When it comes to travel everyone loves to travel feather light….but there are some travel gadgets that are essential to just about every packing list. Besides your smartphone—which is a given for just about all of us—we’ve come up with some travel gadgets that deserve inclusion in your carry-on.

  • Universal (All-in-One) Plug Adapter

Today’s all-in-one adapters are truly useful universally with a built-in extender on the European adapter plugs. With a wide range that suits all pockets, they definitely snitch the top spot for must-have gadgets

  • Noise-Canceling Headphones

“Noise-canceling headphones were probably the best travel investment I have made,” says pro photographer Erik Dresser, who logs tens of thousands of air miles each year for his work. Dresser notes that the headphones let him shut out the general din of the aircraft so he can relax more easily, permit him to sleep in flight without getting woken up by chatting passengers and crying babies, and signal to others that he is not up for socializing.

  • USB Flash Drive

A USB Flash Drive (also known as a thumb drive) can come in handy on any number of occasions while travelling, such as sharing a document with the hotel front desk so they can print it for you or access a photo of your passport if it’s lost or stolen.

  • Portable Phone Charger & Car Charger

If you will be renting a car, bring a car charger/adapter. Recharging your stuff while driving helps combat the “not enough accessible outlets in the hotel” factor and allows you to use your device to map your route, play a podcast or distract your kids in the back seat without running down the battery.

  • Weatherproof Phone Case

In my informal gadget survey of friends who travel frequently, the one thing that few of them owned but many were thinking of getting was a weatherproof phone case.

  • Solar Charger

For hardcore travellers who might spend long periods of time away from plugs of any kind—such as backcountry hikers, climbers, and campers— Solar Chargers are a useful addition to a packing list. Sure, part of the point of heading into the backcountry is getting away from connectivity, but that doesn’t mean that GPS devices, cameras, or even smartphones are completely verboten.

  • Sun-/Insect-Repellent Shirt

This isn’t exactly a gadget, but clothing has become quite technical in nature and can provide more than just routine cover. Many companies make pants, socks and shirts that provide specific protection from both sun and insects, including measurable UV protection as well as EPA-certified insect repellent properties. Many are lightweight and breathable as well, making this a “tech” purchase perfectly suited to travel.

  • Smart Suitcase

We’re in the early days of smart suitcases, but the idea is extremely compelling—being able to check on your smartphone where your bag is, how heavy it is and whether it has been opened. Some smart suitcases even provide the ability to charge devices through a USB connection.

There are also simple tracking devices you can put into your luggage, so that might be another way to tap into this type of tech without going all in on an expensive bag. As this tech comes into its own, soon enough tracking our own bags might seem almost routine.

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