Best Travel Gadgets
Boy, how vague is a guide like this? Well, whenever you are constructing a buying guide that is not centered on a particular product, you run the risk of everything being too vague. But, they can be the most fun, also, as you can look at several different types of travel gadgets.
And, in this case, the focus is on travel gadgets. Yet, what makes a good travel gadget? Well, whatever you buy should be equipped with technology that you find useful, portable enough to be easily carried, and reliable enough to not underperform when you need it the most.
Clearly, though, we will not touch on every worthwhile device out there as it is not necessary. Instead, this guide will educate you on the process it takes to buy the gadgets that you will get the most use out of.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 10.5 hrs of research
Comes in different colors
Designed with a massive capacity
It is certified safe for your devices
- ANKER POWERCORE
- MLVOC TRAVEL PILLOW
- MOUNTAIN BUGGY BAGRIDER
- HOOTOO TRAVEL ROUTER
- WT2 LANGUAGE TRANSLATOR
- ETEKCITY LUGGAGE SCALE
- INSTA360 ONE X
- VORNADO SF-717 STEAM IRON
- SNAPCHAT SPECTACLES
- MEMOBOTTLE A6
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top Travel Gadgets
1. ANKER POWERCORE
Comes in different colors
Designed with a massive capacity
It is certified safe for your devices
A few users have had longevity issues
In the modern world that is literally dominated by technology, it only makes sense for you to carry around a high-quality power bank with you during your travels. And, the PowerCore is one of the best.Read more
First off, the PowerCore is designed of both VoltageBoost and PowerIQ technologies and these allow it to deliver ultra-quick charges. Also, this is equipped with a safety system that will protect your devices when they are being charged.
In spite of the massive capacity, this actually only weighs 12.5 ounces, which is not bad at all.
Looking past the fact that this has a massive capacity of 20100 mAh, it also provides an industry-leading 4.8 amps of output power. So, you can count on quick charges all the time.
Even though this is really only designed to provide juice to your technology devices, it is versatile in the fact that it can be used with any device that needs charging via a USB port.
Sure, a few users here and there have commented on longevity issues that they have had here. But, overall, this is built to last with premium materials and a matte finish.
On the road, you may not have the means to charge all your devices. It just makes sense, then, that you would be looking to buy a high-quality solution (and this is it).
2. MLVOC TRAVEL PILLOW
The pillowcase is machine washable
Made from memory foam
The size and angle can be adjusted
Pretty small for users with larger necks
Okay, so it is a stretch to call this a gadget but it is an excellent travel item that we thought would make a strong addition to this list. After all, some of you will need neck support on the road in the form of a travel pillow.Read more
Due to the fact that this is covered with magnetic therapy cloth, it is able to provide sweat-resistant performance. Also, the filler of the memory foam does utilize specific technology to relieve the pain you have at certain pressure points.
To say that this was designed with portability in mind would be an understatement. After all, it comes with a travel bag and it also only weighs 0.6 pounds.
Some previous buyers have noted that for larger necks, this can be a little bit small. For everyone else, though, it will deliver optimal support and comfort for your neck.
What is really nice is the adjustable rope lock that has been added to this design. With it, you can adjust both the size and angle of this pillow to better fit your needs.
There is no need to worry about the quality of this neck pillow (granted you treat it with care). After all, it is made of highly durable and breathable memory foam.
Admittedly, this is not going to be needed by everyone. It is more for those of you who will be traveling for incredibly long distances on a somewhat regular basis.
3. MOUNTAIN BUGGY BAGRIDER
Designed with a five-point harness system
It is safety tested to hold 33 pounds
It is a multifunctional product
The inside is not that spacious
Does not roll well on rough surfaces
If you have children and need to travel with them but also need to account for your belongings, then this Bagrider from Mountain Buggy may be exactly what you need (as it combines the best of both worlds).Read more
Due to the fact that there are two sets of wheels integrated into this device, it can be maneuvered in different modes. However, the wheels themselves do not roll very well on rough and uneven surfaces.
This is meant to simplify the traveling process by combining a toddler’s traveling seat with a suitcase, essentially. As is, it is not light but it is optimized for portability.
Your child will remain safe in this thanks to the included five-point safety harness. In addition to this, there are adjustable straps for them. But, one slight flaw in this design is the manner in which the kickstand is integrated (as this limits the interior storage of the suitcase).
With just the simple twist of a button, this can convert from suitcase mode to traveling seat mode. Due to this, this is pretty much the epitome of versatile.
Thanks to the quality materials and craftsmanship that is on display here, this can hold children up to 33 pounds in weight.
Clearly, if you just need a portable suitcase than this may be a little over-the-top for you. But, if you need to minimize the amount of stuff you need to bring with you on your travels, this could be great.
4. HOOTOO TRAVEL ROUTER
It is incredibly lightweight and compact
Multifunctional in its design
Fairly easy to use
Not ideal as a primary router
It does not run via batteries
This is something you will either be appealed to or not. As obvious as that sounds, you may have no use for a travel router and if you do not, then you clearly will not be interested in a gadget such as this.Read more
Wrap this around your head; this is a travel router that can basically create a secure Wi-Fi network. Or, it can bridge an existing wireless network. But, it can’t just create a connection from nothing (you still need access to a wired network).
It is actually hard to believe how small this is (as it can easily fit into your pocket). But, something rather startling is the fact that this does not run off of batteries (and will need power elsewhere).
Overall, this is a simple yet effective device. As a home router, it would not be ideal due to the lack of functionality. Yet, on-the-go, it performs pretty darn well.
In addition to its use as a wireless router, this can be used as a hard drive to back up your media files. Oh, and it can also be used as a power bank to charge your smartphone.
Due to its small nature, you are not going to break this very easily. Then again, it is not advised to treat it like a toy.
More so than possibly any gadget on this list, this is utterly perfect for travel. This is thanks to its versatile nature and incredibly compact stature.
5. WT2 LANGUAGE TRANSLATOR
Backed by a one-year warranty
Sports auto voice detection
Designed with accuracy in mind
Not a versatile device
The earpieces could be more comfortable
Are you planning to take a trip to a different country and are worried about language barriers? If so, you may need to get yourself a language translator device like this one.Read more
Not only is this language translator designed with three different operating modes but it is also equipped with noise cancellation, 84 different accents, and over 30 different languages.
There are two pieces to this gadget, for the record. But, overall, collectively, this only weighs 14.2 ounces and is as compact as it gets.
Having two earpieces drastically improves the user experience. However, this has also been designed with support from Google and Microsoft to achieve a product that is right around 95 percent accuracy.
There is no need to sugarcoat it; this device is not versatile. There are two reasons for this. One, it is a translator only and, two, it can only be used with your smartphone.
Both the earpieces and the included carrying case are built extremely well. One reviewer even compared the earpieces to the quality you would see from Samsung and Google.
For appropriate traveling, this can really be a lifesaver. Although it is not a versatile device, it is small enough to not be a nuisance if you are looking to save as much space as possible.
6. ETEKCITY LUGGAGE SCALE
Very simple to use
Comes with a durable steel hook
Can help you avoid overweight fees
There is no backlight
Does not work that great for heavier luggage
One of the worst nightmares for people traveling via airlines is overweight fees. Well, completely eliminate that concern with this luggage scale from Etekcity (as it is accurate and well-designed).Read more
Not only can this measure items and luggage up to 100 pounds in weight but it can also check the temperature in both Fahrenheit and Celsius. Of course, the digital display is lacking a backlight (which is frustrating).
In addition to the fact that this is built to be as compact as possible, the user experience is also optimized for friendliness and convenience.
On a positive note, the high-accuracy sensor that is implemented performs its job pretty well. Yet, the bad news is this struggles to handle luggage over 50 pounds and it tends to eat through batteries.
Even though this is designed primarily for checking the weight and temperature of your luggage, it does allow you to convert between pounds and kilograms if you need to.
While this is not necessarily a tactical luggage scale, it does not need to be and it is designed of high-quality materials (such as the steel hook).
Even if you weigh your luggage before you go to the airport, you may come back with more than you came with. So, do yourself a favor and buy this high-quality, yet affordable luggage scale.
7. INSTA360 ONE X
Supports Wi-Fi transfer
Features FlowState technology
You can purchase the dual-battery dock
The battery life is not the best
The app has a somewhat clunky interface
Maybe you are looking to make a bit of a splash purchase for something a little more fun. If so, then the One X Action Camera may be what you have been looking for all along.Read more
In spite of the fact that the accompanying app could be improved, the One X supports high-speed Wi-Fi transferring and is also equipped with flow state stabilization (which accounts for camera shaking).
This is designed as being sleek and seamless and oh how accurate is that description. It will be an easy travel companion, let’s just say that.
For the size, the specs are mightily impressive here. This action camera can shoot in 50 frames per second (for smoother video) and can also capture high-quality photos. However, battery life is putrid.
If you buy the separate dual battery dock, it can combat the issue of the poor battery life. Additionally, this can also work with Matterport 3D.
While the main housing is fairly well-built, the lens is left unprotected and this can be a bit of a concern. As such, you will need to be cautious when operating this.
No, the One X is not a flawless action camera but it can provide you with hours of fun and excitement (granted you buy the battery dock to swap out batteries at will).
8. VORNADO SF-717 STEAM IRON
Backed by a two-year warranty
Only takes mere seconds to heat up
It can be powered via 100 or 240 volts
Water does tend to leak out of it
You may be traveling for a business trip, wedding, funeral, or any other likeminded even that requires you to wear nice articles of clothing. Why not tag along a portable steam iron to help with this?Read more
Due to the different temperature settings and the ultra-quick heat-up time, the SF-717 is ideal for touch-ups.
At less than one pound in total weight, this feels like a feather compared to other steam irons. Additionally, a travel bag is included with your purchase.
Now, the 420 watts of power packs quite a powerful punch for the size of this unit. Also, an anti-slip handle is integrated for improved handling. However, a common issue with this steam iron has been its tendency to leak water.
This design was really well thought-out and it shows with its dual-power design. It can work with 100 or 240 volts of power.
With its quality build, if you treat this with care then it is going to return the favor.
For the price and convenience of the SF-717, it is a great buy. The water leaking issues are concerning but it is also not as if this is going to be your go-to steam iron, anyway.
9. SNAPCHAT SPECTACLES
They do offer the benefits of sunglasses
Comes with a protective case
Works directly with Snapchat
The transfer time is pretty slow
The video resolution is not that great
No, these are not just a pair of sunglasses. After all, that would not be too impressive of a gadget, now would it? Instead, these are actually dubbed Spectacles and are designed to work with Snapchat.Read more
What you need to know is these are engineered to work with Snapchat and only Snapchat. As for the video quality, it will not blow you away but it is still solid overall.
The case that is included with your purchase is actually one of the best aspects of these Spectacles. After all, it offers protection to them and will also charge them.
One of the issues that plague this device is the slow transfer rate. After you shoot and record your videos, it simply takes too long to transfer them to Snapchat. Yet, it is nice that you have the option of using either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
This gadget is lacking in versatility, for the most part. In spite of this, you can add special effects to your videos on Snapchat (so that is nice).
Granted you are careful with these, they should be fine but they are glasses so keep that in mind. Another note, they are not waterproof so do not expose them to moisture or water.
Sunglasses that can take pictures to be uploaded on Snapchat, does it get more modern than that? Admittedly, this is more for fun than it is for substance on your travels.
10. MEMOBOTTLE A6
It holds a decent amount of liquid
It can handle temperatures up to 120 degrees
Designed to fit in tight spaces
It is not sealed the best
For the record, there are actually multiple versions of the Memobottle and they are quite similar. But, the one documented here is the A6 version, just so you know.Read more
This is a pretty simple product, really. It is essentially a normal water bottle that has been flattened to better fit into tight spaces.
Water bottles themselves are not exactly heavy and bulky but they can be difficult to fit into tight spaces when needed. Well, that is not an issue here.
The A6, in specific, can hold 12 ounces of liquid. Yet, do note that it is not insulated and that means that condensation is going to occur if you use this for ice-cold beverages.
This is somewhat versatile in the drinks that you can place inside. At the same time, however, it is not optimized to keep drinks cold or hot.
For whatever reason, this is more delicate than it needs to be. It is made of BPA-free plastic but you may want to avoid dripping it from significant heights.
This is far from perfect in its design but it is hard to argue that it can be effective for the right uses. That pretty much sums it up perfectly.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
This is all about the technology folks. You need to remember that word!
Generally speaking, when you hear the word “gadget” you probably immediately think of technology. Now, the thing is technologies come in all forms and it is hard to say that there are one or two specific technologies that you need to look for when shopping for the best travel gadgets.
Instead, you need to assess this word “technology” from a broad scope as it is going to come up time and time again during your search. And, for good reason and a specific gadget’s technology is going to dictate pretty much everything about it. From its functionality to its performance (which will be addressed later), the implemented technologies are vital.
To elaborate a bit, let’ point out some common technologies that you will end up seeing on a fair share of gadgets. For starters, how about digital displays? All sorts of devices will come with interactive displays and these can either be large and easy-to-read or clunky and impossible to view (or somewhere in between). Of course, most devices will also typically come equipped with multiple features (such as different operating modes and such). These, as well, are technologies that may need to be assessed. But, this is just scratching the surface.
What good with a gadget be (for travel) if it were not designed with portability in mind?
This is really a given, is it not? When you are buying technology devices for everyday use, they do not necessarily need to be portable as you may just be using them strictly at home. However, when you are traveling, this gets thrown out the window as you will need to manually account for every little item you tag along on your trip. So, this makes it advisable to search for items (and this case, gadgets) that are compact and lightweight. Those two variables, so to speak, are literally vital when you talk about portability. After all, you need to maximize your space but you also do not want to carry around heavy items. Additionally, some devices will even come with carrying cases and these can add protection on top of another means of enhanced portability.
Now, there is something else that you can think about. Portability is dictated by a product’s size and weight (as mentioned) but the experience can also be optimized for portability. For instance, devices that are more user-friendly and simple may be ideal for on-the-go use. Just something to think about is all.
No matter how the device is designed, it needs to be able to perform what you need it to.
To say that gadgets, in general, are judged by their performance is an understatement. Let’s just say that the performance of any technology device is going to be crucial to its design and here it is certainly no different. But, how do you go about assessing this sort of thing? Well, though each and every travel gadget can be judged based on its performance as a whole, you can break it down into sections. Do note, however, that some of these sections will not apply to every device out there. Yet, to give you a “template” of how to go about this section, check this out.
For products such as power banks that live and breathe with their power (or capacity), they need to be able to hold up in this regard. Meanwhile, products that are more optimized for accuracy (such as luggage scales and language translators) need to be precise in their execution. Oh, and for devices such as action cameras, you may need to take a look at the specifications. Of course, if there is one area every single gadget needs to be able to perform in (assuming the one you are looking at needs a source of power to function) it is in its battery life.
They say variety is the spice of life but when it comes to this, versatility is the true spice of life.
In a way, this section really goes back to the concept of portability. But, it attacks it from a different perspective. You see, what you may want to do is prioritize certain travel gadgets that are versatile in their designs. However, what exactly does this entail? When you talk about a devices’ versatility, quite frankly, it can be assessed in a few different ways. The first way to address it is to ask yourself if the specific device you are looking at can perform more than one function. In other words, can it work as two or three devices packed into one? What this can do is create a situation where you can feasibly cut out one or two devices that you need to bring. Does this make sense to you?
However, you can also look at versatility in a different sense. After all, a product can offer more than one option for you to select from or can allow you to switch between different operating modes. These are broad examples but they should give you an idea of what is trying to be conveyed. You also need to understand, though, that some travel gadgets will be one-trick ponies and incapable of performing multiple tasks.
While you can take caution in how you transport your gadgets, they should also be well-built.
There is no need to get overcomplicated here; you may want to place an emphasis on travel gadgets that are built to withstand the adventures you may be going on. Now, you do not need them to be tactically designed and made of high-strength magnesium, per se, but they should at least be made with quality in mind. And, you can always glance through user feedback to see what others have had to say (so always remember that).
But, would it shock you to know that you can have a direct implication on the longevity of the gadgets that you end up buying? Well, it should not, especially considering the fact you will be traveling with them. Ideally, pack them safely and securely to prevent them from moving around everywhere and treat them with care when you are operating them.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Here is a quick question for you; what would a travel gadget be without well-designed technology? Ponder that for a second as that is a rhetorical question. It is asked to prove a point that the implemented technologies of any given gadget you go with will be incredibly crucial. In fact, you can make the argument that they will dictate the entire effectiveness of any device you buy.
It is impossible to talk about buying products for traveling without discussing this section right here. After all, not all gadgets out there will be optimized for travel and you need to find the ones that are. Whether this is by assessing the weight, overall size, or any other factors, you need to as this section can be a game changer.
How obvious and vague is it to claim that a product needs to be able to perform? Some sort of clarification needs to be assessed, right? Yes, and that is what this section touches on. From a general perspective, why would you want to buy a product that can’t live up to its hype or perform in the manner you need it to? The answer is you would not.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What does the TSA allow you to carry on planes?
There is a strong chance that some of you reading this will need to travel via air with the gadgets that you buy. If this is the case, you need to be aware that the TSA can be strict in what they allow you to bring. But, instead of listing all the items they prohibit, visit their official website as this will be much easier.
q: Can you secure your gadget if you are connecting to Wi-Fi?
The beauty of some travel gadgets is they will be able to access the internet via Wi-Fi. Yet, if this is the case, you need to worry about security if you access a public network (even if it does require a password). But, not every gadget you buy will provide you with detailed security settings. Just be careful when you are browsing on a public network and never, ever input personal or banking information while connected to one.
q: What are some general gadgets not allowed on airlines?
While we did note earlier to simply look at TSA’s main website for this information, we thought we would detail some of the general gadgets that will not be allowed. Basically, the TSA is very strict when it comes to devices and items that can be used as weapons (or those that are weapons, quite frankly). This includes firearms, knives and general sharp objects. Most travel gadgets will be fine, though.
q: Are there limitations when using a public Wi-Fi network?
The biggest limitation with a public Wi-Fi network is the sheer fact that anyone can access it. Oftentimes, this leads to awful internet speeds and shady performance. And, as mentioned earlier, unless you are using a VPN (which will not be possible with some of the travel devices you buy), your connection is also not private.
q: What is an action camera?
Most cameras are portable and at least somewhat ideal for travel. But, no other type may be better for it than action cameras. They are almost made for travel enthusiasts as they are typically extremely portable but also built rugged enough to handle abuse and accidents. In addition to this, they are also designed to be head-on in all the action. They are digital cameras, for the record, but they are not optimized for still shots and such. And, when traveling, they can capture any intense action that you want to record such as extreme sports.
q: Any suggestions for good emergency devices on-the-go?
This has been somewhat glanced over but with so many travel gadgets on the market to pick from, you can see why it would be. Yet, you know as well as anyone else, emergencies arrive without warning and you are either prepared for them or you are not. And, if you are looking to be a little proactive and want to buy a few devices that can prove beneficial in the wake of an emergency, you can. Clearly, there are many different gadgets that you could look for but just some of them are Bluetooth trackers (for your lost items), tactical flashlights, water filters, and even devices that can emit SOS signals.
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