Favorite travel gear

Creating this topic is dangerous because I don’t need another excuse to drop money, but I’m a glutton for punishment. :grimacing:

Tell me… What are your favorite or must have items for international flying or travel? Could be everyday carry, tech, apps, or things that make the flight more comfortable etc.

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I really like the Waterfield Sutter Tech Sling bag. I have the “full size”, perfect for a 12.9" iPad Pro. It also holds a good amount of the other stuff that you carry onboard. It fits fine under the seat infront of you for easy access during the flight. Of course, it is nice to use when out and about at your destination too.

I also have a nice zipped holder for my passport, boarding pass and other travel documents. I always prefer to use a printed-on-paper boarding pass to reduce the risk of fumbling and dropping the phone at the crowded check-in gate.

I would consider that a portable / traveling router is a must these days, for security and convenience purpose. I used the GL.iNet GL-MT1300 router, it is highly portable and capable

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I like Tom Bihn products in general for bags, but one that seems particularly relevant to the MPU forum would be their Handy Little Thing (HLT). It’s a small pouch with smaller zippered pockets, loops for attaching things to, and spaces for wires, so it’s not merely a handy pouch, but a well-organized one at that. I have the smaller one (size 1) and the larger one (size 2) for different purposes. In the smaller, I carry a battery, lightning/usb C cables, and a few everyday tech odds and ends. I like that I can quickly move it from bag to bag and have my tech essentials on me without thinking. The larger one I use at work to carry every last bit of tech (HDMI adapter, longer USB C cables etc.) I might need for classroom presenting/teaching in different buildings/classrooms on campus. I have also used their “Ghost Whale” pouches for less organized/more minimalistic approach to this. For anyone who might be interested, I recommend the 210 Ballistic fabric—a sweet spot between strength and softness.


See also What Accessories needed for powering/recharging iPhone, iPad and MBP in England?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B09QLJMXHZ has been very handy.

  • app: OSMand (offline maps from OpenStreetMap)
  • app: dict.cc (offline translator), maybe in the future the google one - overlays the foreign language with the translation)
  • app: Procamera with a sub for live-perspective-correction)
  • app: vlc and some videos
  • hardware: HDMI-Lightning-adapter (watching movies and playing games)
  • hardware: Xbox-controller for playing games

I switched from the GL.iNet to the Firewalla Purple

Flighty app
Citymapper app

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One of my favorite travel accessories is a small zipper bag attached to the front of the seat pocket with caribner clips. I discovered this hack on the Tom Bihn forums a few years ago.

Noise cancellation earphones are a must. So is packing some longer cables to charge phone/iPad in hotel rooms that don’t have an outlet close enough to the bed.

Last but not least is a blue tooth transmitter (air fly) to connect wirelessly to the in flight entertainment when there’s something worth watching that’s not yet on Netflix to download

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I saw this on TB too & will be trying it for the first time in a few weeks. It sounds great to have all of your essentials at arms length without having to reach under the seat. An added benefit is that your stuff doesn’t have to touch the inside of the germ-ridden seat pocket.


It’s been a long time since I traveled by air but nice noise cancelling headphones are critical. Other must have items, at least the equivalent of $100 in local currency in small bills, at least $50 in US one dollar bills, a inside the waist moneybelt with a sweat shield for carrying all cash, cards and passport, spare pair of reading glasses, spare pair of computer glasses, spare pair of regular glasses, spare pair of sunglasses all in nice crushproof cases, 1 nice special small lined paper travel journal bought specifically for this trip (must fit in my pants pocket), 1 same size plain paper art journal or a small artist sketchbook, my colored drawing pencils and sharpener, headlamp, paper itinerary and reservation details stashed away in my bag but also on my phone as a text or PDF file, plenty of business cards. Apps on all computers (laptop, phone, ipad or whichever set I am taking) for all airlines and hotel chains where I am staying.

Additional tech stuff depends on whether I am going to a demo where I might carry spares of the demo hardware, or just personal where my husband’s tech set is my backup and vice versa. I’ve been known to travel with 3 tablets and my laptop if necessary for critical demos like LambTracker and AnimalTrakker.

Also depending on what I am doing I may take some wooden knitting needles and a curent small project, like socks, to work on.

Also I NEVER check luggage going out unless I have to because the plane is too small to fit my bag under the seat. Those planes usually have gate luggage check and once you are off the puddle jumper lines I can carry it all on. I have a backpack convertible soft sided suitcase. I think next time I travel I will consider a rolling case that will fit as under the seat just to save the race through a terminal to make a connection. I will check bags coming home but always carry on enough stuff to spend the night in a hotel withut my luggage. Been caught too many times before.


In times now long past: a pilot’s case wherein a clean shirt, underwear, socks and wash bag; a Sony Walkman and a few tapes; two spare AA batteries; one of the dinky little adaptors from headphone jack to the two sockets in the armrest; a couple of good paperbacks; an A4 pad or two, pens and pencils; $20 in small notes and change; a shortwave radio to listen to the World Service; and one of my three year old daughter’s Care Bears that she left with a note (not written by her, of course) saying what I was supposed to bring home for her.


Later upgraded with a Psion series 3 (256k RAM) and Bose Quiet Comfort headphones.


I had one of those in the late 90s. I loved it!

Without a doubt, the Zuca Travel Pro bag. Mine has a couple million miles on it and still going strong.


  • My iPad mini
  • Suitable power adapter / plugs
  • iPhone with the flight tickets in Wallet
  • Noise-canceling headphones (Sony WH-1000 series) or earphones (Apple Airpods Pro).


  • Google Maps, with offline maps loaded for the destination
  • Public transport apps, if applicable
  • Payment card app for cheap FX
  • eSIM app, to book internet connecting at the destination (if not included as roaming in my plan) an/or an app to make calls home (e.g. Skype), if needed
  • GeoTagr, to record my land travel/walking/hiking routes‘s coordinates
  • A translation app, if I don‘t speak the local language
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My first thought: That bag is ugly as heck. Only I didn’t say “heck.”

My second thought: Who the heck cares how it looks? The important question is how well does it work?

I’ve bookmarked the page and I’m looking into it—assuming I resume travel at any frequency.

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And now having looked at that overnight bag, I think it’s great. If I were still traveling frequently, I’d probably buy it.

One of my fundamental rules of travel is to live directly out of the suitcase as much as possible. Do not unpack the suitcase if you can avoid it. Anything you don’t unpack from the suitcase is something you’re not going to forget when it’s time to leave.

Corollary to this rule: Why did you put that garment in the hotel room chest-of-drawers? Why not just throw it away instead because either way once you check out of the hotel you’re never going to see it again.

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