Travel accessories make excellent gifts, whether for a work colleague, family member or friend (even yourself!) and sometimes it’s the small, inexpensive items that make a huge difference to life on the road. Here are 10 of my favourites, some of which are under A$10 and most are under A$30. You’ll find some items at your local newsagent or luggage store, and others online. If you’re quick, you can still get delivery before Christmas from Australian online retailers.
Mini Storage Keeper
Like a mini glasses case the Safe Keeper by Annabel Trends is excellent for keeping little things safe while travelling. Store messy items like earphones so they don’t get tangled, or put on the bedside table in your hotel room for your watch, rings or other jewellery you remove while sleeping. Not only will they be all in the one place, if you have to pack in a hurry, you can grab the Safe Keeper, knowing all your little valuables are inside. Available at newsagents, Howards Storage, travel stores or online from Annabel Trends. A$5.95-$7.95 depending on where you buy it.
Bobino Cord Wraps
These have been around for a while, but they are still one of the best gadgets for keeping messy cords tidy. There are different sizes for different length cords and with a variety of colours available you can quickly identify your iPad cord from your Kindle cord. Available at luggage stores, newsagents and electronic stores in small, medium and large. Prices start at A$4.99 www.mybobino.com
For years the heaviest thing in my cosmetic bag was perfume bottles, as few fragrance houses make miniature sprays for travelling. So these little atomisers are a winner. Fill directly from your existing perfume or aftershave bottles. The one from Annabel Trends comes in different colours so you can decant several of your favourite perfumes and still know which is which. Available at some chemists, luggage stores and Howards Storage A$14.95.
Slimline Mobile Device Stand
Can’t read your phone or tablet while using both hands to eat your sandwich? Then invest in a QuickStand by Nite Ize . The best thing about is its slim silhouette when flat. Similar in size to a credit card you can slip it into your wallet, so you’ll never be without it. I picked mine up at a Tech2Go store found at airports around Australia. A$14.95
You can never have too many luggage tags and how cute are these ones by Cobwebs? With sayings like ‘Upgrade Me’ and ‘Adventure before Dementia’ they certainly have a sense of humour. My favourite has to be ‘Somewhere in the world it’s wine o’clock’. I bought mine from Sydney Luggage Centre in Town Hall Square and online from Cobwebs. A$14.95
Lip balm, mints, eye mask, tissues, pen, iPod, Kindle. There’s a lot to get lost in the airline seat pocket, which is why I love this pouch by Ciao Bella Travel. With four separate zippered compartments there’s a place for all the small personal belongings you wish to keep at hand on a flight. It will even fit a kindle or iPad mini. Just pull it out of your handbag or backpack and pop it in the seat pocket. Available in a range of colours or this world map design from Ciao Bella Travel. A$19.95.
When trying to minimise the amount of clothes you take on a trip, jewellery becomes an essential accessory. I have some bulkier necklaces that don’t fit in a jewellery roll, which is why I love this organiser. It has six individual zippered pockets with see-though fronts and you can slide larger pieces between the pocket flaps. Available online from Yazzii. A$29.95.
A bag for keeping all your chargers, cables and electrical adaptors together when travelling is essential. I personally like this double sided one from LaPoche, available in a variety of colours from Travel Gear, who offer free shipping in Australian and New Zealand. A$26.95.
But I also like the look of this ‘Be in charge’ bag from Ciao Bella Travel. A$24.95
Convertible Neck Pillow & Tablet Table
This iSquidgy is an ingenious little design, being both a neck pillow (to stop that dreaded head nod when falling asleep sitting up) and a pillow-table for your tablet. Just undo the zip and squidge the bead filling from the table to the pillow and vice versa. The seams appear to be strong (I once had a neck pillow burst and the little beads went everywhere) and it’s quick and easy to convert. It comes in all-black and two bi-colour combinations. Available at airports, luggage stores and online from Annabel Trends and Ciao Bella Travel, $24.95
Hands-free Hip Band
Want to go for a run from your hotel and need to carry your room key and mobile phone, but don’t have any pockets in your running gear? Then you need a hipS-sister. Awkward name, but fabulous invention, it’s basically a stretchy fabric waistband with pockets. It has a secret top-loading front pocket (great for phone or iPod) and front and back zippered pockets. Although a little pricey, it is well made and delivery is free in Australia when ordered online through Hips-sister. $49.00.
Do you have a favourite travel item that would make a good gift? Let me know in the comments.
Disclaimer: All products mentioned above have been purchased by me.