You Need A Tech Dopp Kit

Your traditional "dopp" kit (or toiletry bag) is a useful travel companion. It's where you stick items like your toothbrush, comb, deodorant, or other grooming items essential for not looking like a slob.

Image credit: David Veksler/Flickr

You need a tech kit for your electronic devices as well. A tech dopp kit centralises all the dongles, cables, and adaptors 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.

What to Put in Your Tech Kit

Before you put a single thing in your tech kit, you should do an assessment of the devices you have, and what you might need them for. If you don't plan on giving any presentations on vacation, feel free to leave the Mini DisplayPort-to-HDMI adaptor at home. If you're bringing both an iPhone and iPad on your trip, you may want to include a pair of Lightning cables compatible with your battery pack and power adaptor.

Use a Toiletry Bag

Your tech dopp kit doesn't need to be filled with built-in cable organisers, multiple pouches, or elastic bands. A regular toiletry bag will do. You should opt for a water-resistant toiletry bag, just in case you're like me and tend to spill water on every electronic device in your backpack.

Long (and Short) USB Cables

Your tech kit should be where you put your USB cables. Instead of bringing that dinky 1m one, however, get some longer 2m cables. When you're be travelling, you'll inevitably be plugging into outlets that aren't in the most convenient locations.

The extra metre will really come in handy when the nearest outlet is halfway across the room. You should also include some really short USB cables for connecting devices to something like a laptop. You can find cables as short as 15cm in length.

Don't Forget the Velcro Ties

Need to organise your cables when you stick them in your kit? Attach and cut to size some Velcro ties you can use to keep that tangle of cables organised and out of the way.

USB-C (and USB-A) Adapters

Including USB-C and USB-A adaptors in your tech kit means that encountering brand new hardware won't stop you from charging or connecting to it with your USB-A cables. They're tiny, cheap and will boost the longevity of the cables you already own since you won't need to replace them.

Some models plug directly into your device and look like a flash drive with a female USB port. Others look like really short charging cables, giving you a bit more flexibility when positioning your cable or device.

If you opt to purchase the small, cord-free adaptors, you should stick those inside yet another bag, like a coin purse. No one likes rooting around for items the size of pocket change.

Battery Pack

Of course, you should include a battery pack in your tech kit (especially if you don't own one of those fancy battery-equipped suitcases). Which battery pack you include in your kit depends on what you'll be charging. Some include built-in Lightning or Micro-USB cables so you don't need to think about where you put your cable when you need to charge your phone. You can get USB-C-equipped battery packs as well if your tech is more current.

Bluetooth Tracker

You probably don't want to lose the bag holding the dongle and cables you need to stay connected and online. If you've got some room left in the bag, throw in a device like a Tile tracker to keep an eye on your bag. The company's newest trackers, Tile Pro, use Bluetooth LE to connect to your phone at a range of up to 60m. Lost your kit? Report your Tile as lost and other Tile users in the area will automatically find and report your kit's location to you.

2-Port Power Adaptor

A two-port power adaptor is recommended so you can charge without having to choose which device deserves some juice. Simply charge both your primary device (like your smartphone) as well as your portable battery pack. Everybody wins.


Comments

    I travel for work a lot and have had something like this for a while and it makes life more sane.

    I split mine into two. Stuff I need on the plane ( earphones, iPod, airline adapter etc ) and the rest. It means I carry two pouches but keeps it simple.

    I’d also recommend the power cube with a couple of built in USB ports. That way you can ditch the USB power adapters and plug multiple items in at the same time.

    1. A small organizer for SD / Micro SD / phone SIM cards.
    Travel overseas? Swap out your SIM card for a local one. Back up phone data, camera photos etc. to SD cards.
    2. Toothpick / office clip.
    Needed on many phones to pop out the tray holding SIM card.
    3. Pen.
    Fill out that visa card with hassling the flight attendant.

    Optional extras: Flashlight, USB backup drive, multi-port hub, magnet, magnifying lens, alcohol wipes for dirty contact points, screwdrivers. (Screwdrivers may be considered weapons, so keep them in checked luggage).
    If digital photography is important, add lint-free lens cleaners. You may even consider a whole extra bag purely for camera bits & pieces.

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