Your phone is dead. Your luggage was sent to the wrong airport. These sound like nightmares, but they can be a reality when you’re traveling. These mishaps are simply a part of the adventure, but you can be prepared with the help of travel tech gadgets.
Whether you’re traveling a few hours away or across the globe, there are travel gadgets that can help make your trip easier, safer and (mostly) headache-free. We spoke to a travel expert, tried a few products ourselves and sorted through hundreds of top-rated products on Amazon to find the best tech to pack for your next trip.
SKIP AHEAD The best travel tech 2023
Our top picks
How we picked the best travel tech essentials
To figure out what types of travel tech are worth bringing along on your next trip — and which gadgets to skip — we spoke to several experts who have spent years traveling all around the world. Here’s what they recommended keeping in mind:
- Size: As you consider travel gadgets, it’s important to evaluate their size and weight, especially if you have limited space in your carry-on or suitcase. If you’re planning to bring something oversized, be sure it’s worth the real estate in your bag. For instance, cameras are a popular item to bring while traveling, but many experts suggest leaving them behind because they’re bulky: “Cell phone cameras are so advanced now that you can take phenomenal photos on your mobile,” says Tom Marchant, co-founder of luxury travel company Black Tomato.
- Convenience: Whether you’re taking a car, plane, train or bus, the best travel tech gadgets provide convenience when you’re on the road, ensuring you’re comfortable and prepared for common travel issues. Almost all of the experts we spoke to recommended a power bank as their top travel accessory. Marchant explains that these devices are a convenient way to charge electronics in airports, on airplanes (or other modes of transportation) and while exploring your destination.
- Peace of mind: The right technology can also help reduce stress while you travel, allowing you to make the most of the experience. For this reason, our experts highly recommend devices like Bluetooth trackers, personal safety devices and noise-canceling headphones. “I always put AirTags in every piece of checked luggage, especially if making multiple transfers, as it can greatly save headaches and stress,” explains Marchant.
The best travel tech gadgets on Amazon to buy in 2023
Using the guidance of travel experts, we sorted through hundreds of popular travel tech gadgets on Amazon. The following are best-selling devices that are highly rated by thousands of shoppers, and you may want to grab a few of them for your next trip.
4.4-star average rating from over 8,300 reviews
This wireless audio transmitter plugs into the in-flight entertainment system on airplanes and sends the audio directly to wireless Bluetooth headphones. This allows you to listen to movies or other content without being tethered to the seat by a cord. The transmitter can also be used on gym equipment, televisions or gaming devices, and it lasts for up to 20 hours per charge, according to the brand.
4.7-star average rating from over 126,700 reviews
For iPhone users, AirTags are an inexpensive way to keep tabs on your luggage, keys or other belongings while traveling. The location of these Bluetooth-powered trackers can be monitored through the Find My app. If the AirTag is within Bluetooth range of your phone, its Precision Finding feature will point you toward it, or you can see its location on a map if you’re further away.
4.5-star average rating from over 13,100 reviews
You can keep electronics and all their accessories neatly organized with this travel pouch. It comes in 11 colors, and there are two compartments inside with various pockets to store charging cables, power banks and more. The cable organizer is compact enough to put in a carry-on or handbag, and the exterior is water-resistant to protect its contents, according to the brand.
4.3-star average rating from over 19,000 reviews
It’s inevitable that your clothing will get a bit wrinkly while traveling, but you can remove creases with this top-rated travel garment steamer. It heats up in less than a minute, and its high-velocity steam will help smooth wrinkles on shirts, dresses, and other clothing — important if you’re traveling for work. It has an adjustable steam head that lets you hold it at any angle, and the device is even dual-voltage for international trips.
4.7-star average rating from over 34,000 reviews
If you like to read while traveling, this popular e-reader is a worthwhile investment. It has an 8GB storage capacity, allowing you to download dozens of books, and the glare-free display is comfortable to read even in direct sunlight. It’s lightweight and more compact than your average paperback novel, and it can last for weeks on a single charge, so you don’t have to bring a charger with you, according to the brand.
4.5-star average rating from over 10,800 reviews
Apple AirTags only work for iPhone users, so if you have an Android phone, you may want the Tile Pro instead. These trackers work similarly to AirTags, using Bluetooth to collect location data. You can make the Tile ding if you’re within Bluetooth range, or its last location will be displayed within the Tile app if the tracker is farther away. It also works in reverse — you can make your phone ding using the Tile, which can be helpful if you misplace it.
4.5-star average rating from over 23,700 reviews
This electric toothbrush is designed specifically for traveling. According to the brand, the toothbrush can last for up to three months on a single AAA battery, and it comes with a case that protects the brush head. The brush uses micro-vibrations to help clean your teeth, and it has a built-in two-minute timer that vibrates at 30-second intervals to let you know when to move to a different area of your mouth.
4.3-star average rating from over 22,400 reviews
Our experts highly recommend portable chargers for traveling, and this popular model is roughly the size of a tube of lipstick, making it compact enough to fit in a carry-on, purse or your pocket. It has a built-in lightning connector for iPhones, eliminating the need for a charging cable, and its 3350mAh capacity can charge most iPhone models one full time. However, it can’t be used with Android phones.
4.3-star average rating from over 12,600 reviews
If you have trouble sleeping in noisy hotels, this portable sound machine has three white noise audios to drown out background noise. The gadget is 3.5 inches in diameter and weighs a few ounces, allowing you to tuck it in your suitcase or backpack, and the brand says that it can be used overnight on a single charge. It charges via USB cable, and you will generally need to bring along the charger on multi-night trips.
4.2-star average rating from over 10,100 reviews
This pocket VPN router can convert any public Wi-Fi network into a private network for more secure browsing. The device needs to be plugged into your laptop or a charging bank for power, and it supports more than 30 popular OpenVPN service providers, as well as Wireguard. The router is small enough to tuck in a carry-on bag or suitcase, and it’s designed to provide an extra layer of security if you’re working on the go.
4.6-star average rating from over 13,200 reviews
This reusable water bottle has a filter built into the straw, and it’s designed to reduce the taste of chlorine if you fill it up at a public water fountain, according to the brand. The stainless steel bottle holds 32 ounces of water, and the brand claims it can keep your beverage cold for up to a full day.
4.6-star average rating from over 3,000 reviews
If you travel with your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods, this 3-in-1 station is a convenient option for keeping your electronics charged. Instead of bringing individual chargers for each device, you can use this all-in-one station, which has designated spots for all three products. It also folds up into a compact flat form for easy storage.
4.2-star average rating from over 17,700 reviews
You can block out the world around you while traveling with these Bluetooth-enabled sleep headphones. They’re shaped like a sleep mask, with light-blocking eye covers and the headband strap has comfortable flat speakers that will play audio for just you to hear. You can connect the device to your phone to play podcasts, music or just white noise, and the brand says that the headphones offer up to 12 hours of playtime per charge.
4.7-star average rating from over 57,000 reviews
There are hefty fees for overweight luggage, so it’s always a good idea to weigh your baggage before you head to the airport. This luggage scale has a maximum capacity of 110 pounds, and you simply hook your bag onto the braided belt to check its weight. The digital scale is compact and lightweight, so you can tuck it into the pocket of your suitcase to take along on your trip.
4.5-star average rating from over 3,000 reviews
You’ll be able to watch movies or play games comfortably on long flights with this airplane phone holder. It can be slotted into the back of an airplane seat or clamped to a tray table, and it’s compatible with most iPhone and Android phones. You can even rotate your phone 360 degrees while it’s in the stand for the optimal viewing angle.
4.7-star average rating from over 2,300 reviews
This lighted makeup mirror can help you get ready in dark hotel rooms. According to the brand, its rechargeable battery offers around 180 minutes of use per charge, and you can choose from three light settings with adjustable brightness levels. The mirror’s cover doubles as a stand, and you can adjust its angle to suit your needs. It also comes with a removable 10x magnifying mirror for more detailed tasks.
4.7-star average rating from over 10,600 reviews
Travel adapters are essential when you’re going to a different country, and this universal model includes four plugs — types A, C, G, and I — that can be used in more than 150 countries. The adapter has four USB-A ports, one USB-C port, and one AC socket, supporting up to six devices at once. Just keep in mind that it’s not a voltage adapter, so AC-powered devices need to support dual-voltage operation to work in certain locations.
4.5-star average rating from over 3,700 reviews
This cell phone holder has a metal core that’s wrapped in a faux leather cover, and you can bend it into any shape to hold up your phone or tablet. It can be used on tabletops, airplanes or even in the car, and the flat design will take up minimal space in your luggage.
4.8-star average rating from over 1,000 reviews
This power strip will give you more outlets to charge your electronics while on the road — it’s especially useful on cruise ships where outlets are limited. It has a 4-foot extension cord that wraps around the plug for compact storage, and the strip has two three-prong outlets, two two-prong outlets and three USB-A ports. There’s also extra space between the outlets to accommodate larger plugs, such as camera or laptop chargers.
4.0-star average rating from over 1,100 reviews
This translation device can be used to translate 82 languages, helping you to communicate in foreign countries. It has a built-in two-year mobile data plan with a global SIM card that can be used in 133 countries, and the brand says its average translation time is only 0.6 seconds, allowing you to keep up with conversations in real-time. The translator lasts for up to 240 hours per charge, and it has a simple touchscreen for operation.
4.7-star average rating from over 77,000 reviews
You’ll be able to recharge electronics several times using this large-capacity power bank. Its 20,000mAh cell capacity can charge an iPhone 11 more than four times, and the brand says it charges iPhones 20% faster than other models. It has two USB ports to charge multiple devices at once, and there’s also a trickle charging mode for low-power gadgets.
4.4-star average rating from over 71,400 reviews
Noise-canceling headphones are useful in loud environments if you’re trying to relax or focus on work. These wireless earbuds have active noise cancellation technology that helps to block out background noise, as well as built-in microphones that eliminate wind and other sounds when you’re on the phone.
4.5-star average rating from over 9,500 reviews
If you’re traveling alone, this personal safety alarm can provide peace of mind. It’s activated by pulling the top out of the base, and the device emits a loud siren and flashing strobe light to attract attention. It has a loop that can easily be attached to a keychain, and the alarm is reusable — just reinsert the top pin to turn it off.
4.6-star average rating from over 11,500 reviews
This portable fan is a useful accessory if you’re traveling during the summer. It folds up into a small form that can be tucked into any bag, and the brand says that it can run for up to 21 hours per charge, depending on the setting. It has two speeds, as well as a small built-in flashlight and it can also be used as a power bank to charge electronics in a pinch.
4.2-star average rating from over 6,800 reviews
If you don’t want to take your everyday electric razor on a trip, this small model is designed for traveling. It has a swiveling cover to protect the blade in your bag and it’s powered by two AA batteries. The razor has a slide-out precision trimmer on one side, and you can wash it under running water for easy maintenance on the go.
4.3-star average rating from over 2,300 reviews
This travel alarm can provide peace of mind in your hotel room or rental. The alarm is designed to hang on the doorknob, and its sensor has two metal prongs that you slide between the door and door frame. If the door is opened, the brand says that the device will sound a 91-decibel alarm to alert you. The device can also be used on your windows if needed.
4.8-star average rating from over 23,100 reviews
If you’re planning a hiking or camping trip, this Bluetooth speaker will provide entertainment without taking up too much space. It’s designed to clip onto a bag using its integrated carabiner, and it’s water- and dust-resistant. The speaker can play audio from your phone for up to 10 hours on a single charge, according to the brand, and it has a simple control panel that lets you start or stop the music or adjust the volume.
Meet our experts
At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure that all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and with no undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
- Tom Marchant, co-founder of luxury travel company Black Tomato.