These are my recommended resources, gear and companies to help you improve your travels. Recommendations are based on my personal opinions from experience and are from reliable, honest companies covering everything from bags to travel money.
I am really pleased with my Cabin Max Frankfurt Messenger and Laptop Carry On Bag. It has several pockets – including a dedicated laptop section and is a very versatile and lightweight bag (less than 1kg). This means it does not eat up your 10kg weight limit on Jet2 as well and it fits comfortably into the maximum size limit for Jet2. It is also inexpensive and highly rated on Amazon. My more detailed review of the Frankfurt bag. Remember that taking the right cabin bag can save you money on baggage fees.
While I prefer the Frankfurt the standard Cabin Max bag is also a good deal for most people. It is a more conventional backpack and is slightly larger.Cabin Max Backpack 55x40x20 cm
Great size, low cost with many pockets, lightweight and rated highly on Amazon. Good enough for most and a very functional backpack. Not the best in terms of durability but using this bag once will likely save you money on baggage fees! Check out my Cabin Bag Max review.
My post on the Best Cabin Bags for easyJet contains a more detailed comparison of both of these bags.
No More Excess, Advanced Digital Luggage Scale: It is worth paying a few £ for peace of mind and to ensure your bags do not exceed the weight limits.
Resources to Help You Travel Light
Before you pack you need to check several things:
Hand Luggage Allowances: Our easy to use guide to airline cabin baggage allowances and rules before you fly. Check before any flight for your cabin baggage allowance with more detailed guides for each airline.
Packing List: Making your own packing list is the quickest way to really take less and help you travel smarter. Well worth doing and it helps you avoid leaving items behind. You can get a free packing list if you subscribe to my email series which is also full of useful travel tips.
Also I recommend this packing list from OneBag.com which is very useful and detailed.
Air Travel Bottle Set: Very useful set of bottles in a clear, transparent regulation bag to follow the liquid rules with bottles and containers all less than 100ml. You can also put larger liquids like your favourite perfumes in them to take them with you if you are taking just hand luggage. Available at Amazon, rated 4 stars and quite cheap.
Alternatively the set pictured also looks good and comes with 6 bottles of various sizes allowing you to take your favourite perfume or make up in these bottles through airport security. It can also save money compared to buying more expensive travel sized version of beauty and health products.
Packing cubes – these can really help organise your packing, separate clothes, keep them compact and speed up your packing. They are very popular with frequent travellers and some won`t travel without them!
Packing Cubes on Amazon – there are a range of options but I haven`t tried them yet so don`t feel able to personally recommend any. There are many different ones with good reviews though ranging from about £6 to £20 and there`s a good selection. I`ll try to buy one set soon so I can review i.
An essential for all. You could save a few % on all of your purchases overseas! Don`t let the banks rip you off and make everything you buy in foreign currency cheaper. My free guide to travel money options and better exchange rates.
Useful Travel Gadgets
Anker® 40W 5-Port USB Travel Charger – This little charger is great for travelling light and charges nearly all your devices. You take the one charger which can charge up to 5 USB items at the one time, only needing one plug socket. On top of that it means you don`t have to bring all the separate Ipod, Kindle, Android, camera sockets just the USB connector. So it saves a lot of room and weight from your bag and simplifies the whole process. I`ve just got the white one but it comes in black too. Apparently the customer support is also fantastic and Anker will send you a new one if you report any problems. Really great and highly recommended.
Kindle E-reader: These amazing e-readers are thinner than one paperback and allow you to carry hundreds of books anywhere. They also have a great battery life and the E-ink screens really do make reading easy and don`t strain your eyes. I take mine whenever I go away now! I go into more depth with my kindle review here but in essence, just get one if you want to read while on your travels.
Asus Google Nexus 7 7-inch Tablet: This amazing Android tablet means I can leave my bulky laptop at home. It has a lot of excellent functions through the apps available and offers the openness of Android. Great for general internet browsing and with useful apps like Iplayer, Skype, BBC News, Google Maps and Gmail e.t.c (there are some good travel apps too including Tripadvisor). You can also get music from Amazon or the excellent Google Play Music which hosts your music in the cloud, books, (you can get the Kindle app but it lacks e-ink so it is less easy on the eye.) fun games and even the ability to play videos, edit documents and watch Netflix on the move. Really highly recommended. Just check the reviews out for this tablet!
Travel adaptors – the humble adaptor is a necessity in the digital age and they are available very cheaply, sometimes even in pound stores. You can also get them online and save the effort. Don`t buy them at the airport because the airport premium on these items tends to be really large. Like from £3 to £10 or something!
There are hundreds of apps around which claim to help you travel. Here`s a few of my favourites:
- Skype/Hangouts/Whatsapp – these apps allow you to stay in touch with everyone from your mum to your best friends and update them on how your trip is going. It`s pretty nice to be able to see them on video calls and best of all it saves your phone bill.
- Tripadvisor – good for checking out rooms, what to do and get an idea of where to eat too. Don`t treat it as some sort of travel bible but it can be useful if used sensibly. I recommend trying to take the average of reviews so you exclude the ridiculously positive and the nit pickers who complain about the tiniest details for a £20 a night room.
- Google Maps – the maps can be downloaded offline and saved to your phone/tablet too. This can be really neat and helps you avoid getting lost.
Other types of apps you should get include a currency converter, language guides and remember to use your camera to capture those amazing one off moments.
If you have a better suggestion, would like to send me your product or to leave a fair review of a certain product please contact me – I am always delighted to hear from you and open to feedback and suggestions.
Still to come – please tell us your recommendations:
- Travel clothing – lightweight, versatile, comfy, quick drying, looks goods, functional, affordable.
- Travel adaptors – so many out there, can be found in budget stores.
- Please note – some of the links above are affiliate links. This helps support this site and comes at no additional cost to you. Some of them even give you discounts or bonuses. Thanks!