10 Travel Tech Essentials to Upgrade Every Part of Your Trip

In essence, when you travel, you’re likely hoping to experience something — something new, relaxing, challenging, or truly moving in the way that only a moment of discovery away from home can be. And when the technology you bring with you functions at its best, it will enhance those experiences, not distract you from them. So in lieu of smart luggage and power converters, we’re bringing you 10 truly impressive gadgets that go beyond the usual travel tech toolkit!

Several of them focus on wellness, like a handheld strength trainer. Some are meant to provide peace of mind, be it in the form of a meditative sleep aid device. Others will help capture and share the destinations you’re touring, in multiple dimensions.

So stow your tray tables and make sure your seatbacks are in a fully upright position, because this is some seriously elevated travel tech gear.

Kindle Oasis

Dropping almost $300 on an e-reader is certainly an investment. Though not lava-proof, the latest Kindle does have an IXP8 waterproof rating, so you can peruse the latest beach read from your private jet–shaped pool float without worry. The new shape has a larger screen and a more ergonomic one-handed reading experience, and the battery lasts for weeks, which for us — who may not always remember every charging cord when packing — is key.

Get it from Amazon here

Xenvo iPhone Camera Lens Kit Pro

What’s worse than finding yourself in a gorgeous setting without a way to properly capture it? Lugging around a giant camera for hours on end. Xenvo’s wide angle lens is key if you want to do a stunning landscape or sunset justice — and it fits into your pocket. The macro lens takes amazingly detailed close-ups of things like flowers, and the LED light will make that food photo shine in a dimly lit restaurant. All of these compact, little items clip right onto your phone (no need to remove most cases), so you’ll have all the necessary gear for a well-rounded vacation photo shoot, without having to schlep an extra camera bag around.

Get it from Amazon here

Activ5 Portable Strength Trainer

With the advent of guided workout apps and hotels adding fitness-focused amenities left and right, travel is no longer an excuse to table your exercise routine. The palm-sized Activ5 makes strength training possible anywhere, and it’s surprisingly discreet to use. Set-up takes just a few minutes, as the app asks some basic demographics, gives instructions for how to position the device, and measures your maximum chest press power as you squeeze it between both palms as hard as you can — pretty cool, right?

Get it from Amazon here

Microsoft Surface Go, 128 GB

Microsoft’s brand new 10-inch tablet, released August 2, is all about portability. It’s the smallest and lightest of the Surface models, weighing barely over a pound, but this doesn’t come at the cost of performance or battery life. You can get up to nine hours of unplugged use out of a single charge. It’s also got all the features you’ve come to expect from a top-of-the-line tablet: an intuitive touchscreen, crisp, bright resolution, and an adjustable stand for your tray-table binge-watching pleasure.

Get it from Amazon here

Amazon Fire TV Stick With Alexa Voice Remote

If your ideal relaxation session involves a healthy dose of catch-up on your favorite series, add the Amazon Fire TV Stick to your packing list. There’s a reason this streaming stick has more than 100,000 rave reviews. Plug it into any HDTV and you’ll be able to access hundreds of thousands of channels, movies, and TV episodes from your accounts on Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, etc. all in one place. What’s more: it’s voice-enabled, so you can say, “Alexa, play This Is Us,” and she’ll pick up right where you left off. How’s that for vacation?

Get it from Amazon here

GoTenna Mesh SMS and GPS Device

If you’re heading off the grid, get your travel squad some GoTennas and you’ll be able to text each other and share your locations without data or Wi-Fi as long as you stay within about a three-mile range of one another. Think of them as modern-day walkie-talkies that are both Android and iOS compatible. The GoTenna app is quick to set up and simple to use, and it comes with a major bonus: the ability to download detailed maps you can use offline to navigate various countries around the world.

Get it from Amazon here

Fitbit Versa

Fitbit has officially evolved beyond fitness trackers into full-on smartwatch territory, and especially so with the Versa. It brings all the most loved health features — like heart rate tracking, step counting, and detailed sleep analysis — to a stylish, customizable face and adds so much more functionality than its predecessors. For example, it's capable of storing hundreds of songs for phone-free Bluetooth listening.

Get it from Amazon here

Basu Personal Alarm

“Small in size but big in sound” is how Basu describes its personal alarms, and that’s exactly what we’re looking for in a travel safety device. Just pull the pin to sound the siren, and it will play for 30 minutes (or until you stop it). You can clip it onto your backpack, keychain, or turn it into a tripwire to keep your campsite secure. It’s a smart thing to have around in case of an emergency, especially if you’re looking for peace of mind while traveling solo.

Get it from Amazon here

iOttie Easy One Touch 4 Wireless Qi Fast-charging Car Mount

The point of a windshield or dashboard phone mount is to make it easy to see the navigation while driving, and iOttie’s One Touch mount does exactly that. Easily adjustable to fit a variety of phone sizes and secure enough to actually stay upright, this is a road trip no-brainer — especially so if you’re not a fan of fumbling with charging cords while keeping your eyes on the road. This unit has a super-speedy built-in charger that starts powering up your battery on contact.

Get it from Amazon here

Dodow Sleep Aid Device

Great for the restless sleeper who typically spends the first half of a trip battling jetlag, the Dodow is sort of like meditation with training wheels. Developed by former insomniacs, it taps into a breathing technique commonly used in yoga. Place it on your nightstand and it will project a soft blue light, waxing, and waning, on your ceiling. Focus on inhaling as it grows and exhaling as it disappears. After an eight- or 20-minute cycle, depending on your preference, you'll feel ready to fall asleep wherever you are (or at least noticeably more relaxed).

Get it from Amazon here