Tech

Top 10 Best Travel Gadgets

Traveling can be grueling, especially if you don’t have the right gadgets. Whether you’re rushing to the airport, stuck on a 10-hour flight,  passing time on a 5-hour layover or trying to enjoy your vacation, you’ll always need the right tech to keep you company. This list includes gadgets to help you in every situation so that your trip runs as smoothly as the cappuccino you’ll be sipping when you get to Paris.


1. A BlueSmart Carry-On Suitcase

This smart suitcase meets international carry-on size requirements, so you can put the tape measure away. It also has a built-in scale in case you’re worried about weight restrictions, and the durable, water-resistant outer shell should last. Those are the most mundane features of the BlueSmart suitcase, though. It connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone, and you can set it to remotely lock and alert you if you’re separated from your new favorite suitcase. You can use the digital lock via your smartphone, and it’s TSA-approved, so no one will go smashing through your case. If you’re ever separated on a more permanent basis (the airline loses it, you misplace it or it’s taken from you) you can use the built-in SIM to locate it via 3G and GPS, no subscription fee required.

The BlueSmart also comes with a built-in battery to charge your gadgets wherever you are. The 10,000 mAh battery will be plenty for your phone and your tablet, and the external USB ports make charging easy.


2. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones

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A man wears his Bose noise cancelling headphones in a crowded room. These headphones are especially useful during noisy air travel. (Bose)

No one wants to listen to that baby that won’t stop crying for all five hours of your red-eye flight. Not to mention the high-pitched screaming of the five-year-old five rows down, or the couple arguing loudly enough for the whole cabin to hear. These Bose noise-cancelling headphones will let you relax on your flight (or anywhere else) by cloaking you in complete silence. Plus, the Bose brand is synonymous with high-quality speakers, so your music (or audio book, or movie) will sound amazing. There’s an Apple and an Android version, so make sure you grab the right model.

The headphones come with their own cozy carrying case, a cable with a built-in remote, and an airline adapter. And yes, batteries are included for once.


3. A Headphone Splitter (and a Lightning Adapter for iPhone 7 users)

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Belkin’s 5-way RockStar headphone splitter allows up to five people to listen through one audio jack. This is ideal for travelling, especially with groups, and can be used with both Android and Apple products.

This is a must-have if you’re travelling with friends or family. Headphone splitters allow two (or more) people to share audio while still using their own separate headphones. No more borrowing an earbud from your friend and crouching forward to keep it from falling out of your ear.

The Belkin Rockstar model is a favorite (at 4.5 stars with 723 reviews on Amazon) because it’s durable and allows up to five people to listen through one headphone jack. It comes in seven colors, one of which featuring an all black chassis and the rest featuring a white chassis with various accent colors. The audio splitter also comes with an auxiliary cord.

If you have an iPhone 7, do not fear: there’s an adapter for that.

You can either opt for a simple, cheap lightning to auxiliary adapter, like this $6.90 one, or you can go the slightly more expensive (but ultimately more convenient) dual function route and get this $34.99 adapter that allows you to listen to music and charge your phone at the same time.

Either will do if all you want to do is plug your headphones (or your new headphone splitter) into your iPhone. However, if your phone needs to be charged and you want to continue listening to music, the dual function adapter would be more convenient. If you had a regular lightning to auxiliary adapter, you would have to stop listening in order to charge your phone.


4. A Kindle Oasis

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A Kindle Oasis, equipped with tapered design, handgrip, and page-turn buttons. The Oasis is thinner and lighter than any other Kindle, and includes an adjustable LED backlight, making it ideal for travel.

A regular Kindle is already a pretty handy travel companion, but a Kindle Oasis is even better.

According to Amazon, the Oasis is 20% lighter and 30% thinner than any other Kindle device. The device has a slightly different design than other models — it includes an ergonomic hand grip that “shifts the center of gravity to your palm,” Amazon says. The Oasis also rotates the page orientation according to your reading position, which is good news for lefties.

Amazon is also bringing back dedicated buttons for page turning rather than only relying on the touchscreen, though users can use either button or screen to flip the page.

The Oasis is also equipped with LED back lights that can be adjusted to your optimal brightness level, which is good for reading on the plane or in your tent.

Plus, you can read for even longer with the Oasis, since its battery lasts months while other Kindles last weeks, according to Amazon.

Overall, the Oasis has a lot of premium features that more basic Kindles lack: a back light, new ergonomic design and page rotation being the most impressive. It doesn’t hurt that the Oasis has an even longer battery life and feels light as a feather.


5. A MiFi Personal Wi-Fi Device

If you’re going anywhere with spotty or nonexistent Wi-Fi, or if you’re unsure, a Mi-Fi device can be a life-saver.

Verizon sells the Jetpack MiFi 6620L at a retail price of $199, or at $49 with a two-year contract. The device basically uses the same technology aa a cell phone to deliver a constant, stable Wi-Fi connection to up to 15 Wi-Fi enabled devices at a time. It also works in over 200 countries, Verizon specified, and comes with its own SIM card.

You can even use the Jetpack to charge other devices, and the battery lasts about 20 hours, according to Verizon.

The MiFi device is worth looking into even if you’re not traveling too far, and could be useful on long car or train rides in addition to replacing the shoddy hotel Wi-Fi during your trip.


6. 20,100mAh for All of Those Gadgets

The 20,100 mAh Anker PowerCore power bank is ideal for those who travel with a multitude of gadgets. The power bank has enough juice for all of your gadgets, and could charge a typical phone up to 7 times, according to Amazon. Plus, it includes PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technology, meaning it can charge your devices at the fastest speed while remaining safe for you and your devices.

The power bank can even charge a MacBook, and is one of the first power banks to untilize the USB-C charger’s reversible nature. The included USB-C cable should only be used to charge the device itself, though, according to Amazon.

Customers can expect to receive the high-capacity power bank, two USB-C cables, a travel pouch and an 18-month warranty for $59.99. Anker has a 4.5-star rating with 426 reviews so far, and cites “10 million+ happy customers.”


7. A Universal Travel Adapter With Extra Ports

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LOOP’s universal travel adapter includes two extra USB outputs in addition to a wall socket. The adapters are completely universal and compact, making them ideal for travel.

Travelling abroad can be a pain if you forget your travel adapter. If you aren’t in an airport, they can be hard to find, and without them you can’t charge any of your electronics. Luckily, there are universal adapters, so that even if you’re backpacking through all of Europe you won’t be without a usable adapter.

Models like this one, which include two extra USB ports in addition to a regular wall socket input, can be extremely useful while travelling. If you’re trying to charge multiple devices, it can cut down on space and costs, since you can charge up to three devices with just one adapter (two via USB ports, one via wall charger). The worldwide universal adapter comes in handy, especially from frequent travelers, and the retractable design saves space.

Plus, this LOOP travel adapter comes in several colors: black, blue, pink and white.

The space-saving LOOP universal travel adapter will set you back $18.95.


8. A Portable, Waterproof and Shockproof Bluetooth Speaker

A Bluetooth speaker may not be too useful on a plane ride, but it can be a invaluable travel companion.

Especially the waterproof, shockproof variety, like the UE Boom 2. This speaker is compact, wireless, waterproof and shockproof, so travelling with it should be a breeze. It might not go over too well in an airplane, train or car, but bringing music on your travels is a game-changer. Listening to music in your hotel room, on a hike, a walk, a picnic, or any number of outings can bring a piece of you into your new surroundings.

Even if you’re backpacking through the Alps, a durable speaker like the UE Boom will keep up with you. Whether it falls from a table or a tree, its shockproof nature will keep it up and running, and don’t worry about using it in the rain or the shower. You could even drop it into water by accident: the speaker is IPX-7 rated waterproof, and can stay submerged for up to 30 minutes in up to one meter of water, according to Amazon.

The speaker sets you back $164.99, and comes with a USB cable for charging.


9. A LifeStraw Bottle

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A man fills a LifeStraw bottle with water. The filter inside the bottle can be used to filter over 200 gallons of water, as opposed to a Brita filter’s 40 gallons.

A LifeStraw Go bottle can literally be a life-saver. The filter alone can be used for up to 264 gallons of water (as opposed to a Brita filter’s 40 gallons), and filters out 99.9999% of both waterborne bacteria and protozoan parasites, according to Amazon. It actually surpasses EPA standards for filtering E. Coli, Giardia, and other waterborne contaminants.

The Titan bottle can be reused indefinitely, according to Amazon, and houses the LifeStraw filter.

This means you can fill your bottle without fear from any tap, stream, pond or other body of water on the go without worrying about waterborne contaminants. The bottle is ideal for travel in general, depending on the reliability of the tap water at your destination, but is especially ideal for camping and hiking. The bottle is even leak-proof.

One LifeStraw Go water bottle will set you back $29.95.


10. TrackR, to Track Your Belongings

Don’t forget your wallet! Or your phone, or your backpack, or your multitude of cables and chargers, or your toiletries, or any of your souvenirs!

TrackR can help with that.

The item tracker can be used to locate phones, wallets, keys or anything else you’d like to attach a tracker to. You can open the TrackR app and tap a button to make your missing item ‘ring’ so that you can locate it, and if you lose your phone you can press the button on a TrackR device to make your phone ring (even if it’s on silent).

Plus, if you leave an item with a TrackR attached behind, your phone will alert you so that you don’t forget it. You can even share TrackR items so that friends or family can keep track of shared valuables, according to Amazon.

TrackR also has a pretty cool crowdsourcing feature. If you lose something and you’re outof Bluetooth range, you can still have a ray of hope: if another TrackR user comes within Bluetooth distance of your lost TrackR, its GPS location will update on your app so that you can find it wherever it may be.

A 4-pack of TrackR devices sets you back $79.99, and comes in four colors: black, silver, blue and orange.

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