Planning on studying abroad this spring? Whittling down your dorm, suite or apartment into a couple of suitcases is a bigger pain than JFK on Christmas Eve. To ease your troubles and help you stay compact, we’ve rounded up a selection of eight compact travel gadgets and knickknacks. Some are essential and some are just plain rad; throw them all on your holiday wish list and prepare for a well-equipped semester on the go.
1. Grid-It Pad
Between studying, traveling and keeping in touch, study abroad students juggle a lot of hats and a lot of electronics. Grab this efficient organization system from Grid-It and keep track of your gadgets with ease. It compactly stows a tablet, and the customizable grid allows you to optimize the system for your personal collection so you can protect those gadgets from being damaged, lost or stolen.
2. Neck pillow
Between train rides, hostels and crashing on a friend’s floor in the next country over, you won’t be sorry you packed a compact neck pillow. Save the neck craning for the Eiffel Tower, not the morning after.
Think fanny packs are out? Think again. Nothing’s cooler than keeping track of your passport, identification and money your whole journey through. The best way to do that is to keep them close. Sensible accessories aren’t just for your neurotic great uncle; Etsy has dozens of boutiques that sell money belts that don’t sacrifice style for safety.
With one of these bad boys, no matter where you are you’ll always be plugged in. Simple as that.
Students venturing to immersive programs in non-English-speaking host countries often have longings for their native language a few weeks in. Squelch your taste for the mother tongue by stocking up on e-books. They’ll give you a taste of home when you need it, and you can always download guide books for weekend adventures along the way.
You never know when you might get caught in the perfect storm. Don’t let it trip up your trip; cover up and plow through any plans with a compact poncho that folds into a neat carrying case.
If you’re an avid music listener, consider investing in a portable speaker. While you won’t be able to transport posters and decor from your dorm, there’s nothing like a favorite playlist to make a room feel your own. Go for pocket-sized portability like this iHome iHM60 Capsule or opt for killer quality like that of the Jawbone JAMBOX (pictured above). These speakers are sturdy and intuitive, and their wireless compatibility will have you switching between devices with ease.
Staying hydrated is bulky business, right? Wrong. The Vapur Element is a compact and durable water pouch that rolls up when it’s empty so you can squeeze it in the tightest of spots. Odor, taste and stain resistant, the Vapur Element will stay fresh no matter how long the wait between dish soaps.
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