Packing Light: Four Travel Accessories for Lighter and More Efficient Travel

So, I may have taken a hiatus from writing, but that’s only because I’ve been traveling non-stop (oh, and we moved across the country, bought a house, got engaged, and married…).

In my travels (especially for work), I try to never check a bag (think of all the time wasted at baggage claim!) and travel super light and efficiently. Here are some of my newer finds that I’m loving these days.

And yes, there are affiliate links below, but I own and use the products below and only make peanuts on the affiliate links anyway.

1. MOGICS Donut/Bagel Travel Power Strip

I had originally backed the MOGICS Donut on Kickstarter way back when, and now it’s my fave project I’ve ever backed. I have the Donut with the adapter, and it’s perfect for domestic travel as well as international.

So what is it? It’s a round power strip with a three-foot extension cord, that can plug in all your devices at once. The Donut has five US outlets and the Bagel has four universal outlets (UK, US, EU, AU) and a US only outlet. The Donut is 1.14 inches thick while the Bagel is 1.26 inches. When you’re not using it, the extension cord wraps into itself and it comes with a cool zipper case. Add on the MOGICS Adapter, which fits in the middle of the Bagel or Donut.

Purchase the Donut, Bagel, or Adapter here.

2. Shacke Pak Packing Cubes

I can’t remember what it was like to pack without cubes. I am so much more organized, my clothes are less wrinkled, and I can fit more items into my carry on bag. I also have work trips where I have to go to two or three cities on the same trip, and sometimes I pack my cases by daily outfits, which helps me stay super organized.

The Shacke Pack cubes are durable, hold shape, and have a mesh opening so you can see what is inside of each bag. The four sizes are very versatile (I rarely need the XL, unless I’m checking luggage) and I use the laundry bag to cover my shoes. While the cubes come in many colors, I’m partial to green. You can see all the colors, and purchase, here.

3. Pashmina Wool Scarf

I’m always cold. Always. So, when I travel I make sure I have a scarf with me. In the winter and heading to colder climates, I prefer a wool pashmina type scarf. Wool is quick to dry, doesn’t keep smells, and is warm. I’ve used my scarf as an airplane blanket, a hotel room blanket (why are hotels moving to thin little blankets?), as a wrap to my little black dress, to stay warm, an impromptu umbrella, and one time as a skirt when my luggage was lost in San Juan, PR (one of the few times I’ve checked bags).

While I’m partial to the wool scarf (I have this one), you can pick up a silk blend scarf here for about a third of the price, and will still do the job (or work well in warmer climates).

4. BUBM Universal Cable Organizer

I travel with so many devices, and that means so many cords. I’ve downsized as much as I can, but still travel with a Surface Pro, Laptop, iPhone (work), Android (personal), Kindle (I have to have my books and hate reading on phone/tablets), FitBit, and depending on the trip, a Camera or two. And each one has a different cord (and iPhone has those stupid dongles). It’s really insane and I actually wrote a post about it a few years back.

So, after TSA stopped me and inspected my cord nest at RDU airport, I decided to invest in a cord management organizer. Two things have happened since I got organized… one I haven’t left a cord at home and had to buy one on the road, and two, I haven’t lost any cords!

I like this case because it’s thin, light weight, but still holds all of my cords, my mouse, flash drives, and my MOGICS Donut – and has zippered pockets. It also slides easily into my tote bag. Plus, I somehow feel like I’m winning at life when I use it. If you do find that you have a lot of cables to pack that may not all fit in your case, try and find ways to limit the number of wires you have to take.

If you have a MacBook Air, Surface Pro/Laptop or another thin laptop, you may want to check out the version with the sleeve.

What’s your favorite tip or travel item to make travel more efficient or lightweight? Let me know by leaving a comment or sending a Tweet!