Funny you should ask because we have a whole forum dedicated to Travel Gadgets and Gear (G&G for short). Our G&G DEs can recommend a travel gadget for just about any situation, so I compiled a list of their all-time favorites. Here’s to making your next trip the best one ever:
1. Smart phone (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Palm, etc…), the mother ship of any trip. Language translator, alarm clock, restaurant finder (via an app like TA’s own Local Picks, currently undergoing a major upgrade), notepad, music/video player, and web browser (a mobile version of TA is in the works). Use it to store itineraries and confirmation numbers for flights, reservations, and tours, plus scanned photocopies of Passport and ID. Smart tip: store essential info on the phone itself so that you can access it without cell service or internet access.
2. GPS system (better yet, a smart phone with built-in GPS!). And don’t forget to download electronic maps from http://www.gpstravelmaps.com. They have everything from generic maps for your destination, to custom maps for your specific trip.
3. Plug adapter kit and USB charger cables. To juice up something big like your laptop, the plug adapter is a must. Kits like this one are made to fit outlets in most countries. If you can plug in your laptop, then there’s no need to lug around powers cords for your small gadgets. Just grab a USB charger cable for each of them (or try this 5-in-1 cable) and charge them from your laptop.
5. Unlocked cell phone (or an unlocked smart phone). That way you can buy SIM cards as you go. Essential for multi-country trips.
6. Kindle (or other electronic book reader). Most readers can also store documents, so you can dump your travel info onto the gadget for easy reference.
7. LED flashlight or key chain light. Especially useful if you’re traveling in a place where there are frequent power outages. On a real adventure? Try the special Scorpion Finder.
Allow me to suggest my personal fave, the White Noise iPhone app. For those who can’t fall asleep without background noise, it’s much easier than packing a loud fan. Doze-inducing sounds include “Tibetan Singing Bowl,” “Cat Purring,” and “Boat Swaying in Water.” Although that last one could make you seasick.
Got any gadgets to add?
Travel on, TripAdvisors!