As an international correspondent for Business Insider, I traveled through more than a dozen countries during the last year.
For the trip I brought only a suitcase and a backpack, which I carefully packed (and repackaged) with everything I needed for the trip.
But during my first half year on the road I came across the same problem leaving a hotel room. Did I remember my extra-long USB-C cable? What about my headphones?
It's a terrible feeling, a heart-stopping wave of fear you've forgotten, but you can not remember what it is.
Before I left a hotel room, I packed my bag and listed everything I had. When I finished packing, I looked laboriously under each column, no matter how little time I spent there.
Inevitably, I would still leave things behind. Sometimes I packed something important into a new part of my suitcase and thought I had lost it.
The last straw was when I thought I had lost my universal travel adapter in Portugal. In the end I drove in the middle of the night to a Portuguese Best Buy and bought an overpriced Subpar adapter. I found the adapter I had lost two days later in the water bottle bag of my backpack. Shot.
When I was in New York for a month in September, I really wanted to find a solution. The people of LifeHacker had a genius: I needed a toiletry bag (or a dopp kit for the cool kids) for my technology.
The Idea About Patrick Lucas Austin by LifeHacker:
A Tech Dopp kit centralizes all the dongles, cables, and adapters you'll inevitably need on the go. It makes traveling easier, as you do not have to worry about losing anything when packing and unpacking in your hotel room or at the airport security line. Everything is included in the kit.
After searching for a suitable solution on Amazon, I squeezed the Bagsmart Double Layer Travel Organizer for $ 25. Brandt Ranj of the Insiders Picks team recommends TwelveSouth's BookBook caddy sack, but at $ 40 that was a bit steep for me.
As soon as the magical Christmas gift for me appeared in the post office, I loaded it up with all my tech Doodads that I'm usually on the road with. As a journalist and photographer, there was a lot.
Here's an overview of what I've got in it:
Needless to say, that's a lot of things to keep an eye on. Note that before buying the Bagsmart kit, all these items floated somewhere between my suitcase, my backpack, and Ziploc bags. No wonder things were out of place.
After two months of using a Tech Dopp kit, I can safely say it's the best thing I've packed on my trip.
If I have to start working now, I'll just pull it out and unplug the cables I need. When I enter a hotel room, I know exactly where to go to recharge my equipment. When I board a plane, I just grab the dopp kit and put my backpack in the luggage compartment. I've always put it in front of my seat in case I had to grab a cable.
My favorite part? When I leave a location – a hotel room, the aircraft cabin, etc. – I can unfold the Dopp kit and quickly inventory all my belongings. The Doppads are so full of Doodads that something is missing in an open space.
Two hours after I left a place, no more heart attacks. I'll look and find what I'm missing.