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Practical gadgets and travel utensils: things that are helpful when travelling

Travellers are always faced with the question: What should they take with them on trips or holidays? After all, the size of luggage is limited. Over the last few years, we have compiled and tested a list of travel utensils that make stays in foreign countries, but also preparations, noticeably easier. A blog for people who like to make life easier for themselves.

1. High quality luggage

2. Luggage scales for at home

3. Luggage sorting bags or luggage organisers

4. Personal travel folder

5. Business cards for the road

6. Sleeping pillow or neck pillow

7. Travel organiser

8. Travel wallet

9. Power bank

10. E-reader

11. Travel guide

12. Hiking backpack

13. Charger

14. First-aid kit

15. Water shoes

16. Film and photo equipment

17. Camping cutlery and camping blanket

18. Multifunctional tool or knife

19. Quick-drying outdoor towels

20. Torch, headlamp

21. Waterproof bag

22. Cloth bag

23. Travel diary or notepad

24. Spare mobile phone

There are many potential helpers when travelling or on holiday, you just have to know about them. We have often been in situations on our trips where we have wished for certain gadgets. In the course of time, a quite considerable list of practical travel utensils has emerged that make travelling easier for us. Even on holiday, good equipment is always an advantage.

The following list is not exhaustive and may well grow. Moreover, it is not always necessary to take all things with you. On a three-day city trip, you need different things in your luggage than on a world trip lasting several months. What you take with you is ultimately up to you, but we are happy to help you get a good overview, because we ourselves have often forgotten something. Very often.

High quality luggage

If you travel a lot, you'll agree with us. Good luggage is incredibly important when travelling. We have already travelled with cheap suitcases and have been disappointed several times. It pays off to invest in branded luggage.

The first question you have to ask yourself is what kind of luggage you want: suitcases, backpacks or bags - there are numerous options and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. We used to travel with a big Deuter backpacker backpack, but now we swear by our hard-shell suitcases.

The biggest advantage of a backpack is that you can wear it comfortably on your back. Especially when you're travelling many kilometres on rough terrain, backpacks are an advantage. Of course, it also speaks of a certain coolness to travel the world as a backpacker.

We have become convinced suitcase people in the meantime - that sounds funnier than it is. While we used to travel with our beloved Deuter backpacks, we are now not only older, but also more comfortable. We love our hard-shell trolleys and the order they give us when we travel. Besides, transporting fragile souvenirs is simply safer in such cases.

We usually travel as a foursome and take two larger suitcases to check in, two more trolleys for hand luggage and two practical travel or city backpacks for trips lasting several weeks. This combination has proven itself.

Our tip: In case the checked-in luggage gets lost, we carry clothes for at least 3 - 4 days as well as the most important things in the hand luggage. We also recommend good quality clothing for travelling. It's better to take less, but the good, durable stuff...

Luggage scale for at home

Different airlines also have different weight requirements. In addition, it is now common for cheaper flight tickets to have less luggage included. To avoid unpleasant surprises when checking in, we have a small luggage scale at home - this is much more practical than the variant: weigh the person once with and once without the suitcase. Who wants to know how much they weigh before they go on holiday? We don't, because afterwards we are usually heavier anyway.

Suitcase sorting bags or suitcase organisers

Just throwing shoes, underwear, snorkelling gear, medicines and all the rest into the suitcase and closing it was yesterday. Since we usually travel from one accommodation to the next, we like to keep our luggage tidy right from the start. For a few years now, we wouldn't want to do without our suitcase organisers, and packing our suitcases is more fun that way.

The range of such organisers is also getting bigger and bigger and doesn't cost the earth.

Personal travel folder

As we have already mentioned in our blogs, we put together a travel folder before every big trip - we plan to write a blog about it. These folders contain all the important travel information, such as copies of flight tickets, hotel addresses, maps and other important documents. For us, creating these folders is already part of the holiday and also increases our anticipation.

All you need is an inexpensive and flexible folder, some Plastic wraps, paper and a printer (or you can go to the copy shop - or to your friendly neighbours).

Business cards for on the road

When travelling, you never know who you will meet. We've already had the pleasure of meeting the most interesting people on the road. In this context, we always recommend carrying a handful of business cards with you.

Don't forget business cards, because who knows who you'll meet on the way.

If you would like something more personal or unusual, please contact us at

We have already designed and printed several business cards!

Sleeping pillow or neck pillow

Neck pillows are an absolute must on long flights. Squeezed between two closely spaced rows of seats, they offer the passenger at least a minimum of comfort, especially on night flights. By the way, we advise against inflatable cushions (they make you sweat) and recommend cushions with memory foam.

Travel organiser

"Who has the passports again?"

"Where's my wallet?"

Especially during stress at the airport, there is always chaos. We recently got ourselves a travel organiser that saves us unnecessary fuss. In this small shoulder bag, we always have all our passports, some money and the tickets together and at hand. Very practical.

Travel wallet

Travel wallets are similarly practical as the travel organiser. When travelling, you don't always have a bag with you and the classic wallets are often too thick and a security risk. We got ourselves travel wallets to wear around your neck. These recommendable bags have space for money, credit cards, business cards and even the smartphone and can even be worn under the shirt - a good solution especially in somewhat dangerous areas (RFID blocker included).


Smartphone, laptop or e-reader have one thing in common: their batteries often run down exactly when you need them most. For this purpose, we can only warmly recommend a powerbank. There is already a huge selection of these mobile charging helpers with different additional functions.

Our tip: When buying, be sure to consider size and weight. Oh yes, and don't forget to charge it regularly, because nothing is more unnecessary than lugging around an empty powerbank.


When we used to travel just the two of us, we had around 12 thick books in our luggage for three weeks - we love reading when we travel. With children, this is no longer viable - we were practically forced to switch to e-books. For this purpose, you need e-book readers and here, too, we recommend paying the utmost attention to quality.

Even though we don't like to miss classic books, e-readers also have their advantages, which we have come to appreciate. An e-reader can hold hundreds of books, so you always have a small library with you and with Wi-Fi you can even order new books. eBook screens are self-luminous and you can always read perfectly well even in rooms with poor lighting. eBook readers have additional functions such as dictionaries, translation options and marking functions. These things really make sense when travelling!

Travel guide

When we plan a trip, we still use travel guides in book form. We love to leaf through these tomes together, enjoy the pictures and draw a lot of information from them. Of course, you can't always take all these travel guides with you. It's best to pick your favourite travel guide or order the books as e-books - even if that has less flair.

Hiking backpack

If you like to explore the area on foot on holiday, you need a hiking rucksack. Either use it as hand luggage (beware: many hiking rucksacks are too big for hand luggage!) or pack another rucksack in your suitcase. There are also special backpacks that are very handy and especially thin and take up little space - they are absolutely sufficient for short hikes.

Max's tip: I prefer a full backpack with back ventilation, as you sweat less with it.


Laptop, smartphone, camera, torch, powerbank, e-reader, tablet - the number of devices that accompany us on our travels and need to be charged regularly is growing. Perhaps you know the feeling when you forget a charger and the respective gadget is already unusable after a short time. So don't forget your chargers and put them in your hand luggage.

Our tip: Consider having one charger for several devices, that saves space! There are now also multi-function devices.

First-aid kit

If experience has taught us one thing, it's that the risk of injury and illness is particularly high when travelling. Raise your hand if you've never had diarrhoea or injured yourself in unfamiliar terrain. In this sense, nothing beats a well-stocked first-aid kit - especially if you are travelling with children.

We would like to write a separate travel blog about this topic soon, but a small overview can't hurt here.

What absolutely belongs in a small first-aid kit:

- Plasters

- Bandages

- Disinfectant

- Painkillers, antipyretic

- Lozenges against sore throat

- Stomach drops (e.g. Iberogast)

- Anti-diarrhoea medication

- Remedies for constipation

- Wound and healing ointment

- Blister plasters (for hikers)

- Après Sun cream (cooling for sunburn)

You can take nasal spray and ear drops with you on the plane (note the amount of contents).

Water shoes

Our water shoes are real all-rounders. They protect against injury from rocks and uneven ground, on land and water, and you can even go for a wonderful walk, or even hike, with them. We no longer go anywhere without them, especially as they can be bought online for very little money.

Film and photo equipment

Photos and video recordings are preserved memories and absolutely belong. What's more, it can be great fun if you get to grips with the subject matter a little.

In the last few years, we were very spartan in this respect and only had our (good) smartphones with us for taking photos. These wonderful helpers already take great photos and the editing possibilities directly on the device are terrific. However, if you have printouts or a photo book printed out after the trip, the wheat is separated from the chaff. Compared to our old and already sold digital SLR camera, the mobile phone photos can't keep up - which is a shame.

This year we bought a full-frame camera again - it's heavier and more complicated to use, but the results are worth the higher purchase costs and the effort. We bought the Panasonic Lumix S5.

Now the only thing left on our wish list is a good action cam.

Max's tip: If you still have room in your luggage, pack a small travel tripod as well - tripod photos will be a notch better if you like taking photos and take the time to do so.

Camping cutlery and blanket

Even if you're not going camping, an assortment of camping cutlery (or just regular cutlery from your kitchen drawer) and a camping blanket (preferably with a waterproof side) makes perfect sense. How many times have we been travelling by car, suddenly got hungry and bought something at the nearest supermarket? Anyone who has ever had to eat a yoghurt or a takeaway salad with their fingers will agree: Cutlery is great (and don't think the environmentally friendly forks and spoons made of wood are so great).

Multifunctional tool or knife

A Swiss Army knife, multi-function tool or just a good outdoor knife doesn't cost the earth and is an essential travel tool. We even carry one of these tools in every checked suitcase: once a comprehensive Swiss Army knife and once a classic outdoor knife for the belt. We chose the NedFoss DA169 - it has an excellent price-performance ratio.

Also with us for years: our versatile Swiss Army Knife from Victorinox.

Max's tip: With most newly bought outdoor knives, sharpening even makes sense before the first use. This makes the knife edge more resistant, which is good news for the user.

Quick-drying outdoor towels

There are inventions where you first say to yourself: Why should I need such nonsense, it's just a rip-off. That's what happened to us with the new outdoor towels, and now we no longer travel without them! The towels are lighter and thinner than their conventional counterparts, take up much less space and dry much faster, which is a great advantage especially when travelling. Add to that their surprisingly strong absorbency. Great, these things!

Torch, headlamp

In foreign countries, strange animals are also waiting for us, preferring to walk over our bare legs. And that's not all: Often you're still on the move later and can no longer see your own hand in front of your eyes. A good, handy torch or headlamp belongs in every traveller's luggage. Children are also happy to have a mobile night light in the unknown.

Our tip: Get rechargeable lamps - preferably with USB C or the same cable as your smartphone.

Waterproof bag

Have you ever dropped your camera in the water and found it unusable? We did, many years ago in Egypt. We had moored a boat in front of a beautiful bay and had to swim 150 metres through the water towards the beach, and splash …! How much a waterproof bag would have helped us then. The plastic bags that roll up at the top are ideal for technical devices, your wallet and other things that contact with water doesn't do any good. You'll remember this the next time you wade through water or get caught in a tropical rain.

Shopping Bag

We have got into the habit of always carrying a thin cloth bag with us (even at home). How often do you go to the supermarket and then get annoyed because you have to buy another overpriced paper bag? The cloth bags fit into any trouser pocket and don't weigh much - take them with you!

Travel diary or notepad (always have something to write)

We know writing isn't for everyone, and not everyone is a writer or has a travel blog. But we also know how often you need a pen or a piece of paper and none is nearby. Think shopping lists, jotting down addresses, writing down someone else's quick address, a sheet to jot down memories or just the score from a sociable card game. We always have a few pens and a notepad with us when we travel.

Spare mobile phone

Last but not least, we have a good tip: After my wife's smartphone broke down in Florida in 2022 and we had to buy a new device at great expense, which she didn't really want, we can only recommend taking a spare mobile phone with you on your travels. Many people still have an old but functioning device at home - don't throw it away, it's worth its weight in gold when travelling.

We look forward to your feedback and are open to a lively exchange. You also want to travel, like to travel often and have a question, just write us and comment. Best wishes and have fun travelling,

Steffi, Max and the kids

(Author of this blog: Max)


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