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The Best Travel Gadgets & Gear in 2017

By Alex Moretti


Updated on

We made room for gadgets in our pockets and bags for they help us in various tasks and improve aspects of our lives. If you want better journeys, here are the best travel gadgets on the market today.

The travel gadgets in this article were carefully curated from a list of hundreds of instruments or devices with a primary focus on travel. How can it improve our adventure days, how can it help in various situations usually encountered while we’re on the road? These are just two of the many questions we’ve asked ourselves on each piece of gear featured here.

We’ve selected 21 smart tools, but we’ll keep updating this list with new ones as soon as they hit the market or after we’ve tested them.

Mobi EyeFi Wi-Fi SD Card

If you’re a DLSR (but not only) owner and love taking photos while travelling, you already know seeing the photos you’ve taken is an issue as your camera’s display is rather tiny.

Mobi EyeFi SD card wifi photo transfer from photo camera to smartphone
EyeFi Mobi SD card will transfer your photos from your camera to your smartphone in an instant, via a wireless connection between your gadgets.

EyeFi’s Mobi SD card is a must have 2 in 1. A memory card and a wi-fi device that will automatically send photos you take with your (DSLR) photo camera to your iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows or Kindle device.

What’s great about this little travel gadget is that it connects your photo camera to the world. You can edit the photos you take on spot, via your smartphone, tablet or laptop. You can also share the photo you’ve just taken with the world on all the social networks you want. All this without the need of extra cables or removing the card from the camera.

So let’s say you’re out there in the wild and you’ve just spotted and captured a snap of a reindeer. No need to hurry home as the photo is instantly transferred to your smartphone so you can share it.

From $21 | Buy Now

There are some other wireless SD cards on the market. Here are some alternative devices that add wireless capability to your digital camera: Toshiba Flash Air, Transcend, Ez Share.

Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones

We’ve chosen the Bose QuiteComfort 35 after comparing a couple of headphones. Its active noise cancelling feature, wireless capability and crystal clear sound were the pros we were after in finding the best travel headphones.

Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Best Travel Gadgets Headphones
Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones – free yourself from wires and noise when you travel.

One of the most irritating things about flying is that engine sound that keeps on going for as long as you travel by plane. These are the best noise cancelling headphones on the market so just put them on and do whatever you’re up to in total serenity.

The 20 hours per charge battery life with continuous wireless streaming has you covered even for the longest travels.

Bose added Comfort to these headphones name for a reason. The earpads are filled with memory foam so your ears will feel relaxed.

$349 | Buy Now

However, if you don’t want anything covering your ears and travelling light is a must, get an in ear headphones. Our recommendation: Bose QuietComfort 20

Olloclip 4-in-1 Smartphone Camera Lens

If the smartphone is your photo camera of choice, you’ll probably want to enhance its photo capabilities. 

Olloclip 4-in-1 Smartphone Camera Lens
Document your travels with your smartphone camera on steroids, by using lenses.

After researching many of the smartphone lenses available today, we’ve come to the conclusion the OlloClip 4-in-1 is the best choice.

The four different lenses consist of a fisheye, wide angle, 10x macro and 15x macro. Any of these lenses will make your photos stand out on Instagram.

OlloClip is easy to use and it enables you to shoot more, from landscapes in a wider format to astonishing in detail close-ups. It works on both the front and rear-facing cameras thus has you covered for that perfect landmark selfie.

So small and simple, yet one of the most fun travel gadgets out there.

From $70 | Buy Now

This little gizmo is only available for iPhones, iPads and just a few Samsung devices. If you’re looking for lenses for your android device, here are our recommendation: Magnetic iPhone & Android Lens Series, Mpow Clip-on Supreme Fisheye Lens

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

The award-winning LifeStraw is a life-saving invention. Wherever you are, you just need any kind of water source or stream and this gizmo will turn it into clean, drinkable water.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is a must have travel gadget
LifeStraw is a must-have gadget for any adventure traveler.

It’s just impressive how a device so simple can save lives. Maybe you will never be under the threat of dying of dehydration, but while on a hike or deep inside the wilderness this is the best travel gadget to have on you to help quench your thirst. Directly from mother nature’s resources.

The Lifestraw contains no batteries, no chemicals and no moving parts. It can filter 1,000 litres of water. All you have to do is suck up through the straw and it will remove 99.9999% of bacteria and parasites found in water.

It is indeed an emergency gadget, but you never know when disaster strikes. It’s always a great idea to be prepared, especially when you’re traveling.

If you consider yourself an adventurer, this is a must have!

$20 | Buy Now

Alternatively, you can get the LifeStraw Go Water Bottle, integrated with the same filters. It is perfect for travel, backpacking or camping, or for when you’re in areas with poor water quality.

Bluesmart Smart Suitcase

Bluesmart is basically the suitcase of your dreams and it has been called the iPhone of Luggage.

Bluesmart's measurements (22" x 14" x 9") fit the standard carry-on size for all major airlines.
Bluesmart’s measurements (22″ x 14″ x 9″) fit the standard carry-on size for all major airlines.

Even the best travel gadgets need to be stored while they’re on the move with you. And what a better place to store them then a smart suitcase packed with technology.

Its built-in GPS will let you know where it is via the mobile app it comes with. So wherever you are, you’ll know where the Bluesmart is, even if it’s on the other side of the planet.

The smart suitcase is a trustworthy travel partner. It can charge your phone up to six times and the built-in scale will let you know its weight, so no more sweating at the luggage drop-off points.

If you also want your smart suitcase to follow you on its own, check out the Travelmate Robot Suitcase.

Lifepower A2 L Portable Battery Pack

The A2 L from Lifepower is much more than a powerpack, it’s a portable (AC) plug outlet capable of charging any of the gadgets you travel with. Including your laptop.

The king of batterypacks weights 800g and can be fully recharged in 3.5 hours.
The king of batterypacks weights 800g and can be fully recharged in 3.5 hours.

Packing a massive 27,000 mAh battery that’s using the same technology as Tesla cars, Lifepower A2 can charge any device, anywhere. It can also supply AC power to any devices without batteries.

To make it clearer, it can fully charge your MacBook Pro, or any other laptop, on the go.

So there you have it, forget all the other powerpacks, Lifepower A2 makes sure you’ve got the power when you’re on the road.

$249 | Buy Now

If you’re only traveling with your smartphone, the TravelCard Charger is the best pick. It comes with an integrated USB cable, so you won’t need to have your original charging cable in your pocket as well. Its size and capacity is also a big plus.

GoPro Seeker Backack

If you’re an adventurer and own a GoPro camera, you’ll need the GoPro Seeker Backpack. It’s the kind of travel gear that completes you and probably one of the best tools to document your travels.

We’re putting this at the top of the list for adventure backpacks, especially for those of you who love to film and own a GoPro camera.

Its creators had you, the adventure traveler in mind when they made this backpack. It’s built to resist in heavy rain, snow or high temperatures. Because you need hydration to keep moving, the Seeker can accommodate a water bladder up to 2 liters.

The overall capacity is 16 liters of storage plus a compartment that can fit up to five GoPro cameras. Its best features the mounts available – over-the-shoulder or on the chest so you can caption the action around you, hands free.

$167 | Buy Now

For the old style backpackers, The Wirecutter recommends the Osprey Farpoint 55 Travel Backpack. As Farpoint 55 might be a bit too tall, REI Grand Tour 80 is the perfect choice for the ladies.

The Ostrich Pillow (Original)

Sleep is highly underrated when it comes to traveling. You need good quality sleep to make the most out of your journeys and the Ostrich Pillow can help you with that.

Don't care what people say, care about your napping style.
Don’t care what people say, care about your napping style.

Despite its aspect, the Ostrich Pillow was a successfully funded Kickstarter project and is a great addition to your travel gear.

Its main area of expertise are power naps, and most people that have used it swear on it. Besides its comfy design, the Ostrich Pillow can also filter out noises.

Once you put it on, you’ll feel you’re in your private quiet place, thanks to its soothing soft interior. It can also accommodate your hands inside it.

$100 | Buy Now

Afraid of ostriches? No panic, here is the number one rated eye mask – Nidra Deep Rest.

GoTenna Off-Grid Text & GPS

GoTenna allows you to create your own network and communicate with others even if there’s no network signal.


This is a new entry in the world of travel gadgets. It keeps you connected with your friends or family when you’re in the wild, off the grid or at crowded events.

In order for it to work, both the sender and the receiver (of the message) must have a goTenna (wirelessly) connected to their smartphones. Its range tops 50 miles in ideal conditions and you can also contact anyone nearby in case of emergencies.

Apps with detailed offline maps come with it so you can share your location with your goTenna bros, wherever you may be.

$150 | Buy Now

No service? No problem, there is another option for keeping in touch off-grid, and this one also allows voice messages and can recharge your phone – Beartooth.

UE Roll 2 Best Portable Speaker

When it comes to sound gadgets, UE Roll 2 is the best choice even for audio freaks. It comes packed with everything you need for your travels. 

UE Roll 2 is the most portable speaker and delivers impeccable sound

The best thing about the UE Roll 2 is the full, smooth sound it can reproduce, from highs to lows. It sounds fantastic bot indoors and outdoors and it small size makes it perfect to fit your adventure backpack or laptop bag.

You can take it inside the shower or even at the beach. This Bluetooth speaker can take a plunge in the water and survive 30 minutes at 1 meter deep.

At its 13.4 cm (5.3 inches) diameter and 3.8 cm (1.5 inches) tall, the Roll 2’s maximum sound level sits around 85 dBa (pretty damn loud). It weights 330 grams and comes with a bungee strap so you can attach it to all sorts of things like the shower faucet or your weekender bag.

UE Roll 2 has the best reviews all over the internet and we think it’s a must in anyone’s travel gadgets bag.

$87 | Buy Now

If waterproof  or sound volume is not a criteria in your book, we recommend the Logitech X300, for a more smoother sound. For it unique style and great sound as well, you should also consider Marshall Killburn or it little brother Marshall Stockwell, both portable devices.

DJI Phantom 4 Drone

DJI has been a reliable drone producer since its first model, the Phantom 1 which pretty much set the standard for how drones should handle and work. Their latest is the Phantom 4 and it is probably the best drone you can get for its price tag.

dji phantom 4 best drone for travel
Your eye in the sky can film in 4K and take stunning long exposure photos thanks to its integrated gimball.

Drones are pretty much the number one gadget of the last 5 years.

When you want amazing photos of the places you’re visiting, be it landscapes, aerial shots or personal images, a drone is one of the best travel gadgets you can get. The perspective it adds to your photography is currently unbeatable by any other gizmo.

Phantom 4 can fly and shoot for 28 minutes straight. Its brand new, special built for flying imagery 12.4MP CMOS sensor can shoot in stunning 4K.

You can control the Phantom 4 from as far as 5km (3.1 miles) and it can reach a maximum speed of 72km/h (55mph). even though controlling it is straight-forward, it can also fly by itself to the area you pin on the screen or it can follow the (moving) subjects of your choice.

With places you can actually fly your drone in decreasing each year, now’s the best time to get one, until governments permanently ban their use in any places. For now most of the drones ban focuses on public places, but make sure to research the legislation of the places you’ll be traveling to.

$1,095 | Buy Now

Want a drone with better specs? Check out the Phantom 4 PRO.

AMPL World’s Smartest Backpack

Where am I supposed to keep all these travel gadgets, you might ask. In a smart backpack, of course.

If you’re a tech guy or girl you’ll want a smart backpack.

AMPL is still in production but will soon roll out their largely acclaimed backpack. It’s going to be the perfect home for your everyday gadgets. If you’re constantly on the move and need to use your smartphones or laptop, this backpack should be the one you’ll be carrying them around with.

The smart backpack can boost a total of 42,000 mAh battery power, more than your electronic little friends can eat in a day. And of course it comes with a mobile app that will let you know everything that’s going on inside your smart bag.

If you need a smart backpack now, there are some others on the market. Lifepack is the other one we recommend. It comes with solar power recharging and integrated solar speakers amongst other cool features.

PackTowl Personal Travel Towel

We’ve researched travel towels and found the best one for you, thanks to its small size and absorbing capacity, 4 times its weight in water. 

The ultimate sports and travel towel.
The ultimate sports and travel towel.

The PackTowl is one of the softest and most lightweight towels out there. It comes with a carrying pouch and its odor-resisting abilities are top-noch. Its made of a suede-like material that is antimicrobial treated.

You can pick the L size as it will be able to dry your entire body after a shower. However, if you’re looking for a towel you can wrap your body in, go for the XL size or larger.

From $12.95 | Buy Now

Sunscreenr – Is Your Skin Protected?

Most of us spend our summer holidays out, under the sun. Sunscreenr makes sure you’re totally protected by your sunscreen lotion.

"When you go to the beach, you become a tiny moving target for the sun’s warm yet carcinogenic rays" - Business Insider Suncreenr
“When you go to the beach, you become a tiny moving target for the sun’s warm yet carcinogenic rays” – Business Insider

With one million cases of skin cancer per year in USA alone, the use of sunscreen is a must. But what if you’ve missed some spots on your skin? This is where this ultra portable travel gadget comes to the rescue.

Sunscreenr is basically a UV camera that shows the sunscreen coverage on your skin. Take a glance through this instrument at your own skin or the persons you’re with and you will clearly see the areas of the skin that are not protected and (re)apply sunscreen over them.

Sunscreenr has record and playback functions to monitor your own skin, for when you’re traveling alone. Its compact size and lightweight built makes it very easy to transport and use.

$119 | Buy Now

Sand-Free Beach Mat

Lay this mat underneath you or your beach towel and the sand won’t bother you anymore.

cgear sandless beach mat
CGear Sand-Free mat is the best solution to keep the sand off your towel and skin.

This must be in your travel gear bag if you’re going to the beach. You can also use the sandless beach mat as an entrance in your tent if you’re camping on the shore.

The revolutionary mat was initially developed as a deployable mat for military and civilian helicopters to land on sandy or dusty environments as it helps stop the dust from rising when helicopters landed on them.

The mat is made from resilient materials that can also stops dirt and dust and it can be easily cleaned with a hose.

From $38 | Buy Now

Universal All in One Power Plug Adapter

After some serious research in the world of universal power plug adapters we’ve concluded that the one made by Travel Inspira should be the one in your must have travel gadgets list.

best universal travel adapter
Its small size and variety of options makes this the perfect power plug adapter even for hardcore globetrotters.

This low-cost and lightweight adapter has you covered in over 150 countries worldwide. It comes packed with 5 different input plugs  and two USB charging ports, all in one piece, without attachments.

One thing you should know is that it doesn’t convert electrical output current or voltage but it does have a built-in safety shutter.

$10 | Buy Now

If you’re looking for an adapterwith ground plug, Skross World Travel Adaptor 3 is your best option.

Reliefband Neurowave 

This wearable travel gadget soothes your nausea whether it’s caused by traveling by car, plane or boat.

Reliefband Neruowave. You can get the first version (left) now for $95. The second version (right) will be released later this year.
Reliefband Neruowave. You can get the first version (left) now for $95. The second version (right) will be released later this year.

If you’re one of the people that suffers from motion sickness, you might find this wearable device even more useful than your watch, while on the road. On a side note, it even helps if you’re a VR headset owner and get motion sickness from it.

The Reliefband uses a process called neuromodulation that generates a pattern of pulses to the median nerve on your wrist.

Their latest product looks like a fitness tracker and has 10 intensity settings you can set the pulse to, depending on how severe your nausea is.

There is no alternative to this gadget but drugs, so instead taking chemicals, you’d better get this.

$95 | Buy Now

Polaroid Snap Instant Printing Camera

This 10 MP digital camera instantly prints the photos you take, so you can keep and enjoy them elsewhere than a screen.

Point, shoot, print. With Snap, it's as easy as can be to take photos and have them instantly printed.
Point, shoot, print. With Snap, it’s as easy as can be to take photos and have them instantly printed.

Polaroid Snap is a camera that blends the glorious past and tumultuous present into a small gadget that’s perfect for traveling. The camera’s small size and even smaller (2×3 inch) printed photos means you can take it anywhere.

The camera is very easy to use and has just a few options so you can shoot straight away. There are several tones you can print your photos in, like normal, black & white or sepia. Snap also features a 10 second timer and a button to add the Polaroid border to your photos.

The Snap comes with a built-in recharghable battery. No ink cartridges are needed as the camera features the Zink Zero Ink Printing Technology. The only extra thing you’ll need is photo paper that you can purchase along with the camera, from Poaroid.

$97 | Buy Now

Twice as expensive but with a touchscreen, video capabilities (1080p), 13MP sensor and some other extras, Polaroid Snap Touch would be the next natural choice.

LuminAid PackLite

These compact, inflatable and solar-powered LED lights are a must for every adventurer or camper.

LuminAid PackLite is the ideal light for where you're off the grid. And it fits in your pocket.
LuminAid PackLite is the ideal light for where you’re off the grid. And it folds to fit in your pocket.

Weighting 142 grams (5 oz ), the PackLite Nova offers 75 Lumens given it is set on its highest setting. It can provide up to 24 hours of light on a single charge. A full charge takes roughly 10 hours under the sunlight.

PackLite Nova can fill 12 square meters (125 square feet) with light. Once inflated, it is waterproof and it can also float.

All these plus more features you’ll find on the product page prove that PackLite must be a part of any adventurer’s travel gadgets list.

From $15 | Buy Now

Ping – World’s Smallest GPS Locator

Its ability to track just about anything makes it an excellent travel gadget. Attach it to your wallet, luggage, pet, backpack, you name it, and keep track of everything that’s important to you.

Ping is a personal GPS locator using multiple technologies to offer peace of mind, knowing you can find what matters when you need to.
Ping is a personal GPS locator using multiple technologies to offer peace of mind, knowing you can find what matters when you need to.

Travel should be stress-free and this tiny GPS locator takes care of some of your worries while on the road.

Ping is the gizmo I’ve been waiting for since forever. Just a few years back, Bluetooth trackers flooded the market but they only solved part of the problem, being trackable only inside a 10 meter (35 feet) range. Ping also solves another problem present in other GPS trackers by its small size and battery life (up to 3 months, rechargeable).

It works pretty simple, just attach it to anything and install the smartphone app. When you want to track down something (or someone) that has the Ping attached, access the mobile app and it will show you Ping’s location on a map.

$99 | Order Now

ThermaCell Foot Warmers

You know those days you put layer upon layer to keep yourself warm, only to get cold feet (literally) later? ThermaCell Heat Insole fixes this and will keep your feet warm.

These also make one of the best skiing gadgets.
These also make one of the best skiing gadgets.

Especially if you’re visiting cold places, you need to keep yourself warm and cozy. Starting from the ground up, the first on the list are your feet. This wireless gadget should be placed inside your shoes.

Once you need your feet to get warmer, hit the button on the wireless remote control that comes in the package, select Medium or High and let ThermaCell work its magic.

These foot warmers can be recharged up to 500 times thus more than enough for your travels in cold weather.

From $70 | Buy Now

We’d love to know, what’s your favorite travel gadget and why?

Join the conversation in the comment section below!

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About Alex Moretti

Adventure junkie, content creator and storyteller, Alex left his nine-to-five career lifestyle to become a full time world traveler. He started his journey to the unknown 5 years ago and visited more than 30 countries and 400 cities ever since. Learn more about Placeaholic's Editorial Process.

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