Must-Have Travel Gadgets and Accessories for 2016

There are certain things I never leave home without.  My list of must-haves changes a bit each year as I learn about new items on the market with other travel advisors and clients.  Here are a few of my favorites:

 Compression Travel Bags.  Honestly, these compression bags have changed my travel life.  I’m sure they have been around for years, but I am so grateful to have discovered them.  I bought Eagle Creek Pack-it Compression bags at REI for my trip to Peru.  These bags suck all the air out of your clothes and turns a suitcase of clothes into a small brick.  I had about 4 small bricks for each climate change of my trip.  It helped in organization and enabled me to take over a week’s worth of luggage in a small carry-on.  Crazy!  Now, I wouldn’t recommended taking your linen pants with you.  Otherwise, these bags are a game changer.

 Updated Passport.  Even if you don’t have international travel plans set in place, get your passport renewed.  Passports may soon be required for domestic travel in quite a few states, meaning the Department of State of will be deluged with passport applications and renewals from individuals who would never normally need a passport.  I would not have faith that the government will increase their productivity capabilities until after they are bogged down with increased processing delays.  Don’t get caught in that mess.  Renew your passport now.

 Battery Charger for Cell Phone.  Battery chargers aren’t new news, but they remain an absolute must for travels.  There is nothing worse than your phone’s battery dying right when you reach the best photo op of the day.  I find that I need to buy a new charger about every year.  Their power diminishes with use.  I also get the biggest charger available.  I just find those little batteries need recharging too often to make them useful.

 SPG American Express Credit Card.  Don’t leave home without it.  I transfer the points to the airline of my choice for free flights all the time.  The points can also be used for bargain stays at wonderful Starwood properties around the world.  Alternatively, the Venture Capital One card is excellent.  With excellent credit, you can earn two points for every $ spent.  The points can be used to offset any travel Dollars charged to the card.

 Tumi Luggage.  Tumi Luggage continues to sell some of the highest quality luggage on the market.  Their customer service is also very impressive.  I took my luggage to a local retailer to have a zipper repaired on a 20 year old piece of Tumi Luggage (it was still in excellent condition).  Instead of repairing the zipper, Tumi replaced the luggage!!  Tumi is well worth the high cost.  I agree the high cost is very high!  My trick has been to buy it on  If you aren’t familiar with this website, they have flash sales on clothing and home goods.  Every so often, they sell Tumi at 50% off or greater.  Buy a piece at a time.  You will be so happy.