These essential items will make travelling with your dog a pleasure

dog in car

More than ever, we’re taking our pets with us wherever we go, but travelling with animals isn’t easy. Thankfully, there is special gear to make it more comfortable for the both of you.

Here are some useful tools to take with you the next time you’re on the move with your pet. While most of these items are geared towards road-trip travel, a few of them are good no matter what your mode of transportation.

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Teamoy Week-Away Dog Travel Bag

Photo courtesy of Amazon

Keeping track of all of your dog supplies can be a big job when you’re travelling with your pet. This spacious bag with its multiple pockets lets you organize your food, water, clothes, blankets, toys and any other pet essentials you need when you’re away from home. It also comes with a lined food container to store a copious amount of kibble along with two collapsible silicone bowls that hold 12 ounces of food or water. It even comes with a foldable placemat to keep your pet’s feeding area clean. 

Five-star review: “I take my dog everywhere with me and often overnight to diff places so i was looking for a good bag to put all his stuff in. This bag is awesome! So many pockets, lots of space, and super sturdy. I would highly recommend. Great material!”

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Pet Union luxury car seat cover

dog back seat cover
Photo courtesy of Amazon

The easiest way to travel with a dog is by car, but they can be a mess when you have them riding in the back seat. Problem solved with this high-quality car seat cover that protects your car seats from hair, dandruff, mud and liquids with its 100% waterproof fabric. The best part is, the seat cover can be cleaned hassle-free with a vacuum or damp cloth. The high quality thick material ensures it will last through wear and tear and provides resistance from claws and nails. It even doubles as a hammock so that your dog can ride in comfort and style. It comes equipped with zipper seat belt openings and clips to headrests for easy and simple installation and removal. It measures 62″ by 56″.

Five-star review: “Can’t recommend this enough! Fits both my vehicles and installs in less then 1 min. Washes in the machine. Still let’s me use seatbelts for my dogs harness and gives him a better sense of security as his legs can slip off seat. Also keeps 100% of the dirt off my vehicle. Great quality. Next day delivery in a handy carrying case. Highly recommend this product!”

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Portable dog water bottle

dog water bottle
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Giving your dog water while you’re on the go has never been easier with these clever portable dog water bottles. Made from food grade, lead and BPA-free ABS material, the bottle has a capacity of 12oz/350ml that lets you give your pet a quick drink when he or she is thirsty. Designed to be operated with one hand, you can slake your dog’s thirst even while holding to a leash or another pet. 

Five-star review: “A super convenient way of bringing water for my pup on our adventures. I like that it locks so it won’t leak in my backpack. Easy for the dogs to drink out of. It’s the right size for my pug for a few hours out, but if you have a bigger dog or are going out for longer you’d probably want to bring another water source.”

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Wall plug adapters are a must-have item for your travel toolkit

wall chargers for electronics

Travellers these days pack a bunch of electronics with them wherever they go, but when they get to a country that uses different voltages or different plug styles from what they know back home, problems ensue.

Fortunately, chargers for most devices these days will work at either 110 or 220 volts, but if you’ve got the wrong plug for the socket in your hotel room, it feels like you’re trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. That’s where a power adapter comes in handy. They don’t convert voltages, but they allow you to plug your square peg into that round hole. Here are three highly-rated options for you to pack on your next trip:

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Flight 001 4-in-1 Travel Plug Adapter

Flight 001 4-in-1 adapter
Photo courtesy of Amazon

The Flight 001 4-in-1 Adapter is a set of colour-coded plugs that allows you to easily adapt your electronics to over 150 countries. This is the first product utilizing the JA/C READY Adapter system. The JA/C Ready Adapter System is a colour-coded world adapter system, that makes finding the right plug for your trip as simple as matching the colours. The 4-in-1 Adapter is packaged in a box that has the top 48 countries printed on the inside for easy reference. 

Five-star review: “Most plug adapters are one piece units with fiddly buttons that extend or retract the various plugs. They all seem pretty flimsy and don’t seem very safe. They also mostly flop around in a wall socket and are only really usable in an extension cord. Because this one has no moving parts it is safer and makes a more secure connection. In addition, you can take only the ones that you need and leave the others behind. While there are some that have individual plugs, they don’t fit together so nicely.”

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MIDDLE OF THE PACK

Maximal Power Universal Travel Adapter

Maximus power adapter
Photo courtesy of Amazon

You can’t go wrong with this universal travel adapter that includes three plugs for 150 countries. The plugs can be fit together into one piece to make them easier to carry. 

Five-star review: “I bought it in 2017 for a holiday, and to date I keep using it. it’s small so you can take it anywhere, it works super well, I’ve used it many times since and always ended up using it and sharing it with other people when their adapters for some reason did not work. If you plan to go on a trip and want something that works well and is practical I recommend it! ”

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Ceptics World Travel Dual USB Power Plug Adapter

Ceptics travel adapter
Photo courtesy of Amazon

Everything is built in with this travel adapter. It has one universal input that will accept plugs from any country, then there are three plugs for the wall side that can be popped out by using a slider on the side. One of the added selling points for this adapter is it includes 2 USB (2.4a) and one Type C USB port that lets you charge your mobile phones, iPhones, tablets, iPads, and other devices.

Five-star review: “They did exactly what they were supposed to do. We travelled to Portugal and Spain for 3 weeks. Didn’t fry any electronics at all. As long as you’re plugging in a charger that can take 100-240v then it’s perfect. I was worried because I thought I’d need a traditional converter but that’s in the past. Most chargers for cameras, tablets, phones, headphones have a built in converted. In fact, most of the current electronics plug into a USB charger which you plug into these things. The charger is the converted.”

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BYOB: Bring your own blanket when you travel

blanket in business class seat bed in airplane cabin

Now that the pandemic has turned all of us into germaphobes, the thought of using one of those airline blankets isn’t very appealing. The fact is that some airlines only washed them every five to 30 days and merely refolded them between flights. Yuck!

These days, many airlines aren’t even handing them out  so if you get chilly during your flight, you’re on your own. Thankfully, there are a number of good options for compact travel blankets that you can take with you when you fly. Fortunately, they are made small enough that they can be stowed easily into your carry-on bag. Here are some of the ones that I like:

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The Comfy

The Comfy
Handout photo via Amazon

ls it a blanket? A poncho? A hoodie? The Comfy is all of those things and, like its name suggests, it will keep you comfortable not only on flights, but in hotels, when you’re camping or even in your own home. It may not be the height of fashion, but would you rather look cool or be warm?

Five-star review:  “These things are amazing. super comfortable, super warm. they wash well and have been durable. we take them camping too. make a great pillow if you get warm in the night.”

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EverSnug Travel Blanket and Pillow

EverSnug travel blanket and pillow
Handout photo via Amazon

I like this blanket/pillow set because you can stuff the blanket into its pouch to turn it into a handy pillow or pull it out when you need to wrap yourself inside something warm. The blanket is quite large at 65″ x 40″ which is bigger than your average airline blanket which always seem to leave some part of you exposed.

Five-star review: “The EverSnug travel blanket is a decent size for one person only of average height and built. It is extremely lightweight and super soft and dries quickly when washed. It is easy to fold as the case is quite generous for the item. In addition to an elastic strap to the rear of the outer case, that slots easily over the extended handle of hand luggage, there is also a large clip that can be fastened to the handle where there is no extendable handle. The only exception is the description of this product as a ‘travel blanket AND pillow’ when it can only be used as one or the other, but not both simultaneously. As a pillow it is comfortable. I had no problems going through security with it at Gatwick Airport for a long haul flight.”

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World’s Best Cozy-Soft Microfleece Travel Blanket

travel blanket
Handout photo via Amazon

A good, inexpensive blanket doesn’t need to be a “cheap blanket.” This soft and cozy travel blanket is not only affordable, but will providesall the warmth and comfort you need. Lightweight and compact, the Texas-based manufacturer calls it “The World’s Best Microfleece Blanket.” Best of all, it doesn’t take up much room, leaving you plenty of room in your bags for books and souvenirs.

Five-star review: “I bring this blanket on every trip I go on. It’s a perfect size, warm and lightweight for travel. Especially on long flights, this is one of my essential items for quality sleep. It’s also easy to throw in the wash which is important too. The only thing that could make this product better is if it came with a carrying bag, but I just use a packing cube and that works fine too.”

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Spacious backpacks are the key to carry-on success

Passenger on plane with backpack suitcase

Most frequent flyers do everything they can to avoid having to check in their luggage, whether it be to avoid baggage fees or the risk of having their bags lost in transit.

Most airlines will allow passengers a free carry-on bag and a “personal” bag in the form of a purse or backpack. Savvy travellers know that that second backpack is the key to bringing everything they need. The average carry-on suitcase has about 45 litres in volume and some heavy-duty backpacks have pretty much the same amount of storage space, sometimes more.

If you’re ready to beef up your backpack, here are some five-star models to choose from:

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Osprey Packs Porter 46 Travel Pack

Osprey backpackThis is the backpack that I travel with and it’s amazing. It boasts an impressive 46L in storage space and at 22″x14″x11″, it meets the carry-on size restrictions for most airlines. Most backpacks this size only have shoulder straps, but this one also comes with a hipbelt and the straps are all stowable which means you can also handle the pack like a duffel bag. There’s also a special zip sleeve for stowing laptops that can be easily accessed by security. It’s hard to beat this bag’s versatility.

Five-star review:  “The Osprey Porter is THE BEST carry-on luggage/backpack you will ever buy. It holds a ton of clothes, accessories and is extremely well buit. As well, Osprey guarantees its product with a warranty to replace or fix any issues with the bag. This bag is great for anyone as it has shoulder suspension straps to keep the bag close to your shoulders and back for comfort. My only advice is to get a rain cover for it (not included) and if needed a shoulder strap (not included) if you want to carry like a gym bag.”

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Hynes Eagle 44L Carry on Backpack

Hynes backpackThis backpack is an excellent carry-on from a trusted brand that makes bags of superior quality. It will pass most airline carry-on requirements and it features a variety of cleverly-designed pockets and storage areas that make it supremely versatile for travellers. You can stow the shoulder and waist straps for easy storage in an overhead bin and it has a convenient strap that makes it easy to stack on top of a roller suitcase.

Five-star review: “I like everything about this bag. I recently travelled to Europe for three weeks and this bag was my luggage. We travelled with carry on only. This bag and a small back pack. Even full it was comfortable as a back pack. The material is very sturdy as are the zippers.”

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Inateck 40L Travel Backpack

Inateck backpackIf you carry a lot of tech when you travel, this roomy backpack is for you. In addition to its roomy main compartment, it also has two laptop compartment that can fit a 13” tablet and a 17” laptop respectively. While not as massive as the backpacks listed above, its 40-litre capacity will still leave you plenty of room to store your stuff on your next trip.

Five-star review: “If you know how to pack properly, this backpack/suitcase is all you need for a week away. It’s exactly what I was looking for.”

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Power up when you travel with this trio of perfect power banks

smartphones charging

We’ve become reliant on all sorts of portable electronics when we travel, whether it be smartphones, tablets, laptops or wireless earbuds, so when they run out of juice, we get cranky. That’s why portable power banks have become must-have accessories.

They come in a variety of sizes and charging capacities. In general, the larger they are, the more capacity they have which means you can replenish more devices with one power pack or revive one item, like your phone, more times before having to recharge the power pack itself. But that’s not the only consideration to think of when you’re picking a power pack. Other factors include the number and type of ports and the form factor.

If you’re in the market to upgrade your power pack, here are some highly-rated power models to consider before your next trip:

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Techsmarter 20,000 mAh Rugged & Waterproof Power Bank

Techsmarter 20,000mah Rugged & Waterproof 18W USB-C PD Port Power Bank.If you need something that can take a lot of abuse, this power bank is a great choice. It’s ruggedized and waterproof so it can withstand the rigours of travel with ease. It also has a hefty 20,000 mAh capacity meaning it can recharge the average smartphone about eight times and most tablets about three times. It’s also configured to connect not only to newer devices that use USB-C connections, but also to legacy devices running on USB.

Five-star review: “I bought this charger for a trip with my wife and I need a heavy duty well built quality power bank but one that charges fast with at least 18W output. I can tell you that this battery didn’t disappoint.”

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Xooparc 26,800 mAh Solar Battery Power Bank

Solar Charger,26800mAh Solar Battery Power Bank Portable Panel Charger with LEDs and 2 USB Output Ports External Battery Pack Having access to an electrical outlet to recharge your power bank isn’t always a sure thing. If you’re travelling anywhere that will take you off the grid, then this solar-powered battery pack from Xooparc will be a welcome choice. It is the best selling power bank on Amazon and for good reason. It has a massive 26,800 mAh capacity to recharge a smartphone multiple times and comes with two USB ports and a lightning port for Apple devices.

Five-star review: “What I like in particular about this power bank is its high capacity which is enough to charge your phone several times, but also its bonus solar charger, that lets you keep it topped up or helps it recharge in a pinch. Like most solar chargers, the speed it charges via the sun will be vastly slower than just plugging it into a wall, however if you are ever stranded in an emergency situation, you can rest assured that you will have enough juice in this guy to charge your phone, then you can just leave it in the sun for a couple hours to bump it back up.”

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Charmast 10,000 mAh Smallest Portable Charger

Charmast 10000 Smallest PD Portable Charger, 10400mAh Power Delivery & QC 3.0 Quick Charge External Battery Pack, Small Compact Power BankFor many travellers, space is at a premium, especially for those who are already packing a suitcase full of personal electronics. For them, this tiny power bank from Charmast is one of the smallest in the market. Even though it’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, it can still pack a 10,000 mAh charge which is enough to recharge your devices more than once.

Five-star review: “I needed a fast charger with more charging ports for all my gadgets. Being out a lot, this charger comes in really handy. The unit is super light weight. The quality of superb. It came with 2 wires. There is a light indicator to show how much battery is left. There is also an indicator to show quick charge is activated. It took me 2 1/2 hours to charge the power bank fully. The unit isn’t hot at all when charging 2 things at the same time. I definitely recommend getting a power bank with at least 2 charging ports. A friend liked it so much, she bought one too. A+++”

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