Best Travel Gadgets

As many of you probably know, in addition to being addicted to coffee and travel, I love gadgets. Herein lies my dilemma when packing for almost all of my trips. When it comes to travel, like many other travelers, I’d prefer to pack light than lug tons of stuff around in an attempt to carry every convenience of home with me on the road.

That being said, there are some travel gadgets that are essential to just about every packing list. Besides your smartphone—which is a given for just about all of us—I’ve come up with some of the best travel gadgets that deserve inclusion in your carry-on.

Universal (All-in-One) Plug Adapter

After years of packing every known adapter possible before an international trip, I was thrilled when all-in-one adapters started appearing on the market. Most have enough options that you will never be out of luck.

Noise-Canceling Headphones

Noise-canceling headphones were one of the best gifts my husband ever gave me and I take them on all of our flights. The headphones let me shut out the general hum of the aircraft so I can relax more easily, allow me to sleep during a flight without getting woken up by chatting passengers and crying babies, and to signal others that I’m not up for socializing.

I own the Bose QuietComfort 25 headphones. At $198, they’re not cheap, but they will buy you some peace and quiet.

Portable Phone Charger

On two separate occasions in the past few years, the “party favor” was a small, rechargeable USB phone charger. They were probably the most useful and welcome party favor in history. The only thing about “party favor” quality chargers is that they tend to die pretty quickly. So purchasing a good one is probably worth the money.

This one from ROMOS is $28 and will give you a heap of charges, which beats buying drinks you don’t need at a coffee shop just to be able to plug in.

For a bit more money, this one from RAVPower gets excellent reviews from many experts.

Car Charger

If you will be renting a car, bring a car charger/adapter. Recharging your stuff while driving helps combat the “not enough accessible outlets in the hotel” factor. It also allows you to use the device to map your route or play a podcast without running down the battery.

Some car chargers are designed to charge your phone very quickly; the Qualcomm 3.0 seems to be the leader in this realm.


Bringing a tablet as well as a phone had always seemed like just too much stuff to me. I used to leave home with more than five pounds of paper reading material. I left most of it behind for other potential readers in airplane seatback pockets, gate areas or hotel lobbies; now I download magazines and books to a tablet.

Tablets come in a wide range of price points; click here to browse.

Smart Suitcase

We’re in the early days of smart suitcases, but the idea is extremely compelling—being able to check on your smartphone where your bag is, how heavy it is and whether it has been opened. Some smart suitcases even provide the ability to charge devices through a USB connection.

There are also simple tracking devices you can put into your luggage, so that might be another way to tap into this type of tech without going all in on an expensive bag. As this tech comes into its own, soon enough tracking our own bags might seem almost routine.

Away’s The Carry-On comes recommended by gear review sites, including SmarterTravel. This is the one I have my eye on when it’s time to purchase new luggage. In blush of course.

Your RV Lifestyle recently wrote a great in depth article, How to Choose the Best Luggage, According to Science, that ask you a series of questions to help you choose the luggage that is right for you and your journey. It’s well worth the read!

Now that you learned a little about some of my favorite travel gadgets, which do you consider essential? Let me know in the comments below. Happy traveling my friends!

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