- Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider
- In March I left New York to travel around the world as Business Insider’s international correspondent. Though I brought just a carry-on suitcase and a backpack, I packed it with everything I thought I’d need for the trip. I created a meticulous packing list.
- After returning home to reset and reflect, I realized there was one item I needed to pack that would make my next trip less stressful and more organized: an electronics travel organizer, often known as a Dopp kit.
- The kit works like your regular toiletries bag, but for your devices. I packed it with all my travel adapters, cables, chargers, devices, and accessories. After traveling with one for two months, I can call it the best travel purchase I’ve ever made.
But during my first six months on the road, I kept encountering the same problem when leaving a hotel room. Did I remember my extra-long USB-C cable? What about my headphones?
It’s an awful feeling, a heart-stopping surge of anxiety that you’ve forgotten something but just can’t remember what it is.
Before leaving a hotel room, I would pack my bag while listing everything I was supposed to have. When I was done packing, I would painstakingly look under every crevice, no matter how little time I had spent there.
Inevitably, I would still leave things behind. Or, sometimes, I would pack something important in a new part of my suitcase and think I had lost it.
The final straw was when I thought I lost my universal travel adapter in Portugal. I ended up driving in the middle of the night to a Portuguese Best Buy and purchasing an overpriced subpar adapter. I found the adapter I thought I had lost two days later in the water-bottle pocket of my backpack. Woof.
When I was home in New York for a month in September, I was determined to find a solution. The folks over at LifeHacker had a genius one: I needed a toiletry bag (or Dopp kit for the cool kids) for my technology.
The idea, via LifeHacker’s Patrick Lucas Austin:
“A tech dopp kit centralizes all the dongles, cables, and adapters you’ll inevitably need on the road. It makes travel easier, since you don’t have to worry about losing anything when packing and unpacking in your hotel room, or at the airport’s security line. It all goes in the kit.”
After searching on Amazon for a suitable solution, I pulled the trigger on the Bagsmart Double-Layer Travel Organizer for $25. Brandt Ranj on the Insider Picks team recommends TwelveSouth’s BookBook Caddysack, but at $40 that was a bit steep for me.
As soon as the magical Christmas gift to myself showed up in the mail, I loaded it up with all of my tech doodads that I usually travel with. As a journalist and a photographer, there were a lot.
Here’s the rundown of what I’ve got in there:
- OnePlus FastCharge Power Adaptor
- Lexar USB 3.0 Professional Dual Slot Card Reader
- CableMatters USB-C Multiport Adapter
- MacBook Pro Charging Brick
- Mini-USB Cable
- USB-C to USB-C Cable
- Macbook Pro USB-C Cable
- OnePlus USB-C Cable
- (2) mini OnePlus USB-C Cable
- Mini mini-USB Cable
- USB 3.0 Cable
- OnePlus 3.5mm headphone to USB-C Dongle
- ZMI USB Backup Battery
- Sandisk Extreme 2TB Portable External SSD Hard Drive
- Sandisk UltraPlus 64GB SD Card
- Sandisk MicroSD Adaptor
- Mini-USB Cable
- Old Apple headphones
- Cheap Sony headphones
- SICO Topaz (My backup smartphone in case my OnePlus 6T gets lost or stolen)
- Amazon Kindle
- 8BitDo Zero mini-controller
- Headphone splitter
- Case with all my traveling SIM cards
Needless to say, that’s a lot of stuff to keep track of. Mind you that before I purchased the Bagsmart kit, all of these items were floating around in my suitcase, backpack pockets, or Ziploc bags. No wonder things were getting misplaced.
After two months of using a tech travel organizer, I can confidently say it’s the best thing I’ve packed on my trip.
Now, whenever I need to start work, I just whip it out and pull out the cables I need. When I enter a hotel room, I know exactly where to go to get my devices charged. When I get on a plane, I just grab the kit and throw my backpack in the overhead compartment. I used to always put it in front of my seat in case I needed to grab a cable.
My favorite part? When I leave a place – a hotel room, the airplane cabin, etc. – I can flip the kit open and quickly take inventory. The kit is so loaded with doodads that if there’s an open space, it means something is missing.
No more heart attacks two hours after I leave a place. I look then and find what I’m missing.
- More tips from Business Insider’s international correspondent:
- I switched to Android after more than a decade with the iPhone, and I’m not going back. Here’s why.
- I use the same trick in any city I visit to make sure I find amazing food
- Couchsurfing has a hidden feature that helped me have the wildest night in Tokyo partying until sunrise
- I found out the hard way that one of the best strategies to save money on flights can end up costing you big time
- The single best piece of advice I can give you for any trip you take
- I’ve traveled to more than 30 countries, and here are the dumbest mistakes I made on the road that I’ll never make again