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Gift Guide: 23 Useful Gadgets That Go Wherever You Do

Gift Guide: 23 Useful Gadgets That Go Wherever You Do

Technology can make your life easier when you travel, or it can just be more stuff to carry and keep track of. And the last thing you need when traveling with kids is more stuff to carry and keep track of.  

No matter where you are headed, here are 23 gadgets that are worth schlepping—and might even help you schlep less. Give them to your favorite traveling parent. Or just gift them to yourself!

More Gift Ideas:
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10 Essential Items For Dads Who Love To Travel

Gift Guide: 23 Tech Gadgets That Can Travel Wherever You Do

Best-Value Digital Camera


Let’s kick off the list with the Nikon Coolpix P1000. It’s the most highly rates “bridge” camera on the market, with the powerful zoom in the Coolpix line (my b500 has a 40X zoom that can photograph people clearly from about a city block away. This is even better than that).

Bridge cameras have a lot of the capability of DSLRs with the automated settings of a pocket camera. The automtic setting is verstaile but you can experiment, with portrait, outdoors and nighttime settings too.

This one is more compact than previous models and has a fully manual option, a feature I missed it was while trying to photograph the northern lights in Lapland.

You can buy it on its own,or with a strap or tripod. I highly recommend completing this gift with a protective case with a strap and a compact lens-cleaning kit.

Best High End Camera

For the amateur photographer who wants to be able capture trickier subjects, like the aurora borealis, conside splurging on a more powerful camera like the Canon 80D Digital SLR.

It comes with a whole array of lenses which are much better for capturing complex shots, and any avid photographer will enjoy trying them all out on their next vacation.

My top tip for those Northern Lights? Get a wide-angle lense; it’s important to have as large a field of view as possible.

Look for a camera bag that will protect camera and hold an extra lens or teo,

canon 80d

E-Readers & An Endless Supply of Books

I like reading actual, physical books (call me old-fashioned). But for travel a Kindle e-reader is really handy. It’s slim and weighs the same whether you “pack” one book or ten.

And if your child reads everything they downloaded halfway through the trip, they can just download more. The Kids Kindle comes with colorful designs so you know whose is whose, and this gadget comes with a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids books.

The latest Kindle Paperwhite is waterproof and has up to 16 Gbs of memory, making it even better for travel. It has a larger screen and can stay charged for up to ten weeeks.

Give a Kindle unlimited subscription with the e-reader to the avid readers in your family.

Download & Read
See what other adults are downloading most to their Kindles.
And what kids are downloading most, too.

Boost Your Cell Signal Anywhere

the road-trippes in your family will love the weboost gadgets. which deliver cell service to you almost anywhere.

If you’re planning a road trip this summer, or frequently find yourself on the road in bad weather conside adding weBoost Drive Reach to your car.

Powered by your auxillary outlet, its small antenna sits on the roof of the car and picks up cell toweres too far away for your phone. It’s cell-service agnostic.

And it has a separate line of boosters for RVs and campers.

Music Absolutely Anywere

I can’t imagine a portable speaker getting better than this one from Reveal.

This portable blue-tooth speaker is light, compact, made from durable carbon fiber, has good sound quality and it’s water resistant.

It’s also solar powered so you really can take it anywhere. You can charge yur phone from it. And it has a charge cord, too, in case your week at the beach gets rained out.

give teh gift of music anywhre with a solar-powers blue tooth speaker that's also water resistant.

White Noise Wherever You Go


Ever gotten stuck with a hotel room perched above a noisy street? Or had a baby that can’t fall asleep in a new place with unfamiliar noises? We’ve suffered through both. The solution could be a portable white noise machine from HoMedics.

Drown out sounds you don’t want with white noise, the ocean, rain or a summer night. It has a timer, too.

Texting Gloves That Look & Feel Good

Maybe they aren’t gadgets but they’re high tech and make a welcome gift for anyone using a phone outdoors in the cold. makes gloves for men and women that let you use your smartphone outside in the cold. They really warm and they look nice, too. Women can choose cozy or stylish.

Headphones & How To Store Them

Cozy headphones for airplanes

These AcousticSheep Sleepphones slip ear buds into a headband that comes in three sizes and five colors. Try the wired or blue tooth versions.

They offer some noise cancellation and are comfortable enough to sleep with, making them handy for are handy for planes, trains and hotel rooms.

A fleece headband is cozy on chilly airplanes. The wicking fabric is ideal for exercise or traveling in warmer climes.

acoustic sheep

Wireless earbuds that stay in your ears

powerbeats are the best gadget to get in your christmas stocking: wireles blue tooth head phone that clip onto your ear so you can't lose them.

Yes, everyone on your list wants Apple airPods. But for travel and outdoor activities—not to mention the teen in your life—what you really want are Powerbeats Pro bluetooth earbuds.

These buds have clips that keep them firmly attached to your ears. They come in four subtle colors and have nine hours of battery life.

A phone cases that store earbuds

Here’s a great ways to keep track of those pricey earbuds. The Turtle hides corded buds under its shell, which doubles as a stand to lean the phone against. choose blue, green, pink or purple.


Find out what everyone else is listening too:
Download Amazon’s best sellers.

Storing Phone Photos On The Go

If you know someone who loves to use their phone for taking pictures and shooting video, then you probably also know someone who runs into memory limits on their phone.

Give them a memory stick with plugs that fit both their phone and the USB port on their computer. Choose one made for Samsung or Apple devices.

A Better Way To Track Your Luggage


Luggage trackers have been on the market for a few years, featuring different kinds of technology with varied results.

This Christmas take a look at the GEGO tracker, which uses GSM and blue tooth to locate your bag across the world, or just across the baggage carousel.

There’s a small monthy fee for the tracking service, but the first 30 days are free.

Hands-Free Tablet Holder

Do you you love handing your child your phone or a tablet to watch some videos when you’re traveling, but hate the sticky fingerprints that are all over it afterward?

The solution is the Skyhook. You’ll also want it for yourself if you’ve ever gotten a kink in your neck from looking down at your tray table for a two-hour movie.

It attaches to your closed airplane tray. It adjusts forr a range of phone and tablet sizes adn yuo can change the angle for the height of the person using it.


Here are more cell phone accessories readers have found useful.

Lots Of Ways To Charge Your Gear

In the car


I bought this Teknet Powerdash charger for our car for our Covid-summer road trips. It’s compact, has four USB outlets and uses in the auxillary power outlet. we could charge three phones all at once, plus an e-reader or tablet.

I always try to temember to pack it when we are renting a car. Depending on where we are and what cars are available, the one we hire might have few or no USB ports, but they always have the auxillary outlet.

For different kinds of devices

We travel with two laptops, three phones, two cameras and sometimes a Kindle. It was a juggle to get everything charged in the hotel room until I found a multi-charging cable.

This one is particularly nice because both the USB end and the device ends are retractable, for those hard-to-reach hotel outlets.

With its four plugs you can charge phones, tablets, e-readers, game systems, cameras, blue-tooth headphones and more.

charging cable

Keep in mind that with multi-chargers, the more devices you attach the more time it might take to fully charge them.

5 USB ports in one

ankor 525 charger

If everyone has their own cord consider the Anker 525 charging station. It has a five-foot extension cord to reach even tricky hotel outslet. And there are with two USB and USB-C outlets, plus three AC outlets on the back.

It provides a compact central charging station at your vacation rental or hotel room, so nothing gets left behind.

A power strip made for cruise travel

Did you know that not every power strip is fit for use on cruise ships? Neither did I. But this multi-plug power square from Cruise On has no extension cord or surge protector, making it shipshape and seaworthy, not to mention compact for tiny ship cabins.

Even on land it’s pretty ideal when you are traveling and have a mix of laptops, cameras and phones and need both USB ports and outlets.


The adapter for (almost) every country


For the world travelers in your family fill their stockings with a universal travel adapter. We never leave home without one.

One small chunky item can power your electronics in up to 150 countries. Use it with up to four USB cables and one regular plug.

Powering up on the go

Portable chargers keep getting smaller ad more powerful. This charger from eKrist has 25,800 mAh and two USB ports to charge more than one phone on the go (great for families).

It has six to eight charges in it before it has to be recharged, which is best done overnight.

ekrist charger

A phone case that protects +more

rugged phone case

The Element Black Ops phone case does quite a bit.

Four layers of protective casing, including military-grade fiberglass, make this case extremely shockproof. But a kickstand and hidden sliding wallet keep it practical for city life and watching movies or taking meetings on the go.

Better & Safer Drinks While Traveling

A portable espresso maker that works

Some of the best gains in technology, in my humble opinion, are the ones that have allowed us to drink way better coffee than the drip stuff I downed during college all-nighters. And we can have that excellent coffee pretty much anywhere we go.

The Wacaco Nanopresso portable espresso maker is just one example. Pour boiling water into it and use a hand-held pumping system that approximates the pressure of an electric espresso machine, and far better than you might expect.

It comes with a protective case in five colors including classic black and fire-engine red.

An NS Adapter lets you use Nespresso pods with the press, which might be easier than tamping down coffee grounds on the go.

Clean drinking water anywhere in the world

Technology can entertain you, and it can also help to keep you safe and healthy.

Grayl travel water bottles have a French-press-like filter that rids your water of heavy metals, bacteria and chemicals for potable drinking water almost anywhere you’ll want to travel. Choose smaller Ultrapress or larger Geopress, maybe with an extra cartridge.

Readers’ Pick: Quite a few of my readers are choosing the LifeStraw Go waterbottle. It’s lighweight BPA-free plastic with a silicone straw, replaceable filter. With 15 color choices, everyone in the family can have their own designated bottle.

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