Seven Travel Products to Save You Time and Money

in Travel Store, Trip Planning

As you know, there are plenty of useless travel products on the market. However, there are also some products that are incredibly useful and will save you time or money (or both!) while traveling or planning your travel adventures. Here are seven “basics,” that will serve you well no matter where you’re headed.

1.     Smartphone or tablet. Whether you’re an Apple person or an Android person, a smartphone or tablet (like the iPad) will allow you to run myriad travel apps that will help with travel planning (in advance and on the road). Since most mobile phone travel apps are updated regularly, this information is often more current than information found in guidebooks. Also, many famous sites around the world (the Eiffel Tower or Louvre Museum in Paris, for example) are creating apps to guide tourists on a more complete visit. You can also use your smartphone or tablet as an alarm clock and calendar while on the road. Related: See our Paris on the Cheap article

2.      Water bottle. It’s important to stay hydrated while traveling. This may sound painfully obvious, but thousands of tourists are hospitalized each year for complications due to dehydration (and few things cost you more money or time than being hospitalized abroad). A simple refillable plastic water bottle will do the trick if you’re going somewhere with potable water. If the water quality is questionable, you can purchase tablets or water bottles with filters to combat some of the harmful effects. Carrying a water bottle will also help you save money, since you won’t be tempted to buy a beverage from a street vendor or sit-down restaurant each time you get thirsty.

travel app photo

Whether you’re an Apple person or an Android person, a smartphone or tablet will allow you to run myriad travel apps loaded with current information about various destinations.

3.     A cross-body purse or satchel. I don’t know about you, but I carry much more with me when I travel than I do on a normal day. This means that I typically have a larger purse (or bag) on me to accommodate things like water bottles, tablets, basic first aid supplies, passport, etc. A cross-body purse or satchel (meaning you can wear the strap across your chest instead of slung over one shoulder) is harder for pickpockets to remove. I always keep one hand at the base of the strap as well, or draped over the whole purse if I’m in a crowded area (such as when I’m on public transportation). Washable bags (such as those made from nylon or polyester) are great, especially since you never know what you might spill on them or set them in while traveling.

4.     Basic first aid kit. Over the years, I’ve shelled out much more than I wanted to for band-aids at tourist kiosks (they know you’re desperate if you’re buying band-aids at a tourist shop, so they can charge you more. Bringing your own small first aid kit will save you both time and money when minor injuries occur (I always end up with lots of blisters due to increased walking while traveling).

5.     Voltage converter and adaptor set. It’s important to invest in a good voltage converter and adaptor set so that you are able to safely use your electronics while abroad. Using a converter/adaptor could potentially save you thousands of dollars in the long run (but not having to replace fried computers or buy small electronics – like an alarm clock – on site). Plus, you’ll need to charge your smartphone or tablet, right?

6.     A sleepsack/lightweight sleeping bag. If you’re staying in hostels (or any other “bring your own sheets” type of accommodation – like camping), it’s a good idea to carry a lightweight sleeping back that you can easily stuff into a backpack. This will save you money (you won’t have to rent sheets) and time/worry (you are at less of a risk of acquiring bedbugs or something much worse from less-than-clean hostel linens).

7.     Earplugs and an eye mask. Traveling means sometimes having to sleep in less than ideal circumstances. Earplugs and an eye mask can mean the difference between a restful overseas flight and a sleepless one. Earplugs are also especially useful if your travel companion snores. By getting a good night sleep, you’ll enjoy your trip more and save both time (you will be energized and be able to see more in a day – and won’t have to take naps) and money (you’ll consume much less coffee if you are well rested!) in the long run.

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