The 50 Best Travel Essentials - Security & Health

Wherever you’re off to on holiday, it always pays to be prepared. Jamie Merrill has a trailblazer’s guide to the summer’s top gear

Also in this article:

The 50 Best Travel Essentials - Gadgets

The 50 Best Travel Essentials - Luggage

The 50 Best Travel Essentials - Clothing

The 50 Best Travel Essentials - Extras

Pacsafe Retractasafe

“A standard padlock will only take you so far, but this device includes a compact retractable plastic coated cable, which means you can lock several bags together or to an object, preferably a heavy one,” say Tom Hall. “Agood example of when it comes in handy is if you are inter-railing. You can easily lock yourself and your companions’ bags to a luggage rail saving yourself, especiallywhen on a night train, the worry that someone is going to walk off with it.”

Where: Wiggle (


Hotels, hostels and resorts abroad don’t always have the same security and fire standards as here at home, so this little torch can be a life-saver. “It’s not just a torch but a smoke detector and panic alarm aswell,” says Michael Brook. “Designed originally as an alert system for backpackers it’s also great for the safety-conscious family and for £40 it might just save your life.”

Where: Flaresafe (

How much: £40

Magellan eXplorist 500

This hand-held GPS device can help prevent you from getting lost abroad. “The eXplorist range is built for off-road, trekking use rather than life on the dashboard, so strap it to your mountain bike or rucksack and it’ll guide you through the wilderness unharmed,” says Michael. Despite being handy enough to fit in your pocket, the eXplorist still features a colour screen and the ability to save routes and 500 locations in its internal memory.

Where: Amazon (

How much: £228.85

Pacsafe Pouchsafe 100

“One of the classic mistakes that travellers and tourists still make is to carry things that they really cannot afford to lose in their pockets,” warns Tom. “Yet for just over £10 this can carry your tickets, passport and credit cards safely under your clothing and out of sight. And for people heading off for extended periods of time or to more unusual parts of theworld this summer, losing their passports can be a real headache.” This model’s strap is reinforced with a slash-proof wire.

Where: Action Outdoors (01473 211647;

How much: £11.99

Boots Travel First-Aid Kit

Hopefully you won’t need one of these on holiday this summer but better safe than sorry. This family-sized first-aid kit from Boots includes everything you’ll need for minor first aid. It includes plenty of waterproof plasters that are essential if you don’t want that little cut or blister to stop you enjoying the sea. Complete with a compact zip-up case this is one essential you should definitely not forget to pack this summer.

Where: Boots (08456 090 055;

How much: £7.99

Pacsafe 85

Another security offering from Pacsafe, this cunning rucksack locking system uses lightweight high-tensile stainless-steel mesh, cable and a polycarbonate lock to create a virtually impregnable safety net around your bag. Pacsafe seems to have the travel and backpacking security market locked down, points out Tom.

Where: Ellis Brigham (0870 44 5555;

How much: £44.99

Dummy wallet

This unusual travel essential comes highly recommended by Simon. “The best thing about travelling is the freedom and adventure but many people forget to take precautions. I’m always sent credit-card offers for platinum cards with fake cards enclosed so I put them in an old decoy wallet with a little local currency and I’m very happy for any would-be robbers to take that. If you’re going to be robbed it is helpful to have something for them to take.”

Earplanes Flight Ear Protection

“These come highly recommended by hundreds of travellers that I have spoken to,” says Tom. “Your ears not equalising when you come in to land can mean a miserable start to your holiday and causes a great deal of discomfort for many. This device really makes a difference by constantly equalising for you.” It works by regulating air pressure with a special filter and reducing harsh noise. For ages 11 and over only.

Where: Boots (08456 090 055;

How much: £4.39

Click! Don’t Scratch

Promising insect-bite relief in minutes this gizmo uses a high voltage/ low-intensity current to dissipate bite or sting swelling. “It is a really simple way of dealing with bites and stopping the possibility of infections. A must have for the first-aid box,” recommends Tom. Good for up to 30,000 clicks, it is even safe for children.

Where: Responsible Travel Shop (www.responsibletravel.

How much: £5.50