Essential Travel Tech
Traveling is one of the best things in the world to do. It broadens your horizons, gives you opportunity to experience new cultures, interact with new people and see some amazing places. There are lots of travel tech lists out there that list things like a travel espresso maker or USB flash drive cufflinks and while my list may seem a bit more bland, it’s a whole lot more useful. Note that I’m not covering things like Kindles or tablets because those things fall into the “given” category for travel (meaning I’m assuming you’re already bringing those with you).
Power To Go and a Whole Lot More
The RAVPower FileHub Plus should be a the top of any traveler’s list. It houses a 6000mAh battery pack to charge your devices on the go, which is a lifesaver on long flights, delays in the airport, long car trips or days filled with galavanting around a foreign city. What’s more, it also houses an Ethernet jack and SD card slot. Your can use the Ethernet jack to plug into a local network at a hotel, friend’s house, office, etc. and make an instant wifi hotspot to which you can connect. This is great to bypass notoriously slow hotel wifi or create your own wireless network without having to have a password for someone else’s. The SD card slot gives you the ability to take lots of files with you. Fire up the hotspot and connect to it and you can use it as a wireless external “hard drive” for your phone or tablet or stream movies using the built-in DLNA server. I’ve used RAVPower devices for years and they are quality products that make stellar travel companions.
Planetary Power Plug
Unless you’re out in the bush of South Africa, you are probably staying in a hotel room while traveling. The Kikkerland UL03-A Universal Travel Adapter is one of the most clever solutions I’ve found to the “global outlet conundrum.” Most power adapters are either bulky, have separate attachments for different plugs or are bulky and have separate attachments. All of that is uncool while traveling. The UL03 folds flat, easily fits in a pocket, purse or day bag and gives you access to outlets in 150 countries. It literally transforms to fit whatever outlet format you need and is handily out of the way when you’re on the go. Brilliant!
Capture the Moments
When I was travelling around Europe in college, I got more than my share of exercise running from behind the camera to in front of the camera before my self-timer went off. If you’re like many people today, the idea of carrying a camera that’s not built into your phone is pretty odd, but there are still going to be those times when you’re going to need to make a mad dash before your self-timer goes off and finding a spot to park your phone while you’re running to get in the picture is a lot more dicey. Fortunately, a tripod kit with smartphone holder and remote control make getting a picture with the fam in front of some famous monument a lot simpler (though you might need to replace the mad dash in your travel exercise routine). The Peyou® 50″ aluminum travel tripod should fit the bill for exactly what you need. It may, however, be a little too big for those of you traveling extra light (kudos to you), I’d highly recommend the ECO-FUSED mini tripod with smartphone mount (I’ve used an almost identical one of these – sans smartphone mount – for close to 20 years). It’s super small, extending out to 8.25″ and doesn’t include a remote, but the build quality is good and means being able to get yourself in the picture without being a selfie-stick dork.
I know lots of us are used to banging out texts and emails with our thumbs nowadays, but if you wan’t to sit down and actually get something done, a full-size keyboard is a must-have. The Logitech Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard K810 is an excellent travelling companion. It’s thin, light, can pair with up to three different devices (and switch between them) and it’s back lit, so working in the dark is no problem. I’ve toted this keyboard across the country and paired it with Android tablets, Windows tablets, smartphones and PCs.
To go with your illuminated keyboard and compliment your ultimate mobile office is the Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse T630. I love this mouse so much, I have one at my desk for my main mouse and one in my bag for when I’m out in the field. There are some like the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse that are, honestly, more ergonomic and cooler in styling, but Touch Mouse is more durable, travels extremely well and you can pair it with two devices and easily switch back and forth between them. The top surface of the mouse supports scrolling as well as multitouch gestures.
There are lots of bluetooth headphones out there to pick from and I have by no means reviewed (or even touched) a tiny fraction of them, but I can tell you about my experience. The GLCON GS-05 Collapsible Bluetooth Headphones have served me very well, give great sound quality (note that I am no audiophile), and have been very durable. They’ve also been a good choice for my kids as the earbud style has proven uncomfortable/ill-fitting.
Multi-USB Charging Cable
If you’re like my family, you’ve got iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets in the mix and a plethora of cables to keep them all charged. Carrying hordes of cables is a real drag, let alone keeping track of them all. Enter the WonderfulDirect 4 in 1 Multi USB Charging Cable. You get a micro-USB end for most Android phones and tablets, a USB 3 end for the Samsung Galaxy S5, Note 3, etc., a 4-pin lightning cable for current iPhones & iPads and a 30-pin connector for all your legacy iPods, iPhones and iPads. It’s a great way to consolidate your cable clutter and still have a cable for almost any device you need to charge. Note that these cables don’t do data, just power.
There are a ton of gadgets that make travel a lot smoother. but these are the ones that I would say are super beneficial for travel. If there are others that you’ve found are essential, leave a comment below!