Are you looking for gadgets for travelling abroad? Read on to find out what I consider to be the best gadgets when you are heading away for a short or long trip.
I’m never going to be that person who travels long periods without a connection to the digital world. I like the convenience of being able to find my way with maps, ask a question with an immediate answer, discover where I should avoid eating, all whilst listening to the latest hit podcast. Although I sometimes feel like half my weight is technology, it’s a sacrifice I am willing to make. Nerds need to work out too right?
Whilst not a definitive list, the below items are in my opinion the top 10 gadgets for travelling abroad, which have been very useful during my travels.
Headphone Splitter. Perfect for traveling couples. No more struggling to listen to that podcast with one earbud; experience the rich sound of two earbuds. Your life will never be the same again! Traveling solo? No worries, make friends and discover new music along your journey. With the introduction of Apple’s new Earpods this device may soon be a thing of the past.
A two-for-one special
Power bank. Power points are hard to find when you are travelling through national parks, deserts or on long bus trips. The last thing you want when navigating or taking that perfect selfie is for your phone to die. Cue the power bank. I can’t believe I waited so long to purchase this piece of technology, though now I love it.
Don’t run out of battery when you need it most
LifeProof case. The LifeProof case is a machine! It has saved my iPhone a number of times. Hard surfaces, water damage, kids with sticky fingers – all are a distant threat. Sure they are a little expensive, though the cheaper knockoffs are no match. After using my LifeProof case for a number of years, I recently downgraded to a Remax case from China. Three weeks later I was filing an insurance claim for a water damaged iPhone 🙁
Proof that your iPhone can handle anything life throws at it
Long charging cable. If you’re a traveller hitting up dorms, charging your device whilst kicking back in your bunk is your God given right. Cut that short charge cable to shreds…or at least keep it as a backup 😉
Don’t get caught short
Multi-country adapter. Although at times I feel like I’m using more power than a small village, a good multi-country adapter is a must for travellers. Be sure to get one with USB ports for an added bonus. You don’t want to be that traveler hogging the only free powerpoint, at least this way you can share.
Adapt to wherever you are
Tablet/eReader. The last thing I want to do is lug around a backpack full of books. Thankfully the powers that be have digitalised that shit. Now I can carry a library around with me on my iPad without the guilt of deforestation.
Library at your fingertips
Laptop. Ewww, no one likes using the dirty keyboard on the shared computer. If you’re an aspiring digital nomad (like many travellers) then a good, lightweight laptop is part of your daily life. I recently purchased a Samsung Pro S which has the lightweight benefits of a tablet combined with the features we’re used to in Windows 10.
Normally an Apple guy, but love this Samsung
Headphones. Ok, we all want to rock it like Dre, but when on the road for long periods a set of more compact headphones is the go. We opt for Apple devices, so naturally, we prefer their standard, though there are many good options out there.
USB stick. In a connected world with language barriers, it can be easier to just pass a USB drive to the attendant and simply say, “Print”. You can also backup those precious photos and watch those “legally” downloaded movies on smart tv’s.
Easily transfer that data
Fitbit. If you need to justify that extra dumpling or an ice cream, there is a guilt free way. Hit your required 10,000 steps and then pig out. You’ll be surprised just how fast you reach this number.
Step it out
Do you agree with our list of top gadgets for travelling abroad? What’s the one piece of tech gear you can’t travel without?
What’s the best 40L travel backpack? I had enough trouble deciding what to pack for 12-months. And then I realised I had to decide what I would carry it in. Eeek! How would the most indecisive person on the planet ever make this decision? So, trust me, I feel your pain!
TRAVEL IS THE HEALTHIEST ADDICTION. – UNKNOWN
There are a few essentials in choosing a quality bag for one’s travels around the world. And after extensively researching the best bags to travel with, I decided to go with the Osprey Farpoint 40L! After spending 8-months on the road with her (of course mine’s a girl), here’s how she stacks up.
Spoiler alert: it’s the best 40L travel backpack on the market!
Size: Initially, I couldn’t fathom packing my life for the next year into a 40L bag. But after 3-months in, I couldn’t imagine travelling with anything larger. Utilising packing cubes and being organised, I can easily fit everything into my bag! I see people on the road carrying 70L+ bags and I cringe. Not only thinking about the weight of it but even the sheer size. Sure, if I was climbing Everest or something I’d probably need to reconsider, but for the “average Joe” (me), the 40L is perfect!
Yep, it all fits! Singular bag
Support: Having a bit of a bad back, this was a crucial one for me. Luckily, the Osprey stacks up. Upon purchasing it, I visited a local shopkeeper who helped me adjust it for my body. The most important part was the hip straps, which we tightly adjusted. Being padded, they are super comfortable, and immediately absorb most the weight from my shoulders. The frame provides solid support, and the padded shoulder straps make it comfortable.
The straps are super comfy!
Pockets: You can tell everything has been designed with the customer in mind. The main compartment has straps to hold my gear in place. It also has a full mesh zippered pocket, that is perfect for storing my dirty clothes. The front pocket has a plethora of other secret pockets. And while these don’t add a ton of value for me, they are handy to have, simply to keep things organised. My favourite pocket on this bag is the front, top one. It’s super convenient to store things like my sunscreen, headlamp, chapstick, sunglasses and an ink pen. In the pocket arena, there are two minor recommendations I’d make to Osprey 1. Include a small pocket on the waist straps. Super handy for your ID, tissues, etc. Basically, anything you need to access without taking your bag off or getting your buddy to help 2. Include adjustable elastic on the front mesh pockets.
Zippers: Unintentionally, I’ve done everything I can to break these zippers. But they are tough! When I told you everything fits easily, that’s 100% true. Until I bought a puffer jacket. Luckily, it packs down into its own bag and I now just strap it on the front; problem solved.
Zip it, zip it real good!
Look: I love the look of this bag. At the time I bought it, it came in three colours (red, blue and gunmetal). For me, I prefer to blend in when I’m travelling, so opted for the more neutral, gunmetal colour.
She’s a sexy beast! Multicolour bag collage
Versatility: The Osprey Farpoint 40 is super versatile. It has a top and side handle, making it easy to carry in any situation. It also has a removable carry strap, which I left behind for this trip. I didn’t think I’d need it (and don’t miss it), but good to know the option is there. The shoulder straps can be hidden away in a zippered pocket, which is handy when flying. Due to its compact size, we’ve easily taken it on motorbike trips, overnight adventures, and short treks.
Short or long trip, this bag is perfect!
Weight: In bag comparisons, the Farpoint 40L isn’t the lightest bag on the market; but it also isn’t the heaviest. It’s right in the middle, which is the sweet spot for me.
Price: Living outside a capital city (Melbourne, Australia), once I decided on the Osprey Farpoint 40L, I thought I’d be able to find multiple shops stocking it. Sure, heaps carried Osprey, and almost all had the Farpoint, but only a singular shop had the 40L model. And, they were on backorder. Much to my surprise, when looking online, I found a shop in the UK that would express deliver it to my house for $40 less than the shop in my own backyard. I like to shop local. But when you’ve been saving every cent for the last 6-months, you realise this $40 will go a lot further on the road. So, I saved the cash and received my bag in the mail 4-days later. What a deal!
Online shopping at its best!
Overall: I’d give the Osprey Farpoint 40L…*drumroll please* a 9 out of 10. Outside the minor recommendations I mentioned regarding the pockets, I seriously can’t fault her. It really is the best 40L travel backpack out there! 💔
best 40l travel backpack
Now I’m curious, what bag do you travel with and why?
So I was looking for the best backpack to travel the world with, I didn’t think I would care so much. Though I found when your life is on your back for 12 months, it’s kind of important.
I researched the shit out of backpacks and came to the conclusion that there were only two suitable for me. The carry-on 2.0 from Minaal and the Tortuga 44L. I love what these innovative companies are all about.
In the end, I went with the Tortuga, though I think either choice would be a good investment.
Below are 8 reasons why I think the Tortuga is the best backpack to travel the world with, after all, I have been carrying it around for the last 8-months. There’s one caveat though, this backpack is 44L, if you’re the sort of person who’s inclined to pack the kitchen sink…it might not be for you!
Top Quality Manufacturing – Initially I was a bit precious with my backpack (as my wife likes to point out), though I soon came to realize that this workhorse could handle whatever I threw at it. The outer layer is durable, the straps and handles are solid and the zips are nearly unbreakable.
Love my Tortuga!
Sneaky secret pockets – This backpack has 2 side pockets, 2 hip pockets & 2 main compartment areas. That makes storing all the miscellaneous junk I’ve accumulated during my travels a breeze! Whilst I don’t frequently store my passport in either of the hip pockets, they have come in handy many times and are always utilized.
Perfect for hiding gear
Front loader – People who use top loading bags are weird. There, I said what everyone was thinking. With front-loading, it’s super easy to access my gear in the Tortuga. There have been a few times where I haven’t been able to zip up my bag due to how much I had stuffed in, though, after some re-arranging, everything fits fine.
Front loaders are where it’s at!
Carry-on size! – This backpack somehow manages to fit 44L within carry-on dimensions. I love that I can skip the baggage carousel. Whilst I admit I often go over the strict 7kg carry-on allowance, I have yet to be asked to weigh my bag. #winning
It’s carry-on baby!
Padded laptop section – If you can imagine how precious I was with my backpack, you can begin to understand how I treat my new Samsung Pro S. The padded protection the Tortuga offers my tech gear is awesome and I have no second thoughts on utilizing the padded section. There is also a super handy sleeve which is perfect for fast access.
Keeping my precious laptop safe!
Streamlined for checked baggage – Like I said, sometimes we run the carryon gauntlet, but there are times when even we question the weight we carry. In those instances, we check our bags. Luckily the back straps can be hidden by a back cover which zips up to conceal the back of the bag. Simple!
Zip it up and away it goes!
Packing cubes – Until this trip packing cubes were foreign to me. Some people said to use them, others said that they were a waste of money. I am now wholly part of the camp who use packing cubes. They are great for organizing my gear, which saves me time. They’re also perfect when my wife and I want to consolidate into one bag for a short trip. They even can be used as a pillow if times get tough. Tortuga has their own packing cubes, specially designed to fit the bag, and maximize available space.
The Tortuga packing cubes are perfect!
Adjustable straps – This bag not only has top quality manufacturing it is also comfortable to wear. Fortunately, due to its size, the weight is never going to be prohibitive. It also has adjustable shoulder straps, chest strap, and the all-important padded hip strap. Whilst designed only for torsos 18″+ be sure to read their fitting guide before purchasing
Adjustable straps ensure ultimate comfort!
If you are looking at purchasing the best backpack to travel the world with check out Tortuga’s website where you can find further information.
Ok, I understand 1kg may not sound like much, but trust me, it’s enough to make a difference when you’re exploring the world! Going over baggage weight restrictions can cost a fortune. Overpacking your bag can break your back. So yes, taking care in choosing lightweight gear to travel with becomes crucial. Here’s our top picks for decreasing your travel weight without sacrificing the essentials!
Lightweight lock. 20g. Yes, you definitely need lock(s) for your bag, but some of the standard ones weigh a ton! You don’t need something like this weighing you down, so opt for a lightweight lock instead. Kathmandu makes a light, TSA compliant, combination lock that you need in your life! Compare this to a standard TSA approved combination lock (60-70g) and you’ll save yourself 40-50g of excess weight.
Lightweight Travel Lock
iPhone EarPods.10g. You don’t need the Beats by Dre headphones to listen to your music. Funnily enough, they actually added weight to the product to make it seem more premium, totalling 86g – not your best option for packing light. Even the Dre urBeats earbuds weigh in at an extra 8g compared to Apple’s EarPods. So jam out without weighing yourself down!
Rock Those Tunes
Bobino Slim Pen.2g. Compare this to your stock standard Bic pen, weighing in at 4.6g and you’ve got yourself a deal! Combine the light weight with the flat, compact design and you’ve got a real winner! For an extra bonus, you can even adhere it to a notebook with the adhesive included so you always have a pen when you need it.
Bobino Travel Pen
Packable daypack.160g. Not only will it save you space, but this comes in at our biggest weight saving alternative too. Look at it compared to a backpack that comes with a detachable daypack for example. My bag (40L Osprey Fairpoint) also comes in a 55L. This model comes with a removable daypack that is pretty sweet. Only disadvantage – it weighs a whopping 453g – a solid pound. Up to you but now you can see why this Packable daypack is consistently one of Kathmandu’s top sellers!
Perfect For Day Trips
Inflatable neck pillow.85g. Don’t be put off by the thought just yet. I’ve had inflatable neck pillows that were average too but this one is an exception. Sure, you have to splurge a bit to get it, but Sea 2 Summit’s Aeros Premium Traveller is super comfortable! Plus, it weighs a lot less than your other options – micro bead pillows range between 100-200g & memory foam ones are about 450g. Think about it 😉
Inflatable Neck Pillow
Headlamp.104g. Compare this other headlamps, some coming in at 300+ grams, and it’s a no brainer. The design of this headlamp makes it particularly practical. The elastic headband allows for great ventilation without putting too much pressure on the head. The 5-mode light settings and removable clip option make it the perfect lightweight accessory to have on hand!
Night Adventure Awaits
Venus Snap Razor.23g. It’s half the weight of the standard Gillette Venus razor (46g). The Snap’s ergonomical shaped handle makes shaving a breeze! It also comes in a great lil’ travel case that protects the blades (and keeps them sharp) so a solid investment all around.
Multipurpose Makeup.14g. I’m obsessed with NARS The Multiple. If you had to carry lipstick/gloss (4g), eyeshadow (5g) and blush(5g), you’re looking at the same combined weight. But why take up the space with 3 products when one product does it all? The decision is yours, but I highly recommend this one! PS. My favourite shade is ‘orgasm.’
Woman’s Best Friend
Quick dry towel.166g. Standard towels weigh between 400-550g. Combine that with their bulky size, and they don’t make the best travel companion. It’d be great not to carry a towel at all, though I’ve found it always comes in handy! So choose the light option and you’re all set.
Quick Dry Towell
Collapsible water bottle. 22g. Weighing in at only 20% of the weight of a hard bottle (110g), it just makes sense! It puts you in a great position to stay hydrated whilst doing your part to save the environment! Many countries around the world offer refill services, so it’s easy to fill up as you need.
In prepping for our year long, round the world trip, one of the most stressful parts was deciding what to pack. After all, how does a girl with over 100 pairs of shoes (unfortunately this is not an exaggeration – I know, I know, sad but true) fit her life for the next 12-months into a backpack?
In researching endless posts from other experienced travel bloggers, shopping around online and in store, and combining this knowledge with our own personal style, we were finally confident we were on the right track. And thankfully we were (for the most part).
See our updates from our original post noted below in RED.