This year’s coolest travel gadgets make it easier to communicate, navigate, connect, and relax when you’re on the road.
If we asked you to tell us what it is you travel for, what would come to mind? To meet and spend time with incredible people? To bear witness to a bit of nature’s most profound beauty? Or perhaps to finish the last course of a tasting menu knowing that you’ve just transcended beyond what it is to eat? In essence, you’re likely hoping to experience something — something new, relaxing, challenging, or truly moving in the way that only a moment of discovery away from home can be. And when the technology you bring with you functions at its best, it will enhance those experiences, not distract you from them. So in lieu of smart luggage and power converters, we’re bringing you 23 truly impressive gadgets that go beyond the usual travel tech toolkit.
The large majority of our picks have been released over the past year, some in the past few days, and they reflect the travel trends of the moment. Several of them focus on wellness, from a handheld strength trainer to a blue light–blocking screen protector for your phone. Some are meant to provide peace of mind, be it in the form of a meditative sleep aid device or a motion-activated security camera that lets you see your front doorstep from across the world. Others will help capture and share the destinations you’re touring, in multiple dimensions. And a few — like the $2 phone grip that also serves as a kickstand for in-flight entertainment — are just plain convenient.
Related: How to Pack Lighter, Smarter, and Faster, According to T+L Editors
With suitcase space always at a premium, we also sought out the best multitasking devices on the market, like portable power banks you can rely on for something more than charging up your phone battery. Think: lighting your tent at night or anchoring your phone to the dashboard as you drive or, you know, connecting you to the Internet in more than 130 countries with the touch of a button.
And though it’s essentially a sin for us to leave Bose’s QuietComfort35 II noise-cancelling headphones off a list of must-pack electronics, we tested the company’s latest product and can’t help but think you’re going to love it just as much.
So stow your tray tables and make sure your seatbacks are in a fully upright position, because this is some seriously elevated travel tech gear.