This post was SO fun to put together!!! I interviewed over 40 top travel bloggers and asked them for their MUST HAVE, favorite travel gadgets. Here is the list of travel gadgets and tech-y gear that makes family travel easier, more efficient, and more FUN!
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I have organized these travel gadgets into categories:
- Technology Travel Gadgets
- Tech Accessories
- Travel Gadgets and Gear for Traveling with Kids
- Cool Travel Clothing
- Bags and Luggage
- Travel Gadgets for Outdoor Adventures
Technology Travel Gadgets
One of the coolest travel gadgets I have is a travel drone. I love using my drone when traveling to take aerial photos and video of landscapes that would be impossible to shoot with a regular camera. There are travel drones for every budget – including models that are small, portable and foldable which are perfect for travelers that like to pack light but still take amazing photos.
It’s incredible that something with as many features as the Garmin Genix 5 can fit so neatly on a wrist! We love to get outdoors and whether we’re walking, running or paddle boarding my Garmin comes along too! If tracking progress and recording routes wasn’t enough then it can also find a lost phone (handy as I loose mine on an hourly basis!)
One of the coolest gadgets I take on my travels is the Langogo translator. This pocket translator is made for global adventurers as it automatically translates over 60 languages.
The translator will translate conversations in less than one second just by pressing the translate button and speaking into the microphone. This device makes it so much easier to communicate with locals.
A Google Cardboard is one of the cool travel gadgets for kids. With a pair of VR Goggles, one of the ones made by Google, or another brand, and the Google cardboard app, you can experience the world in your living room. The cardboard VR googles are a cheap and creative way to teach kids about the world without just watching videos. The app allows you to feel like you are in another country and can help kids prepare for their first (or next vacation).
The flexible smartphone tripod with Bluetooth is a very cool travel gadget. I love it because we can now take great family photos anywhere, anytime. We are no longer dependent on asking a stranger to take a mediocre photo of us. This gadget is small and lightweight, so it easily fits into a purse or backpack. The tripod legs are flexible, so you just frame your shot, then use the remote to take as many photos as you want. Thanks to this cool travel gadget, we now have many great family photos!
If you’re into photography or at least iPhone photography, the most useful thing you didn’t know you need is a rechargeable selfie ring light (less than $10 on Amazon). Originally created for youtubers/vloggers to hide their wrinkles, I use it for food photography in dark bars and restaurants. It’s small enough to fit in your purse and immediately hides unsightly shadows.
One of my all-time favourite gadgets for travelling is a gimbal. I don’t know how I filmed travel videos before investing in a gimbal a year ago, but now, when I have it, filming travel videos became much easier. Gimbal is basically a 3-axis stabiliser that helps you to shoot really smooth videos. A couple of years ago, gimbals only existed for professional cameras and were worth a fortune, but now, with the rise of the smartphone and GoPro gimbals, they got pretty affordable. There is a HUGE difference between the videos shot with a gimbal and without, especially, if you need to film a lot of slow-motion & cinematic scenes.
One of my must have travel gadgets is a solar portable charger which uses sunlight to charge my phone and other electronics. I always travel with one or more portable chargers since my smartphone battery runs out very quickly. I especially love using a solar charger because not only is it eco-friendly, I never have to worry about finding outlets or running out of power.
One of my favourite travel gadgets is my Peak Design Capture Clip. It attaches easily to my backpack strap (or any other bag) allowing me to clip my mirrorless camera on, freeing up my hands. It’s simple, but smart design creates an extremely convenient way to carry my camera while hiking or travelling that keeps it secure and easily accessible for photo opportunities.
We never leave home without a universal travel adaptor and converter! These nifty derives allow you not only to take your electronic gadgets from home with their usual plugs, but also deals with wattage conversion if you come from a country that normally uses 220V and you need to step down to 110V (usually coming from Europe to the Americas). Having it as an all-in-one unit saves on packing multiple devices and you can even use it with your USB cords too.
Shareable on up to five devices simultaneously, the whole family can stay connected with Skyroam Solis, a dual 4G LTE global WiFi hotspot and power bank. This global connectivity travel gadget features on-demand WiFi connectivity with fast 4G LTE speeds, battery life of 16+ hours and mobile charging through its proprietary global network powered by patented virtual SIM technology. With instant access to secure, unlimited data in 120+ countries, Skyroam offers the convenience of country-hopping without configuring local SIMs, updating phone plans or incurring roaming charges and overage fees.
Travel Gadgets and Gear for Traveling with Kids
Each trip we go on we get more organized and come up with new travel gadgets to bring. For our first cruise, we knew space would be limited, very limited in the cabin that I shared with 3 of my girls. We brought magnetic hooks, they stick to the metal walls or doors on a cruise ship. We hung backpacks, wet bathing suits and coats from them. Get the heavyweight hooks if you have a heavy purse or lots to hang.
The Ergobaby carrier is definitely my go-to piece of travel equipment when travelling with babies and toddlers. Using a carrier means that I never have to take a pushchair away with me and it leaves both my arms free so I’m able to deal with my older child. I can take my kids on long days out hiking where a stroller isn’t suitable; the carrier was a lifesaver at Petra and in Iceland. Kids are usually happy to take their naps in the carrier so I don’t have to worry about when my kids need to sleep. The carrier is suitable from birth up until the age of about two.
We’ve travelled regularly with our son for four years, since he was four months old. We’ve learned that hotels can’t always provide an adequate cot or bed. Cots can vary in size and condition, and in some cases can incur an additional charge. Some establishments have insisted that we use existing bedding, having him sleep together with us in our bed. It can also be difficult getting your child to sleep in an unfamiliar bed. The beauty of a travel toddler bed is that they become familiar with it as you travel, you can take it wherever you go, and it’s easier getting them to sleep in a familiar bed. You also end up getting more sleep too.
An inflatable airplane cushion is our must-have for long haul flights with our kids. We started using the Fly Tot a couple of years ago and haven’t looked back. We love that it can transform the airplane seat into a bed by fitting in the leg room area in front of the seat. It gives our kids enough room to stretch out and we don’t have to worry about having a child sprawled across our lap for a 10 hour flight. Not only does it help everyone have more room on the flight, it has helped our kids sleep on every flight we have taken it on!
I always travel with my two kids in tow, and so for me one of my most valuable travel accessories is a portable booster seat. We do a lot of travelling to and from airports in taxis or hotel cars and if we are on a city break, we usually take a taxi across town at some point. So having a portable booster seat with us is essential for the safety of the kids. Our favourites are the Bubblebum, which is inflatable and the Mifold, which is foldable. Both fold up small enough to fit in my handbag!
Very few people realize that there are numerous cool board games for travellers in the market. We rarely travel without one for a multitude of reasons. They keep us occupied when the weather isn’t perfect, it is a great way to interact and they also serve as a great ice breaker. That means that you can use them to make a lot of friends when travelling. If you have kids, board games are a great way to keep them entertained too. Plus, they are a lot of fun!!!
Cool Travel Clothing
We love traveling with Zip-off pants. They are great travel gadgets because they are shorts and long pants in one. This way you can easily reduce your luggage weight as you only have to carry one pair of pants instead of two. It’s also a great option when you visit temples or churches and have to keep your knees covered but don’t want to walk around with long pants all day. Moreover, you are always prepared for changes in temperatures – just zip on and off your legs as you like.
I love my cooling towel and it is an essential when I travel. It is small, compact, lightweight and extremely practical. Perfect for hot climates, long flights and those days when it is difficult to cool down. Simply wet the towel, pull each end sharply and the towel immediately cools. The towels are machine washable and reusable and a perfect accessory to help prevent overheating.
Bags and Luggage
One thing I never travel without is a cross-body bag with slash-proof straps. Being able to wear my bag across my body makes me feel much more secure, as I can keep on eye on my valuables at all times. The anti-theft straps provide added peace of mind against would-be thieves. Wearing a cross-body bag also means I have both hands free for taking photos, checking my guidebook or wheeling my suitcase so I can focus on enjoying my trip instead of worrying about the safety of my valuables.
I always travel with a trolley backpack. You can use it as a normal backpack before checking in your luggage, and after that you can transform it into a trolley. Perfect for when you travel with a camera, laptop or with other heavy items. It especially comes in handy when flying with low-cost airlines, because if you bring it on your back when entering the gate, they let you take it as cabin luggage.
The Trunki children’s ride-on suitcase comes in a huge range of kid-friendly colours and designs, and is a parent-win at any airport. A huge hit with kids, toddlers can hop aboard the Trunki’s smooth top for parents to pull them along endless airport walkways. Older children can scoot themselves along thanks to the sturdy built-in wheels and “horn” handlebars. Bored airport layovers are a thing of the past thanks to the super-fun Trunki!
One of our favorite travel accessories we don’t leave home without is this Sea to Summit travel backpack. It packs up really small and barely weighs anything, so you don’t have to worry about adding too much space or weight to your luggage. It’s perfect to grab and go on a hike or day trip, and pack what you need. Super lightweight and water resistant too!
One of my favourite travel gadgets are packing cubes – they are cheap, easy to use, and make my travels so much more convenient. I travel a lot with my big backpack and after a few days on the road, my belongings are a total mess – no matter how hard I try to keep my stuff organized. I used to separate my clothes in plastic bags, however, these bags get easily ripped and are bad for the environment as well. The solution for my packing issue were packing cubes. Using packing cubes, I’m able to organize and sort my belongings in an efficient and effective way. Finally, the inside of my backpack isn’t one big chaotic mess anymore!
We have owned two hidden travel wallets in the past but both were uncomfortable to wear. Our favorite alternative has become the Flipbelt runners belt. It holds a variety of items – wallet, passport, cash, keys, even smaller sized smartphones – which lay flat around the waist instead of being stacked on top of each other in a single pocket. The fabric is soft and stretchy so it’s comfortable to wear under clothing.
A hidden travel wallet does not guarantee that things won’t get stolen, but it does help reduce the risk significantly, as most pick-pocketers and petty thieves go for pockets and bags. Take away the obvious, easy opportunity, and you’ve quickly diminished your chance of becoming a target.
This runner’s-belt-turned-hidden-travel-wallet is one of the best ways we’ve found to protect our valuables on the go.
The Scrubba wash bag is ideal for travel – whether it’s a weekend away or a year long adventure. It’s a lightweight laundry solution – a compact laundry bag with a washboard design inside to scrub your clothes clean by hand in no time – with minimal water needed. The Scrubba Wash Bag can also be used as a waterproof dry bag – keeping valuable dry at the beach or river adventure. It folds down to a small enough size to fit in any backpack or suitcase too and weighs only 142g!
Travel Gadgets for Outdoor Adventures
One of my ultimate travel gadgets that I never travel without is a fantastic thermic water bottle that holds 8 fluid ounces. What I love about it is that it keeps the temperature of drinks for hours at ends after I fill it up. It is great when going to the beach, as it saves me from carrying a cooler to keep the water cold; but it is just as great when it is cold out and I have to keep my coffee hot. It turned out to be a lifesaver during my trip to Africa, as I’d use it every night before going to bed to prepare myself a much needed hot coffee that I could drink first thing in the morning to warm myself up while I undid my tent and got the fire going to cook breakfast.
The “Zap It” is the only thing I’ve ever found that works that helps stop the itching from mosquito bites. It is a tiny little ‘gun’ (just over 1 inch wide) that you place on a mosquito bite and press the button. It produces a tiny electronic shock (no batteries are required, and it doesn’t really hurt at all) – after doing this a few times it stops the itching within ten minutes.
It comes with a keyring attachment, so you can easily carry it wherever you go. If anyone is planning a trip to a country with a mosquito problem then I can’t recommend this little gadget enough.
One of the coolest travel gadgets that I ever bought was my head torch that I got last year when I went for a volunteering session at the Indian Mountaineering Foundation in Delhi,India. This is the coolest travel item I have, and I take it everywhere whenever I go for any trip, especially during any trekking or hiking voyage. I just wear it around my forehead with a tight band covering my head which provides ample light when I stroll around the streets. I find it very useful during unplanned nights when we have to hike or trek more than 1 km to reach our destinations. This headlamp covers and provides enough light to move and stroll forward towards our destination without many problems.
I don’t know you, but I feel very uncomfortable (and even dirty) when there is sand on my beach mat. It might sound a bit weird because I’m on the beach after all, but still. So, you can imagine how happy I was when my husband gave me a sandless beach mat! It keeps me clean and sand free on our summer trips. One of the best travel gadgets ever!
A Steripen water steriliser is one of the must-have travel gadgets, especially for long-term travel or if you’re heading to countries where the tap water isn’t drinkable. This little gadget slips easily into your bag and takes just 48 seconds to kill bacteria in a 500ml bottle, meaning you can fill up your own bottle from any water source and turn it into safe drinking water on the go. Great for your budget and the environment!
A travel gadget we love and that has helped us in many destinations is a portable mosquito net. Exceptionally foldable and lightweight, travel mosquito nets are designed to take a minimal amount of space and are excellent to protect yourself or your kids from mosquitos in a way that is easy and chemical free.
They come in many shapes and sizes and the ones we like most have a small hook you can use to hang them above your bed. The hanging device changes slightly depending on the brand you choose but is usually adaptable enough to suit most sleeping situations without leaving unwanted marks. We used the nets to cover full double beds or children’s cots and they made sleeping in hot weather immensely more pleasant and safe.
Whew, what a list! What am I missing? Do you have favorite travel gadgets that didn’t make the list? Leave it in the comments and I may add it in!