Gear and Gizmos
It is hard to deny that traveling is made more relaxing and enjoyable thanks to the gadgets we carry with us these days. It is hard to remember a time before smartphones, tablets, and e-readers came along to make those long flights much more bearable. Of course, everyone knows about those device and what they can do for us while we’re on the road. But there are other high tech toys that can come in handy when we hit the road as well, whether you’re traveling to Europe, Asia or anywhere in between. Here are five travel gadgets that every traveler should have at their disposal.
Travel Power Strip I’m not sure why, but many hotels still seem to have a shortage of power outlets in their rooms, and don’t even get me started on airports. While things are slowly improving, it still nice to have the ability to charge more than one device at a time, particularly if you and a companion each have a smartphone, tablet or laptop. One way to accomplish that feat is to carry a Monster Outlet To Go. These power strops provide up to four extra outlets, are compact and lightweight, and are very affordable.
All-In-One Power Plug Converter At one time, traveling to foreign countries would present a host of logistical hurdles to cross in order to keep your devices working properly, not the least of which was having the proper adapter for the various power outlets that are used around the world. But an all-in-one plug converter, such as the one offered by Kensington, has made problem a thing of the past. The adapter has every plug you’ll need, no matter where your travels take you. You simply match up the converter with the outlet and slide the proper adapter open. When paired with a travel power strip, you have a winning combination.
Portable Battery Charger It is amazing how quickly our cell phones can burn through a battery charge when we use them frequently. A portable battery charger can extend that life greatly however, allowing you to keep your gadgets functioning for far longer than they normally would. Many are compact and lightweight, and specifically designed for smartphones. Others are larger and bulkier, but can deliver enough power to recharge a tablet. For smartphone users, it is tough to beat the Mophie Powerstation. Not only is it compact and lightweight, it also packs enough juice to at least double the life of your battery. Something that could really be useful while on the road.
Noise Canceling Headphones Nothing can take a noisy, crowded flight from an annoyance to a soothing experience faster than a good pair of noise canceling headphones. Using built-in white nose generators, these types of headphones create a low level sound that is almost imperceptible. This has the benefit of blocking ambient sounds from the environment around us, allowing us to listen to music or movies much more comfortably. In a sense, it creates our own personal cocoon of silence to help escape the chaos of airports, airplanes, or hotel rooms. We reviewed an excellent pair of noise canceling headphones a few weeks back and found them to be a great addition to any traveler’s carry-on bag.
Travel Router If you use wireless Internet while traveling on a regular basis, you probably already know that reliable is not a word you would typically use to describe it. Some hotels still don’t even provide WiFi, choosing instead to offer traditional wired Internet via Ethernet. A travel router gives you the ability to carry your own hotspot with you where ever you go, allowing you to turn a wired connection into a wireless one that you can share with others. Carrying one of these devices with you the next time you hit the road will likely make you very popular with your traveling companions. Back in November, we took a look at one such travel router from Satechi, which has the added bonus of also serving as a power outlet adapter.