Parenting Travel

8 Travel Accessories Every Traveler Must Have in 2020

Traveling is fun, but some accessories make it even better. While you should always try to travel light, you should also pack smart. The things you carry should increase your safety and add convenience. Traveling is more comfortable when you have the travel accessories with you. 

With all the technology and design advancements, there is no reason to undergo travel hardships in 2020. Here’s our top 8 travel accessories every traveler must have in 2020.

International power adapter

We love our gadgets, don’t we? However, devices are more than fun objects. We require the gadgets to show us our way and to increase our safety during our travels. It is disappointing and frustrating if we carry a charger to another country and we can’t plug it in. 

erson holding white USB cable

Different countries have different power rules and the sockets may vary. An international power adapter is a convenient accessory. It ensures that you can connect your gadgets to a power source wherever you are.

Travel door alarm

This one is a brilliant invention. When you travel and rent places to stay, there are always keys to other people. You do not know who can access your room using the keys. The locks may or may not be secure. Travel door alarms alert the occupant about an attempt to intrude. These help keep you safe in unknown destinations. They are inexpensive and compact, therefore easily portable. You can now sleep in peace anywhere. The alarm is placed around the doorknob and rings when someone tries to enter your room. Reassure your safety with these compact, portable travel door alarms.

Camera lens for phones/tablets

All of us love to take travel pictures. The clearer they are, the better. Some of us want to preserve the memories of what we see. Some of us love posting travel pictures on social media with hashtags.

black Android smartphone capturing blue flower

We want to share our travel experiences with family and friends. We want to show them evidence that we saw something or did something particular. The camera lenses for smartphones or tablets enable us to take quality pictures. We can go back home and show off the pictures. It provides you with ample opportunities to photograph what you love. You can get these printed and frame too.

Laundry soap sheets

In the past, we have had face wash sheets. There are additions to that line in the form of laundry, shaving and body wash versions. The most interesting one is the laundry soap sheet. Once you add this sheet to water, it dissolves and produces sufficient lather. You can wash your clothes anywhere. There is no need to carry extra clothes anymore. Pack a few clothes and tuck this sheet pack in. Your clothes will be clean and will smell fantastic anywhere, anytime. You never have to worry about smelly clothes or extra luggage anymore. 

Backpack with solar panels

These are great for travelers who love to go hiking or trekking. It is such an innovative and useful design. It is sheer genius. Once you have one of these, you can rest assured you won’t ever be caught outside with a low battery or a drained gadget. The solar panels are usually detachable. Travelers can charge multiple devices. As long as the sun shines, you will have a constant power source. You don’t have to worry about charging devices even in a remote place.

Smart carry-on suitcase

Some accessories are so amazing that you won’t believe unless you see them. A smart suitcase is one such ingenious accessory. It comes with an in-built GPS which helps you locate it. Never lose your luggage or look for it at the airport ever again. 

These also have a no-lift built-in scale. You can weight it through an app! No more struggling to weigh a heavy suitcase. Remote digital lock guarantees you peace of mind wherever you are. If all those features weren’t reasons enough to get this suitcase, it also allows you to charge your devices. If there was an award for an ideal suitcase, this is the one that would receive it.

Water bottle with a built-in pill organizer

This one ensures that you have no excuse whatsoever for being dehydrated or missing your medicines. Your medicines and water travel with you with this compact and sleek water bottle. It is not only functional but also looks uber-stylish. Taking your medications never looked this cool before. It might just remind you to take your pills on time. Never be dehydrated or miss your dose ever again. These are compact enough to be carried in a purse or a hoodie. 

Packing cubes

Take your packing to the next level with the packing cubes. You can save space in your bag and even pack more stuff. These help keep your things organized on your travels. Repacking at the end of your tour also becomes easier because of these. 

This is by no means a complete list of all the amazing new travel accessories out there. But, it gives you an idea of what is possible and what is out there. If you notice, most of these are multifunctional accessories. They cater to varied needs. This is the mantra for travel accessories in 2020. Multifunctional accessories ensure that you travel light but always travel right. 

photo of assorted items on wooden table

Choose the perfect accessories for yourself, pack and you are good to go. These travel accessories will guarantee a good time on your travels. Choose accessories wisely and have a great time. 

For the time after your travel, it is a great idea to get a  scratch off map of the world. This map allows you to scratch off places that you have visited. You can display it on the wall for your family and friends to see. This kind of map keeps the joy of traveling alive long after you have reached home. Use it to plan your next adventure!


Northwest Getaway Destination: Boise, Idaho

Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

I’ve traveled through much of the U.S. and some of Europe (the list of places yet to see is twice as long) and each place I go offers something to visitors that makes it worth the trip. I’ve only lived in five cities, however, and more than half of my life was spent in Boise, Idaho. Known across the country now thanks to a much more famous football team (Go Broncos!) when I first moved there in 1980 it was still a sleepy little small-town community.

While it’s grown considerably, almost tripling in size since I moved there as a child, the city has tried to maintain a small-town feel. Unless you’re stuck in traffic, you might think they succeeded. It’s an inviting place to visit.

Like a major artery that provides ongoing sustenance and life, the Boise River cuts through the city of Boise at its very center. Coursing through downtown Boise, the river is the heart of much that happens in Boise. Although the Boise River Festival – held for ten years from 1996 to 2006 – no longer occurs, the spirit of the Boise River remains constantly a vital part of the community.

The Boise State University campus is bordered on one side by the river, and a small walk-across the bridge takes visitors to the campus into Julia Davis Park, where the river invites exploration by paddle boat or canoe. Once the winter runoff has subsided each year, the river is full of people floating the river on rafts and tubes.

Across from Julia Davis Park and accessible through a simple walk or bike ride along the Boise Greenbelt – the miles of paved pathways that run alongside the Boise River – Ann Morrison park offers children a magical playground experience along the banks of the river. Many community events, including Art in the Park and the annual Greek Festival, are held at these two parks that straddle the river.

Several parks line the river.  At Julia Davis Park, you can rent paddle boats or canoes or wander through the Boise Zoo. During the summer, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival is held in a venue with views of the Boise River; the amphitheater is nestled in a habitat preserve where the audience is able to enjoy wildlife as well as distinguished performances.

Boise was a relatively small town 32 years ago when a small group of acting students from Boise State University decided to bring a bit of culture to the town by putting on a play on the lawn of the Main Street Bistro in 1977. The group – Michael Hoffman, Bill Copsey, Dan Peterson, and Stitch Marker – met while doing a stage presentation of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest at BSU, and history was made the night they opened their first public show and charged $3.50 a seat to put on a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

At the time, one could conceivably understand that Boise was starving for culture. For a capital city, it was not difficult to drive a few blocks and run into a working farm or a herd of cattle. The magic, however, was in the people who made it happen – all of whom are now long-term veterans of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival and responsible for its growth from a 300-person, one-night event to a venue with a $6 million dollar budget and plans to operate year-round once the indoor theatre on the river is completed.

In addition to their award-winning performances, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival is actively involved in outreach and provides opportunities for students in Idaho, Oregon, and around the country to be introduced to theater through the Idaho Theater for Youth program and were chosen by the National Endowment of the Arts as one of 35 theatre groups to provide education through the Shakespearience! program as part of the NEA’s new Shakespeare For a New Generation program.

There’s just something about the place: long, warm summers; crisp, cold winters; clean air, tall mountains, gorgeous views; springs that smell like an air freshener commercial; autumns cool enough to make the trees turn colors but warm enough to go trick-or-treat without a winter coat.

Living in Boise, Idaho was the last thing on my 9-year old mind when my dad came home from work and announced that he’d been transferred. Arriving in the middle of one of the worst winters on record didn’t help much, either. It wasn’t until spring that I even knew there were mountains, but growing up in Boise was fabulous.

My dad took us fishing along the Boise River, where we caught trout and had virtual feasts for dinner. We bought a boat and spent weekends at Lucky Peak, finding our own secluded camp spot up the reservoir.

For being a big city, Boise always had a small-town feel. People were still neighbors, often coming together to celebrate holidays, gather in front yards and talk, and watch each other’s kids. The biggest trouble we ever got into was staying out too late playing hide and seek or cops and robbers. It was idyllic.

I know Boise has grown. There are traffic problems and complaints about the infrastructure and everyone worries about droughts and the summer fire season. From the perspective of a kid, though, Boise was a pretty great place to grow up. Boise offers many things to visitors, and even more to residents: a small-community feel with the large city opportunity, a low cost of living and crime rate, a unique personality. Boise is a great place to visit or to live.

Photo credit: By Lordchadwick79 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Downtown Boise 2013

Let's Talk Travel

Travel Tips for Road-Tripping Families

Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

With three cross-country moves and a shorter move from Reno to Boise somewhere in the mix, our family is used to, if not good, at travel. This summer, we’re taking a 33-day road trip (34 if you count the last day, where we’ll be driving home from Toledo, Ohio back to Bath, New York).

There are advantages to road trips over cross country moves: This time, we don’t have to pack the whole house (or try and sell it!) and because one of us isn’t driving a moving truck and we actually get to be in the same vehicle, it’s a road trip we’re looking forward to.

In preparing for this trip, we learned a few things:

  • When you’re traveling by car and have limited space, plan ahead.
    • Take the empty suitcases, cooler, and other bags to the car to see whether or not everything will fit. We thought we would need a $400 rooftop carrier, but it turns out that by removing a seat in the van, we could fit everything inside – improving aerodynamics for better gas mileage and preserving that money for fuel costs.
    • Plan well in advance to be sure you’ll have all the medicines you need to last through the entire trip. It took us nearly a month to jump through hoops with doctors and insurance companies to obtain enough of our son’s seizure meds to last until we could get home.
  • Put a bin or box in a strategic spot and as you think of things you know you must have for travel, add them to it.
  • Half of what you think you need you won’t, and there will always be something you wish you’d brought. Be mentally flexible.
  • Bring that spare pair of glasses you replaced last year. The prescription might not be perfect, but it will be much better nothing if your glasses break.
  • Put together a 3-ring binder with printed maps to your destinations or bring a road atlas. You never know when you’ll need something more than a GPS to figure out where you are.
  • Even though it may take up precious space, don’t travel without a roadside kit that contains flares, chains, and a first-aid kit.

Share your travel tips with us! What do you do to ensure you’ll have a great trip?