With the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about what to get your loved ones. Choosing the perfect gift can be tough, but the key is to strike a balance between necessity and desire. For the tech-savvy jetsetter in your life, gadgets that hit both marks will be instant winners, because while there’s no doubt that technology has made traveling easier, it can also make globetrotting much more fun. From the latest in photo- and video-enabled devices that will allow your wanderer to record every moment while abroad to more practical items that will give your adventurer peace of mind, here are 13 presents that techies will appreciate.
If there’s one gift that has remained at the top of just about every traveler’s wish list over the past couple of years, it’s a drone. These aerial devices help capture spectacular images and videos from vantage points that would be otherwise difficult—and in some cases, impossible—to achieve otherwise. DJI still remains at the forefront of the industry and after releasing the Mavic Pro Platinum last year followed by the lightweight Mavic Air in January, they’ve outdone themselves once more with the recently released Mavic 2 Pro. With improved battery life, greater range, faster speeds, omnidirectional sensors, and upgraded camera quality, it’s their best compact drone yet.
For the adventure traveler an action camera is a must and GoPro has upped their game once again with the Hero7 Black. In addition to 12MP photo resolution and 8x slow-mo captures, the new devices also shoot smooth 4K videos with gimbal-like stabilization and are enabled for live streaming. Don’t forget all of the various accessories that’ll make this cam even more fun, like sport-friendly mounts and straps suited for a variety of exhilarating activities.
While the above gadgets are spectacular in their own right, purists still love the look and feel of a proper camera. For the best of the best, Sony’s a9 knocks all others out of the park. With a 24.2MP 35mm full-frame stacked CMOS sensor, high-speed continuous shooting at up to 20fps, shutter speeds up to 1/32000 seconds, ISO sensitivity that’s expandable up to 204800, and 5-axis image stabilization, there’s truly nothing else like it on the market.
But for those that prefer to have everything at their fingertips, a trustworthy smartphone is the way to go. This year Apple unveiled the iPhone XS, which has Super Retina HD display, dual 12MP cameras with improvements to video capabilities, and an upgraded A12 Bionic chip for faster processing speeds. The biggest change is the introduction of a dual SIM system (the new XR model also has this), allowing jetsetters to have two lines on one device; it’s a significant update for those in need of a local number while traveling internationally. And if a bigger screen is being requested, the XS Max is the way to go—coming in at 6.5 inches, it’s the brand’s largest to date.
Know someone who loves to shoot videos on his or her phone, but always complains about how shaky they turn out? Enter DJI’s Osmo Mobile 2. This gimbal helps stabilize smartphones for ultra-smooth, professional-like footage and includes functions like motionlapse, ActiveTrack, and zoom control.
High-quality imagery requires a lot of storage space. Samsung’s Portable SSD X5 is for the true professional looking to process heavy files at lightning-fast speeds (read/write up to 2,800/2,300 MB/s) while on the move. And with its combination of thermal management technology and optional password protection, there’s no need to worry about the device overheating or files being stolen.
These days traveling with a laptop has become the norm. Apple has long been the leader in making notebook computers for the creative set and travelers who prefer the might of their technology in a compact design will opt for the lightweight MacBook, but those who yearn for more power will fawn over the MacBook Pro. Featuring True Tone technology, faster performance, and Radeon Pro graphics in the 15-inch model, this laptop makes editing on the go that much easier.
Whether the goal is to concentrate on your work, get some shut-eye on an overnight flight, or watch a movie without hearing the clamor of surrounding passengers, noise-canceling headphones are a saving grace for frequent fliers. Bose’s QuietComfort 35 II will drown out all of the cacophony and with a battery life up to 20 hours, they’re perfect for any long-haul journey. They can also be used to access Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, in case you need any help while you’re at the airport.
For those who prefer headphones that are a little more compact or are in search of a pair that are also ideal for working out, Samsung’s Gear IconXis the perfect gift. These wireless earbuds can act as standalone media players with 4GB of internal memory storage that a user can upload tracks to. There’s also a built-in fitness tracker that detects walking or jogging and will log your time, distance, and calories burned.
Have a friend that has an affinity for losing personal belongings? Then a tracking device is just what they need. The Tile Pro tracker has a 300-foot range with a replaceable battery that lasts for one year. Attach it to keys, bags, and anything else that can be misplaced. Keep an eye on the tagged item via an app and if you can’t find your phone, double press the logo on the Tile and your phone will ring—even if it’s on silent.
With a rising concern surrounding single-use plastic, it’s time to pick up a reusable water bottle. Want something that does more than containing a liquid? LARQ Bottle has UV-C LED technology that eliminates 99.9999% of harmful and odor-causing bacteria and viruses, providing clean drinking water while on the move. The light also automatically activates every two hours to ensure that the bottle remains clean and odor-free. And since it’s double-walled, beverages stay cold for 24 hours or hot for 12. Plus, a portion of the proceeds benefits a variety of charities that aim to make drinking water more accessible around the world.
A prepared traveler knows to always bring an umbrella on any adventure, but they’re also very easily left behind when out on the town. For the more forgetful nomad, Weatherman’s Collapsible Umbrella has Bluetooth technology that syncs up with your phone for safekeeping. They’re also designed to last and can withstand winds up to 55 mph. (Say goodbye to the days of flimsy, inverted umbrellas.) And if you order one before November 15, you can monogram the brolly, giving it a nice customized touch.
These days we use our phones for everything: It serves as our camera, music source, and GPS system amongst many other things. For road trip lovers, mounting your device is important when it comes to viewing directions and having a built-in wireless charger to make sure you don’t run out of battery is a huge plus. iOttie’s Easy One Touch Wireless Dash & Windshield Mount provides just that and will quickly become a favorite essential on long drives.