All avid travelers are able to be avid travelers partially because, to some extent, we know what we’re doing. But we couldn’t do it without the gadgets that support and very often save us.
With these gadgets, our lives can come with us; technology allows us to work from the road to fund our lifestyles and it also protects our stuff so it can safely navigate airport baggage claims, survive large crowds (and the pickpockets who infiltrate them) and make it out of hotel room after hotel room.
But as the market is flooded with “must-haves,” how do you know what products are not just more crap to tote around? The following seven are totally worth owning if you’re a digital nomad, a frequent vacationer or somewhere in between.
1. Skyroam Portable Wi-Fi ($150): Skyroam gives you unlimited global 4G Wi-Fi—and, contrary to a lot of similar products out there, you only pay for what you actually use. You pay a flat rate of $8 for 24 hours instead of buying plans that accrue fees. In other words, no overage charges, no roaming charges, no SIM card changes—and up to 95 percent savings on international data roaming. That’s a beautiful thing, as is the fact that you can connect up to five devices. Oh, and it also doubles as a portable power bank.
2. Tile Mate ($20): Tile Mate is a simple Bluetooth tile that hooks onto your luggage and uses a corresponding app to track it in case it gets lost or stolen. The app will show you a map of your luggage’s last known location. It doesn’t require any charging or battery changing, and it’s been engineered to last a year without any maintenance. If you do need to replace it, you can upgrade at a discount through Tile Mate’s replacement program. What’s even cooler about this product, though, is that it doesn’t only track your luggage. What happens if you lose your phone instead? Press the Tile twice to make your phone ring even if it’s on silent. If you’ve lost everything, log into the Tile Mate website to use the map or make your phone ring from there.
3. Pacsafe Camsafe Z25 Anti-Theft Camera & 15″ Laptop Backpack ($240): Pacsafe is among a frequent traveler’s favorite brands. It’s recognized for its collection of bags and apparel that are intended to keep pickpockets off. Photographers or anyone carrying expensive equipment like cameras and laptops should consider the Camsafe Z25 because the contemporary design combines with customizable Velcro dividers and carefully disguised anti-theft features like TurnNLock security hooks, slashguard straps, RFID-safe blocking pockets and material and a Roobar deluxe locking system. Short of lugging around an actual safe, you really can’t get more secure than that.
4. Master Lock Bluetooth Padlock ($70): The smartest thing you can pack when traveling is your own padlock, so you can lock up your luggage in the airport, at a hostel or hotel or anywhere else. This Master Lock Bluetooth padlock is a solid option that features a wide metal body for durability. The shackle also offers maximum resistance to cutting and sawing, so it’ll prove difficult for anyone trying to break in. It’s connected to the free Master Lock Vault eLocks app on your smartphone, which allows you to open it and share access for others to open it. You’ll never have to remember a combination again, and you can monitor access history and receive tamper alerts for peace of mind.
5. mophie Wireless Charging Case (prices vary): You’ve already got a power bank with your Skyroam, but it’s not a bad idea to put a charging case on your phone to keep it juiced. And mophie offers cases for any iPhone or Galaxy phone, as well as some other phones, as well. Charging cases are ideal for the traveler on the move who doesn’t have room to carry another separate power bank and doesn’t want to deal with tangled wires or a million country-specific adapters for wall outlets.
6. Toshiba 32GB Flash Air Wireless SD Memory Card ($38): Toshiba is so money for SD cards, and the Flash Air Wireless 32GB is one of its top options for a Wi-Fi-enabled memory card. It makes transferring photos from your camera to your laptop that much easier, especially since many newer laptops lack SD card slots. Plus, this card can actually keep up with the higher data transfer rate requirements of video these days, and up to seven people can connect simultaneously, allowing for easy media sharing. You can also share files directly via email, Twitter or Facebook, so there’s that.
7. Kindle Paperwhite ($120): Having any kind of Kindle is ideal because it supplies endless entertainment and is much lighter to pack than a bunch of books. But the Kindle Paperwhite is Kindle’s top offering—probably because it boasts twice as many pixels as the previous generation and has an improved high-resolution display. Kindle Paperwhite reads like paper, so it doesn’t hurt your eyes like the reflective screens on your tablet or smartphone. You can also comfortably hold it in one hand, and a single charge can last up to six weeks, so you never really have to put it down.