Clever gadgets can help  your travels go more smoothly. Clever gadgets can help  your travels go more smoothly.
Life Travel Inspect a gadget: Top traveller-tested gear Updated:

Inspect a gadget: Top traveller-tested gear

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Find room in your baggage allowance for these great travel companions that will help lighten your load.

Twist adapters

Most travellers will find they have at least three or four devices to charge at the end of each day, and sharing one clunky set of power adapters is the digital equivalent of having one bathroom – bound to cause squabbles.

Start-up OneAdaptr’s Kickstarter-funded Twist adapter is not only handsome and well-designed, it has two USB ports and one power plug, so you could juice up a phone, a camera and a tablet at the same time. Variations offer a MacBook plug and/or up to four USB ports.

The classic Twist World Adapter Duo is around $47, plus US$8 shipping (shipping is free if you spend over US$100 – they’re ideal Christmas gifts for tech-heavy travellers).

Gear and gadgets Twist adapter
Start-up OneAdaptr’s Kickstarter-funded Twist adapter.

Woolworths global roaming travel sim card

You’ll need an unlocked phone that’s less than five years old, but you’ll save a bundle on roaming charges with this $29 sim. Buy it at a Woolies store or online, then activate it and go online separately to add data, which is reasonable value at $50 for 3gb.

Give yourself about half an hour to set it up and test it. You get an English (+44 area code) number, so to call Australian and overseas numbers you’ll need to dial the country code first.

The only downside? You dial the number you want to speak to, then the phone calls you back with your number, like an incoming call. Once you’re used to this system it’s fine and only adds about three seconds to the process. It was easy to check and manage data usage and balances via the website, too.

Support was prompt, responding to an email within minutes of a query. And you can divert your Aussie mobile to this phone, too. Total cost for seven weeks of travel, $89.

Woolworths global roaming
You can save a bundle with a global roaming sim.

This app and website stores your itinerary in the cloud so you’ll never lose confirmations, reservations or flight details.

Most bookings and itineraries can be added by email, and it does handy things like show your hotel or restaurant on a map, give you a reminder on which terminal you’re flying out of, and prompt you when online check-in becomes available. You’ll even get alerts of flight delays.

You can also share your plans so family and friends can find you, too. There are free and premium memberships.

tripit travel site stores your itinerary in the cloud so you’ll never lose confirmations, reservations or flight details.

Hedgren bags

This Belgian label’s bags have clever hidden pockets, secure zipped compartments, comfortable straps, a two-year warranty and, best of all, many weigh under 30 grams, including some of brand’s backpacks.

Newer models have more style than some of their ancestors, and RIFD technology to stop your credit cards being skimmed.

Even small cross-body bags manage a phone, wallet, folding umbrella and water bottle. Man bags are available, too. Prices from around $120.

Hedgren bag
Hedgren bags offer clever hidden pockets and secure zipped compartments.