Six super useful travel tools

You can’t take everything with you when you travel (well, you can try, but after a few days every extra ounce feels like a pound — you have been warned), so it makes sense to take things that are going to be truly useful.

Must readUpgrade your office with these tools and gadgets

Here are six that I’ve popped into my luggage that turned out to be super useful and truly earned their place in my luggage.

Useful travel tools

Disclosure: ZDNet may earn a commission from some of the products featured on this page. Neither ZDNet nor the author were compensated for this independent review.

Coinbase 2
SIM tray tool

SIM tray tool

SIM tray tool

If you’re going to be swapping SIM cards in your smartphone or tablet, you’ll need a SIM tray tool to pop out the SIM tray. Sure, you can use a straightened out paperclip, but try finding one when you need one.

I bought a kit that included A SIM tray tool, SIM adapter to convert nano SIMs to fit other sizes, and storage spaces to keep spare SIM cards safe. The whole kit only cost a few bucks and was well worth the cost.

I also added a small piece of emery board, which was handy for sanding down any rough edges on SIM cards.

Good earbuds

Good earbuds

Good earbuds

Good earbuds

An absolute must, especially when sharing space with others on public transport or in cafes.

My current favorites are the Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro earbuds. Great battery life (up to 32 hours in all — 8 hours per charge), the care can be recharged using a Qi wireless charger, and they are so comfortable that I can wear them for hours.

Decent travel adapter

Decent travel adapter

Decent travel adapter

Decent travel adapter

Don’t get a cheap one. They break. They don’t fit into the sockets properly, and a failure can leave you high and dry. Which one you buy depends on your location and where you are traveling, so I recommend doing some research and reading reviews (here’s one I recommend).

It’s worth remembering that most chargers will happily run on all voltages, from 100 volts to 250 volts (it should be printed on your charger), so all you need is an adapter to make the charger fit the socket.

Waterproof bag

Waterproof bag

Waterproof bag

Waterproof bag

Because backpacks and luggage aren’t waterproof, it’s a great idea to have a waterproof bag into which you can toss things — gadgets and papers and such — that don’t like water.

A simple plastic bag will do at a pinch, but you can buy something bespoke to do the job (I found this handy in Rome, Italy, where the rain was heavier than I’ve ever seen anywhere).

Document pouch

Document pouch

Document pouch

Document pouch

While digital tickets are now becoming a thing, travel for now still revolves around paperwork and documents. I found it handy to have a travel pouch to keep everything safe and together.

I used a Maxpedition Travel Pouch Deluxe, which is probably overkill, but did the job well, and allowed me to stay organized (or at least as organized I can be).

Swiss Army Knife

Swiss Army Knife

Swiss Army Knife

Swiss Army Knife

While this is a no-no on airports and such, I found having a Swiss Army Knife in my luggage super handy. The blade, scissors, corkscrew, screwdriver, and can opener all saw good usage.

There are dozens of Swiss Army Knives out there, so plenty to choose from, and the basic models (like the Spartan) are quite reasonably priced.

I do suggest that you steer clear of the fakes, which are poor quality and frustrating to use.

Holiday Gift Guides

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About the author

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