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The Gadgets, Apps and Websites I used for my Overseas Trip 

"Here are the travel gadgets, websites and apps that I purchased, used, downloaded and actually loved enough on my recent overseas trip to actually recommend them to you."

The prospect of going overseas (very nearly) broke my bank account and social media algorithm. On Instagram, I was served a carousel of advertisements for travel gadgets, currency conversion and knickknacks. Here’s what I purchased, downloaded and actually loved enough to recommend them to you:

Packing cubes

I had seen packing cubes used by various travel TikTok accounts. I then watched a YouTube video where they ranked expensive packing cubes all the way down to IKEA-brand packing cubes. I went online and bought a cheap set of grey packing cubes from Amazon. Dear Reader, I love them.

I assigned one cube to shorts, another to tops, another to jeans and bulkier items. I didn’t even glance at the measurements of the packing cubes when purchasing but they miraculously all fit together like travel Tetris in my suitcase.

Seeing as though I purchased the cheapest packing cubes on Amazon – the netting has torn and the zips aren’t great but I’m now a packing cube evangelist and will upgrade to a sturdier, more expensive set for my next trip. Or maybe just the IKEA ones.

Cross-body iPhone holder

I’d seen women in my neighbourhood walking their dogs with a cross body mobile phone holder. As an avid Instagram Stories taker (it’s my oeuvre!) – I knew I had to have one for walks in the Swiss Alps so I wasn’t constantly foraging in my backpack for my iPhone.

I found cross-body iPhone holder by Louve with a clear case and adjustable strap. I loved wearing it on the trip. I purchased the accessory with the expectation I would be using it for Instagram Stories but I really used it for Google Maps and trying to figure out the way from the train station to our Airbnb.


This isn’t really a gadget – it’s an app and website. Think of Depop as eBay’s younger, groovier sister. It’s a marketplace for second-hand clothes. The platform is very addictive and the interface is Pinterest-lite: a grid of pictures to like, archive, purchase and make offers.

What’s this got to do with travel? Well, it’s a leg up in curating an Instagram-worthy travel wardrobe that is versatile and ready to pack. Via Depop, I picked up a pair of Aegean-blue Adidas tracksuit pants for the flight. A cute as a button Sea by New York blouse for dinner in Rome. And a Dion Lee skirt-slash-shorts for an Appian Way bike tour. The clothes were all purchased at a steep discount and I love them, beyond my holiday.


Another app and website, Omio is the best for anyone looking for buses, trains and planes throughout Europe. The app is easy to use and lets you pay in your own currency.

Our party of three had some transit snafus. Google said there were hourly trains between Milan and Florence. True, except every train that day was booked and we had no way of getting to our destination. We ended up on a five-hour Flix bus where a fellow passenger introduced me to the Omio app. It was a dream. I quickly booked all our other travel legs through Omio, balancing preferences for cheapest and quickest.

Wise card

My Commonwealth Bank account charges AUD$1.79 fee for international transactions so I needed an alternative. For $10, Wise will let you set up an account and will send a neon green card plastic card. Funds can be transferred into your Wise card account and currency and rates can be selected. All the rates are competitive compared to Australian banks. The card requires activation with a purchase in your home country before departing.

While overseas, using the Wise card I was able to tap and pay for fizzy drinks, postcards, museum and gallery entry across Europe without worrying about picking up international transaction fees and poor currency conversion rates.

Belt and road

In the throes of my Instagram travel algorithm advertisements, I came across a kind of belt that clasps a carry-on tote to your suitcase’s upright handle. I showed the product to my work friends who weren’t as enthusiastic as I was. Just as I was leaving the house to go to the airport, I rummaged through a wire basket that stores assorted belts and found an op shop red elastic belt with a chintzy gold clasp that did the job perfectly. I used the belt to hold my canvas Uniqlo tote upright while zooming through airports and train stations. You can purchase a hyacinth-striped luggage belt from Cincha or raid your local Vinnies.

Apple AirTags

I had set aside time before departing to figure out how to use the Apple AirTags I had bought as Christmas presents for the family. It turned out this was the easiest task on my to-do list. Simply remove the plastic shield and the AirTag syncs with your phone. There was no other trick or sign-in or anything required.

While travelling I would receive push notifications when we left our hotel for the day – letting me know I was no longer with my luggage. Our bags, thankfully, weren’t lost or stolen. But the AirTags offered peace of mind.


Felicity Loughrey

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Tote bag with op shop belt holder. Photo credit Felicity Loughrey
Tote bag with op shop belt holder. Photo credit Felicity Loughrey
Monopoli beach in Italy, looking down. Photo credit Felicity Loughrey.
Monopoli beach in Italy, looking down. Photo credit Felicity Loughrey.
Monopoli beach, Italy. Photo credit Felicity Loughrey.
Monopoli beach, Italy. Photo credit Felicity Loughrey.

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