Every inch or centimeter of your bag is precious space. For this reason, we often we pack just the most basic of necessities, but sometimes it’s nice to pack a luxury item or extra electronic gadgets.
Here is my list of extra electronics that have made the cut – I probably could have packed another pair or two of socks or underwear in their place!
USB flash drive
In addition to my smart phone, I always travel with a USB flash drive – domestically and abroad, from my 35-minute drive to work to a 2-leg, 20-hour flight.
Before I left for Australia, I saved important documents to a flash drive, including my resume for the job search, PDF copies of tickets to sporting events, copies of flight itineraries and hostel bookings, a photocopy of the first page of my passport, and copies of proof of travel medical insurance. I stored it in my purse, and in the event that my netbook was lost, stolen, or broken, I could have peace of mind that I still had access to key information and documents.
Throughout the trip, I added photos that friends shared from their cameras and important travel documents. Even at home, traveling with a flash drive is important as I move from one computer to another.
Before I left for Australia, I spent ages online researching the difference between adapters and converters and how to tell if my electronics were dual voltage or not. Once I learned that everything I wanted to take, including my electric toothbrush charger and mini-hair dryer were dual voltage, all I needed to purchase was an adapter.
My Mini Swiss world travel adapter can work in 150 countries with just a press of a button or two. To use it, I first plug one of my American dual voltage electronics into the front of the adapter. On the back side, I selected the plug shape for Australia and then plugged the adapter into the wall. I’ve also used my current adapter in Ireland and will take it on any future trip.
Mini surge protector
When I celebrated my 30th birthday in Dublin with a group of friends, I noticed that one had packed a mini surge protector for the trip. I was leaving for Australia two months later and knew I had to have one!
My Belkin mini surge protector offers three spaces for plugs and two for charging USB devices. It can rotate 360 degrees, so no matter which wall outlet is available, you’ll be able to rotate and lock the surge protector for use. At night I plugged the surge protector into my all-in-one adaptor and was able to charge multiple items at once overnight! I never had to worry about not having a fully-charged iPod, laptop, and phone in the mornings.
Backup portable charger for my Apple products
When I’m traveling, I drain my iPhone battery quickly by using the Maps app to navigate, tweeting to friends about our meeting spot, staying in touch with everyone on Facebook, and reading a blog post or two while I’m on the bus or train. Thanks to a portable charger, I never have to worry about being out of touch or getting lost.
I own the Stitchway portable charger and have purchased one for several friends and family members as well. Once it’s fully charged, I connect it to my iPhone to give my phone a much-needed boost mid-afternoon. If I leave my accommodation with a fully charged iPhone and portable charger, I can use the phone all day and never run out of juice.
I never leave the house without a flash drive, but I still plan on buying an external hard drive in the future. I need a safe place to keep all of my files from over the years, including those from home, work, and travel.
Even though my Belkin surge protector has two spots for USB charging, I’m still tempted to buy a 4-port USB charger. That way, me and my guy can both charge our gadgets overnight when there’s only one plug available. Or maybe it’s just an excuse to buy a new gadget!
What types of little electronic extras do you take on the road? Do you find them worth the space they take up?