Best Travel Tech Accessories For 2021
What's in my Tech Kit? Well, sit back, cause I'm gonna tell you. This is my list for "a slimmed down, but pretty much all you need" kit.
Introduction To The Best Travel Tech Accessories for 2021
One of the things I want to expand upon on this site would be articles that focus on "Best of" lists and the like. Mainly, because I've spent years discovering and searching for items to put in my various kits (tech, toiletry, etc.) and I think I've been able to really narrow them down to some really nice items that aren't TOO superfluous. But don't worry, maybe here and there I can find a few of those to tell you about too. Let's not get ahead of ourselves though.
This is my list of the best travel tech accessories I currently use in 2021. They are in my personal travel tech kit, and I think they'd make great additions to yours. I think the items in this kit are going to fit the "most people" category. You might be an outlier that goes crazy minimal or a creator that needs a bit more beef - but otherwise, I think this kind of list/kit will be a good sweet spot. I will also note that this list is very USB-C heavy - because frankly that's where the tech world is going and where you should be going too, eventually. This will help you future proof it. If you're not there yet, then you can just substitute USB-C with USB-A or which ever standard you're' currently using. It shouldn't change the overall number of cables you need. Let's go!
For full disclosure, not a single item in this list was provided to me by the manufacturer. They were all purchased with my own money.
This page does include affiliate links in some cases, but not all. When used to make a purchase, we make a small commission which helps keep this site running, but this in no way affects the results of our recommendations and is at no cost to you.
Best Travel Tech Kit or Pouch
Bellroy Tech Kit
After tons and tons of research, a couple years ago I settled on the Bellroy Tech Kit as my go-to grab and go pouch for my travel tech needs. Why? Practicality mostly. Quality was the other factor. Simply put, while Bellroy doesn't make items that skew on the "cheap" side - they just make great stuff period. Design, construction, materials, eco-focused processes, etc. Top notch. There are two sizes, and I have both, depending on how tech-heavy I need to go. They're both small and compact and that helps for two reasons. One, easy to pack in the front pockets of most bags and don't take too much room (that is, I don't need to put them in the internal compartment and they are easily grabbable - new word alert). Two, it prevents me from trying to put my entire desk contents in there. I think for "one bag" travel, this is a huge key. Take what you need. Not what you want "just in case". The pictures show how I pack it out, but it has got a space for my cables, wall chargers, even a spot for an Apple Pencil in the larger version (if I bring my iPad for photo editing). A slot for a power bank with magnet closure rounds it out. This is a classy tech case, and it's not over sized (subjective) like many in the industry (Aer, Peak Design, etc.). In the regular size, I can even slide my Kindle in the rear slot. Nice. Notice the wireless earbuds case for size reference.
Best Travel Charging Cables In My Experience
Best USB-C to USB-C Cable For Travel
Cables can get a little overwhelming from a selection process, because frankly there are just so many to choose from. And sometimes, the best USB-C cable is the one you have on you. You can go as cheap as you want if that's your number 1 driving factor - but it's not my normal route. I like to go for longevity and reliability, plus possible support. These days, I have a lot of Apple products like an iPad Pro and M1 MacBook Air. My partner has an iPhone. So in these cases, at the risk of sounding a bit like a knob, I use the Apple provided cables or an Apple certified one. Brands like Belkin and Anker will serve you well here. I just use the cable that came with my iPad Pro, or the one from my Google Pixel. Since both are USB-C to USB-C, it covers 95% of my charging needs (the iPhone mentioned above is the last complication in that process - more on that soon). For non-Apple, my ultimate pick would be to go with Anker. I've used them for almost 10 years for cables at this point and can't remember a single issue or failure as a brand that wasn't my fault. You generally can get two for the price of one Apple cable, as well. This is pretty self explanatory, so no picture needed here.
Best USB-A to USB-C Cable For Travel
You might be saying to yourself, isn't this going backwards in terms of charging technology? Well yes, a little. But hear me out. Not everything is updated to USB-C in the world yet. It's still growing. So while I've outfitted most of my tech to be able to use it and therefore share the same cables, I can't always. Mainly, I speak of car travel. The vast majority of cars right now still only have USB-A outlets. My phone is a USB-C input. You see the issue? So, I carry a USB-A to USB-C cable with me any time I'm renting a car. But, this can also be applied to most hotel USB hubs, etc. The exact one I use was purchased in the UK (PTHINK is the brand) but you can just as well go with an Anker version here and be happy with it. I like the fabric cable version. Same again on the photography.
Best USB-C to Lightening Cable For Travel
As mentioned a few paragraphs up, my partner uses an iPhone and I use a Google Pixel. So, she still needs the Lightning port connector. Not to worry, there's a cable for that. In this case, again, go as cheap as you want but be prepared for the unexpected. Might be perfect, might fail. Since it's Lightning, I just decided to go with Apple on this one. So, this cable allows me to use the same wall charger as all my other devices, but has the connector she needs. The added benefit with this is it gets her rapid charging. Further, her iPad Pro still uses the Lightning port. This has her covered for that, too. You guessed it, you know what this should look like so no pic!
Best Emergency or Back Up Charging Cable For Travel
Sometimes, you do need to have a backup, just in case. I know, I know - I get that I just tried to rip on "just in case" above. But here, it won't really hurt much. For this, I use a cable that has a USB-A because it fits the most scenarios (car, hotel hubs, some wall outlets, airplanes, trains, etc.). And further, it's got 3 different heads on it. USB-C, Micro USB, and Lightning. That means it can charge my phone, my power banks, my Kindle, and my partner's iPhone in a pinch. Won't help much with fast charging as it not the best at speed, but it works when it's needed. I once again use a fabric cable in this case. I've not found this one by Anker, so I'll link you to a similar one to the one I use (multi-pack, Hurrah!) and it has worked great for me. The exact brand of mine is no longer available (I believe Apple might have cracked down on Lightening connector usage) but you can start your research from there. Fabric cable, metal accents, should be good quality. I recommend the 1ft measurement since this is not a primary cable and it keeps it compact.
Best Travel Chargers In My Experience
Best Travel Charger Overall
This thing is awesome. This is a relatively new product and uses some great new tech inside of it - the Baseus 65w USB-C wall charger. It uses GaN Tech and this allows it to be more "smart" about the amount of power it puts in your devices. Also makes higher power possible at safer temps. This one has 2 USB-C outputs, and a USB-A that does quick charge. Put simply, this has a 45w USB-C output that will be enough to charge and power your USB-C 13 inch laptops. Say it with me now: "No. More. Power. Bricks." Because this has another USB-C out and USB-A out, it can charge your other devices as well. It feels great in your hand, not cheap, and at under 40 bucks you can't really beat it. This will cover your USB-C laptop, phones, iPads, etc. It's my favorite new tech this year. The shape of this plug also allows it to fit in many different small spaces in your bag/kit. Couple it with a single USB-C cable, and you can charge almost all the devices on this list (though one at a time, obvs). Totally worth it.
Best USB-C Travel Charger for Secondary Devices
Even though the Baseus mentioned above will cover you in most cases, you might need a second wall charger. Maybe for your partner. Maybe you have just one more device that needs charging (like your power bank). No problem - throw one of these guys in your kit. It's powerful (kicking out up to 30w which will charge many USB-C laptops, though at a slower rate), and most importantly it's wicked small. Can fit anywhere really. Beyond that, it's from a brand you can trust (Anker). It's the PowerPort Atom III Slim and also uses GaN tech for efficiency. It's also a great choice if you just need a SINGLE USB-C charger because you're a pro minimalist and you travel super light. Back pat yourself, Champ. Here also you can see a size comparison with the Baseus charger, as well as a Samsung Galaxy S9 for reference.
Favorite International Travel Adapter
Now ADAPTERS, are a different thing altogether. Traditionally, you'd get one that had a bunch of different pieces on it, and you changed them out for each country. Then, they designed some that kind of "transformed", and those were great (I had one myself for years) - but they were very bulky. Enter Aukey, another trusted brand for things like chargers and power banks. The Aukey Travel Adapter trims down the overall package A LOT. So now it doesn't need it's own case. Further, it's got most of the major plugs in it that you'd need across the world. It doesn't have GaN tech, but I expect in the next year or so you'll see these with GaN as well. The Aukey adapter has a USB-C output good for 18w fast charging, a standard USB-A port, AND two pass through US style plugs so you can put your regular plugs into that. Great little gadget, this. Again, the older versions of these were huge and couldn't fit into a compact tech kit. This can, or any other pocket really.
Favorite Power Banks For Travel
Favorite Large Power Bank For Travel
I changed this section to "favorites" because I'm not really qualified to call these the "best". Even if I'd rather be found on those keywords. A guys gotta think about his integrity, and these are a bit more technical than cables. So, these are my favorites, and what I currently use myself! For large needs, I'm talking 20,000mAh. I know, this probably sounds huge, but it's also a specialty item. This is the Aukey 20,000mAh Slimline power bank. I use this more so only if I'm out in the woods camping (Like when I was in NZ) and didn't want to take any chances. Or, if you're in some of the countries with crazy long train rides and such and want to ensure you are OK if the power is out. This is it for you. It's slim (for a 20K at least) and actually fits in my regular sized Bellory tech kit. It's got 3 USB-A, one USB-C, and even one Lightning port. Better yet, it's USB-C PD, which you can read about here in a previous Power Banks For Travel article I wrote.
Favorite Regular Power Bank for Travel
For this one, I'm switching brands up for a bit, but for no real reason other than either of these brands will give you something you'll be happy with. This is a 10,000mAh power bank, which I think is good for most people and what I'd recommend for travel and EDC. It's big enough to charge you up multiple times, but not big enough to really kill your space or be TOO heavy. I've got the Anker PowerCore Slim which is again a USB-C PD power bank. See the link above for more on that.
But, it charges itself fast, and charges electronics fast. And, it uses the same cables to charge as all my other devices so it syncs in with the family well.
Best Tech Accessory You Didn't Know You Needed
OK, maybe that should read "Wanted" instead, but this thing is awesome. It takes up virtually no space, and is wicked clever. Due to when I bought it, I've actually never needed to use it. But for the phone accessories alone it's worth it.
We're talking the KableCard adapter kit. It's simple, and well designed. But has a lot of usefulness about it. It's got a single USB-C to USB-C cable in it, a very short one. Then has adapters for USB-A, Lightning, and Micro USB. It's got a powered flashlight, a SIM ejector tool which is CLUTCH for INT travel from the US, a slot for 2 SIM cards (also clutch so you don't lose your home SIM) and even a space for an SD card. All in a package that's about the footprint of a credit card, with the thickness of about 5. Lastly, it even turns into a phone stand so you can watch vids on the plane. Awwwww.
There are some knock offs out there, but to my knowledge Card is the original brand, and the KableCard is their item. Get that one if you can and not the knock-off version to help fight that culture on Amazon.
Best Travel Tech Accessories Final Thoughts
That wraps up my list of the best travel tech accessories for the beginning of 2021. This entire list is made up of the items I take with me on nearly every trip (barring the international Adapter and the large power bank). I find them all really handy, but none of them get in my way nor do they weigh me down or anything like that. I've worked to slim down my needs in my travel tech kit, and only bring the real essentials.
Like I mentioned earlier there are going to be exceptions to this rule. You might need to bring more than this. And if so, hey no dramas, that's what you need. For most people however, I think they bring TOO many things. Use this for some ideas about how you can slim down and get better at wandering. A smaller kit is easier to take with you, easier to pack, and easier to take out of your bag. Usually, there's no need to over do it. Hopefully this gives you a kickstart in that process.
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