Best food travel gadgets

Travelling often means spontaneous meals out at great restaurants, or grabbing a quick bite on the go. But savvy travellers know that making a plan to eat and drink well while on a trip can make a long journey feel more comfortable.

Packing these gadgets in your carry-on or checked bag ensures your morning cup of coffee wakes you up right. Having the right equipment may also  allow you to have a relaxing cocktail in your room after a long day — without paying hotel markup.

Best gadgets for food travel

This article originally appeared in CityPalate Magazine.

Food travel gadgets – Govino Glassware

best food travel gadgets These glasses weigh nothing at all and are made from durable shatterproof plastic that looks like delicate glass; they’re the nicest plastic glasses you can buy. Stash two in your bag and stuff them with socks (economizing space in a suitcase is important) and you’ve got nice glassware for that bottle of local wine. These glasses are available in wine, champagne, beer or on-the-rocks shapes. They’re also dishwasher safe.
Available from Govino

Food travel gadgets – Handpresso Espresso Maker

If you’re in Paris, L.A., or Toronto, getting a good cup of coffee is easy enough. But camping in the desert in Joshua Tree National Park, visiting tiny Strathroy, Ontario, or waking up early for a flight when nothing is open may mean you have to forgo your favourite morning java.

There’s no fear of that, however, if you pack your handy Handpresso. This banana-sized gadget is small enough to fit in a carry-on, but powerful enough to press out a perfect espresso shot, with crema, in about 30 seconds. Load the small coffee basket with your favourite pre-ground espresso, then fill the small tank with boiling water (from a coffee maker, tea tap, microwave, or restaurant). Pump the Handpresso’s bicycle pump-like handle to the proper pressure, then release the trigger. Instantly, one perfect shot of espresso drips into your food travel gadgets
Available at MEC stores in Canada, or from Handpresso.

Food travel gadgets –  Porlex Manual Coffee Grinder

What good is a quality portable espresso-maker without freshly ground espresso? This manual ceramic burr grinder from Porlex has a removable handle that clips securely to the side of the grinder so it’s compact. Plus, its variety of settings lets you spin out anything from powdery Turkish coffee to a coarser French press-ready grind. Made in Japan, this grinder is durable and easy to stow.
See below for availability.

Food travel gadgets – Paper coffee solution

paper filter kantan portable thin travel best food travel gadgetsSometimes there’s just no room for even the smallest portable coffee maker. When space is at a premium and your bag needs to be light, slip a few of these Japanese-made Kantan Drip flat paper coffee filters in. They pop up and sit directly over your cup, allowing you to make an easy single serving of fresh brewed coffee. When they’re done, toss them in the garbage.

Food travel gadgets – Tea for Two to go

If tea is your thing, a nice cuppa is easy to brew on the go. These tea bottles from Hario allow you to make cold brew tea, which uses time, rather than boiling water to extract delicate flavours from tea leaves. Fill the bottle with fresh cold water, then let it steep for a few hours in the pretty wine-shaped bottle. It pours the cold brew tea with nary a leaf escaping.
Coffee grinder, paper pop-up filters, and tea bottles available at Eight Ounce Coffee Supply  

Food travel gadgets – Pack a Spice Hackpaper filter kantan portable thin travel best food travel gadgets

When it comes to staying at AirBnBs, home rentals or even resorts where the all-inclusive food might be lacklustre, the smart move is to bring some of your favourite spices. Often you’ll find salt and pepper in rental homes, but if your preferences are for bolder and more unique flavours, like those you’ll find in curry mixes, chili powders or za’atar, you’ll need to fend for yourself. Here’s how to cope:

Food travel gadgets – Simple Spice Jars

Get a small set or two of screw-together stacking containers (Lee Valley has inexpensive ones), and fill them with spices. The containers are secure and hold enough to get you through a week. Stick on small labels or use a Sharpie or dry-erase marker to note what’s inside.
Stacking mini jars are available at Lee Valley stores and

Food travel gadgets – Grind your own spices easily

paper filter kantan portable thin travel best food travel gadgetsYou can go one step further and employ the spice trick that’s insanely popular in Asia; mini ceramic burr spice-grinders. Three of these lipstick-sized tubes can hold fresh pink peppercorns, cumin or sesame seeds, or gourmet pepper flakes, allowing you to spice up your food, whether you’re dining out or cooking in your short-term rental. Spices grind into the lid, where they’re held securely until you need them.
Mini spice grinders available at Eight Ounce Coffee Supply 

Food travel gadgets – Charcuterie to go

Sometimes it’s nice not to have to cook, but maybe you don’t want to eat out for the fifth meal in a row. If you’re in a big city, a stop at a local deli will provide everything you need for a delicious charcuterie supper, with your favourite (or exotic) meats, salamis and cheeses.

If you’ve packed some supplies, this is an easy spread to lay out in a hotel room, or even by a campfire. A roll-up cutting board like the inexpensive Norpro ones we found on will give you a clean place to spread out and cut into your nibbles.

Pair the board with a melamine cheese knife, also by Norpro, or even a set of mini steel cheese knives (knives must go in your checked bag, of course), and you can enjoy dinner with ease.
Available at

Food travel gadgets – A Sharp Knife

If you’ve ever rented an AirBnB or a VRBO home, you know they’re sometimes well-stocked. But there’s one thing that will drive a home chef nuts —  there’s never a good, sharp knife.

Bringing along your favourite chef’s knife will guarantee you’ll be able to prep food with ease. Just be sure to wrap it in a proper sheath and put it in your checked bag.

Check out the gorgeous knives at Knifewear, where you can also get slip-on safety covers, or even fine leather or canvas knife bags if you’re really serious about your knives.
Knives from

This article originally appeared, written by Erin,  in CityPalate Magazine.


  1. JP on May 20, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Hey, what about corkscrew? (Though for international travel it has to be one without the little knife.)

    I also find a plastic spork (Light My Fire) handy for international travel.

    • erinL on May 22, 2017 at 7:48 pm

      Great suggestions JP!