Couple viewing tablet on a plane

We have some go-to gadgets to make travel easier for you.

Hero Images

En español | Luggage? Check. Wallet? Yep. Tech? You bet. The right high-tech companions can make your next trip smoother and more entertaining. 

Of course, you won’t forget your smartphone, considering it’s the one device you bring with you everywhere. On a vacation, this digital Swiss Army Knife is your camera and camcorder, music player, GPS navigation tool and mobile wallet. Just make sure you’ve loaded any available apps from your airline. That way, you’ll get real-time notifications on important changes like delays and gate switches. Loading free apps for ride-sharing services such as Lyft or Uber can also help you find transportation if you get stuck in a new city.

Here are a few other suggestions for helpful gadgets to bring along on your next getaway.

Extra juice

There’s nothing worse than when your tech conks out before you do!

Because smartphones can do so much today, their batteries run down frequently. That's why you should seriously consider bringing a portable battery booster, which eliminates the need to search around for a wall plug to charge your smartphone, pocket camera or wireless headphones.

Many of today’s models let you juice up a smartphone multiple times and more than one product at a time. Plus, you’ll see small LED lights on the battery that indicate when it’s time to charge up again (perhaps once you reach your hotel room).

Solid options include the small mophie powerstation XL ($70), a 10,000mAh battery that can power up a typical smartphone about three times, and the Beatit Tech Portable Charger ($55), an 18,000mAh solution that can also give your car a boost with its red-and-black jumper cables.

A great solar pick is Goal Zero’s Nomad 7 Plus ($100), a foldable waterproof panel with removable kickstand for adjustable positioning. Compatible with most USB-chargeable devices, including smartphones, GPS and headlamps, this charger includes an easy-to-read LED indicator that displays the strength of solar conditions and the charging speed.

New readers

Tablets make for exceptional travel partners, as they're ideal for reading ebooks, digital newspapers and magazines. Extremely thin and light, they can last all day on a single charge. And some tablets have integrated cellular connectivity, so you don’t have to hunt for a Wi-Fi hot spot to get online.

Typically, tablets range in size from 7 to 12 inches. As with a smartphone, you can choose between Apple’s iOS (iPad) and Android (everyone else), plus there are some Windows-compatible tablets.

A few models to consider: the 8-inch Asus ZenPad 8.0 ($129), Lenovo’s 10-inch Tab 4 10 Plus ($249) and the Apple iPad (128GB storage) with WiFi + Cellular ($559 or $69 on 2-year plan with carrier).

Those who want to read books only should try the Kindle models from Amazon, including the new Kindle Oasis ($249), the first waterproof e-reader you can bring to the beach or pool. Its 7-inch display is easy on the eyes, and turning pages is fast and intuitive.