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Travel Tips 6

Jonathan van Bilsen



August 4, 2023

Travel Tips 6

Over the past dozen or so years, I have mentioned travel tips, which I find makes travelling easier. Now, the pandemic is mostly behind us, and we are back in full swing of exploring the planet. I did a deep dive into some technology additions, we should consider as part of our travel paraphernalia.

I have noticed in the last 18 months, seats on planes have become smaller, and tickets more expensive. Many airlines have upgrades to aisle seats or bulkhead rows. These are well worth the investment. Depending on the destination, you may want to travel with a carry-on, instead of checked luggage. It is certainly easier when you are zipping from place to place.

Make sure you have all the information about baggage allowances from every carrier you plan to take. Rules vary, and I recall a trip I took to Iceland a few years ago. I had a legal size and weight carry-on and flew to New York. I went to board Icelandair, and their allowance was 5 Kg. less than the previous carrier. My options were to toss a number of belongings or not take the flight.

One of the best carry-on bags is made by a company called July. It has revolutionized packing for shorter trips. The interior storage system makes packing for a multiday trip a breeze. With a massive 50-lire capacity, there’s enough room in the bag to pack for up to a one week trip and features interior storage space for the likes of a laptop and more.

Staying entertained in the air can be a challenge, if the airline does not offer entertainment systems. This is especially the case on short flights. For me, that means downloading my favourite films and TV shows onto my phone and then streaming them while I am airborne. A pocket-sized phone mount is less than $20 and can be clamped on to the seat in front of you for comfortable, hands-free viewing.

Another issue of travelling is different voltage adapters and plugs. I have found the Saunorch adapter works in more than 150 countries. You get one USB-C port, three USB ports and one universal AC socket, which is enough power to charge up to five devices at once. I use it to charge my phone, laptop, portable charger and AirPods all at once, overnight. Few things beat waking up in the morning and finding all your devices are charged.

Another fantastic gizmo for travelling is the Twelve South AirFly. You simply pair your favourite Bluetooth headphones or earbuds, plug it into the plane’s audio jack, and you have sound without wires. How often have you stood to go to the restroom, only to find you are suddenly tangled in cables?

One item you should never leave home without, is an Apple AirTag. Nothing allows me to travel with peace of mind more than these simple devices. Before any trip, I place one in each of my bags, so if I become separated from my luggage, I simply look at my phone to find exactly where it is.

If you are heading out on a long flight, consider getting an Anker PowerCore Slim 10000. At just $40, it is the perfect solution for keeping all my devices, especially my phone, charged.  It carries enough power to charge my iPhone 12 one and a half times, and it is slim enough to slip into any purse or pocket.

Most of us purchase items while we are away, and this could lead to overloading your luggage. I am sure you have seen people on the floor at airports, rifling through their baggage, wondering what to leave behind. The Travelon MüV Digital Scale is tiny and accurate. It gives you the option of weighing your luggage any time you want.

If you have a set of AirPods, take them with you. They have great noise cancellation ability, which allows me to block out the chaos of any airport terminal, and they carry enough battery life to last me for most flights.

Need to carry liquids and gels? A set of six Cadence Capsules will do the trick. Not only are they effective in that they are leak-proof and magnetic, but they are also entirely customizable, so you can create your set exactly how you want. Mix and match colours and sizes to create your perfect combination.

Not everyone has the ability to travel business class, but utilizing lounge access is a game changer. Imagine having access to food, drinks, spa services, gyms and more, right at the airport, before any flight or during a layover.

I purchased my first Priority Pass Select membership about 30 years ago. It grants me access to more than 1,300 airport lounges around the world, and it can truly be a lifesaver. There are also credit cards that will give you a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership as a benefit of being a cardholder, but you can elect to purchase a membership outright, directly from the lounge network. Trust me, once you start accessing airport lounges, you will not want to go back.

Do not forget earplugs, hand and skin cream and a 100 ml bottle for drinking. Also, make sure you have a credit card case, which is lined, to prevent accidental transfer of data.

Travelling is fun, especially if you are prepared.

Jonathan van Bilsen’s photosNtravel TV show can be watched on RogersTV and YouTube. To follow Jonathan’s travel adventures visit

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