Whether you’re planning to spend a semester abroad in Spain, a long weekend in Amsterdam, or an entire summer traveling around Europe with your friends, don’t start packing your bags without making sure you have some of these essential travel accessories and gadgets. Take it from someone who lived in Europe for 4 years; these travel accessories are perfect for a any adventure!
1. Tile Slim BlueTooth Tracker, $35
If you're traveling to Europe, beware of pickpockets! Although Europe is relatively safe, it’s a major hub for petty crimes, like pickpocketing. In fact, eight out of the top ten cities in the world with the highest chance of pickpocketing (especially for tourists) are major European cities, such as Madrid, Barcelona, and Rome. Luckily, there are some awesome bluetooth tracking devices out there that can safeguard you from pickpockets. The Tile Slim is one of the most popular up and coming tracking devices. The Tile Slim is made so you can easily attach it to your phone, keys, luggage, computer, or whatever it is you're worried about getting stolen. How does the Tile Slim work? You simply attach the Tile to an item and it will then be trackable from the Tile app. If your item is stolen, you can activate a loud beeping sound from the Tile - even if your phone is off. If you still can’t find your Tiled item, use the Tile app to see its last known location on a map. This can help the authorities track your phone or stolen luggage in a new place. The Tile Slim sizes in at a mere width of two stacked credit cards. For advice on how not to get pickpocketed in Europe, read this post.
2. Portable Wine Bottle Opener, $12.95
After living in Europe for four years, this is the greatest piece of advice I can give you: bring a wine bottle opener everywhere you go! Nothing is worse than having delicious wine, but not being able to drink it. Imagine you're sitting in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, unpacking a spontaneous picnic you just picked up at a street-side market. You unwrap the brie cheese, rip the baguette into small pieces, and reach for the bottle of pinot noir …. SHIT, no wine bottle opener. Avoid this horrible situation by bringing a portable wine bottle opener that abides by airport security regulations, like the one above.
Throughout your European travels, it is inevitable that you will find yourself in places without outlets when you need them. Competition for charging outlets is high in hostels and airports; therefore, you may want to invest in a portable USB charger for your electronics. The WakaWaka Power+ is an innovative solar-powered light that lasts up to 150 hours and has a USB charger that can charge your phone in an hour - perfect for camping, traveling or commuting! This charger is made out of 100% recycled plastic, plus for each WakaWaka Power+ sold, one is donated to a family living without access to electricity.
4. Portable Luggage Scale, $8.99
Avoid the hefty, overweight bag fees on European budget airlines such as Ryanair and EasyJet by bringing along a small luggage scale. This way you can stay a step ahead of the sneaky airline companies who will try and squeeze every penny out of your pocket; in fact, an overweight bag can cost you up to $100 dollars on many budget airlines in Europe. Click here to read a ranking and review of the popular budget airlines in order to know what traps to look out for on your next European vacation.
5. Quick Dry Towel, $9.95
If you are staying in hostels, camping, or spending time at the beach, these quick dry towels are a must! Not everywhere offers free towel service (many hostels rent towels, but not all), so having your own is a smart idea. The last thing any traveler wants to smell during or even after a vacation is the stench of mildew from packing a wet towel in his or her suitcase. All the more reason to get a quick dry towel before your trip.
Every country in the European Union must have safe drinking water according to E.U. law, which means there is no need to buy plastic water bottles on your trip! The brand S'well makes awesome reusable water bottles with beautiful designs. The reusable water bottles are stainless steel, non-toxic, and BPA free. These water bottles are double-coated to keep liquids cold for 24 hours or hot for 12. They’re the perfect size for any adventure!
7. Sustainable Sukie Travel Journals, $16.95
Every traveler needs somewhere to record their adventures. Sukie has beautiful vintage-inspired travel notebooks with pockets and 184 pages made from 100% recycled paper. These journals are perfect for travellers, backpackers, and gap year students.
Prynt Pocket turns your iPhone into a portable, instant camera that can print any photo from your phone anytime, anywhere. These printable photos are perfect for a night out on the town and as gifts for friends you make along your journey across Europe. Prynt Pocket even lets you apply filters, adjust the lighting, and add text to your photos before printing them!
9. Multi Adaptor, $13.99
You will want to buy a good quality adaptor for your electronics in order not to damage them. Getting a universal adapter plug will cover you for almost every country you’ll find yourself in (within or outside of Europe).
10. A Flask, $18
Beer may be cheap across Europe, but mixed drinks can be costly - especially in night clubs. Buying a portable flask can save you a lot of money on a night out. Often times, nightclubs lure you in with cheap or free entrance, but once you get inside the drinks can range from €10 to€20.
The European airlines can be sticklers about the size of your carry-on, so it's well worth your money to get a small suitcase. Americantourister.co.uk is a great website to find bags within airline regulations. You can even search specific airlines to find suitcases that are within the carry-on size measurements determined by each company.
12. Fish Eye Lens for Your Smartphone, $12
Step up your photo game with a fisheye lens smartphone attachment. Give your smartphone pictures a 180 degree view with this easy-to-use fisheye lens that will set your photos apart from everyone else's.
With such strict airline regulations, packing less is certainly more. In order to minimize the amount of clothes you have to pack, invest in some portable laundry sheets. These Travel Fresh soap sheets make it possible for you to wash your clothes in a hotel sink or bathtub. Traveling with laundry soap is bulky and messy. These soap sheets dissolve in water, and each compact has 50 biodegradable sheets.