The Best Tech to Travel With in 2018

On the road again? Don’t forget these must-haves

man on train with headphones, phone, and laptop

Westend61/Getty Images

So, you’re off on your next adventure. Whether it’s business or travel, a city trip or somewhere in the wilderness, a bit of technology can always make things easier. Check out these options for communication, entertainment, and convenience as you make your travel plans for the end of 2018.

01
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The Basics

phone, laptop, tablet

Getty Images / Hannes Eichinger / EyeEm

Naturally you’ll want to bring some combination of phone, laptop, and tablet, depending on how and why you’ll be traveling. If traveling for business, you may need your laptop for work during the day, and your tablet for entertainment while you relax in your hotel room. Going somewhere fun? Leave the laptop at home, and just stick with your phone for helping you to communicate, get around, and find information; and your tablet for reading or watching movies between activities.

Tip: Be sure to include chargers and other accessories for each of these items as well!

What We Like:

  • Each device can serve many functions. 
  • Most devices are light enough to carry without trouble. 

What We Don’t Like:

  • Too many devices can be hard to keep track of.  
RAVPower wireless charger

RAVPower

You know the scenario: you’re out all day having a great time on your trip, but probably using a bunch of apps to help you communicate, coordinate your activities, and get around. So you end up using way more juice on your phone than normal, and may even be at zero just when you need it most. The RAVPower PB080 Power Bank with HyperAir solves that problem by providing a charging source anywhere you are. Back at the hotel, you can use it again to charge two phones at once: one wirelessly and the other with a wire.

What We Like:

  • It’s compatible with many phone models.
  • It can charge a typical phone around three times on one charge.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Though small, it may be clunky to carry around. 
roku streaming stick

Roku

Turn your hotel room into a personal entertainment center with a Roku Streaming Stick. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, you can have access to your own shows from all your favorite streaming sources, or take the opportunity to watch something new.

Tip: You only need to log into your services (such as Netflix) the first time you use them on the device. 

What We Like:

  • Enhanced voice remote provides easy operation.
  • Did we mention you can watch all your favorite shows?

What We Don’t Like:

  • It may not work with all hotel TVs. 
04
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world time alarm clock

Magellan's

A world traveler needs a world clock, or, even better, a World Time Alarm Clock. This nifty device allows you to view the time in 18 cities around the world, and includes a calendar, temperature, and timer. You can choose from five different languages, and set an alarm complete with a snooze function. The device also serves as a flashlight, taking regular AAA batteries.

What We Like:

  • It’s lightweight, so it’s easy to carry around.
  • You can also rest it on bottom knobs to use as a bedside clock.

What We Don’t Like:

  • For time zones that aren't included, you’ll have to do a little math to get the time right. 
gotenna off-grid network device

goTenna

The GoTenna Off-Grid Mobile Mesh Network Device helps you stay connected with your traveling companions even when you don’t have access to a mobile network or Wi-Fi. Connecting to your phone via Bluetooth, it uses low-frequency radio waves to send your message to your friend’s device, and then to their phone. The range is anywhere between half a mile and four miles, depending on the setting (urban versus backwoods), and becomes more effective in areas where more people are using the device. 

What We Like:

  • It's small and portable.
  • One order comes with two devices.

What We Don’t Like:

  • It’s on the pricey side. 
joomfeen travel adapter

JOOMFEEN

If you’re traveling internationally, including areas like Canada, Russia, Asia, Central America, South America, and the Middle East, don’t forget to bring the JOOMFEEN Travel Adapter to be able to easily plug in your appliances and charge your devices. It’s compatible with many iOS and Android devices, and you can charge up to three at one time. Advanced features include built-in fuse protection and safety shutters, and an LED power indicator.

What We Like:

  • It’s super versatile.
  • The price is right.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Forgetting to bring this handy device on foreign trips! 
bose wireless headphones

Bose Corporation

Get the best of both worlds, quiet and sound, with a set of Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones. Turn them on to dim the noise around you, or use the Alexa-enabled feature to play music or news, or interact with other aspects of your Alexa account. The headphones work hands-free, so you can use your voice to control functions like volume. You get up to 20 hours of wireless use from one charge.

What We Like:

  • It's a great combination of comfort plus classic Bose sound quality
  • Excellent noise cancellation

What We Don’t Like:

  • The price may be prohibitive for some. 
fujifilm waterproof digital camera

Fujifilm Corporation

The Fujifilm FinePix XP130 16.4-Megapixel Digital Camera is a must-have if you’re going on a vacation that includes activities like swimming or skiing. It’s small and lightweight, so it’s easy to carry around, and you can bring it right into the water to take splashy action shots. In addition to being waterproof, it’s resistant to sand and other elements. The cheerful color and included wrist strap keep it from getting lost.

Tip: Use the accompanying floating wristband for extra security. 

What We Like:

  • Good photo quality
  • Great for adventure trips

What We Don’t Like:

  • Some of the buttons are awkwardly placed. 
lugloc luggage locator

LugLoc

Traveling can be stressful, and anything you can do to gain peace of mind goes a long way toward making your trip that much better. The LugLoc luggage locator allows you to place a device in your bag, then track it using a simple app. You’ll know where your bag is at all times, and will get a notification when it arrives in the baggage claim area. You’ll also get pinged if you move too far away from your bag once you’ve collected it.

What We Like:

  • Worldwide coverage
  • Doesn't interfere with other baggage items

What We Don’t Like:

  • You have to purchase a separate subscription to use the service.