Best Travel Gadgets

Top travel websites that every good traveller should now
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What websites and resources do you normally use before and during your trip? The available resources are continuously growing, so what are the choices?

This is our selection of travel gadgets. Most of them are inexpensive and essential, and some others could wait on our wish list. If you are looking for the best carry-on/cabin luggage, go to number 11.

Portable Charger/External Battery/Power Bank

This is the most important gadget for most travellers. There is nothing worse than getting lost or losing communications. And it is not only the maps and addresses, nowadays we use apps for everything: bookings, tickets, transport timetables, boarding passes, and even payments (see our cards post).

There are so many power banks, of all colours and sizes (and most of them are made in China). Which one shall I get? What do I need to know? You basically need to know two things:

a. Capacity

It is measured in mAh, which refers to milliAmpere Hour. This same unit is used for your device’s battery. So as a general rule (without getting too technical), you should get a power bank with equal or higher capacity than your phone/device to ensure at least 1-full charge. But because power banks capacity is affected by a lot of factors (ambient temperature, charging current, health of the bank and the phone’s batteries), a good recommendation is to get one with a mAh rating of at least 25-30% more than the mAh capacity of your device’s battery.

For instance, an iPhone 7 packs 1,960mAh (and promises 12 hours of internet use on 3G). Therefore, you want a power bank of at least 1,960mAh, preferably 2,500mAh or more. And of course, the more devices you want to charge, the more capacity you need (and the more time it will take to charge).

b. Output voltage and current

These charger specifications are usually on your device’s USB adapter. However; any voltage difference is stabilised by the phone’s circuitry and reduced to match the maximum voltage of the phone’s battery. So the recommendation here is easy: the power bank output should be at least 5.0V and 2.0A since most modern smart devices adopt this standard. Some models offer 1.0A, and they will charge your device slower.

What to consider:

Power Universal Adapter

This is also a must-have gadget, and you will probably need more than one 2 because both your power bank and device need to get charged from an outlet on the wall.

So the first option is to check the socket type for a specific country and get a single compatible adapter. The second and more sensible option is to buy a universal adapter, which can be changed accordingly. I strongly recommend the one in the picture above, which comes with dual USB charging ports and a car charger.

What to consider:

Luggage Scale

We all reach our luggage weight limit at some point in our trip. It is very easy to exceed, just with a couple of gifts. But we do not want to repack suitcases on the floor of the airport and in front of everyone. So instead of praying to not exceed 23 kg (50 lbs) and pay oversized baggage charges, we need to get a scale and weigh our bags in advance.

We can easily find inexpensive, reliable and easy-to-use digital scales. They normally have a strap that you can fasten around the handle of your suitcase, to then lift it and see its weight.

What to consider:


If you like reading and travelling, this is also a must-have gadget. Electronic readers are especially suitable for travelling. Basically, they are lighter and smaller than paper books. Moreover, you can take a hundred books on a single device.

Some people may think…

  • “And why is it better than a tablet?” It has no screen glare, even in bright sunlight. And more importantly, a single battery charge lasts weeks.
  • “But I like how books smell…” Do not worry, you can get a spray-can for this purpose. With a quick spritz from the aerosol, your Kindle will smell like a real book. (I have not tried this, but it is real).

Among all the e-readers available, I strongly recommend Kindle Paperwhite

Appendix: How can I transfer books to my Kindle?

  • Option A). Simply buy digital books on Amazon and connect your Kindle to your account, and of course to the Internet. It will synchronise automatically.
  • Option B). If you have files on your computer and you want to transfer them, you first need to convert to .mobi extension, which is the one that Kindle understands. It can also read .pdf, but it is probably better to convert them anyway. There are tools online that will convert any text format to .mobi. You then connect the Kindle to your computer using the USB cable. You will see a new device in your Explorer/Finder. So you copy the files in the Documents folder on that device, and that is all.

SD external memory

It is always thoughtful to carry at least one extra memory for our pictures and videos. Nowadays disk storage is very cheap and we should have a backup all the time.

We can easily lose/break our main memory or we can run out of space. We do not want to spend time transferring files from one device to the other, nor deleting pictures to make more space. This is something we want to do back home. Moreover, we can also use SD cards for our Sat Nav maps. Just make sure you select the right one for your camera or device. For around USD 17, you can get a good one with 128 GB of storage, or smaller ones for less money.

Additionally, there are some Wi-Fi cards that can transfer photos to your smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac as you take them. Toshiba FlashAir is one of them.

What to consider:

Travel bottles

We also need to carry our liquids when we travel. So better to get a good pack of airport-security/customs-approved 100 ml bottles and a clear bag.

If you go to one of those cheap shops like Primark you can get a pack for USD 1-2. Or you can always try Amazon.

What to consider:


Padlocks can be an essential travel gadget as well, but sometimes it will depend on the kind of trip we are doing. If we plan to go cheap and stay at hostels, most of them normally provide lockers but we need to bring our padlocks. So in these cases, we probably want to get a good one, and not just those tiny ones for our luggage. There are all sorts of padlocks, so we can get standard and cheap ones, travel TSA-approved ones, or more sophisticated ones with Bluetooth, which can be operated with our phone.

Some people think it is not necessary at all. They think padlocks can damage your luggage, can be cut off during security checks, or can easily get lost or broken. I personally do not agree. But it ultimately depends on the kind and destination of the trip.

What to consider:

Selfie Stick

“A selfie is a self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a digital camera or camera phone held in the hand or supported by a selfie stick” [wikipedia]. Yes… this term has become so popular that is at the top of the Oxford Dictionary’s rankings.

So even though a selfie stick can reach a high level of uncoolness, the truth is that they are an excellent tool if there is no one to take a picture of us, or if we do not trust strange photographers. We want to avoid a random arm in the shoot and also get a better angle, so better to get a selfie stick.

What to consider:

Microfibre Towel

A towel can also be essential if you stay cheap at hostels. They are normally for rent, but you may want to bring your own. And even if you stay at a modest or nice hotel, you may want to carry your own towel to use when you go to the beach, lake, river or pond. Or if you go for a run or any activity where you can sweat or get wet.

Microfibre towels, like the one in the picture above, are ideal for travelling: they are compact, lightweight, super absorbent, fast-drying, and have anti-bacterial properties for odour prevention. So they are perfect for camping, gym, sports, beach and general use.

What to consider:

Mobile Wifi

These are especially handy for technology addicts or when travelling for work. Roaming charges are extremely expensive in most places. Free Wifi networks are normally quite bad and sometimes useless. Moreover, many countries generally have poor bandwidth, and networks become overcrowded easily.

However; 3G and 4G networks tend to be more reliable, even in countries with a slow Internet connection. So if you want to be online and not beg for free Wi-Fi in McDonald’s or Starbucks, you should get a mobile Wi-Fi device.

There are good ones like the one in the picture above, which connects up to 10 Wi-Fi-enabled devices at the same time. Or you can get cheaper ones, the so-called dongles. Both of them can be obtained at any airport, where they normally have good deals for tourists.

What to consider:

Aerolite Lightweight 34L Carry On Hand Cabin Luggage

I am not sure if carry-on/cabin luggage is considered a gadget, as it is actually the most important object you will need when travelling. It is either one of these or a backpack. And because I am not an experienced backpacker myself, I can only recommend a cabin suitcase. 

After having plenty of cabin suitcases, I can definitely recommend this one. It is great value for money at only £31, like no other. It has plenty of space and pockets, good quality zippers, and more importantly, a very strong telescoping handle system.

If you prefer 4 wheels, you have a model of the same brand as well. The downside here is that due to the extra wheels, you lose some space, and I would rather bring an extra T-shirt with me. 

Car Phone Holder

Luggage Packing Organiser

Portable Bluetooth Speaker

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