17 Must-Have Electronics For Easier Travel
Getting ready for a vacation or business trip is never an easy task. Whether you’re rushing to pack your bags or worried about forgetting something, you want the trip to go as smoothly as possible.
Luckily, travel electronics can make your life much easier.
With tourism and travel currently surging and projected to exceed pre-pandemic numbers, we could all use a little tech help! This guide includes the 17 best travel electronics for a stress-free trip.
These travel gadgets allow you to spend more time enjoying your trip and less time worrying.
1. Portable Laptop
Newer laptops have up to 17.3-inch displays and weigh as much as 10 pounds. This is way too big to use as a travel computer.
For this reason, we recommend investing in a portable laptop. A portable laptop has a 10 to 13-inch display. It’s lightweight, compact and has excellent battery life.
With a portable laptop, you can downsize your luggage, store more belongings and easily access your computer whenever you need — whether that’s to plan your itinerary, watch a movie on the plane or to do a little work from the road.
Using a lightweight 13-inch laptop, such as a Macbook, to check emails will feel significantly better than a heavy 17-inch computer on your lap.
2. Compact Tablet
A compact tablet is a versatile tool you can use as a laptop replacement, e-reader and Kindle replacement or media player. These are great for doing quick tasks if you don’t expect to need extended time on your computer.
Although the Apple iPad and iPad Mini dominate the tablet sector, several great alternatives exist. Check out the Amazon Fire HD, Samsung Galaxy Tab and Lenovo Tab M10 Plus.
A tablet is easier to access than a laptop and has a bigger screen than a phone. Even though tablets don’t have dedicated keyboards, you can buy an external keyboard if you do need to do more typing. For research and other quick tasks, the built-in touchscreen keyboard will work just fine.
Tablets have varying display sizes, ranging from 5 to 13 inches. We recommend getting a tablet in the sweet spot of 8 to 10 inches. That’s bigger and more comfortable to use than a phone, without taking up too much space in your luggage.
3. Travel-Size Iron and Steamer
Taking a red-eye or early morning flight before going straight to a business lunch meeting?
You’ll still want to present yourself professionally, of course.
Keeping shirts wrinkle-free is a challenge when everything must be shoved into your suitcase and shoe compartment luggage. As such, a travel-size iron and steamer will be your best friend.
If you’re going straight from the airport to a meeting, run to the airport bathroom, fill the steamer up with water and straighten out your dress shirt.
4. Noise-Canceling Headphones
Falling asleep on airplanes is challenging for everyone. Not only are the seats not ideal for sleeping, but the roar of the airplane engine and your fellow passengers’ conversations can be a huge distraction.
This is why we recommend buying noise-canceling headphones. You can use noise-canceling headphones to play music, podcasts or movies during your trips.
The noise-canceling mode blocks out all exterior sounds to eliminate the sound of the car or airplane engine.
High-quality, noise-canceling headphones are a must-have item on planes nowadays. They have excellent sound quality and noise-canceling capabilities. With all the disturbances, such as people talking and children crying, it’s priceless to escape to a place of solitude.
The best Bluetooth wireless noise-canceling headphones from Sony and Bose come with an audio cable you can use to plug into the airplane’s aux port. This way, you can use your noise-canceling headphones to watch movies on long international and transcontinental flights.
5. Power Bank
With all the gadgets we rely on these days, a power bank is an essential travel electronic. Without a power bank or battery pack, you’ll definitely find yourself running out of juice at some point on your trip.
A power bank lets you stay mobile without worrying about your phone dying. You can also use your power bank to charge other devices, including tablets, cameras and other small electronics. Many power banks have multiple USB ports, allowing you to charge many devices simultaneously.
We recommend investing in a power bank from Anker that stores a lot of juice. A high-quality power bank can keep your devices full and healthy during a long day of travel.
6. 4-Port USB Charger
Instead of bringing multiple wall adapters for all your devices, invest in a single 4-port USB charger. With a 4-port charger, you can easily charge all your devices in your hotel room.
We rarely remember to bring multiple chargers on trips (and the more you bring, the more you risk losing!). That means needing to rotate your devices and charge them individually. Not only does this keep you stuck in your hotel room, but you can’t even charge all your devices while you’re sleeping.
A 4-port USB charger eliminates this problem and keeps your travel electronics fully powered.
7. Portable WiFi Hotspot
When traveling to a new place, you never know when you’ll lose your internet connection. This can be a major problem if you need to get work done on the go or check urgent emails.
Although you can use a mobile hotspot from your cell phone, they drain your phone battery quickly. For this reason, a portable WiFi hotspot is a necessary travel gadget.
There are two types of portable WiFi hotspots. One requires you to insert a local SIM card, and the other comes with pre-paid data. Both options enhance your travel experience by offering fast and accessible WiFi from anywhere.
8. Luggage Scale
Although it’s not the most glamorous travel accessory, a luggage scale is extremely handy. Luggage scales are lightweight and compact. They allow you to quickly see how much your bags weigh before getting on a flight.
This way, you can ensure you don’t have overweight bags and avoid paying an oversized luggage fee. Luggage scales are helpful to bring on vacations if you plan to buy souvenirs or travel gifts, adding extra weight to your bags.
Even on a business trip, like attending a conference, you’re likely to leave with way more swag than you arrived with — plus, it’s nice to be able to bring a few things home from your destination for your family. But returning with extra items can quickly become a hassle when you find out that your bag’s weight exceeds the airline limit.
Luggage scales ensure that you know exactly how much your bag weighs, and they’re quite affordable too — less than $20 for a quality digital version.
9. Portable Bluetooth Speaker
A portable Bluetooth speaker is an essential part of anyone’s travel kit. They are lightweight, compact and let you play your favorite tunes on the go.
Headphones and earbuds can irritate your ears after an extended period, Bluetooth speakers relieve this discomfort. You can use your speaker for anything from conference calls to playing white noise at night or listening to a podcast as you get dressed for your day.
If you are taking an afternoon on your business trip to lounge by the pool, you can bring out your portable Bluetooth speaker and play your favorite tunes.
10. Universal Travel Adapter
Ever arrive in a new country with a dead phone and see an odd-looking electrical outlet?
A universal travel adapter is an essential travel gadget for overseas travelers. Some countries have different wall plugs, but a universal travel adapter acts as a converter and allows you to charge your devices no matter where you are.
There are over 15 types of electrical outlet plugs around the world. A universal travel adapter is compatible with all of them, making it one of the most valuable travel gadgets for international trips.
Business + leisure? Read: Bleisure Recommendations for the Top Business Travel Destinations
11. AirTag or Tile Tracking Device
It’s unfortunately fairly common for bags to get lost while traveling and to accidentally leave items behind at a hotel or restaurant.
For this reason, we recommend investing in tracking devices like AirTags or Tiles. AirTags (compatible with iPhones) and Tiles (for Android) make it easy to keep track of your belongings. You can attach an AirTag or Tile to any device or bag.
These include keys, wallets, backpacks, suitcases and briefcases. AirTags and Tiles send out Bluetooth signals to nearby devices in the network. Then, you can locate your device through the accompanying mobile app.
An underrated trip essential is a smartwatch. There are a plethora of options. One particularly useful application is to be able to track your notifications — like messages regarding your flight or hotel booking — from your wrist even when your hands are full with your luggage.
Smartwatches can make it easy to send a quick text or email to the people you are meeting up with — especially in the case of any delays.
You can send replies with your smartwatch, check the weather, set timers and track your fitness goals. Since you may be exploring the city you travel to, you can use your smartwatch as a pedometer to count steps and calories burned.
Smartwatches offer many features you may not even know about. For example, you can use a smartwatch to listen to audiobooks, check your calendar, track your sleep, record voice memos and much more.
Best of all, they are lightweight and unobtrusive since they wrap gently around your wrist.
You may also like: 5 Business Travel Hacks for Your Next Work Trip
13. Fingerprint Padlock
An unfortunate reality of travel is that looking out of place (like a tourist) can make you an easy target for thieves. This is why securing your belongings is essential.
You can use a fingerprint padlock to seal your suitcase and baggage. A padlock deters thieves from stealing your bags, and even if they do, they won’t be able to easily access the bag’s contents.
Fingerprint padlocks are effective when you store items in lockers as well. For example, if you visit a public gym while on a trip, you can keep your belongings in a locker and attach your fingerprint padlock. This makes it easier to identify which locker is yours, and nobody else can access it.
14. Extra Long Charging Cable
When you’re away from home and don’t have access to your usual setup, it’s a common annoyance to be unable to use your phone while charging. Often, you’ll need to plug it in further away from your hotel bed and your charger won’t be long enough to reach.
For this reason, you should invest in a durable, extra-long charging cable for your specific phone.
15. Cable Organizer Travel Gadget Bag
We’ve all had to waste time digging through our backpacks to find the right charging cable while traveling. Luckily, a cable organizer travel bag keeps your cords stored nice and neat in a single location.
Use the travel case to store charging cables, power adapters and portable chargers, so you can quickly access the right cord when you need it.
16. Compact Travel Shaver
Thanks to modern technology, items such as shavers are getting smaller but staying just as powerful. That makes it easy and convenient to bring a compact travel shaver on your next business trip or vacation.
A compact travel shaver fits conveniently in your carry-on bag. You can use it midflight or at an airport bathroom to ensure you’re clean-shaven and presentable as soon as you arrive for important business meetings.
17. All-In-One Charging Cable
If you’re interested in downsizing the number of items you travel with, you need an all-in-one charging cable.
An all-in-one charging cable includes a micro-USB, USB-C, lightning and standard USB cable. This lets you charge all your devices with a single cable.
Don’t neglect your health while on the road. Check out: 11+ Healthy Travel Tips for Business Trips
Although there are hundreds of different travel electronics, these are the best travel gadgets to use on future vacations and business trips.
The travel electronics in this guide help eliminate the most common pain points while traveling. We aim to ensure your next trip is as fun and memorable as possible.
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Audrey Fairbrother is the Content and SEO Manager at Hotel Engine. She spends her days writing about all things business travel, researching topics that are important to Hotel Engine’s audience and cultivating the company’s brand voice. When she’s not working, Audrey enjoys spending time with her family, and hiking in the nearby Rockies with her dog, Albie.