What's your secret, indispensable piece of travel gear?


I’ll go first. Here’s one:

Lemon lime Nuun tablets. They’re a little pricey, but they make iodinized water taste great, and I never get dehydrated.


This is interesting! Having put iodine in my water during several beloved backpacking trips in the mountains, I now have a kind of affection for the taste. It doesn’t taste good, but since it’s associated with such great memories, it’s enjoyable.


My caution about Nuun is that they are indeed delicious AND super pricey…so unless you have self control I’d be careful. Then again, I have found the more odd flavors on sale before.

As for me, I use my icebreaker extra long neck warmer all the time and for lots of things…neck, head, eye cover…sweat band…quick dry is key. I also find a super thin merino wool shawl can be a game changer - it acts as a sleeping bag liner, a blanket, a coat, and can gussy up outfits when in a pinch for dress clothes. In other words, the power of wool!


On my last trip I made great use of Soak, a detergent that requires no rinsing and that is delicate enough to dry-cleanable items. Basically just soak your stuff in the sink of your hotel room right after you check in, for 15 mins, then hang it while you go about your evening. It’ll be clean and dry by the next morning.

You’ll need to buy small 3oz bottles to take it on a flight. Which, also, empty 3oz bottles are the best!


Probably those little eco shopping bags. I travel with five or six. Unexpected purchases when all you have is a tiny pack … Separating laundry … Carrying trash with you to dispose of later … Bear proofing snacks … Filling with clothes for a train pillow … Get a waterproof one and cover your headphones with it if it rains unexpectedly … Wrapping a gift or gifts in your pack so you can identify them and keep them separate … Of course, groceries in countries where they no longer use plastic bags … There must be hundreds more uses. On my last trip I brought five, and by then end of the month I wished I had more.


I don’t travel without my Power Bagel! It has 4 universal sockets and two usb ports, the cord wraps up into it and the outlet adapter is compact and fits right into the center when not in use.


A travel clothesline. It’s easy to set up in a hotel room. Along with some detergent sheets you can travel with less clothing and you’re not spending valuable vacation time in a laundromat. Just hand wash your clothes in the sink and hang them up to dry overnight in your room. *note this obviously works better with some fabrics than others. It’s going to work better with Nylon than Cotton.


When I’m travelling I always carry a pair of Leica trinovid 8 x 20 binoculars which are without a doubt one of the most useful and best things I’ve ever bought. They are small but rugged so fit easily in a backpack and don’t make your arms ache when you are using them for long periods. They are all round fantastic optics and I’ve watched all kinds of wildlife with them and used them in other activities too.

I also carry an ergonomic folding penknife which for me is also a pretty essential piece of kit for travelling , as you never know when it may come in handy. Also a sturdy backpack I’ve had for about a decade, a SIGG thermos for water , a SIGG metal lunchbox, a moleskin journal and a fishers cap-omatic pen for recording anything , a small nikon camera (going to update it to a leica one day) , a bellmont wallet I’ve had for a long time, a timex expedition watch and a maglite flashlight.

Also a rugged duffle bag for clothes and washbag etc. The only other thing that I can think of as indispensable would be a good book or two for bus / public transport journeys and other times when there is time to kill.

That’s pretty much all I ever travel with and has been for years.


My most indispensable travel item is the Map.me app, which allows me to download maps to my phone and mark the pre-places that relate to my trip. I love that it also it tracks progress during a flight. This allows me to mark some cool landmark out my window and then figure out what it is later when I have access to WiFi.


I’m a fan of the Patagonia Houdini. It’s incredibly compact, lightweight, versatile, and easy to take everywhere. I keep it with me: in my carry-on, my around-town pack/satchel, or attached to my belt loop if I’m going real light. Always have it when I ride my bike. Adds a bit of warmth, lots of wind protection, some water repellency, and is simple enough for a variety of situations. It’s NOT a rain jacket, though some friends treat it that way. Great for fine-tuning layering. I have three in my closet, and have owned them for years. Getting that hood up for a windy coastal stop, or a blustery afternoon can really make a difference.


I’ve used that same clothesline for years, I highly recommend it.


Mine is definitely my REI sling bag. Here’s the link for the new one but mine is nearly 10 years old. It’s the perfect size for a personal item on the plane. It can hold two rain jackets our passports, keys, phones, chargers, my kindle, lonely planet guide, etc…and I have my outfitted with a couple carabiners for a water bottle or whatever. It has a clip on the inside for your keys and a separate pocket for your phone or wallet etc. Its the perfect little bag for day exploring thru town or jumping on a bike or trail. Its the first thing I pack when I travel.


Multiple sizes of “ziplock” bags from the smallest size to hold my pills to the 2 gallon size. They are reusable, great for use with packing pods, and their uses are almost unlimited.


Thanks for sharing this suggestion! Love the idea of being able to track progress during a flight. Headed to the app store now…


This is for the women only. Men, you have it easy. I bring my Pee Stick and wet wipes with me anytime I travel. It allows women to pee while standing. Especially if you are traveling to areas with questionable toilets. Even in regular public restroom if you just don’t want to sit where another stranger just sat, use your pee stick. You can rinse it in the sink or if there is no sink use the wet wipes
.pStyle - Stand to Pee with Ease. (Lilac) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KRJGYR6/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_db6sCb3GXD68G


black sharpie markers—-you have no idea how handy waterproof, permanent markers can be when you’re out in the middle of nowhere or on a long international journey.


Sharpies are a must have.


I’m ordering this for a sailing trip in USVI/BVI in March and again for a summer trip to Scotland. Thanks so much for the recommendation!


I’ve had all kinds of earplugs over the years, and Mack’s are the best. I take them on every trip along with this adjustable Lonfrote eye mask. For me, that combo’s key to a peaceful, sound night’s sleep no matter the situation. :sleeping:




Drier Sheets- keeps your clothes smelling good and soft and if worst come to worst use it to wipe away sweat or spills.