10 best tech gadgets for traveling

Travel is back on the rise. This Thanksgiving, the number of travelers will be almost at pre-pandemic numbers (53.4 million). But with the pandemic still very much around, not to mention persistent supply chain issues leading to shortages, traveling might be a little more stressful than usual.

Whether you’re traveling for the holidays, or back to traveling for work, follow these recommendations of travel tech to make navigating travel a little easier.

If you’ve ever tried to pull a charger cable from the depths of your bag on a cramped plane, this one’s for you. Keep all of your cables and adaptors neatly tucked away so you don’t accidentally elbow a stranger. And it makes packing and unpacking a breeze. Reviewers praise this one for being compact yet functional, and it comes in different colors.

Image of open cable organizer next a laptop.

We like this compact option from Bellroy.
Credit: Bellroy/Amazon

Can you use wireless headphones on a plane? The Federal Aviation Administration says yes, but each individual airline can also choose whether to allow or prohibit them. Why not bring a pair of wired headphones just in case? That way, you also don’t have to worry about losing battery. Plus, didn’t you know wired headphones are cool again?

Image of wired headphones

Cover your bases and bring a pair of wired headphones.
Credit: Sennheiser/Amazon

Nobody likes keeping track of a bevy of passwords, or carrying around those dumb little keys. Instead use a padlock that unlocks with the touch of a finger. This one is waterproof, has a rechargeable battery that lasts for 2,500 unlocks, and is made of durable stainless steel.

Image of fingerprint padlock compared to size of credit card

Say goodbye to cumbersome padlocks.
Credit: MEGAFEIS/Amazon

Any experienced traveler knows that a good e-reader is critical. The latest from Amazon’s Kindle line has been getting rave reviews for its big display, thin build, and 10 weeks of battery life. In fact, Mashable’s own Alex Perry loved the new Paperwhite so much, it made him enjoy reading again.

Image of Kindle Paperwhite

The Kindle Paperwhite is glare-free and waterproof.
Credit: Amazon

This top-rated gadget comes with adapters for North America, EU, and UK outlets, has two USB ports (USB-A and USB-C), and its USB-C port is enabled with PD which stands for Power Delivery. Essentially PD is high-speed charging technology so you don’t have to hang around your hotel room waiting for your phone to charge.

Image of charger plugged into the wall

Not just an adapter but also a high-speed charger.
Credit: Native Union/Amazon

Ironically, the features you need the most when you travel — GPS, translating app, podcasts, etc. — are the biggest drains on your battery. In normal life a dead battery is an inconvenience, but if you’re traveling, it’s a disaster. Arm yourself with a portable charger just in case.

Image of portable charger

This charger has a 10,000 mAh battery.
Credit: Belkin/Amazon

For those hotel room outlets that are awkwardly far from the bedside table or the only available outlet in the airport that’s right next to the loud Jamba Juice blenders. Those extra few feet of cable feel like a lifeline.

Image of coiled charging cable

This one by Anker is 10 feet long and stands up to wear and tear.
Credit: Anker/Amazon

Maybe you want to protect yourself from sketchy public WiFi. Or maybe you just miss the Netflix offerings in your home country. Either way, a VPN is a great investment.

Image of NordVPN graphic

NordVPN is included in Mashable’s roundup of best VPNs.
Credit: NordVPN

Travel is exhausting. Especially if there’s a time difference. That, coupled with sleeping in an unfamiliar place can be a nightmare for light sleepers. This sleep machine is travel size, has a long battery life, and comes with 11 different sound options (including fans, white noise, and nature-scapes.)

Image of sound machine of bedside table

Let the sounds of the Amazon rainforest lull you to sleep no matter where you are.
Credit: Yogasleep


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If there’s anything we learned from the pandemic, it’s how easily germs can spread. Since you can’t slather hand sanitizer on everything, killing germs via UV light is a great alternative. Swipe this wand all over your plane seat, that hotel room bedspread, or just about anything else. Not all UV wands are made equal, so make sure you know what to look for when you buy.

Image of UV sanitizer wand

This rechargeable one from Ribex is cordless and lightweight.
Credit: RIBEX/Amazon