Travel Mini Series: How To Pack Your Electronics/Gadgets

Travel Mini Series: How To Pack Your Electronics/Gadgets

When it comes to packing, the category that gives me a headache is electronics. Back in the day, when we weren’t using mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, laptops, etc but just books and analog cameras, the most we had to worry about were AA batteries and travel adaptors. Now it’s cables, cables and more cables!

I’m an electronics junkie when it comes to travelling. I’m that cable chick. Even though I draw the line on bringing my laptop with me (I don’t have one of ‘em fancy and light Macbook Airs), I bring my iPad, sometimes a Kindle, phone, iPod, camera and Fitbit with me when I travel. This is on top of the beauty appliances I sometimes bring with me e.g. my flat iron (almost a non-negotiable. If you really know my hair, you’ll know that my flat iron is a must) and sometimes a hairdryer (if I’m not staying at a hotel or self-serviced apartment).

After a number of holidays overseas and interstate, I’ve finally learned how to pack my electronics properly without worrying about tangling cables and bringing one too many travel adaptors. If you’re like me and you gotta have your electronics with you when you travel, here are some tips for you that I’ve learned over the years.

Travel Mini Series: How To Pack Your Electronics/Gadgets

If you’re travelling overseas to a country where the power adaptors are different, don’t bother bringing 10 travel adaptors. Bring a maximum of two travel adaptors and a powerboard instead. Some hotel rooms have very little power points; all those extra adaptors aren’t going to work if there aren’t enough power points for you to use them on. If you’re not travelling alone, your travel partner will not only love you for it but you’ll be able to charge most of your devices on in one location, thus minimising the risk of forgetting to pack your charger home.

If you have iOS devices like an iPad, iPhone and an iPod and you bring those with you when you travel, instead of bringing 3 chargers, just bring one. Chances are you’ll be charging your phone daily but not your iPad nor iPod. When you leave your hotel room for a spot of sight-seeing, that’s a good time to charge your iPad/iPod. You can also get power adaptors that have USB ports that allow you to charge more than one device at a time. However, bear in mind that if you’re in countries that supply 110V instead of 240V, you’re not going to be able to charge your phone AND iPad at the same time. I learned this when I was in Japan and my iPad wouldn’t charge when I was also charging my phone at the same time.

Organising cables are a pain in the backside and when you have to detangle one micro USB cable from an Apple Lightning cable, headphones and goodness-knows-what-other-cables, you’ll need a system to organise them. A friend gave me a small Grid-It organiser and it was immensely useful. It does take up a bit of room but it organises cables, devices and anything you want really well. If such an organiser isn’t up your alley, try Nite Ize Gear Ties. They’re fantastic for keeping cables tidy. If you’re on a budget and would prefer a more DIY approach, use rubber bands, velcro strips or ribbons to keep them tangle-free.

Travel Mini Series: How To Pack Your Electronics/Gadgets

When you’re travelling, depending on the nature of your trip, you have to think hard on whether you really need to bring your flat iron, curling iron, hairdryer, Clarisonic, Baby Quasar, etc. Now I’ve already told you that a flat iron is a non-negotiable for me so I have no choice but to bring it with me when I travel. However, if my destination accommodations have hairdryers (I always check with them prior to the trip), then I won’t bring mine. It doesn’t matter if they have crappy hairdryers; as long as there’s one that can dry my hair, I can live for a few days with a lousy hairdryer. My flat iron is the only beauty appliance I’d bring with me when I’m travelling. A flat iron doesn’t just iron your hair; you can use it to curl your hair and you can even use it to do a quick iron of your clothes (if you need to. It works!).

Instead of throwing all of your chargers and cables into your luggage, I highly recommend packing them into a packing cell. I’ll elaborate on packing cells in my next post; it’s really useful in keeping all of your chargers and cables together. If you don’t have a packing cell, keep them in a cosmetic pouch instead. You can even use a ziplock bag if you want but I don’t really recommend it because the prongs of the chargers can poke through the plastic bag and damage your clothes.

I hope you find these tips useful. You could even consider cutting down on your electronics and just bring your phone for emergencies and a good book. I don’t think I’ll be doing that any time soon; I need my gadgets! Sonia from the popular travel channel on YouTube has a great video on how to pack cables and chargers. Do check it out!

Do you have any tips for packing electronics/gadgets for travelling?

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6 comments… add one
  1. Sue Low

    I also use the power board, but you should also check your charger voltages. Majority of them these days have a small transformer in them that allows you to use it at 110-240v, but if you have a charger that is only rated to 110v and you take it to a country that has 240v, you can kiss that item goodbye, I’ve seen one go “bang!” with a puff of smoke. Not so bad with 240v to 110v, you just wait a very, very, very long time for it to charge. Electric toothbrushes are an example where they do not support multi-voltages.
    Sue Low recently posted..How I keep my chickens coolMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Ah yes that’s a very good point that I failed to mention in the post! I’ve seen smoking powerboards and devices too. When I used to work with 110V and 240V appliances, we had to have large labels on each appliance with large letters saying “110V” so that we don’t connect to our 240V mains.
      Yeah, my iPad sure took a lot longer to charge in Japan. 😛

  2. Andrea @ Sublime Finds

    Genius idea brining a power board! I’ve been stuck with that before, waiting for things to charge to switch them over. Would much rather skip the whole thing! Curious – what’s made you run with kindle and iPad rather than kindle app on iPad? x
    Andrea @ Sublime Finds recently posted..Stylish at every age: Iris Apfel for kate spadeMy Profile

    1. Tine

      It’s easier to use a powerboard than bringing so many adaptors, especially if certain hotel rooms have very little power points to charge your devices. I once stayed at a hotel where their rooms only had ONE power point for the guest. Imagine trying to charge your phone, iPad, laptop, camera and so on for two people with just ONE power point! We ended up disconnecting the TV and mini bar. 😛

      I’m not a fan of reading on the iPad. The screen hurts my eyes even after just a few minutes. I have no problem viewing images; it’s just text that do my eyes in. I much prefer the Kindle with e-ink because the screen resembles as much as a physical book as possible. I can only read a maximum of 10 mins (full-on text) on the iPad but with the Kindle, I can read non-stop for hours on end.

  3. Jess @ Miss J. Shopaholic

    A power board is SO SMART!!!! Definitely doing that for my next trip 🙂
    Jess @ Miss J. Shopaholic recently posted..Hello and Quick Update!My Profile

    1. Tine

      Haha yes! But be aware of using powerboards in Japan especially if you want to charge two tablets or a tablet and a phone at the same time. Either one won’t charge or they will take AGES to charge.

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