The Four Items You Need For The Optimal Travel Charging Kit

Smart phones, tablets, cameras, laptops, watches—when you have a lot of gear, you need portable power sources that will do the trick, fast.

Of all the gear, luggage and products we recommend bringing on vacation, the top choice, without a doubt, is a set of packing cubes. Recently, though, a new contender to the No. 1 spot emerged, as the electronic organizer has proven itself to be the packing cube for gadgets, cables and cords, and any traveling professional knows that loose cables and cords can be disastrous in even the tidiest bags.

But now, if we're seriously ranking travel gear (don't worry, we're not), then we have reached a conundrum of chicken vs egg proportions: how is the electronic organizer more important than the gear it houses? We'll leave that for the scholars to debate, and simply focus on finding the best gear for filling those organizers, and for any working professional on the go or tech-savvy globetrotter, it begins with four very important items.

AUKEY Omnia USB C Charger
Your biggest devices shouldn't spend all day on the cord. | AUKEY

As popular electronics have evolved, so too have their charging cables, and some brands use different types of cables for their charging ports. For example, your brand-new MacBook Pro has a Thunderbolt/USB 4 port, for which you can only use a Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C cable. Slightly older MacBooks have Thunderbolt 3 ports, so they also use the same cables, and if you're traveling with one of these popular laptops, using it for work or play, you're going to need a portable wall charger that goes the distance and then some.

GaNFast's Aukey Omnia 100W USB-C charger is a critic's choice because it's one of the smallest and fastest wall chargers in the game. Best of all, it not only helps charge your MacBook faster, but it can do the same for your phone, AirPods or almost any other device, so long as you have the right cables. Need to charge two devices at once? Don't worry, there's a two-port version as well.

Baseus 65W Triple-Output charger
The ability to plug in multiple devices at once is not only convenient, but it also means packing less gear. | Baseus

Not every device, however, uses a USB-C cable or port, so it's important to find something a little more universal. The Baseus 65W Triple-Output charger, for example, noy only offers faster charging speeds, but also combines two USB-C ports—a Type C 1 for laptops and Type C 2 for phones—with one classic USB-A port. That means at any given moment you can have a MacBook or Dell XPS 13 charging at the same time as two smart phones or tablets, or really any other device that uses these ports.

CHEOTEC usb cables
A bad choice could lead to exposed wires and bad service after limited usage. | CHEOTEC

With two high-speed wall chargers that can handle at least several devices in your bag, it's time to focus on the little heroes: the cables. First, for your iPhone, you'll need a dependable USB-C cable (or multiple cables) with the lightning connector on one end for keeping your most important device fully juiced at all times.

So, what matters in a lightning cable? Above all else, and we cannot say this enough, prioritize bendability. Find cables that can handle the wrath of travel, or less dramatically constant usage by people of all ages (parents with young kids know exactly what I mean). Don't be fooled by cheap cables in multi-packs, when you can still find packs of two, three, or even five cables that will last years and not cost as much as your luggage.

AmazonBasics USB cables
The accessories that come with your devices are often very expensive to replace, so it pays to know your alternative options. | Amazon

One of the best pieces of advice we can offer for traveling with multiple devices and expensive gear is to look for secondary options that you won't lose sleep over should they be lost along the way. That goes for everything from tablets to lightning cables, but especially the latter, because the best of them are designed and built to take a beating.

Obviously, you should always take great care of your gear, but we can't control the crazy things that happen when we travel. What we can control, though, is the peace of mind that comes with great preparation.