Sure, 2018 is only half over, but that’s not going to stop us from rounding up our favorite travel gadgets of the year (so far). Here are five best travel gadgets that we never leave home without — and you shouldn’t either.
You needn’t splash out on a lavish pair of brand-name cans to get good quality sound. But, in some cases, you do get what you pay for. Sony’s WH-1000XM2 Noise-canceling Headphones are some of the best on the market. While they retail for nearly $300, their noise-canceling technology is hard to beat. And, when you’re hunkering down for a 16-hour, Trans-Pacific flight with a dozen screaming children aboard, that steep price tag will likely be the last thing on your mind as you drift off to sleep.
Multi-tools are the last thing you’d consider packing on your person or in your carry-on bag before hopping a flight. They’re typically rife with TSA-unfriendly goodies like knives, mini-saws, and other bits that flag you as a “problem” passenger. But Victorinox Swiss Army’s new Jetsetter@work Alox Multi-tool was purpose-designed with travelers in mind. It features six essential TSA-friendly tools including scissors, a bottle opener, a small screwdriver, and a 16GB USB stick drive. Plus, it’s all wrapped in a sleek, minimalist, stainless steel design that weighs just one ounce.
Two Sony devices on the same list? Call us fanboys if you want, but the company is hitting it out of the park with their mobile lifestyle and travel gadgets lately. If you’re looking to trade in your “old-school” DSLR camera for something infinitely more portable but with the same quality, it’s time to go mirrorless. Among such cameras with a full-frame sensor, it doesn’t get much better than the Sony Alpha line. The Sony a7R II, in particular, is a fantastic piece of kit with a 42MP sensor, max ISO of 102,400 (!), and 5-axis image stabilization to help reduce blur. It’s all wrapped in a lightweight, ultra-portable, weather-resistant body that’s perfect for travelers. Now, find a bag to stash it in.
Backup power banks are nothing new. We’ll assume you travel with one already. But, the RAVPower HyperAir Fast Wireless Power Bank takes backup batteries to a level worthy of today’s digital nomad. It’s a traditional nightstand wireless charger — set your wireless-charging-enabled Android or iPhone 8/8 Plus atop the bank and it immediately charges without wires. It’s (obviously) a standard power bank as well. So, you can plug in a second phone to the built-in USB port and charge two devices simultaneously. The 10,400mAh capacity is more than enough for most long-haul flights — it’s capable of recharging an iPhone X nearly three times via the USB port.
Sometimes the most essential travel gadgets are the simplest. For travelers who are “in deep” in Apple’s ecosystem of products (meaning you’re packing an iPhone, MacBook, and several iPads), toting around a bag full of accessory cables gets old fast. The PlugBug from Twelve South consolidates all the Apple-centric cables you could ever need into a single, compact device. When coupled with a stock MacBook power adapter, it provides dual charging capability almost anywhere in the world. The 10-watt capacity will charge an iPad four times faster than a MacBook and an iPad mini twice as fast as the standard charger.