for each country we visit, which ends up costing us more—not to mention having a drawer full of plugs is no way to live life. This adapter is for worldwide use, and includes a universal AC outlet, three regular USB ports and one USB-C PD 18W pot. It works in 200 countries. The plugs are retractable so they don’t take up that much space. Use it to keep all your devices juiced.

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Power Bank

Most airplanes offer USB ports now, which is perfect especially for long flights when you get bored and end up killing the battery of your phone. But that port is usually woefully slow at charging your gadgets, and one port might not be enough if you’re using a tablet, wireless headphones, or a Kindle in addition to your phone.

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That’s why you should always have a backup external battery, and RAVPower’s 26,800mAh model is a great deal for its size. Boasting 26,800mAh capacity, which is enough to charge most smartphones six times, or a tablet twice, it can charge three devices at the same time. I’d say this is one of those things every single person should own, even for your daily activities.

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If you’re using a USB-C powered laptop or Nintendo Switch on the plane, and don’t have access to a proper power outlet, consider a USB-C PD battery pack like this one instead.

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TRTL Pillow

Trtl Pillow
Photo: Amazon
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I haven’t found the perfect travel pillow companion just yet: they are all somewhat bulky and uncomfortable. It’s also really hard to find the perfect position to sleep on planes, train and buses. The TRTL Pillow is the most ergonomic alternative on the market as it supports your neck in a better position. It’s designed to look like a scarf so you won’t look (too) ridiculous on the plane. Plus, it’s made using really soft materials, and can save you some space if you attach it to the handle of your backpack. It’s worth a try as it only costs $30. You probably need a new travel pillow anyways.

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They also recently released a premium model with more padding and extra adjustment options to help you get comfortable.

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iPad Pro 11'’
Graphic: Shep McAllister

iPad Pro

This is my favorite device to use when I travel. I never seem find anything good to watch on my plane’s seatback screen, so I load my iPad with my current favorite shows, movies I never have time to watch, books, and even work documents. Depending on your job, you won’t even have to bring your laptop with you on your next trip if you travel with an iPad: it’s compact, light, and easy to carry everywhere, plus it’ll allow you to do most of the tasks you need to get done. The ideal size in terms of ergonomics is the new 11" Pro model: perfect for flights, for your back, and for your eyes.

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Now you’re ready to get out there and brag about being one of those efficient travelers you read about in magazines.

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About the author

Pablo Ortega

Tech lover with a wanderlust spirit. Follow me on social media: @PaulLenk.