by Sam Cliff
They say nothing can prepare you for India—but the Intelligent Pelican travel kit meant I was at least a little more capable of coping with whatever the country had to throw at me…
Managing content for The Gap Year Travel Guide means I spend a lot of my time reading travel blogs, researching travel trends, and generally dreaming of faraway places I’d like to visit.
India was one of them, and seeing as one of my friends was currently spending the year living in Bangalore, it seemed like it’d be rude not to, really. I and my friend Hannah planned a jam-packed two-week route that looked a little something like this:
Mumbai –> Goa –> Hampi –> Bangalore –> Pondicherry –> Bangalore –> Mumbai
Now I’m a typical over-packer, but this time I’d decided to be ruthless and abided by the golden travel rule of packing everything you want to take, then reducing it by half. No “back-up flip-flops”, no “emergency bikini”, no reserve bottle of moisturiser. But, one thing I didn’t cast aside when trying to assemble my life into 50 litres was the Intelligent Pelican Travel Kit I’d been sent to review.
This was such an impressively useful collection of items, I’m now not sure what I would have done without it.
The philosophy behind Intelligent Pelican is that it’s a pre-assembled travel kit of some of the essentials you’d need whilst travelling. Presented in a silk rip-stop drawstring bag are six individual items: a headtorch, a worldwide adaptor, a travel towel, an external charger, a silk sleeping bag liner, and a padlock and cable.
Let’s be honest, headtorches are never, ever going to be a fashionable accessory, but I can hand-on-heart say that this was so worth looking a like a Dr Who extra (I have photos to prove it, and no they won’t be uploaded —for the good of your eyes) and it came in use so many times over the two weeks: when we had to leave our beach-front hut in Goa at 5am, when fumbling around for my iPod on an overnight train to Bangalore, when the electricity cut out in our hotel (which happened regularly).
Super powerful and with two different ‘intensity’ settings, this meant I was never kept in the dark (sorry).
A bit of a beast, but it’s the only one you’ll ever need. This adaptor, can be, er, adapted, to whichever country you’re in. Just slide the tab to whichever direction you desire, plug in your appliance, and voilà—newly charged or powered electronics will soon be yours.
There are also two USB outlets, so for certain products with a detachable plug attachment you can just connect it straight through the USB.
This worked really well, although due to its size and the tendency for Indian plug sockets to be placed two-thirds of the way up a wall (why?), it does lean out of the socket—unless you manage to construct some kind of prop-up-tower to rest your phone on (recommended).
Less bulky and easier to dry than a regular towel, heavier duty and more absorbent than a sarong, travel towels are the best solution to the no-space-but-want-to-be-dry problem, and I, for one, am converted.
I cannot fault the IntelliPeli travel towel at all. It folded up super small, weighed virtually nothing, and was a much bigger size than a lot of other travel towels I’d seen. I’ll definitely pack this for future trips.
This was the one piece of the IntelliPeli kit that I actually didn’t use, although I did take it with me. I took the decision to take an old phone (due to me being a terrible klutz/cursed with bad luck wherever technology is concerned) whose charging port didn’t fit the newer attachments supplied with the charger.
I made sure it was fully charged before I left, however, just in case Hannah’s iPhone (which proved invaluable in the hands of someone less clumsy than myself) ran out of battery and we were nowhere near a working plug socket.
It also would have charged my iPod – but I was having too much fun to listen to it, and therefore I never actually needed to charge it.
If you’re travelling around and your mp3 player dies on a long bus journey, or your phone loses its charge and you’re en route to your next destination, this nifty appliance could be your new best friend (but do check that the attachment that you’ll need comes with the charger first). It is the heaviest piece of kit, and perhaps not as vital for short holidays, but I imagine this would be very useful for longer trips where you’re likely to be moving around a lot.
Silk sleeping bag liner
This silky little number saved me from bugs and dubious bedding on more than one occasion.
Silk folds up much smaller than cotton—this one rolls up to about the size of an apple—and is much lighter too.
If you’re a mosquito magnet like me (there are few things that terrify me more than the high-pitched ZZZZZZZZZZ of a lingering mosquito in the early hours), you’re in luck. The liner has been treated to protect you from bed bugs, mosquitoes, and other creepy crawlies for extra protection, as well as being anti-bacterial.
This kept me cool and comfortable, and also became a sort of extra security measure since I could tuck my handbag inside when sleeping on overnight transport.
Padlock and cable
I don’t have much luck with locks. I am unlocky. After having somehow broken no less than five combination padlocks the night before leaving for the airport (no I don’t know how either) rendering them redundant, I was needless to say pretty apprehensive about trying to set the code for my Intelligent Pelican lock and cable.
Luckily, it all went swimmingly, and it’s an item which I felt a lot more comfortable carrying. I used it mostly to attach my bags to the bars on trains and buses, but it also came in handy when killing time at our hostel by brushing up our escapology skills (binding ourselves up then trying to escape) (probably not recommended).
All in all, this was a fantastic travel kit that proved very useful for even a two-week trip, and it’ll be the first thing I think to pack for future adventures.
Thanks Intelligent Pelican!
This article was in partnership with Intelligent Pelican