In case you hadn't worked it out yet, I hate lugging shit around when I travel. I took a tiny suitcase to Europe and, while people kept asking 'is this all the luggage you have?', I bitched about having packed too much. While everyone's idea of handy differs, these are definitely some things I would not leave home without.
International USB Adapter
These things are fantastic. Before, I've taken clunky power adapters with me when I travel but then I realised everything I need to charge uses a USB cable.
The beauty of this little gadget is that you can charge 4 things at once. I've either had to travel with multiple chargers before or make the decision of what device I needed to use most - the camera, the tablet, etc. On the down side, charging four devices takes four times as long. You get the same amount of power it just gets split (I'm sure there is a techie way to explain that but I have no idea). If I needed something charged urgently, I put on by itself otherwise just chucked everything on to charge while I slept.
Since I needed a Chinese adapter for in transit as well as a European one, I could pack the extra plug with not much extra bulk. Win!
I'll definitely be taking this guy along on all my future travels.
Power Pack/Battery Back Up
I don't know why I've waited so long to get one of these guys since I am one of those people who always has a flat battery on my phone. The one I bought was tiny, only giving the equivalent of one power recharge but that made it small enough to chuck in my tiny handbag. It has a built-in little cord thing with one of those trapezium shaped plugs that works with my phone and camera but I had to have my own cord for tablet charging.
Too damn handy.
Not something I'd normally pack since it seems a bit too hard-core backpacker but, after getting saturated in a rain storm, I really needed this guy. The one I got was in a tiny little triangle pack with one of those metal clips which meant double convenience because I could hang it off my handbag and use the clip for my umbrella on rainy days.
Before I headed off overseas, I swore I wouldn't hand wash knickers. I hate that shit. But, I got to Rome and it was either look for a Laundromat and waste a couple of hours to waste a few pairs of underwear or hand wash. I decided to hand wash then I rolled the knickers in my handy little chamois towel and stomped the fuck out of them. They ended up drier than they would've been out of the washing machine.
Just about everywhere I stayed in Italy had dodgy showers that leaked all over the bathroom floor. A few places, I only got a bath towel, not even a bath mat. This guy came in handy for moping up the floor after a shower.
Hot Chocolate Design Shoes
Probably not so essential for you're a guy but these shoes are the best. Forget about your Crocs and your Birkenstocks and other ugly shoes, these shoes rock and they're cute. I wore them about 90% of my holiday. I would've worn them but my feet were too swollen for the first few days.
Trust me, I have the worst feet for getting blisters and having shoes rub and hurt. I have stacks of shoes I never wear because they aren't comfortable. These shoes, despite their girlie appearance, are the most comfortable and practical shoes ever.
I got them absolutely saturated a few times and they dried off quickly. I got them filthy and mud-caked in Naples and thought they were wrecked but they cleaned up easily. They take up hardly any space in your luggage. You can squish them down so they are no bigger than a pair of thongs/flip-flops.
The best thing - wearing cute shoes makes you happier than any pair of ugly "comfort" shoes ever will.
The only negative is that, if you are walking all day, they don't give much arch support. I'd definitely pack them again but maybe throw in an inner sole.
Since I planned my entire travel wardrobe around red and light blue, the cherry ones worked a treat but I'm getting the ladybug design for my birthday next week. I can see a few more of these shoes in my future too.
I got the cherry ones from my awesome friend, Sharnee, but you can buy them in Aus from Pimpos (that's where I ordered my ladybug ones. They are also available on Amazon if you live elsewhere.
Note: totally unsponsored endorsement.. but I'd endorse the fuck out of these shoes for a free pair.
What not to pack?
Shapewear - For winter, it's good to give an extra layer of warmth but in summer it's a waste of space. I packed it because I had the wedding to go to. I really wished I'd just got an outfit that didn't need scaffolding underneath.