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Useful Travel Items: 8 Surprising Things to Bring on your next Trip

Over the years, I’ve come to rely on a few useful travel items that are always in my bag while traveling.

In the past year, I’ve transitioned to more of a digital nomad lifestyle so these suggestions definitely reflect that style of travel, but some of these useful travel items might be things you’ve never thought to pack before!

I’ve included shopping links for your convenience below.

useful travel items

Useful Travel Items: 8 Surprising Things to Bring on your next Trip

Extension cord

So imagine you are traveling somewhere that requires an adapter to charge your devices. You’ve only packed one or two (because those babies are expensive), but you’ve got your phone, camera, bluetooth headphones, laptop, e-reader and whatever other device you brought to charge. An extension cord lets you charge all your devices at the same time with one adapter, and for someone like me who travels with a million devices, it has been a game changer.

Mini french press and your fav. coffee

I am a huge coffee lover and need coffee each morning for my basic survival so I travel with a mini french press. Instant coffee doesn’t cut it for me, though I have used Starbucks instant coffee sachets in the past on short trips and they actually aren’t too bad (though expensive and in plastic packaging).

If you are going to be traveling a little more long term or you have spare room in your luggage and you drink coffee, trust me … this is one that you will thank me for if you ever end up somewhere that doesn’t have good coffee.


This is obviously irrelevant for folks who don’t drink wine, but if you do…how many times have you been to a hotel that doesn’t have a cork screw in the room? …and worse, you call down to ask for one and they have a corkage fee.

Even AirBnbs with fully equipped kitchens don’t always come with corkscrews, so this is a must for wine lovers! Plus, it’s such a light weight item to toss into your bag so why not?

Bluetooth remote tripod for photos

This is for the photo enthusiasts and solo travellers alike. A bluetooth remote for your phone is super handy for taking photos or videos of yourself. Simply connect the remote to your mobile bluetooth, open the camera and click the button on the remote.

For a more detailed explanation, I have an entire post on how I take photos of myself while traveling solo.

The remotes often come in a set with selfie stick or tripod, so I have linked a cheap $20 one below by a brand I have personally used so I can vouch for the very decent cost/quality ratio.

Reusable canvas bag

This is such an obvious one, yet still not something that everyone thinks to pack! A reusable canvas bag is useful for many reasons beyond just shopping.

For example, you might use it as a beach bag, to put extra items in if your luggage is full, to keep food items separate from your luggage, to put shoes or dirty laundry in, and the list goes on. I use mine when I’m shopping at local markets, to put my towel and suncream in when going to the pool and sometimes to carry my laptop in if I don’t want to wear my big backpack.

Hands free flashlight

Depending on where you go in the world, there may be frequent power cuts. It is beyond useful to have a hands free flashlight you can strap to your head to cook or even just to read a book in bed. The same goes for camping, glamping or trekking!


Okay maybe this is the grandma in me, but I’m a huge fan of slippers and I wear them on all of my overnight flights. There is nothing worse than someone bare foot on an airplane (don’t get me started if they dare to put their barefoot on the seat behind me. I’d probably jump from the aircraft).

Okay all jokes aside, I opt to wear slippers so I’m not barefoot but can still comfortably and respectfully take off my shoes on a flight. I also love having my own slippers to wear in hotels and while living abroad, they are just super convenient. I’ve worn them in hostels, on the terrace of my urban flat in Athens…I’m even wearing them while writing this in my house in Tanzania.

Take this one or leave it, but there are just some bits and bobs from home that I like to take with me while I travel, and my slippers are one of them.

Ear buds with Audio Jack

With so many blue tooth headphones out there nowadays, you might be caught by surprise on your next flight that you can’t connect to the seatback screen to watch a movie! This happened to me on my recent flight from Toronto, Canada to London, UK via WestJet when they did not offer headphones and I only had wireless bluetooth earbuds.

Some airlines have limited their service offerings due to COVID, so grab one of your old sets of earbuds with the cord to plug into the entertainment system — you will thank me later!

Pro tip: In my recent experience on Qatar Airways, they still offered headphones, but you still might prefer to use your own.

Was this list of useful travel items helpful? Anything you hadn’t thought of to pack before?

Let me know in the comments below! 

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