9 Must-Have Gadgets to Make Your Next Trip a Breeze
9 Must-Have Gadgets to Make Your Next Trip a Breeze - Stay Charged on the Go with a Portable Battery Pack
Having your devices die when you need them most is one of the most frustrating things that can happen during travel. Whether you're using your phone for navigation, looking up information on your tablet, or trying to work on your laptop, you rely on these gadgets to stay connected and productive on the go. That's why a portable battery pack is an absolute must-have for frequent travelers.
With a good quality portable charger, you can avoid the dreaded low battery warning and keep your devices powered up and ready to use no matter where you roam. I always carry a pocket-sized 10,000 mAh battery pack which can charge my phone from 0 to 100% up to 5 times. That's enough to keep me going for days without needing an outlet. Some packs even have built-in AC outlets so you can charge laptops and high-power devices. The Anker PowerCore+ Mini is a great compact option that can give most phones 2-3 full charges.
Having a battery pack is especially essential if you'll be on long flights, buses, or trains where outlets aren't readily available. There's nothing worse than having your phone or tablet die mid-trip when you need it most. And you never know when you might get stranded somewhere without power and need to conserve battery. With a charger pack, you'll have peace of mind knowing you can keep your devices powered up as long as necessary.
Advanced portable chargers now even have solar panels so you can recharge the battery itself via sunlight. This allows for unlimited off-grid charging as long as the sun is shining. Popular solar battery packs like the BigBlue 28W Solar Charger can be hung on your backpack during the day, then used to charge devices at night.
Some key features to look for are high capacity (10,000 mAh+), multiple USB ports so you can charge more than one device at once, and fast charging capabilities which allow you to power up your phone much quicker. Premium battery packs from brands like Anker and RAVPower offer these specs at reasonable prices.
What else is in this post?
- 9 Must-Have Gadgets to Make Your Next Trip a Breeze - Stay Charged on the Go with a Portable Battery Pack
- 9 Must-Have Gadgets to Make Your Next Trip a Breeze - Capture Memorable Moments with a Pocket-Sized Camera
- 9 Must-Have Gadgets to Make Your Next Trip a Breeze - Listen to Tunes and Podcasts with Wireless Earbuds
- 9 Must-Have Gadgets to Make Your Next Trip a Breeze - Protect Your Phone in Style with a Slim Case
- 9 Must-Have Gadgets to Make Your Next Trip a Breeze - Never Lose Your Stuff with a Bluetooth Tracker
- 9 Must-Have Gadgets to Make Your Next Trip a Breeze - Keep Germs at Bay with a Portable UV Sanitizer
- 9 Must-Have Gadgets to Make Your Next Trip a Breeze - Sleep Soundly Anywhere with a Comfy Travel Pillow
- 9 Must-Have Gadgets to Make Your Next Trip a Breeze - Find Your Way Around New Cities with a Pocket-Sized GPS
9 Must-Have Gadgets to Make Your Next Trip a Breeze - Capture Memorable Moments with a Pocket-Sized Camera
A picture is worth a thousand words, and when it comes to travel, photos are invaluable for capturing once-in-a-lifetime experiences to cherish for years to come. While your smartphone can take decent pics, nothing beats the image quality and versatility of a dedicated point-and-shoot camera, especially when you want to zoom in on vistas, capture crisp low-light scenes, or edit and print stunning large prints.
That's why carrying a pocket-sized camera is a must for any globe-trotting photographer. Top-of-the-line compacts like the Sony RX100 VII pack pro-level performance into a slim, jeans-friendly design. Despite being the size of a deck of cards, it has a 24-200mm zoom lens, state-of-the-art autofocus, and large 1-inch sensor for DSLR-quality results. This power gives you the creative flexibility to get stunning cityscapes from rooftops, sweeping landscape panoramas, and intimate street scenes.
Travel blogger Maria has raved about how the RX100 changed her travel photography: "I can just slip it into my purse or pocket and take it everywhere. The image quality blows my phone away, especially in low light situations like candlelit dinners or nighttime city streets. And the zoom range lets me capture so much more, from an entire cathedral facade up close to tiny details on wall carvings from afar."
For those on a budget, the Canon PowerShot ELPH 180 offers excellent image quality at a fraction of the price. It easily fits into any pocket or pouch, while still providing 20MP resolution, an 8x optical zoom, and built-in image stabilization. Jeremy carried this compact on his backpacking trip through Southeast Asia: "It was perfect for capturing the incredible sights and interactions with friendly locals. Having a dedicated camera made me focus on composing great shots rather than just snapping pics on my phone."
9 Must-Have Gadgets to Make Your Next Trip a Breeze - Listen to Tunes and Podcasts with Wireless Earbuds
One of the best parts of traveling is taking in new sights and sounds as you explore. But there's something to be said for having your own familiar tunes and voices along for the journey as well. That's where a pair of compact wireless earbuds comes in handy.
With a set of Bluetooth earbuds like the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2, you can privately listen to your favorite music, podcasts, audiobooks and more no matter where your travels take you. These earbuds are barely noticeable when worn, and their IPX5 waterproof rating means you don't have to worry about sweat or rain damaging them. The compact charging case delivers multiple charges on the go for up to 26 hours of total listening.
Travel vlogger Aileen raved about how wireless earbuds enhanced her experiences while backpacking through Europe: "I loved being able to zone out and listen to my Euro Pop playlist as I walked the streets of Paris, or relax with a podcast episode in the evening after a long day of sightseeing in Rome. The earbuds were so comfortable and portable that I could easily wear them for hours."
Business traveler Eric found wireless earbuds invaluable for long flights and layovers: "Having podcasts and audiobooks really saved me from boredom in-flight and while waiting around in airports. I could just pop the earbuds in and immerse myself in an audiobook, or catch up on my favorite podcasts to make the time fly by."
For parents like Susan, wireless earbuds make family road trips and flights much more pleasant: "I can listen to music or a podcast while keeping an ear out for my kids in the backseat. The earbuds allow me to enjoy some 'me time' even amidst the craziness of traveling with little ones."
Some key features to look for are a comfortable and secure fit, noise isolating design to block ambient sounds, good battery life of 5+ hours per charge, and easy controls so you can skip tracks, adjust volume, take calls and activate voice assistants without fumbling with buttons. Brands like Anker, Jabra and Jaybird offer quality wireless earbuds across a range of budgets.
9 Must-Have Gadgets to Make Your Next Trip a Breeze - Protect Your Phone in Style with a Slim Case
A smartphone is practically another appendage for many travelers, used for vital functions like navigation, information lookup, photos, and communication on the go. But all that travel puts your phone at serious risk for damage from drops, bumps, and spills. That's why investing in a slim, stylish case is a travel must-have to keep your phone safe while exploring.
Vlogger Janine used to forego a case for her iPhone and ended up paying the price: "I went caseless to show off my Rose Gold iPhone, but while hiking in the Andes I dropped it onto some sharp rocks and totally shattered the screen. After that nightmare, I vowed to never travel without a protective case!" Now Janine swears by the Totallee super thin iPhone case which adds minimal bulk yet prevents scratches and cracks in the event of a fall.
Frequent flyer Nick relies on his phone for boarding passes, travel info and entertainment while in transit, so he protects it with the Spigen Slim Armor Pro designed to withstand even nasty tumbles. "I've dropped my phone down airplane aisle stairs before, and the case prevented any damage at all. I need that peace of mind since I use my phone constantly while traveling." The textured sides provide extra grip as well.
For iPhone users prone to spills like travel vlogger Susan, the Lifeproof FRE provides waterproof, snowproof and dirtproof protection without adding noticeable size to the phone itself. "I'm a total klutz and have spilled drinks on my phone too many times to count. The FRE case saved my phone from water damage on a Costa Rica ziplining trip when I ended up submerged in a muddy pond!"
Android users rave about the slim yet protective offerings from Speck and Otterbox like the Speck Presidio Grip and Otterbox Symmetry. These provide great drop protection while adding minimal bulk to phones. Traveler Jeremy says "I love the stylish designs of the Speck cases, and the textured grips give me extra security when pulling my phone in and out of pockets while sightseeing."
9 Must-Have Gadgets to Make Your Next Trip a Breeze - Never Lose Your Stuff with a Bluetooth Tracker
Losing belongings during travel is a huge hassle that can ruin your vacation. Whether it's leaving your camera on the airport shuttle or having your backpack disappear from the hostel common room, nothing dampens your spirit faster than misplacing valuables on the road.
That's why having a Bluetooth tracker in your travel tech arsenal is a game-changer. These compact gadgets attach to your stuff and allow you to monitor their whereabouts from your smartphone. Leading options like the Tile Mate and Chipolo One Spot leverage crowdsourcing so that if your lost item comes within range of any user's Tile or Chipolo app, its most recent location pops up on your phone.
Jeremy used Tile trackers to keep tabs on his gear during a multi-country Europe trip: "I would stick the thin Tile Slims in my passport, backpack and coat pockets. Whenever I couldn't find something, I'd open the Tile app and instantly see its last known location on a map. It brought such peace of mind knowing I could easily locate my valuables anywhere in a new city or country."
The real-time tracking was a lifesaver for travel blogger Maria when her luggage got misplaced on a flight layover: "The airline insisted my bag never made it onto the connecting flight. But using my Tile tracker, I could see it was still at the airport we'd stopped at 6 hours away!Having that location confirmation made it so much easier to coordinate a courier to return my bag."
For travelers prone to leaving phones, keys or bags behind in Uber/Lyft rides or coffee shops, tracker notifications can be a big help. Susan explains: "I'm constantly leaving things behind in cars and cafes. With my Chipolo on my purse, whenever I accidentally leave it behind, my phone buzzes to alert me so I can immediately retrieve it or ask the driver to turn around." The Chipolo even has a button you can press to make your phone ring if you misplace it.
9 Must-Have Gadgets to Make Your Next Trip a Breeze - Keep Germs at Bay with a Portable UV Sanitizer
After touching germ-ridden surfaces all day during travel, it’s tough to feel truly clean even after washing your hands. That’s where having a portable UV sanitizer can give you some extra peace of mind. These compact gadgets harness the germ-killing power of UV-C light to disinfect your personal items.
Simply place an item like your phone, passport, glasses, wallet, keys or water bottle into the sanitizer, close the lid, and let the UV magic happen. In just a few minutes, the UV light breaks down the cellular structures and DNA of microbes, neutralizing up to 99.9% according to makers like PhoneSoap. This quickly kills bacteria, viruses, mold and other nasties without any chemicals.
After passing through filthy airport security trays and traveling on crowded trains, planes and buses while backpacking across southeast Asia, a UV sanitizer was a must for travel vlogger Aileen. “I’d sanitize all my stuff each night to give me a little more comfort after being surrounded by so many people and grimy surfaces all day long. It helped me stay healthy throughout months of non-stop travel.”
The PhoneSoap 3 especially came in handy for disinfecting her iPhone after using it in some questionable scenarios like grubby public restrooms. Business traveler Eric also swears by the PhoneSoap: “As someone who travels extensively for work, TSA bins worry me the most. I always use my PhoneSoap on my phone as soon as I get through airport security. My phone screen is pretty much attached to my face throughout flights, so it's crucial to get it clean.”
For travelers concerned about germs in hotel rooms, the larger PhoneSoap XL can disinfect frequently handled remote controls and other surfaces around your room in addition to smaller personal items. As an immunocompromised traveler, having this extra sanitizing power brought peace of mind to Maria during a multi-country Europe train trip. “I loved being able to quickly sanitize things like light switches, door handles, TV remotes and sink faucets that many different people touch before me in hotel rooms. It was so easy to just pop my personal items and other high-touch surfaces in the XL for a quick purification cycle each day.”
9 Must-Have Gadgets to Make Your Next Trip a Breeze - Sleep Soundly Anywhere with a Comfy Travel Pillow
Getting good rest is essential when you’re on the road, but it can be a major challenge sleeping upright on planes, trains and automobiles. An uncomfortable neck and back will leave you groggy and grumpy rather than refreshed and ready to seize the day in your destination. That's why a quality travel pillow is a road warrior's secret weapon for snoozing in transit.
The Trtl Travel Pillow wraps around your neck like a soft scarf, providing cozy, customizable support both sideways and forward. Its internal ribs eliminate the bobblehead effect of traditional u-shaped pillows. Vlogger Susan relied on her Trtl for survival during marathon travel days: “The Trtl was a lifesaver on my multi-leg journey from LA to Bangkok. I could finally fall asleep sitting up by molding it into the perfect position to support my head and neck. It packs down so small that I even use it as a cushion for my lower back when stuck in cramped seats.”
For travelers who prefer more traditional pillow styles, the Cabeau Evolution Cool is expertly engineered for superior head, neck and chin support thanks to its high-quality memory foam fill and velour exterior. The flat back remains stable against seat backs while the front contours to your curves. Digital nomad Chris has logged over 50,000 miles with his Evolution Cool: “This is hands-down the most comfortable travel pillow ever. The raised side lobes cradle my head perfectly. I can nod off within minutes of takeoff and wake up rested hours later.” It comes with a carrying pouch that doubles as an eye mask for blocking light.
If you need lumbar support in addition to a headrest, the Travelrest Ultimate has your back – literally. This 2-in-1 inflatable pillow includes built-in ergonomic back support along with a cushioned neck rest. The multifunctional design ensures perfect spinal alignment in any sleeping position. For travel writer Eric, the Travelrest is his economy class guardian angel: “My back would be in agony on long-haul flights without this pillow. It takes the pressure off my tailbone and lower back while also propping my neck at just the right angle. I can actually wake up without feeling like I slept crammed in a coffin!”
9 Must-Have Gadgets to Make Your Next Trip a Breeze - Find Your Way Around New Cities with a Pocket-Sized GPS
Navigating unfamiliar destinations is one of the most stressful parts of traveling. But fumbling with maps on your phone while toting luggage and dodging crowds is a nightmare. That’s why dedicated GPS units with large displays are a must for drivers and pedestrians alike when exploring new locales.
Leading the pocket GPS pack is the Garmin DriveSmart 55 GPS navigator. Despite being the size of a smartphone, its 5.5” touchscreen offers map views 4x larger than your mobile device. Travel blogger Janine raves “The big bright display lets me see turn lanes, exits and intersections clearly at a glance while driving rental cars abroad. I don’t have to zoom and pan like on my iPhone. And it mounts right on the windshield for easy viewing.”
The real-time traffic feature helps you avoid delays. When visiting congested cities, Jeff found the DriveSmart 55 invaluable: “It rerouted me around Accidents and jams in Rome and Barcelona to save so much time and frustration. I just let it guide me on the fastest route possible wherever I wanted to go.” Offline maps and lifetime updates are included too.
For navigating urban centers on foot, the Garmin eTrex Touch 35 is a backpack-friendly pick. The scratch-resistant glove-friendly screen makes it easy to reference maps while you walk. Digital nomad Chris relied on his eTrex while trekking through Asian metropolises: “Trying to navigate the chaotic streets of Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore was incredibly disorienting until I started using the eTrex. It gave me confidence I could always find my destination. And the long battery life meant I could run it all day as I explored.”
Key features that make GPS units so useful for travelers include pre-loaded maps so you can navigate without cell service, glare-resistant displays readable in sunlight, rugged waterproof designs to withstand the elements, and long battery life since you can’t always charge on the go.