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gadgets for travelling abroad

Top 10 gadgets for travelling abroad

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.

  1. 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.
    gadgets for travelling abroad - A two-for-one special

    A two-for-one special

  2. 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.
    gadgets for travelling abroad - Don't  run out of battery when you need it most

    Don’t run out of battery when you need it most

  3. 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 🙁
    gadgets for travelling abroad - Proof that your iPhone can handle anything life throws at it

    Proof that your iPhone can handle anything life throws at it

  4. 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 😉
    gadgets for travelling abroad - Don't get caught short

    Don’t get caught short

  5. 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.
    gadgets for travelling abroad - Adapt to wherever you are

    Adapt to wherever you are

  6. 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.
    gadgets for travelling abroad - Library at your fingertips

    Library at your fingertips

  7. 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.
    gadgets for travelling abroad - Normally an Apple guy, but love this Samsung

    Normally an Apple guy, but love this Samsung

  8. 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.
    gadgets for travelling abroad - Listen up!

    Listen up!

  9. 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.
    gadgets for travelling abroad - Easily transfer that data

    Easily transfer that data

  10. 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.
    gadgets for travelling abroad - Step it out

    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?

best backpack to travel the world

What’s the best backpack to travel the world with?

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!

  1. 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.
    best backpack to travel the world - Love my Tortuga!

    Love my Tortuga!

  2. 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.
    best backpack to travel the world - Perfect for hiding gear

    Perfect for hiding gear

  3. 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.
    best backpack to travel the world - Front loaders are where it's at!

    Front loaders are where it’s at!

  4. 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
    best backpack to travel the world - It's carry-on baby!

    It’s carry-on baby!

  5. 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.
    best backpack to travel the world - Keeping my precious laptop safe!

    Keeping my precious laptop safe!

  6. 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!
    best backpack to travel the world - Zip it up and away it goes!

    Zip it up and away it goes!

  7. 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.
    best backpack to travel the world - The Tortuga packing cubes are perfect!

    The Tortuga packing cubes are perfect!

  8. 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
    best backpack to travel the world - Adjustable straps ensure ultimate comfort!

    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.

What kind of bag do you use?

Top 10 Lightweight Travel Items

10 Lightweight Travel Items To Cut Baggage Fees

SAVE 1KG WITH THESE 10 Lightweight Travel ITEMS!

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!

    1. 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

      Lightweight Travel Lock


    2. 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

      Rock Those Tunes


    3. 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

      Bobino Travel Pen


    4. 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

      Perfect For Day Trips


    5. 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

      Inflatable Neck Pillow


    6. 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

      Night Adventure Awaits


    7. 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.
      Venus Razor

      Venus Razor


    8. 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

      Woman’s Best Friend


    9. 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

      Quick Dry Towell


    10. 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.
      Can be filled with alcohol ;)

      Can be filled with alcohol 😉

THE COMPLETE CARRY ON BAG PACKING LIST

The Complete Carry on Bag Packing List

The Complete Carry on Bag Packing List

Packing List: 6-month Update

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.

ESSENTIALS

Travel insurance - this is by far the most important thing on the list! We recommend World Nomads
Passport & RFID sleeve/protector - Must have!
Credit card  - Bankwest Platinum credit card (no charges when using overseas)
Debit card - Citibank plus debit card (no foreign transaction fees on ATM withdrawals)
Cash - Always good in an emergency
International driver's license - We've been stopped a few times by police with no issues

Rob’s Packing List

44L Tortuga Backpack - Love it!
Tortuga packing cubes - 1 large & 2 small - Perfect for staying organised; not sure how people travel without them
Packable daypack - Use it daily!
Hanging toiletry bag - Good for keeping things organised more than using as a toiletry bag.
Small roll bag - Became our "essentials kit" (toothbrush/paste, floss, face wash, deodorant, daily tablets, tweezers & nail clippers)
2 Combination locks - Perfect for bags, lockers or doors, when you don't want to carry an extra key; lightweight too!
Raincover for bag - Not sure what we were thinking here!!
Drybag - Great for our snorkelling and diving adventures along with beach days and rainy days
1 Pair khaki pants
1 Pair tracksuit pants - Handy for jungle trekking and cold nights, but will get rid of them as they are bulky
4 Pair shorts - 1 everyday, 1 active & 2 boardies - Exchanged 1 boardies for 1 extra every day; bought 1 extra active
4 Short-sleeve t-shirts - On constant rotation; Merino wool is the best!
1 Long-sleeve button-up shirt - Picked up one more when we headed to colder regions
2 Tank tops - Exchanged 1 (it was off white - that was silly) for a new one (it's black)
1 Packable rain jacket
1 Packable down vest
5 Underwear (all black)
3 Pairs socks - Plus 1 pair yak socks
1 Pair khaki pants
1 Pair tracksuit pants - Handy for jungle trekking and cold nights, but will get rid of them as they are bulky
4 Pair shorts - 1 everyday, 1 active & 2 boardies - Exchanged 1 boardies for 1 extra every day; bought 1 extra active
4 Short-sleeve t-shirts - On constant rotation; Merino wool is the best!
1 Long-sleeve button-up shirt - Picked up one more when we headed to colder regions
2 Tank tops - Exchanged 1 (it was off white - that was silly) for a new one (it's black)
1 Packable rain jacket
1 Packable down vest
5 Underwear (all black)
3 Pairs socks - Plus 1 pair yak socks
Head sock - Although not always a fan, this came in handy more times than I can name
Trucker hat - replaced in Sri Lanka
1 Pair glasses - Good for night riding
2 Pair sunglasses - Broke both; I suggest a hard case as they get squished easily. bought 1 new pair (fake Ray Bans)
Velcro wallet
Belt
Fingerless gloves - perfect for sun protection when riding motorbikes & sunrise hikes
1 pair Haviana thongs
1 pair Merrell shoes
TECHNOLOGY
iPad & charger
iPhone 6
Life proof case - Replaced with a Remax 3m 'waterproof' case (Though that shit was NOT waterproof)
Headphones
Universal travel adaptor - The double USB ports are key
Samsung Tab Pro S (Windows 10) - Needed a PC for our travel blog (I held out as long as I could, though an iPad just doesn't cut it)
Toothbrush & toothpaste
Dental floss
Sunscreen 1 face, 1 body & 1 with insect repellent
Crystal deodorant - Didn't work for us; switched to roll-on instead
Medicine (aspirin, ibuprofen, anti-nausea, antibiotics, Mylanta, Tums, rehydration salts) - Plus cold & flu tablets
Motion sickness
Fish oil tablets - Until we ran out
Bar soap
Travel size shampoo & conditioner - Pickup replacements at hotels along the way
Hand sanitizer gel & wipes - Absolutely! Don't leave home without it
Nail clippers
Disposable contacts - Haven't worn yet
Razor & blades
Electric razor & charger - Heavy but handy
Hair product
Small cologne
Inflatable neck pillow
Silk sleep sack - Used it for suspect beds, super handy for ad hoc camping adventures and long public transport rides with AC blasting the whole way
Quick dry towels - large & small - Lost the small one
Snorkel & mask - Did come in handy but are a pain to carry
Collapsible water bottle - Threw it away; hard to find reliable water sources in Asia
Headlamp
Deck of playing cards
First aid kit - Have only used band aids to date but it's small and make sense to have
Small notebook & pen - 1 was enough for us
Sea bands - Good as a precaution - though seldom used
Fork - Plus a spoon
Earplugs & sleep mask - Broke
Vacuum Bag - Sounded good in theory, but it was not…
Zip lock bags - So handy for snacks, toiletries, everything really...
complete carry on bag packing list - Rob Packing Photo

Rob Packing Photo

 

Kim’s Packing List

40L Osprey Fairpoint Backpack - I love it!
Packing cubes - 1 large & 2 small - Perfect for staying organised; not sure how people travel without them
Small cross-body bag - Gave it away; never used it
Hanging toiletry bag
Small roll bag - Became our medicine kit
Inflatable neck pillow
1 Combination Lock - Perfect for bags, lockers or doors, when you don't want to carry an extra key; lightweight too!
Shorts - 3 everyday shorts, 1 board short - Exchanged 2 everyday shorts as started falling off of me (#newtraveldiet)
1 Pair 3/4 active pants
1 Pair casual black pants
1 Pair harem pants - I am travelling in Southeast Asia after all
1 Knee length black skirt
1 Sleep shorts
5 Short-sleeve shirts - Exchanged 2 shirts
2 Tank tops - Plus 1 as a souvenir (Cambodia bamboo train)

1 Long-sleeve button-up shirt
2 Dresses - 1 t-shirt dress & 1 semi-dressy (but still casual) black dress
1 Swim Cover
1 Scarf - Bought 2 more; they are perfect for everything (ie. sun protection, blanket, accessory, swim cover, towel)
1 Short-sleeve zip rash vest
2 Bikinis - including 1 reversible top, 1 reversible bottom
1 Packable rain jacket
1 Packable down vest
1 Packable down jacket - Great investment, doubles as a pillow!
1 pair socks - Plus 1 pair yak socks
3 Bras - 1 convertible, black bra & 2 sports bras
7 Underwear (all black)
Trucker hat - Lost it; replaced it with a visor instead
Floppy hat - I'm not in love with this one but it has come in handy a few times; could definitely live without
2 Pair sunglasses - Lost 1, Broke 1; Bought 2 new pair
1 pair Haviana thongs
1 pair Keen sandals
1 pair Merrell Mary Jane shoes
iPhone 4 & charger
Headphones
FitBit & charger - New Fitbit band

Headlamp
Toothbrush & toothpaste
Dental floss
Sunscreen 1 face, 1 body & 1 with insect repellent
Crystal deodorant - Didn't work for us; switched to roll-on instead
Tampons
Medicine (aspirin, ibuprofen, anti-nausea, antibiotics, Mylanta, Tums, rehydration salts) - Plus cold & flu tablets
12 months prescription tablets
Motion sickness
Fish oil tablets - Until we ran out
Bar soap
Gold bond
Face wash & moisturiser
Travel size shampoo & conditioner - Pickup replacements at hotels along the way
Chapstick (SPF)
Hand sanitizer gel & wipes - Absolutely! Don't leave home without it
Nail clippers
Qtips
Tweezers
Eyebrow tint
Mascara - The one thing I can't leave the house without
Nars The Multiple Stick - Great all-in-one when I want to feel a bit nicer
Lip stain
Hair ties
Razor & blades
Hair product
Small perfume
Wide tooth comb
Earrings/bracelets
Inflatable neck pillow
Silk sleep sack - Used it for suspect beds, super handy for ad hoc camping adventures and long public transport rides with AC blasting the whole way
Quick dry towels - large & small - Lost the small one
Snorkel & mask - Did come in handy but are a pain to carry
Collapsible water bottle - Threw it away; hard to find reliable water sources in Asia
Headlamp
Deck of playing cards
First aid kit - Have only used band aids to date but it's small and make sense to have
Small notebook & pen - 1 was enough for us
Sea bands - Good as a precaution - though seldom used
Fork - Plus a spoon
Earplugs & sleep mask - Broke
Vacuum Bag - Sounded good in theory, but it was not…
Zip lock bags - So handy for snacks, toiletries, everything really...
CARRY ON BAG PACKING LIST - Kim Packing Photo

Kim Packing Photo

 

If you have positive or negative feedback on any of the items listed on our complete carry on bag packing list please leave a comment as we would love your input!