7 Travel Gadgets to Make Your Next Trip Easier
Whether you find being away from home exhilarating or exhausting, the reality is that travel requires plenty of advance planning, especially if you’re going to be away from your regular routine for longer than a few days.
Some people are careful, meticulous packers, while others enjoy the adrenaline rush that comes with throwing a few necessities in a suitcase a few hours before their flight takes off. Whether you’re a planner or not, there are a few things that make being away from home a lot easier. Everyone has their own list of necessities, but then there are gadgets like these that have been vetted by top technology experts and make any trip easier.
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We looked at a whole selection of the newest gadgets before narrowing it down to our top seven favorites. These tools can be pricey, but the comfort that they’ll bring you when you’re away from home is immeasurable.
Anyone who has ever been on a plane, or on a hotel floor with a screaming baby will tell you that there’s no substitute for good noise-cancelling headphones. A great pair of noise-cancelling headphones can turn down the volume on even the noisiest situations, and allow you to substitute your own music, white noise, or even just silence.
There are a lot of different choices for excellent noise-cancelling headphones, whether you prefer an in-ear or over-ear model. For earbuds, the BeatsX are a popular choice, and can be purchased for around $90 on Amazon. However, if you’re looking for higher quality, the Bose QuietComfort 20 in-ear headphones reduce ambient noise by 45 dBs. If you want a sturdier, over-ear model, the Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II retails for $350. They’re light, sturdy, and wireless, have a great battery life, and come with Google Assistant built-in.
One of the worst things on a trip is finding yourself with a dead phone halfway through your day since it forces you to choose between returning to your hotel or struggling on without a phone. Although it’s tempting to go off the grid for a few hours, wandering around in a neighborhood or area that’s completely new to you without the ability to get help is foolhardy and can be dangerous.
For your next trip, pick up a USB battery charger, also called a power bank. Some of these chargers are smaller than a credit card but can give multiple full charges to a cell phone before needing to be charged again themselves. The Jackery Bolt has both micro-USB and Lightning connector cables, and only costs $30. Plus, it’s smaller than a bar of soap. If you want a bit more power, the Anker Powercore 20100 is heavier, but can charge a tablet and two iPhones.
Universal Plug Adapter
Although many people already have a universal plug adapter, we’re here to tell you that you probably don’t have the easiest or most convenient option available today. Most people purchase these at airports or from hotel convenience stores, and the options there are both sub-par and expensive. A great, easy to use universal plug adapter is a great investment, and at $16, the option we’re going to suggest to you can barely even qualifies as an investment.
The Bestek International Travel Worldwide Plug Adapter Set comes with eight different adapters which will accept almost any plug and fit into any outlet. Reviews celebrate Bestek’s ability to stay in any outlet as plugs that droop out of adapters can create a potentially dangerous situation. Bestek also uses three prongs instead of two, which is the safest and most versatile option for all your electronics.
Water Purifier Bottle
Regardless of where you’re traveling, consistent access to safe drinking water is a necessity. Carrying a refillable water bottle is a terrific way to make sure you don’t have to purchase multiple bottles of water per day and helps guarantee access when there’s no water to buy. If you ever go on excursions to places without potable drinking water, you should definitely invest in a refillable water bottle with a water purifier attachment. These water bottles use UV technology to purify drinking water almost instantly.
Although there are lots of different options, one of the best ones that we found was the $59.95 Grayl Ultralight Purifier, which is capable of filtering and purifying water that would otherwise be unsafe to drink. All you need to do is load water into the cup, put the top on, and press down like a French Press. Voila! Clean, filtered water in under 15 seconds! One filtration cartridge can purify water 300 times before it needs to be replaced.
If you’ve ever been mugged or had your possessions stolen, you know what a disheartening and frustrating experience it can be. Enter the Tile Bluetooth tracker, a little device that fits on to your luggage or sticks on to your laptop that can tell you exactly where your belongings are if they’re separated from you. You can attach it to anything valuable, including small things like a passport or even your child’s beloved stuffed animal.
If you can’t locate the object, you can press a button and if it’s within 100 feet of you, the Tile will play a tune to help you find it. If it’s not that close to you, logging on to the Tile app on your phone will tell you it’s last location. The Tile app allows you to connect to a network of other Tile users, who can help you search and retrieve your possessions. The Tile is even waterproof up to five feet deep for up to 30 minutes. A two-pack starts at $45.
Nothing is better for killing time in an airport, on a long train journey, or in a rainstorm than a good book.
One of the best ways to ensure that you always have your favorite books on your journey is to buy an eReader. Many of them come with handy features like Wi-Fi enabled browsing of online book stores and displays that allow you to read at night. Like paper books, they aren’t very water resistant, but you can purchase a case that should help if your eReader gets splashed with water.
Most critics agree that the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is the best all-around option. It has an eight-week battery life with normal use and provides a much more enjoyable reading experience than reading off a tablet or a phone. It retails for $120 on Amazon.
If you’re traveling away from home and want the flexibility to access the Internet wherever you are, a travel Wi-Fi hotspot is a great buy. For a relatively cheap initial cost, it allows you to access fast Wi-Fi 24/7 on up to five devices at a time.
The hotspot that most Internet-savvy travelers recommend is the Skyroam Global Hotspot. It only costs $80 to purchase and Wi-Fi access starts at $9 per day, which is cheaper than most basic roaming cell plans. It can also charge your gadget on the go, works with almost every device, and has 16+ hours of battery life.