Thursday, June 15, 2017

Travel Gadgets

We're now under three weeks in the countdown to the Hadrian's Wall path trek.  In addition to daily walks, hikes with backpacks, and core strength training, I've been shopping for gadgets.  Here are some of my favorites.

Collapsible water bottle - my husband, Jeff, likes to carry water in a pouch in his backpack, but I don't and so I carry water in my backpack's side pockets.  Regular water bottles take up a lot of room in luggage so I was thrilled to find this collapsible version. I tried it out and it works great!

Sleeping scarf for the plane/train - I don't like those half-donut pillows; they're not comfortable, they take up a lot of room, and the ones you inflate are even less comfortable for me.  I found this online and got one and tried it out in a living room chair.  I'm hopeful it will work, and it packs to a pretty compact size.

No, this isn't me, this is the model on Amazon!

Waist pack - I have a couple of fanny packs already but they were too big for what I wanted, which was a handy pack to wear in front, containing passports, wallet, maps for the day, and phone--all of which I want easy access to.  Plus the ones I already have were bigger than I needed and had water bottle holders, which I already have on my backpack.  I found this little guy, and it's perfect.

Day pack - this Rick Steves day pack scrunches down to a very small size and will only come out for evening walks for dinner, or when we can drop our backpacks at a B&B early and then explore an area.  I can fit a light sweatshirt or poncho inside, and it can carry water bottles, snacks, and a guide book or souvenir, should we be lucky enough to find a handy gift shop.

Go Pro - our one expensive gadget for the trip. Hadrian's Wall sites are focusing on the Roman Army this summer, and I am expecting to have opportunities to video-record reenactments and living history exhibitions.  Plus, we'll be at Chesters Fort for a Roman Cavalry demonstration.  It's tiny, compatible with my iPhone and iPad, and easily fits in the waist pack.

Wrist GPS - not a new gadget for the trip, but Jeff wears this on all our hikes and it will certainly be part of this journey.

Swiss Army Knife - don't leave home without it--though it has to go in checked luggage.


iPhone - even without a signal, it provides GPS, flashlight, stopwatch, alarm, clock, etc.

Multi-port USB to UK adapter charger - we can plug in two iPhones, a iPad, and my Garmin fitness tracker (so I can count my steps on the trek), all at one time!

What's your favorite travel gadget?


  1. Some really neat gadgets. My wife and I hike a lot so several of these look like they would be useful. I have carried a Swiss Army Knife since I was boy. I have only owned two in my four decades.

  2. Wow! I am getting vicariously excited about your trip! Of all those listed, like Brian above, the Swiss army knife is the only known gadget...but it has been super handy for sure!

    Please report back on the sleeping scarf, if it really works. Sleeping sitting up is difficult I find, so if this helps, I want to know about it!

    1. I'm pretty excited to try the sleeping scarf myself. I rarely fall asleep on planes so I'm hoping this will do the trick.