Best Travel Gadgets for Solo Travelers
Traveling solo can be incredibly rewarding, and incredibly scary. You have absolute freedom over your itinerary, but also don’t have anyone to lean on if something goes wrong. That’s why packing smart is even more important when you are taking on the world alone. Read on for our top pack tips for a flawless vacation.
An App that Does It All
Keeping track of all of your travel logistics can be stressful. Keep all of your confirmation numbers, reservations, and travel arrangements in check with the TripIt app. The app organizes your hotel reservations, flight numbers, and any activities you might have booked into a straightforward itinerary, so you can pull off your vacation without a hitch. The app even updates you on flight delays, and tells you what time you should leave for the airport in response to current traffic.
Portable Phone Charger
When you are running all over Rome, uploading your snaps of the Coliseum and gelato to Instagram, you might not have time to plug your phone in midday. Nothing can invoke quite so much panic as a dead phone in a foreign country. Avoid the drama with a portable phone charger, so you can recharge on the go. If you are renting a car, be sure to tuck a car charger in your suitcase so you can plug in on the road.
Whether you are staying in a noisy hostel, or trying to catch a few hours of sleep on a red-eye flight, blocking out ambient noise is a must. Noise cancelling headphones are great, but who wants to try to sleep while wearing a bulky headset? Plus it is sure to drain your phone battery after you pass out. Memory foam earplugs are the way to go. These plugs are often cheap, effective, and take up next to no space in your carry on.
Staying organized is key for a smooth trip. Keep your luggage tidy with a set of packing cubes. Pack each day’s outfit in it’s own packing cube, so you can just pop out one pouch in the morning, instead of digging through your bag. Keep your toiletries and electronics in their own zip bags for maximum organization. A bonus: packing by day will prevent you from overpacking, leading to a lighter carry-on.
Made of lightweight woven cotton, Turkish towels seem to have endless uses. Thin enough to be worn as a stylish scarf on a chilly plane, they can also be used as compact, fast drying towels if you are staying at a hostel. Turkish towels are large, making them perfect for stretching out on the beach with book, and also work draped over bare shoulders if you are making an unplanned stop at a temple or mosque.
Purifying Water Bottle
When you are visiting a new city, you never know how safe the drinking water is. Put your mind at ease with a reusable water bottle with a built in filter, so you don’t have to buy bottled water everyday. You can help save the environment, while also keeping yourself healthy and virus free. For areas with particularly dubious water sources, bring iodine tablets to purify your water before you drink it.
Whether you are exploring the streets of Buenos Aires, or hiking the Himalayas, traveling usually requires a lot of time outdoors. Pack a variety of sun protection to keep yourself safe against harmful UV rays. Sneak some SPF into your skincare routine with an SPF 30 moisturizer, and pack another tube of sunblock for your body. Spray on sunscreen makes application a snap, even for hard to reach areas like your back. Sun protection means more than just sunscreen. Be sure to pack a hat to keep the sun off your face, and a cool pair of shades to protect your eyes.
While not the most stylish option, a sturdy backpack is by far the most practical way to travel. No matter if you are planning on taking a day hike in the Pacific Northwest, or are simply trying to get through airport security in one piece, a well designed backpack will let you keep your shoulders happy, and your hands free. Look for a pack with padded straps, and multiple compartments for maximum organization. Backpacks have been making a comeback recently, so there are a lot of cute shapes and fun prints for the more fashion conscious traveler.
A Jacket with Zip Pockets
When you are running all over town, keeping all your valuables safe and secure is paramount. Make sure your jacket has practical zip pockets to keep your ID, subway pass, and wallet safe from pickpockets, or just inadvertently spilling all your stuff on the metro. Look for a good mid-layer for maximum versatility, ideally a waterproof one that can double as a rain jacket.
Keep your technology safe and dry with a dry sack. A dry sack is perfect for wet adventures like kayak trips and camping expeditions, and makes for a convenient storage sack in less damp environments.
First Aid Kit
Upgrade your first aid kit from a Ziploc bag of band-aids and rubbing alcohol pads. Make sure you include medications like Advil, Mucinex, Dayquil, Claritin, Sudafed and whatever else you might need. You don’t want a wicked headache, cold, or allergies to ruin your vacation, so be prepared.
Pack a stash of nutritious, tasty snacks so you don’t get hangry between meals or when your flight gets delayed. Dense, protein rich snacks are the best; consider bags of nuts or granola bars. Bring a couple of your favorite tea bags for the flight and ask the flight attendant for hot water, so you can enjoy the comforts of home on the plane.
Packable Down Jacket
A down jacket is the ultimate travel accessory. Ultra-warm, yet easy to compact, a foldable down jacket will keep you cozy no matter how cold it gets. Shove it into a stuff sack and you’ll be shocked by how little luggage space it takes up. Stuffed in its bag, it can also double a travel pillow.
The Gadgets You Need
While you may not feel you need all these gadgets for your next trip. Next time you’re packing, run down this list to find the most appropriate gadgets for your adventure!
Ronald Stanford is a freelance writer who has been blogging about technology and its influence on modern life for nearly 10 years. He works as a consultant with companies that use innovative technology to improve our quality of life, including GoTie and Cabeau.
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