There are two sides to every vacation: the wondrous escape into an environment you’ve never encountered before, and the tumultuous planning and lead-up that precedes it. Whether you’re in for a long flight, train ride, or even just an Uber ride to the local airport, traveling can be an extremely strenuous process — and you don’t need to tell us twice just how much of a sour taste it can leave after a trip if things don’t go smoothly. And while these forms of transportation may try to accommodate us with a variety of entertainment options to take our mind off of just how long things are taking, that never quite manages to cut it, which is why we always seek out some superb travel gadgets to take along.
Thanks to all of the available modernized tech these days, there’s no need to endure all of travel’s ailing qualities without some additional accessories to assist us. Whether you need a good night’s sleep or a top-notch tablet, there are several trip-appropriate gizmos worth tacking on to your packing list. Looking to make life simpler for you as you get ready to go out and about, our guide to the 16 best travel gadgets to buy is sure to ease any sense of travel uncertainty.
There are few hardships as tumultuous as losing something you cherish in foreign territory. With that in mind, a Bluetooth tracker is a necessity when you’re traveling, and who better to trust than Tile? As the brand that started it all, its water-resistant Mate tracker boasts a 3-year battery that you can replace when needed, so it’s intended to keep your valuables in check for a number of your upcoming vacations, as well as once you get back home.
Twelve South Headphone Transmitter
Twelve South is a family-owned company in South Carolina that’s been manufacturing top-grade electronic accessories since its founding, and this handy Bluetooth transmitter is one of many examples. Whether you’re looking to connect your wireless buds to watch a movie on your flight or want to catch up on the news while working out at the hotel gym, this is a great gizmo to have on hand. Plus, thanks to its 20-hour battery life, you won’t need to worry about it dying before the plane lands.
Rowenta 1000-Watt Travel Size Iron
While you may be gearing up for the vacation of a lifetime, wrinkles don’t take days off. As a result, a travel-sized iron is a much better option than scouring Yelp for a local dry cleaner. Rowenta’s pristine and powerful 1,000-watt option is equipped with a 2-ounce water tank and is small enough to fit in practically any suitcase thanks to its foldable handle, ensuring that anyone on the road for business needn’t fret over wrinkles before they head into any big meetings.
Quip Electric Toothbrush
In a similar vein to wrinkles, hygiene upkeep most certainly doesn’t take a vacation just because you are. With that in mind, a smart toothbrush with seamless smartphone connectivity is the way to go. Maintaining oral hygiene is vital, and keeping track of just how long you’re brushing is made equally important thanks to Quip’s app that informs its users on their top-and-bottom row coverage and overall intensity. For those looking to have fresh breath throughout their trip and also make their dentist proud on their next visit, this is the way to go.
Anker PowerCore Portable Charger
Anker’s vast catalog of gadgets spans from projectors to magnetic charging stations to practically everything in between, but its PowerCore Portable Charger speaks for itself, your phone, and a couple of other devices too. It boasts a 26800mAh battery that can practically endure an entire vacation without dying, and even comes equipped with an additional pair of charging ports that are sure to assist anyone accompanying you on your trip.
Lacie Rugged Mini
You may have caught a glimpse of these ubiquitous hard drives at your local coffee shop or even on your favorite TV show — they’re just that popular, because they’re just so powerful. LaCie’s Rugged Mini is the ideal portable piece of technical gear thanks to its bolstered, shock-resistant exterior, 4′ of drop resistance, as well as dust and water resistance, allowing you to take this along with you across any terrain. On top of that, you can pack it up with movies, shows, and documents to peruse through your flight.
PhoneSoap Pro UV Smartphone Sanitizer
Seeing as you never know where your trip may take you, making sure your phone is well-kept and clean is an essential element of modern-day jet-setting. This UV Smartphone Sanitizer from PhoneSoap serves as far more than a unique, clinically-proven disinfector fit for any phone; it’s also a universal charger that is bound to come in handy for those who need a bit more battery life. Plus, it can sanitize anything that fits within its 4.5” high x 7” wide interior, be it credit cards, earbuds, or jewelry.
Sonos Roam SL Speaker
The newly-released Sonos Roam SL boasts an intricately-engineered pair of the audio manufacturer’s signature Class-H digital amplifiers, simple AirPlay connectivity, an ergonomic composition, and a countless number of other things that make it the perfect travel speaker. What sets it apart, though, is its IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating, ensuring that you can take it with you whether you’re basking oceanside at a beach resort or venturing through sand dunes. Measuring at just over 6.5″ tall and right under 4.5″ wide, it’s built to squeeze into any backpack or suitcase with ease.
While you may be accustomed to Bose headphones providing top-grade sound, these ironically look to diminish it, paving the way to provide users with a good night’s sleep. The revered audio manufacturer’s true-wireless SleepBuds feature clinically-proven soundscapes, immaculate noise-masking technology, and a great fit that’s guaranteed to stay in your ear while sleeping. Getting some shut-eye when you’re on vacation can be troublesome at times, and these come in handy for a hellacious flight or a restless night at the hotel.
Away The Carry-On
While we already touched on a pair of gadgets that can charge your phone on the go, none boast the state-of-the-art appeal as an electronic suitcase. Away’s The Carry-On may feature a rudimentary name, but the unique piece of luggage is far more than meets the eye, as it comes equipped with an ejectable USB charging port that is bound to come in clutch when you’re amid any lengthy flight delays. Not to mention, it’s lightweight, sleek, and sits on a quartet of 360-degree spinner wheels, making it an ideal carry-on for the average tech junkie.
Oura Smart Ring
Boasting all the intricate health details you get from a smartwatch and then some, this Smart Ring tracks your sleep and fitness, and has up to a week of battery life. Weighing less than 6 grams and composed of durable, lightweight titanium, the Oura is a seamless addition to anyone’s accessory assortment and also features easy user-friendly connectivity to Google Fit and Apple Health. Available in a quartet of sleek colors, accentuate your look and wardrobe with a piece of jewelry that provides some much-needed functionality.
Nintendo Switch OLED
Whether you’re an old-school gamer or an Animal Crossing enthusiast, there’s no shortage of fun to be had on the ultra-portable Nintendo Switch. With the Japanese giant’s newly-released OLED-equipped model hitting the market just last year, you can revel in its glorious 7″ display as you play anything from its vast array of nostalgic Virtual Console games to the latest Kirby platformer. Plus, if you’re traveling with a friend, there’s no need to worry about lacking an extra controller, making for a conveniently inclusive playing experience.
Astrohaus Freewrite Traveler Typewriter
For all the writers out there who can’t stand looking at their laptops anymore and aim for a more traditional experience, this is an incredible choice even if you don’t find yourself gearing up for vacation. Astrohaus’ unique gadget boasts a whopping four-week battery life and features an E Ink screen with no glare or blue light, shedding much of the strain our eyes endure on a common basis through constant smartphone usage. With enough space to hold well over one million pages of drafts, writer’s block is truly the only thing to fear when purchasing the Freewrite Traveler.
GoPro HERO10 Action Camera
If you need something to document your trip and the latest smartphone camera technology just isn’t quite cutting it, instill your faith in GoPro to provide the market’s optimized action camera. The S.F.-bred techies’ HERO10 is an incredible choice thanks to its use of the brand’s state-of-the-art GP2 engine, paving the way for rapid-fire performance and the frame-doubling abilities that result in the smoothest footage possible. Capable of shooting up to 5.3K videos and snapping 23MP photos, you’ll be able to relive your trip in a manner so crystal clear that you’ll forget it ever even came to a close.
Apple AirPods Max
There are countless wireless headphones to choose from, but Apple’s ergonomic offering takes the cake. This hi-fi option boasts a dynamic driver designed by the world-renowned gadgeteers and features immaculate noise-canceling capabilities that are bound to come in handy on any of those stressful and noisy flights you have booked. In addition to that, they are compatible with spatial audio and feature dynamic head tracking, allowing you to make the most of Apple Music’s ongoing work with Dolby Atmos en route to crafting an immersive listening experience.
Apple iPad Pro
It’s already more than likely that you’re traveling around with an iPhone in your pocket, so why not add to that with some more Apple gear? The Cupertino geniuses dominate the tablet game by all measures, and it hasn’t been close ever since Apple unveiled the very first iPad generation. The latest-and-greatest iPad Pro is powered by the brand’s almighty M1 Chip, resulting in lightning-fast speeds and otherworldly performance across the board. Round that out with a gorgeous near-13″ Liquid Retina display, a 12MP wide camera, and a long-lasting, all-day battery, and you’ve got yourself a portable entertainment and work center built to take on the world at your side.
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If you’re staying local but still want to get your hands on the finest pieces that the tech world has to offer, take a look at our comprehensive guide to the best gadgets on the market today.