We’ll soon be able to travel the world again once the days of COVID-19 are firmly in the rearview mirror. If you’re already gearing up for your next trip, it might be time for a new accessory or two. Here are our picks for the best travel gadgets you can get right now.
From headphones and gaming systems to cables and storage, we’ve done our best to cover just about everything you could want.
Best travel gadgets:
Editor’s note: We will update our list of the best travel gadgets as new products launch.
1. AmazonBasics Geometric Luggage
Even if you’re visiting a location for only a few days, durable luggage is vital. You certainly won’t fit all of the clothing, toiletries, small possessions, and souvenirs you buy into a simple backpack. To that end, we recommend the AmazonBasics Geometric Luggage three-pack.
It’s not that we aren’t fans of smart luggage around here. The problem is airlines aren’t big fans of smart luggage due to the batteries inside of them. For example, Delta Airlines forces you to remove the batteries in all instances. That means carry-on and checked smart luggage can’t have batteries in them before you board the plane.
Keeping these restrictions in mind, it makes more sense and is cheaper to just get regular luggage. The Geometric Luggage three-piece set comprises 22-, 27.5-, and 32-inch cases. Each case features four spinner wheels, a rugged exterior, and a recessed TSA lock.
2. Sony WH-1000XM4
The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 have a sleeker design and Apple’s AirPods Max have since come out, but the Sony WH-1000XM4 remains our top pair of over-the-ear noise-cancelling headphones for travel.
The touch-sensitive earcups let you skip and pause your music, change the volume, and bring up your phone’s personal assistant. You can also hear what’s around you if you cup your hand over the right earcup.
More importantly, the Sony WH-1000XM4 sounds great and exhibited the best noise-cancelling in the business in our testing. The headphones use Sony’s own LDAC Bluetooth codec for improved data streaming rates. Even the microphone quality was impressive and flat.
3. Nintendo Switch Lite
The Nintendo Switch is easily the most fun I’ve had with a game system, but it’s not exactly the most portable system. Also, the price tag puts it out of range for those whose wallets don’t stretch that far or those with several Nintendo fans at home.
Enter the Nintendo Switch Lite.
The weight difference between it and the regular Switch isn’t much on paper, but you notice it in real life. Plus, the smaller size means you can stuff the Switch Lite in places you couldn’t fit the regular Switch. You get access to the Switch’s impressive catalog of games, which include The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Doom, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
However, you can’t dock the Switch Lite. There’s also no rumble support, auto-brightness, or removable Joy-Cons. Finally, we don’t yet have an official tally on how many people are affected by the stick drift issue. There’s a class-action lawsuit against Nintendo over the issue, though most people should be fine.
4. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
The Amazon Kindle Oasis is objectively better, but the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is the best for most people. It’s also extremely travel-friendly, thanks to its six-inch display and diminutive design.
Also read: Best Amazon Kindle e-readers
The Kindle Paperwhite’s five display LEDs let you adjust the brightness and allows for uniform backlighting. The e-reader also features an IPX8 rating for water protection, Bluetooth, support for Amazon’s Audible service, and weeks of battery life.
5. Anker multi-port wall charger
If you’re going to take all of these devices when you travel, you’re going to need a powerful wall charger to keep them all energized. Even the largest power banks run out of battery eventually. That’s where the Anker multi-port wall charger comes in — fully loaded with two PowerIQ USB-A ports and two Power Delivery USB-C options.
You can take advantage of fast 100W speeds if you charge one device at a time, or plug in your entire arsenal and the wall charger will manage the speed automatically. The charger itself is only about the size of a passport, so you can take it just about anywhere you need it.
6. RAVPower 20,000mAh power bank
At less than one inch thick, the RAVPower 20,000mAh power bank is easy to take just about anywhere. You can slide it into a carry on or a backpack to keep yourself entertained during long flights. The power bank offers 60W Power Delivery to recharge everything from your MacBook to your Nintendo Switch.
Also read: Best 20,000mAh power banks you can buy
The RAVPower 20,000mAh power bank features one USB-A output port and one USB-C port for input and output. No matter what cable you prefer, the RAVPower should help you carry less on your travels.
7. Tile Mate
Assuming you took our advice and opted for regular luggage, you might want a clever way to keep track of it. Heck, you’ll want to keep track of everything you have when traveling. That’s where the Tile Mate with a 200-foot range comes in.
See also: The best travel apps for Android
Thanks to its small size and loophole, the Tile Mate fits on your key ring, in your bag, and everything in between. The Tile app lets you keep track of the Tile Mate and sends you location updates for your stuff. Better yet, you can anonymously recruit other Tile users within the app if you misplace your stuff.
If you want a smaller alternative to the Mate, you might want to check out the Tile Sticker. It’s a small black disk with an adhesive back that you can attach to things like a remote, camera, or even a luggage tag. The Tile Sticker has all of the perks of the Mate like app support and a long-lasting battery, but the small size means the range is 150 feet instead of 200.
8. Peak Design Everyday Sling
If you’re bringing several devices with you, that means you’re bringing cables. Even if you don’t have many cables, you might have other small accessories, such as pens, a notepad, or chargers. The Peak Design Everyday Sling is a great accessory if you want to remain organized.
Featuring a 10-liter capacity, the Everyday Sling isn’t lacking in storage. You can store pens and SD cards in elastic accessory loops near the top, while the large pockets are perfect for laptops, chargers, game consoles, and even drones. There’s even an external zip pocket with a cable pass-through for simpler charging.
9. AmazonBasics durable USB-C cable
When you’re on the go, you have to have a charging cable that you can trust. If you’re on a plane, you probably don’t want too much extra length that can get tangled either. The AmazonBasics USB-C cable offers a combination of portability and durability without breaking the bank. Available in one-foot and three-foot lengths, it’s a handy option just about anywhere.
Also read: The best USB-C cables
The full length of the cable is double braided and available in red, gold, silver, and dark gray. No matter which color you pick, the AmazonBasics USB-C cable should last a while and it delivers a power output of up to 5V and 10Gbps data transfer.
10. International travel adapter
One of the most important travel gadgets is an adapter to ensure that your devices never run out of charge. This international travel adapter should do the trick with an all-in-one design that covers 150 countries. The adapter opens so you can choose from US, European, Australian, and British-type prongs, while the input port features a unique universal design.
You can also plug four USB-A cables and one USB-C option in to save space. The convenient design stores all of your adapter connections with compact sliding controls. Epicka doesn’t recommend use with high-voltage appliances like coffee makers or hairdryers, but as long as you stay below 6.3A, you should be good to go.
11. Omoton portable laptop stand
Even on vacation, you might find that you need to whip out your laptop for a few minutes. Whether you’re a travel blogger or you just need to send one last email for work, a portable stand can be a lifesaver. Omoton has a convenient folding option that adjusts to any of six comfortable heights.
See also: The best laptop stands you can buy
Another perk that comes with a laptop stand is improved heat dissipation. After all, when your laptop is lifted up it offers more space for the fans to do their thing. When folded, the Omoton portable stand is just 1.75 inches wide and 9.4 inches long.
That was our list of the best travel gadgets. We’ll add more top travel gadgets to this list as more useful travel companions become available.