List of Favorite Travel Gear

24 November 2023
List of Favorite Travel Gear

This list of favorite things is focused on unique travel items that help guarantee your travel safety, because that’s what we do.

I’ve not provided many links to specific items in this list because you are a smart traveler. You are fully capable of finding items in your budget that will help you, or those you are gifting, travel safely.

Here’s a list of my favorite gadgets for safe travel.

For the plane trip

To be safe on the airplane, you’ll want to bring these items:

  1. Hot/cold thermos – better than a water bottle. Staying hydrated will help you sleep better and not get sick. You can take the empty thermos through TSA security and, on the other side, fill it with clean water or hot drinks. You can also ask the flight attendants to fill it up with coffee from the cart as opposed to one of those tiny, lidless cups (so much safer if there’s turbulence) that never keep anything hot for long. You can also fill it with your preferred hot beverage at the hotel to start your day of exploring.
  2. Noise-canceling headphones – block out airplane noise and crying babies. Claim what personal space you can by blocking out unnecessary noise. The Portable Professional recommends this one because it is easy to use and has an adapter for plugging into seat-back entertainment systems. Alternatively, to save space, you can take some good silicone earplugs, which may also be helpful at the hotel if there’s a snoring problem.
  3. A USB-A to USB-C adapter – to charge your devices on the airplane. Not all seats have a charging plug, and those that do may not work because of mishandling and overuse. You can usually find a USB-A slot on the seat back, and hotels usually have USB-A slots in the hotel rooms (check the back of the TV), which can come in handy if you’re in a foreign country without the correct adapter or trying to charge multiple devices. 
  4. Bag-finding tags – tucking one of these into any checked bag will help you locate your bag when it goes missing. Even if you plan to carry your bags on the plane, if the bin space fills up, you may have to gate-check your bag. The TilePro and Apple AirTags can help locate lost bags or wallets after the plane ride too.
  5. Sanitizing wipes – not the most exciting gift or travel safety accessory but still useful for cleaning the airplane seat, tray table, and armrests. Having these in your bag and using them consistently could help you avoid catching a cold or the flu while traveling.

For the hotel room

To stay safe in your hotel room or lodging, you’ll want to bring these items:

  1. A flashlight or headlamp – the one on your phone works fine. An essential in a power outage but also for checking into your room. When you enter a room, turn off the lights and use the flashlight to check for bed bugs, which are nocturnal and more likely to be seen in the dark. Also, turning off the light and inspecting the room with a flashlight can reveal hidden cameras (look for tiny lights or reflections in weird places).
  2. Universal adapter – to charge your devices everywhere you go. Get one with multiple charging slots to keep everything charged up all the time.
  3. Portable door lock – this can help you feel extra secure in your hotel room, especially if you’re traveling alone. Lots of hotels are adding flip-out locks to their door frames, but not every hotel has them, so it’s good to be prepared.

For exploring

To stay safe while out exploring, you’ll want to bring these items:

  1. A locking day bag – you do not want to be carrying the large carry-on backpack you take on the plane when you’re out exploring; nor do you want to have only a tiny purse, that won’t hold your thermos, umbrella, etc. 
  2. A portable lock box – you can secure it on a post, chair, or table to secure your phones, room keys, wallets, etc. while you are snorkeling or swimming.
  3. A waterproof pouch – to keep your phone safe and dry. Choose one with a long and sturdy strap so it can go over your head and tuck into your clothing. Bonus points if you find one that lets you use the touch screen while the phone is secure, so you can safely take pictures underwater or navigate in the rain.

In general

A travel medical kit is an essential travel safety item. They’ve gotten so ubiquitous that you can buy complete kits online. Otherwise, grab a small zippered bag and stuff it with the items you could need to stay healthy.

See What’s In Your Travel Medical Kit for a checklist.

Damian Tysdal

Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and is a licensed agent for travel insurance (MA 1883287). He believes travel insurance should be easier to understand, and started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.

Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and is a licensed agent for travel insurance (MA 1883287). He believes travel insurance should be easier to understand, and started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.