It seems like every year another wave of tech products are released, continuing to make work and play – and travel, too – easier and more efficient. We love items that make traveling a breeze, so we’ve gathered some of the most useful gadgets for globetrotters and road-trippers alike. These products are all easily found at your local department store or on websites like Amazon.
Smartwatches remain one of the most versatile and useful items to have with you while traveling, and there are plenty of different brands and types to choose from. The Apple smartwatch, perhaps the most popular smartwatch available, acts as a mini smartphone on your wrist. Many apps have actions that you can complete on your watch without ever pulling out your phone, such as calling an Uber, checking the weather, or tracking your steps or other activities. Other brands, such as FitBit, focus more on health features such as step counts, BPM reading, sleep tracking, and more – however, they still offer many of the same convenience features as traditional smartwatches.
E-readers have always been popular with travelers; who doesn’t want to carry an entire library on a device that weighs less than a pound? For lengthy plane rides or bus transfers, e-readers remain a lifesaver for people looking for something to occupy their attention during downtime. E-readers make finding and downloading your favorite books, travel guides, newspapers, and magazines while on-the-go a breeze; you can even use e-readers to borrow items from your local library.
Headphones that block out sound are useful on planes, motorcoaches, and even in hotels; they allow you to nap in peace or listen to music, audiobooks, or podcasts without interruption. You can find noise-cancelling headphones in over-the-ear styles or as convenient and easy-to-pack earbuds.
A gadget rising in popularity since the release of the Apple AirTag is Bluetooth trackers, which are usually small keychains or sticky tags that are trackable from your Apple or Android smartphone and/or smartwatch. These devices can be attached to your luggage, purse, keys, wallet, or any item you don’t want to lose track of while moving from place to place. Increasingly, travelers have been using Bluetooth trackers to locate lost luggage with great success.
Are your cords constantly tangling with other items in your bag (or even each other)? Invest in a cord organizing pouch. These simple yet revolutionary compacts allow you to keep track of every cord and plug you own in one small, easy-to-access place. Say goodbye to rifling through your bags to find your charging cable in the middle of the airport.
Chronic over-packers might wish to try vacuum bags when packing clothes. Just a few of these bags compress your clothing into nearly-flat, easily-stowable packets to throw in your suitcase. We recommend buying bags with a hand-held or battery-operated pump so that you can easily re-seal bags without electricity while on the road.
A universal adapter is a necessity for people who travel abroad. Despite its name, note that not all universal adapters are truly “universal.” Always check what plug types your adapter can use to make sure that it will work at your destinations.
We have all experienced that moment of panic in the middle of a long day of touring when our phone is at 1% battery and we still have hours of picture-taking, texting, and map-using ahead. Having a dead phone battery is not only inconvenient but can also be a security risk if you are alone in an unfamiliar area. Invest in a portable charger to guarantee your phone’s battery will last all day long.
If you enjoy winding down with TV after a long day of travel, the Amazon Fire Stick is an easy and compact way to stay connected to your streaming services no matter where you are in the world. As long as you have Wi-Fi and a TV with an HDMI socket, the Amazon Fire Stick will give you access to all of your streaming services—including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Spotify, Apple Music, and more—anywhere you go.
Staying safe while traveling is critical, and personal alarms can help bring a sense of ease. Most feature a keychain-like design and simply require you to yank a pin or press a button, and the device then emits a loud siren. As a TSA-approved way to ensure peace of mind—and an easy, non-violent ways to secure your personal safety—a personal alarm is valuable for solo and group travelers alike.