Electronics Hacks and Tricks

retractable usb

Traveling with electronics is the norm these days, as we don’t want to go anywhere without something to remember our trip with. There are lots of hacks to keeping your electronics safe and charged while traveling, whether it be keeping your cords and cables untangled or protecting them from breaking during that bumpy flight.

Keeping Your Electronics Safe

Organize all those cords and chargers by tagging them with bread clips, denoting which cord goes with which device. Keep them untangled by banding them with binder clips, empty toilet paper rolls, rubber bands or even gardening velcro. You can also use Ziploc bags labeled by device or keep them all together on a Grid It.

We talked about using an old glasses case for assorted cords and chargers in a previous post.

Protect your camera lens with a foam coozie (or cozy or stubby holder, depending on where you’re from!). You can also use extra bubble wrap from online shopping for laptop or tablet protection. Keep your phone off the floor of your hostel by making your own caddy for it out of a lotion bottle. Simply cut the front top half off and leave room on the back to cut a circle. The phone goes inside the bottle and the loop on the back holds the cord in place.

belkin travel surge protector
Belkin Travel Surge Protector

Charging Your Electronics

Remember that many cords work for the same devices, namely USB 2.0 cords, so if possible, pack just one. I’m a fan of the CyberPower Retractable USB cord, which saves space and has adapters to fit nearly any device. A travel surge protector is the single best item you can bring, as it means you can charge multiple things at once and only need one converter. I use the Belkin Travel Surge Protector because it has 3 basic plugs, 2 USB plugs and can swivel to go either horizontally or vertically. It also protects your electronics from power outages. Trust me when I say that this device can make you the most popular person at the hostel or airport terminal.

Another great travel hack is finding where you can plug in your electronics. Look for USB drives in the back of the television in your hotel room or for power strips plugging in items like vending machines, as there’s typically at least one free outlet.

A makeshift speaker for your iPhone using a cup.
A makeshift speaker for your iPhone using a cup.

Other Electronics Hacks

If you’re traveling with your laptop, bring some way to store files. This could be a USB drive, external hard drive or Cloud system. Use it to store your itinerary, PDFs of flight confirmations and directions to your hotel. If something happens to your printouts, you can still access them. Or take pictures of city maps so that you can find your way around the city without internet access. You can also make a speaker for your phone or iPod by placing into an empty cup. It magnifies the sound without maxing out the volume.

Written by Caroline

Caroline Eubanks is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, but has also called Charleston, South Carolina and Sydney, Australia home. After college graduation and a series of useless part-time jobs, she went to Australia for a working holiday. In that time, she worked as a bartender, bungee jumped, scuba dived, pet kangaroos, held koalas and drank hundreds of cups of tea. You can find Caroline at Caroline in the City.

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Gear We Use


Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.

Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.

Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions


  1. Anne says

    I’m getting ready for a long (4 week) road trip across the country and have found taht the online note service, Evernote, is great for holding your “backups” of your travel itinerary and documents. There are apps for Android, Kindle Fire, and iPhone so you can easy access all of your information and travel research if you have wifi or phone service. If not, you can always log on to Evernote’s website via a computer and print out any info you need.

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