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Great Gadgets to Ensure Smooth Travels

Pack well and you’re halfway there. It’s easier than you think with these 7 travel gear must-haves.

Frequent travelers know that a good smartphone is the best travel tool. In one device, you have a phone, camera, Internet, GPS and millions of apps—such as currency convertors, city guides and language translators—that make travel easier.

But what other gadgets can help you travel smarter? Here are our some of our recent favorites:

Travel adapters: International jetsetters know the key to successful travel is a universal adapter, such as the Ansmann All-In-One Adapter ($25). This nifty gadget is perfect for small suitcases because it’s a single unit with several retractable plugs. It works in more than 150 countries and is very safe, thanks to its earth pin protected plugs. Apple users should consider the Apple World Travel Adapter Kit ($29), which includes a set of 7 AC plugs, labeled by the regions they are compatible with.

Personal comfort: Stop tossing and turning on long flights. The Travel HoodiePillow ($25) is an inflatable, easy-to-pack neck pillow made from super soft sweatshirt material that has a built-in hoodie for privacy.

Personal power source: Take up less space in your suitcase with PocketCell ($60). Smaller than a tube of toothpaste, this universal rechargeable charger is compatible with all USB-powered devices. Simply juice the PocketCell for a few hours until it’s fully charged, then take it with you to power your devices when their batteries are low. No power outlet or tangled cords required!

Smartphone camera lenses: No need to take up precious luggage space with bulky camera equipment. Now there are lenses smaller than a quarter that quickly attach to your smartphone, extending its photographic capabilities. Android, iPhone and BlackBerry users can attach lenses from PhotoJojo ($49 for a three-piece sampler), giving you the ability to take fisheye, wide angle and macro photos in a snap.

Home monitoring: Wish you could keep an eye on your house while you’re on the road? You can, with Belkin’s NetCam ($49.99-129.99). When you connect the device to your Wi-Fi network, the wide-angle lens can monitor an entire room, syncing the feed to your mobile device. It’ll even alert you when motion is detected. There’s also a newer HD version ($150) for those seeking high-quality video.

Luggage tracker: Frequent fliers—and anyone who has ever dealt with the chaos of lost luggage—will find comfort in the Trakdot Luggage Tracker ($50, plus $24.99 for a year of service), a small FAA-compliant device that tracks your bag’s whereabouts, alerting you by text to its location when you land.

Tech-friendly baggage: If you hate taking your laptop out of your carry-on at the security checkpoint, consider buying Incase’s Hardshell Roller ($300). This suitcase has special pockets for up to a 17-inch laptop, a tablet, chargers and other electronics, allowing you to breeze through security without having to remove all of your devices. Added bonus: The second exterior zipper allows the roller to expand by nearly 2 inches, a 35 percent increase in storage space.

(Note: This article was updated in September 2016.)

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