I purchased several travel-related accessories with our Fall 2014 Italy trip in mind. I thought I’d share my finds and thoughts with you since I had a chance to use each item, some more than others. There are some tried and true favorites as well as some duds in the bunch.
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1. Italy Travel Guidebooks – I purchased two guidebooks and one Italian phrasebook for our trip. My husband, Don, and I both used each book on our Italian adventure. We weren’t at all impressed with the Lonely Planet Italian Phrasebook & Dictionary, which didn’t even have the proper way to say something as simple as “please” and “thank you.” We were equally unimpressed with the Lonely Planet Venice & The Venato guidebook, which wasn’t laid out well and had a slew of spelling and grammatical errors. We did, however, enjoy and get a lot of use out of Fodor’s Venice, which gave us some great tips and led us to all of the sites we most wanted to see.
2. Maps – I’ve been a big fan of Streetwise maps since college and knew well in advance that I’d pick a couple up for our trip. Both the Venice and Lake District maps came in super handy during our travels. I like that they are compact, laminated for durability, and easy to fold.
3. Anti-Theft Gear – Having traveled in Europe (and been pick-pocketed!) in our early twenties, we decided to play it smarter this time around and invest in some anti-theft gear. I purchased the PacSafe City Safe 350 GII Backpack as my day bag after researching online for the right fit. I knew I preferred a backpack to haul heavier items such as my dSLR camera and water, but I wanted it to be safe and not too bulky. The City Safe option fit the bill perfectly! The locking zipper and slash resistant fabric and straps provided total ease of mind. Plus, it includes an RFID protected pocket to block scanner thieves. We picked up an Eagle Creek RFID Blocker Hidden Pocket for Don, which was easy to loop onto his belt and secure either in his pocket or tucked into his pants. Don actually really liked this pocket wallet, which was lighter, safer, and easier to carry than his regular wallet.
4. Device Accessories – We had several long haul flights and a few train rides during our trip. We prepared by loading up our iPads with movies and shows to watch. The Skiva Powervault A2600 Portable Battery Pack was a great way to recharge our devices when outlets weren’t available. I think it’s important to protect our devices with cases, especially during travel. Our favorite iPad case is the Kensington Comercio Soft Folio Case & Stand, which wraps all the way around the iPad, protecting the corners, and works well as a stand.
5. Camera Packing Organizers – I went on the hunt for sleek yet effective camera packing organizers since I wasn’t bringing my fully padded Case Logic Backpack on this trip. The USA Gear FlexARMOR DSLR Day Holster Camera Case fit perfectly over my Canon T4i while keeping it protected in transit. I also picked up a small Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter eCube to pack my GoPro and related gear into. Both worked like a charm!
6. Gear Ties – These 3″ rubber coated heavy duty twist ties are perfect for keeping cords tidy and together. They are also available in other lengths. I love them!
7. Type L Plug Adapters – I didn’t have any Italy-compatible plug adapters in our stash at home, so I bought a bunch to take with us. I went with two kinds: the Celtics Grounded Universal Plug Adapter for Italy and the OREI Grounded Universal 2-in-1 Adapter Type L. Although it’s more expensive, I much preferred the OREI plug, which allowed for more than one thing to be plugged in it at a time and with a more secure fit than the Celtics adapters.
8. Camera Accessories – I decided to give the new selfie-stick trend a go on our trip and was honestly a bit apprehensive about walking around with my camera on an extender. Once we arrived in Venice, however, that was no longer a concern as so many others were carrying the same. They were even selling them on the street! I chose the XShot XSP2 Pocket Camera Extender on recommendation from one of my favorite YouTube channels, Sonia’s Travels. It’s lightweight, compact, and easy to screw your camera onto. I also purchased the GoPro Tripod Mounts so I could easily attach my GoPro to the extender.
9. Memory Cards & Case – I finally bought myself a memory card case after juggling those little plastic cases they come in for years. Now it’s so nice to have them all organized in one place, which is also convenient for travel. The Eco-Fused Memory Card Carrying Case is small and light with plenty of room for lots of memory cards of different shapes and sizes. I also supplemented my memory card collection with a new SanDisk Extreme 32GB Memory Card, which I use for both video and photographs in my vlogging and dSLR cameras, and an additional SanDisk Ultra 32GB microSDHC Card for my GoPro. I’ve used both kinds for years with no issues.
If you’re interested in more details about these items, check out my video:
I am still using and loving most of these finds and highly recommend them if you’re in the market for something similar. I’d love to know what travel accessories you use and love the most if you care to share!
Happy & Safe Travels 🙂
* Post contains affiliate links. All opinions are genuinely my own. *