They'll make your next trip a breeze
Whether the busy holiday travel season is upon you, an important business trip is looming, or you’re about to embark on a relaxing vacation, one thing is true: You—and your stuff—are going places.
Luckily, the latest and greatest gear makes it easy for you to live and travel comfortably. These seven devices (and a bonus bag) can help you minimize stress, reduce your load, and travel smarter.
Luggage scales are a necessary evil. You need one before your flight to avoid an overweight baggage fee, but for the rest of your trip, it’s dead weight. Airscale extends the scale’s usefulness by slipping a 6,500mAh battery into the handle, allowing it to double as a power bank when not weighing your luggage.
As a bonus, the digital display used to tell your bag’s weight converts into a percentage meter when it’s in battery mode. Most batteries use four-or-so LED lights to do this, which means Airscale is much more accurate. Buy here
If you don’t think of streaming media devices as travel gear, you probably don’t spend much time in a hotel room watching whatever shows are currently airing on basic cable. Plugging Amazon’s new Fire TV Stick into your hotel television’s HDMI port can let you take your favorite streaming shows from Amazon Video, Netflix, HBO Now and others wherever you go, as long as there’s Wi-Fi.
Using video streaming devices in hotels can be dicey, with a “captive portal access” feature, Amazon’s works with many public systems. The newest version of the Fire TV Stick comes with an Alexa Voice Remote, so you can talk to Amazon’s virtual assistant if you get lonely on the road. Buy here
It’s a given that Apple’s wearable device is great at making sure you don’t miss notifications from your iPhone. But it’s as a travel device where Apple Watch shines. For instance, the paranoia of leaving your wallet in a cab disappears once you start using Apple Pay on your Watch to pay for your ride. Each airline app is different, but they provide a myriad of alerts on the fly, including gate-change information. Getting stressed waiting for your bag? The Breathe app can help you relax during these frantic moments at the luggage carousel. Buy here
When you’re on the road, your only company might be your suitcase — so better make it a smart one. Bluesmart’s Black Edition connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth to power a range of functions, like location tracking, remote locking, and an integrated digital scale. The hardshell roller has some new wheel technology as well, letting it zip in and out of security lines with ease. Then, when you’re waiting at the gate, you can use the embedded battery charger to top off your gear — the carryon bag has enough juice for six phone charges, in case you’re headed on an overseas adventure. Buy here
If you’re traveling on business, hopefully there’s some pleasure included. The Samsung Galaxy TabPro S is the perfect travel computer because it lets you get both done with minimal bulk. Packing a mobile-optimized Intel Core M processor, the quarter-inch thin, 1.53-pound, bright, high-resolution 12-inch AMOLED display has a 10-plus-hour battery life, 128GB of storage, and runs on Windows 10. 30 minutes of charging while on your layover will give you more than two hours of battery for your connecting flight. And best yet, when you fold it down with the included keyboard, the TabPro looks like a presentation folder (and not at all like that other Samsung Galaxy product currently banned from airplanes, meaning you shouldn’t get any trouble from the flight crew.) Buy here
The jet set knows the best way to stay connected both home and abroad is to use a dual-SIM smartphone. Packing two SIM cards, phones like the Honor 5X can get you local voice and data service wherever you roll your luggage without missing a call. This unlocked Android handset has a slick aluminum body with a fingerprint reader and a 13 megapixel camera on the back, a Qualcomm octa-core processor on the inside, and a 5.5-inch high definition display on the front. And while the 16GB of internal storage is lacking, an additional storage slot makes up for that, allowing for an additional 128GB of space. Accepting nano-SIM, micro-SIM, and a microSD card, the Honor 5X is a truly accommodating travel companion. Buy here
Will the hotel have an iPhone-compatible alarm clock? How will I listen to my morning news podcasts in the shower? What if we want to enjoy some music down on the beach? These questions are irrelevant if you pack the travel-friendly UE Roll 2 in your suitcase. Compact and nearly flat for packing, and sporting a handy bungie cord, this waterproof speaker can go almost anywhere you can. It’s got nine hours of battery life, and it can link up with two phones simultaneously in case you want to share it with a sidekick. Or connect two Roll 2s to your handset simultaneously, and make its big sound even bigger. Buy here
Bonus: Airpocket ($75)
While not technically a gadget, Airpocket is a great place to put your devices while on a plane. Designed to fit in the seatback pocket, Airpocket was initially conceived of as a carryall that rounds up all your in-flight must-haves (phone, magazine, tablet, headphones, makeup, snacks), so you don’t have to pull out your carry-on bag repeatedly to access them. But there’s an ancilary benefit to using Airpocket instead of the seatback pouch: The airline’s storage option is filthy, and avoiding shoving gear like your smartphone in it is a smart way to fend of germs.