12 Tech Essentials That Will Upgrade Every Step of Your Trip
The best kind of technology makes your life easier—and that's even more true in situations that can be stressful, like travel. When you're traveling, there are certain things you need to be prepared for that you wouldn't think much about inside the comfort of your own home. There's a lot of logistics and plans to make good on, and chances are, you're going to rely on your gadgets to get you through. Sometimes, though, being technologically prepared for travel requires more than just remembering to toss your cell phone and wall charger in your bag (though that's a great start).
Do you have a plan for keeping your phone and tablet charged throughout hours of Google Maps directions or Netflix binging on the plane? Have you thought out how you'll relax and maybe get some shut-eye during your flight? How about the best way to capture photos and videos that you can look back on forever to remember your trip? If you don't think about these things ahead of time, you may regret it when you're stuck in another country or thousands of miles in the air without a reliable source of directions or entertainment.
Whether you're going by plane, train, or automobile (or any variation of the above), having the right tech on-hand can bring a necessary amount of convenience to your trip. Plus, it can help add a little more joy and fun to the whole experience. Warning: Once you make some upgrades and get more comfortable with traveling, you're going to want to do it a whole lot more. It would be a shame to not put your new goodies to use often anyway.
Snap wide-angle photos of the gorgeous landscape or take time lapse videos of a scenic bike ride with GoPro's latest model. Then, send it wirelessly to your smartphone so you can share it with your followers ASAP.
Shop Now: GoPro Hero 8, $396, amazon.com.
Mini Bluetooth Speaker
Whether you're relaxing in your hotel room or chillin' poolside, this portable wireless speaker will help you keep the music playing. Don't worry: It's completely waterproof and has a tear-resistance silicone strap, so you can strap in on your bag and tote it anywhere without worrying about the well-being of your small-but-mighty speaker.
Shop Now: Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker, $99, nordstrom.com.
Backup Battery Charger
Keep all of your devices fully charged—including your laptop or tablet—with this heavy-duty waterproof, dirtproof, drop-proof, and snowproof power pack. Because a dead cell phone won't do you any good when you're trying to navigate around a new city or grab an Uber.
Shop Now: Lifeproof Lifeactív Power Pack 20, $100, lifeproof.com.
The best way to survive long plane rides (or a hotel room by the elevators)? A solid pair of noise-canceling headphones. Even if you don't want to listen to music, just the noise-canceling feature can work wonders against the guy snoring in the seat behind you or the screaming baby across the aisle. These ones from JBL come ready with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, so you can easily check things off your to-do list as you go.
Shop Now: JBL Live 650BTNC Noise-Canceling Headphones, $200, jbl.com.
The best part of this silicone case is that you can slide the keyring onto your keychain so you never lose track of your Airpods again. Well, that and the fact that it comes in so many fun colors and patterns.
Shop Now: Case Mate Airpods Case, $20, case-mate.com.
Germaphobes, rejoice! Throw your smartphone in this UV light sanitizer at night to zap the germs it's accumulated during a long day of travel. You can also charge it at the same time so it's ready to go the next morning for another day of adventure.
Shop Now: PhoneSoap Go, $100, amazon.com.
This smart mug can be set to stay at a specific temperature, so you can make sure to have hot coffee well into your journey—three hours to be exact. The leakproof lid makes it easy to throw it in your bag and go without worrying.
Shop Now: Ember Travel Mug 2, $180, ember.com.
Just say no to bone-dry hotel room heat. All you need is a water bottle to power this personal humidifier. Your sinuses and skin will thank you in the A.M.
Shop Now: Fancii Cool Mist Personal Humidifier, $25, amazon.com.
Self-Cleaning Water Bottle
Stay hydrated on-the-go with this self-cleaning water bottle equipped with a digital purification system. It activates every two hours, using UV-C LED lights to kill bacteria and keep water clean and ready to drink.
Shop Now: Larq Self-Cleaning Bottle, $95, neimanmarcus.com.
An e-reader is the only logical solution when your carry-on is stuffed to the brim but you still want to bring a book (or three) on your trip. The latest model has a front light so you can adjust it to fit whatever lighting you're dealing with—on a plane, on the beach, wherever.
Shop Now: Amazon Kindle, $90, amazon.com.
A serious upgrade from those disposable waterproof cameras of yesteryear, but more budget-friendly than the GoPro, this camera is easy for anyone in the family to use and takes clear photos and HD video, even underwater.
Shop Now: Nikon Coolpix W150, $167, bestbuy.com.
Turn your smartphone into a high-end piece of photo equipment with this lightweight, portable gimbal. It actively tracks your subject, has built-in stabilizers, and enables you to charge your phone as you record or livestream.
Shop Now: DJI osmo Mobile 2 Handheld Smartphone Gimbal, $108, amazon.com.