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23 Best Travel Electronics, According to Tech Experts

Make your next trip easier with these useful gadgets and tech accessories.

Best Travel Gadgets

Traveling is all about taking a break and disconnecting from daily life, but that doesn’t mean you need to leave all your electronic gadgets back at home. Whether you’re planning a big family vacation abroad or you're a frequent traveler for work, there are tons of handy travel accessories out there that can make traveling so much easier.

That’s why we've put together this list of the best travel electronics and tech gadgets to save some extra room for in your luggage. At the Good Housekeeping Institute , we review and test all types of travel gear in our Labs, from luggage trackers and noise-canceling headphones to carry-on suitcases and packing cubes . Our recommendations here include products we've tested first-hand in our own travels and swear by, as well as popular picks we found by researching seasoned travelers' rave reviews online.

Our top picks:

Jetpack MiFi 8800L

Best Travel Gadget for WiFi

Verizon jetpack mifi 8800l.

325 Power Bank (PowerCore 20K)

Best Travel Gadget for Smartphones

Anker 325 power bank (powercore 20k).

Osmo Mobile 6

Best Travel Gadget for Filming Content

Dji osmo mobile 6.

40W 4-Port USB Wall Charger

Best Wall Charger for Travel

Anker 40w 4-port usb wall charger.

Rohm Portable White Noise Sound Machine

Best Travel Gadget for Sleeping

Marpac rohm portable white noise sound machine.


Best Travel Gadget for Luggage

Apple airtag.

Luggage Scale

Etekcity Luggage Scale

Wonderboom 3

Best Portable Speaker for Travel

Ultimate ears wonderboom 3.


Best Travel Gadget for Charging

M2 Mini Project Steam Iron with Solemate

Best Travel Gadget for Clothing

Oliso m2 mini project steam iron with solemate.

Read on to learn more about the most useful travel gadgets to bring along on your next adventure, and find more information about how we make our recommendations at the bottom of this guide. Looking for more travel tips? Check out our best travel tips for families and our guide to the best luggage brands for every type of traveler .

If you need solid coverage and strong Wi-Fi on your next trip, consider this Verizon Jetpack that enables you to connect up to 15 devices to your very own personal WiFi network in over 200 countries . Our tech experts like that it works on a reliable Verizon network and has impressive battery life (in our Lab tests, the battery lasted a full day, holding up to the brand's claims). Plus, it can even charge your phone if you can't get find an empty outlet at the airport. Just keep in mind that you'll have to purchase a separate data plan from Verizon to use.

Having your phone die on you while you're exploring a new place is never ideal, especially if you want to snap a photo or access Google Maps. This portable charger will be there to give you enough juice to stay connected. We love its slim, compact design, which should easily fit into any size travel backpack . We also like that it can charge two devices at once via its USB-A ports . When you've used up all the battery life, we found it easy to recharge the power bank via micro-USB or USB-C.

RELATED: The Best Travel Items to Buy on Amazon

Pack this lightweight, compact gadget if you want smooth, stabilized footage of your vacation. The gimbal stabilizer is designed to hold your phone securely in place and has built-in controls that allow you to rotate it in one sweeping motion — a.k.a. the image will be way steadier than your shaky hand. Our tech pros love that this device not only helps create professional-looking footage, but it comes with a tripod and a magnetic clamp to make attaching your phone super easy.

Doesn't it always seem like hotel rooms never have enough outlets? This charger has a whopping four USB plugs, making it a great choice for a family or anyone who wants to charge their phone, tablet, headphones and smartwatch all at once . We also like the Anker 735 charger if you want to leave your bulky MacBook charger at home and use the compact design to power your computer, phone and more.

If you or your little ones are used to sleeping with a sound machine on at home, you'll want to bring along this top-rated portable white noise machine. This model has three different sound options to help drown out any noises that could disturb your sleep, like noisy neighbors or honking city horns. Best of all, it's super small (just 3.8 ounces) and doesn't require an outlet, since it can be recharged via USB.

If you're worried about losing your luggage, we suggest investing in a luggage tracker . Just tuck one of Apple's compact AirTags inside your suitcase, wallet or even passport holder so you can keep tabs on everything right from your phone . Though you need to use Apple's ecosystem, we love that AirTags offer easy real-time tracking and a one-year battery lifespan.

If you're notorious for overpacking or shopping on vacation, bring this lightweight and compact gadget on your next trip to avoid extra luggage fees for overweight suitcases . Just hook it on your suitcase to get an instant read. Lexie Sachs , the executive director of the Textiles Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, says she's gotten tons of use out of this luggage scale over the years and it's helped her figure out how to divvy up her belongings between bags to avoid going over the weight limit on the way home.

There's nothing worse than arriving at your Airbnb only to realize you forgot your Bluetooth speaker . Our tech experts recommend bringing along this portable option from Ultimate Ears. Not only does its compact size make it easy to stuff in your bag, but we found that it packs a surprisingly loud punch . It's waterproof (it can even float in the pool!), has a long 14-hour battery life and can be paired up with another Wonderboom 3 speaker for stereo sound.

Why travel with tons of different cables when all you need is this handy multi-charger keychain that you can attach to a purse or keys? We love that it's designed to not get tangled up in your bag and that it features multiple outputs and inputs (like USB-C, USB-A, micro-USB and a lightning port for your iPhone) so you can power up all your devices. Just keep in mind that the cable is on the shorter side, so your device will need to be close at hand.

If you're tired of dealing with wrinkled clothing after a long day of travel, we've found that this steam iron is great for tackling small jobs on the go . In testing, our Cleaning Lab pros were impressed with the iron's ability to press out heavy creases as well as how lightweight it is ( only 2.2 lbs.). We found that it's easy to maneuver and comes with a useful silicone rest.

JOOMFEEN Travel Adapter

Travel Adapter

If you plan on traveling abroad, you'll want to pack a universal charger so you don't end up having to go out and buy a new one for your phone, tablet or computer. Our pros like this compact pick that can be plugged into most countries' respective outlets . Once you've plugged the adapter into the wall, all you need to do is plug your U.S. charger in and say goodbye to dead batteries. It also features two USB ports for simultaneous charging of multiple devices.

Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet

Fire HD 10 Tablet

With a Fire tablet, you can download Kindle books or stream your favorite shows to stay entertained in the car or at the airport . It's lightweight and gives you the many benefits of a traditional tablet , minus the hefty price tag. Plus, it claims to have a battery life that lasts up to 12 hours. We also like the Fire HD 10 Kids model if you're looking for a tablet for your children.

Bose QuietComfort 45 Headphones

QuietComfort 45 Headphones

Our testers found these noise-canceling headphones super comfortable, making long flights a lot more bearable. They f eature excellent sound quality, and we like that you can easily switch between Quiet and Aware modes , so you can hear important flight announcements without taking them off. Just don't forget to bring along the included cable so you can use the plane's audio jack if needed.

Sony WF-1000XM4 Noise-Canceling Wireless Earbuds

WF-1000XM4 Noise-Canceling Wireless Earbuds

If you're someone who struggles to find earbuds that remain comfortable after a few hours, our tech experts recommend these wireless earbuds from Sony. They're an excellent AirPods alternative featuring impressive battery life and soft silicone ear-tips . And on top of the fantastic sound quality, they also come with noise-canceling features so they're a good choice for planes.

Amazon Paperwhite


On trips, you probably don't have the space in your bag to carry around heavy, bulky books. We love this travel-sized Kindle Paperwhite e-reader , which makes downloading all kinds of books from anywhere in the world (in your language) so simple. We especially love that this model is IPX8-rated , so you don't have to worry if it accidentally falls in the pool or the bathtub . This IP (ingress protection) rating signifies that it can handle continuous water submersion. It's also so lightweight that you likely won't even notice it in your bag.



Leave behind your iPhone and take photos and videos on your next adventure with this tiny camera. It's made to capture the action as you ski, dive, hike, bike and more with its super durable, waterproof design (you can take it down to 33 feet deep according to GoPro). It has tons of compatible accessories to help you film, like a helmet strap and a chest mount . Our tech pros love that it shoots in 5K so you're guaranteed sharp, high-quality memories once your trip is over. If you want the most up-to-date GoPro technology and features, consider the pricier GoPro HERO11 .

LifeProof FRĒ


A waterproof phone case can save your phone from serious damage should it accidentally fall in the pool while you're snapping some photos. We like this LifeProof model because we're confident it will keep your phone dry and unharmed thanks to its built-in screen cover and solid construction: In our tests, it even survived an hour of full submersion in 6.5 feet of water !

Joby GripTight ONE GorillaPod Stand

GripTight ONE GorillaPod Stand

It can be frustrating when no one is around to take a family photo for you. Fortunately, this popular tripod from Joby comes with a clamp for your phone (no matter which model you have) as well as flexible legs that you can wrap around objects like a tree branch.

BUBM Electronic Organizer

Electronic Organizer

This super affordable electronic organizer will keep you from losing track of any cables, chargers, memory cards and more . Offered in ten different colors, we love that it folds up into a flat shape that will easily fit into a backpack or suitcase. There's also a convenient zipper closure for items that you want to store more securely.

Case-Mate Marine Waterproof Floating Pouch

Marine Waterproof Floating Pouch

Though most smartphones these days are waterproof, most of us still don’t feel comfortable taking our precious devices into a body of water. But if you plan on doing any water sports during your trip, bring along this waterproof pouch. Though we haven’t tested it in our Labs, it's rated IPX8 which means that it's been tested to withstand continuous water submersion without risking harm to your device . Our experts like that it features a touchscreen window so you can easily take photos and that, according to the brand, it floats.

Headshot of Selina Tedesco

Selina Tedesco was a Product Testing Analyst in the Media & Tech Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute from 2017 to 2019, where she evaluated consumer goods like electronics, smart devices, toys, cars and home improvement merchandise. Selina has a dual Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Design, Innovation and Society from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, as well as a Master of Science degree in Strategic Design & Management from the Parsons School of Design. 

Headshot of Olivia Lipski

Olivia (she/her) is a media and tech product reviews analyst at the Good Housekeeping Institute , covering tech, home, auto, health and more. She has more than five years of experience writing about tech trends and innovation and, prior to joining GH in 2021, was a writer for Android Central, Lifewire and other media outlets. Olivia is a graduate of George Washington University, with a bachelor's degree in journalism, political science and French, and she holds a master’s degree in communications from Sciences Po Paris.

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ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form .

These are the travel essentials you need, according to tech and travel experts


As travel continues to make its post-pandemic resurgence , there are things you can do -- and pack -- that make travel easier, less stressful, and combat some metaphorical turbulence . For example, you can slip an AirTag into your bag to at least know the whereabouts of "lost" luggage.

Also: 7 ways AirTags can simplify your life (beyond tracking keys)

AirTags , however, aren't the only tech travel gadget you should consider as a stowaway. There's lots of tech out there that can save you space, battery, trip memories, and all three combined. To find the gadgets best suited for the job -- and your luggage or even car --  I talked to travel experts and enthusiasts to see what they consider essential, and you should, too. With that, here are the top picks. 

Anker 747 GaNPrime 150W charger

Best travel tech gadget overall.


  • Can charge up to 4 devices quickly
  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices
  • USB-A and USB-C charging ports

Anker 747 GaNPrime charger features:  3 USB-C ports and 1 USB-A port | Can charge 2 laptops at once | Can charge up to 4 devices at once | 38% smaller than Apple's 140W charger, but packs in 10 more Watts (150W)

When you're traveling, it's important to keep all your devices powered and ready to go. Has anyone else ever had their phone die just as you're scanning your mobile boarding pass? To avoid that embarrassment, world traveler  Nick Yiu is saving up for the Anker 747 charger to power all his devices for the five flights he has coming up. Even though the brick is smaller than a standard Mac charger from Apple, it offers three USB-C style ports, a traditional USB-A port, and all at a whopping 150W total output. To put it in perspective, it's powerful enough to charge two laptops in a short amount of time. 

"This would replace the need to carry any additional power bricks, so you just need this one alone," said Yiu. 

The 747 also employs Anker's GaNPrime technology , which is a faster, more powerful, and even more sustainable semiconductor than traditional silicon chargers. Anker's ActiveShield 2.0 technology also monitors temperature throughout the day and makes the appropriate power output adjustments, safeguarding connected devices. For these reasons and more, this charger is even essential for ZDNET contributor  Jason Cipriani  when he travels for work. 

However, Cipriani points out that while the brick is compact, it is heavy, "falling out of most outlets, which is why Anker includes a plate that fits around the adapter and has a bunch of small suction cups to hold it against the wall." Aside from its density, the only other downside of the 747 power brick is the $110 price tag. However, when you factor in its adaptability and power, you're really paying for multiple charges rolled into one. 

Tessan International Plug Adapter

Best tech for international travel.


  • Lightweight
  • 5 total USB ports
  • Can use adapter for almost any country
  • Enough wattage to charge a laptop
  • Only compatible for 100V to 250V devices
  • Max of 15W on USB-C

Tessan International Plug Adapter features: 2 USB-A ports (12W) | 3 USB-C ports (15W) | 4 different built-in plugs, which covers over 150 countries | 6 in 1 travel adapter outlet 

The New York Times' recent daily crossword  acknowledged that the most "annoying thing" you can forget to pack for a trip is, by far, a charger. Even more frustrating is remembering a charger, and don't forget that, if you're traveling abroad, there's a high likelihood your charger won't work. Enter the Tessan International Plug Adapter. This compact tool has four different built-in plug types, which covers over 150 countries, and also includes a universal AC outlet that can convert plugs from the ES, EU, UK, and AU to fit your chargers' socket. 

Featuring five total USB ports, three of which are USB-C, this can also be used both internationally and domestically, as a multi-charging brick. In fact, the executive editor of The Points Guy, Scott Mayerowitz , says this is one of his biggest tricks since they easily plug into airplane outlets and can be a one-stop, compact shop to keep track of different cords. 

This is especially a good option if you don't want the heavy price tag or physical weight of something like the Anker 747. It may not be as fast, but it's definitely efficient and price conscious. However, keep in mind that devices requiring a higher voltage, such as a hair dryer , are only compatible for devices in the 150V-250V range. 

Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones

Best travel headphones.


  • Noise canceling quality is best in class
  • Folding design and compact carrying case
  • Long lasting battery life
  • Over ear headphones take up more space than earbuds

Sony WH-1000XM4 headphone features: Over ear, closed back | Bluetooth 5.0 | USB-C charging port | Up to 30 hours of battery – and 5 hours on a 10 minute charge | 4Hz-4,000 Hz frequency response 

Sony's WH-100XM4 headphones are a cult-classic. With top-class noise canceling quality and up to 30 hours of battery, they've rightfully earned a top spot on our list of best noise canceling headphones  and in Lonely Planet Managing Destination Editor Alex Howard's favorite travel bag . 

"The drone of the engines disappears into a pleasant background hum, and you can focus on catching up with the Last of Us instead of the screaming baby a few rows over," Howard said.  

Excellent sound quality isn't their only travel perk, the Sony WH-100XM4 headphones include a folding design and compact carrying case, making them easy to take on the go for short and long trips alike. 

AirPods Pro 2

Best travel earbuds.


  • Transparent and noise canceling quality is best in class
  • Wireless charging
  • Integrates Apple's FindMy system
  • Remain some of the most expensive earbuds on the market
  • If you have multiple Apple devices, beware of connectivity chaos

Apple AirPods Pro 2 features: 6-hour battery life and 30 hours in the case | IPX4 waterproof rating | 5.3 g each | Wireless charging | New Apple H2 chip 

Over-ear headphones are a powerful sound blocker, but they're not necessarily space conscious. If you're not ready to sacrifice precious luggage real-estate with headphones, no matter how compact or portable, a pair of pocket-sized noise-canceling earbuds can be just as effective. I personally never leave my apartment without my Apple AirPods Pro 2 or get on a plane without them. What I love about the second-gen AirPods is that they deliver outstanding sound quality in both noise canceling and transparent modes . 

Also: Flying soon? Flighty is a must-have iOS app for air travel

Sure, it's great to block out the rattles of the subway car as I make my way to the airport or the crying baby on the plane, but it's also important to be aware when traveling. And with my AirPods, I can clearly hear the flight attendant announce which carousel my luggage has (hopefully) arrived at without having to pause Taylor Swift's "Welcome to New York" as I fly into the city, per Scott Mayerowitz's suggestion.

Plus, there's a built-in case speaker that makes it easy to ping your AirPods case if it's lost in the depths of your bag or waiting to be rescued from the airplane seatback pocket. Apple's FindMy feature also comes in handy to keep track of all Apple-associated devices when you're on the go, sending you a notification when one isn't on the move with you. The second-gen Pros also employ wireless charging, even via the Apple Watch charger, which may save you packing one less cable. 

Review: AirPods Pro 2 offer two big upgrades but connectivity chaos hasn't been tamed

Best travel tablet


  • 12.9-inch screen and high resolution display
  • 1600 nits at peak brightness
  • Lightweight for an iPad Pro
  • Doesn't have the newest M2 chip
  • Camera suite isn't as updated as newer models

iPad Pro (2018) features: M1 chip | 12.9 inch Liquid Retina XDR display | WiFi 6 connection available | 12MP Ultra-Wide camera | 4K video recording at 30 fps or 60 fps | Five microphones and four speakers | FaceID | USB-C charging port 

Speaking of Apple, Alex Howard relies on his iPad Pro for inflight entertainment. But his main pro tip is to upgrade to a bigger storage size to "accommodate extra seasons of your favorite TV show when Wi-Fi is spotty." 

While a few years old, the 2018 iPad Pro features Apple's fast-performing M1 chip, a 12.9 Liquid Retina HDR display that makes for sharp and vivid visuals, and 1600 nits at peak brightness. Plus, if you take Alex's suggestion and opt for more storage, you won't face much latency and can let the high-res graphics shine. 

At  22.26oz and around $480 at most retailers, you won't be adding too much weight to your travel gear or your wallet, especially compared to the most recent iPad Pro model. Additionally, the iPad Pro 2018 (3rd generation) is compatible with the more sleek, capless second-generation Apple Pencil, which simply attaches to the magnetic strip to pair and charge . And if you're like me, it's great for taking notes that can even sync to and stay on your other devices while you're on the go. 

Of course the iPad Pro 2018 also integrates Apple's FindMy system, making it easy to track and find as you destination hop. 

Duex Plus monitor

Best travel monitor.


  • Folds up and flips out easily
  • USB-C connectivity – no HDMI cords
  • 1080p resolution
  • Adds bulk to your laptop
  • Pricey at $279.99
  • Drains laptop battery

Duex Plus monitor features: 13-inch display | Compatible with Mac and Windows laptops | Auto-Rotation display | Multi-device compatibility | 1.33 mm | USB-C plug-and-play 

Traveling doesn't mean you have to sacrifice work productivity. If you, like me and many other working professionals, rely on a monitor to multitask, the Duex Plus is a great portable option. Coming with four adhesive magnets, the monitor easily attaches to your laptop cover and flips out hassle free. From there, it's as easy as connecting via USB-C to either your Mac or Windows laptop -- no extra HDMI cord needed. 

ZDNET's June Wan reviewed the monitor and was not only impressed with the easy set-up, but with its ability to enhance his work flow from responding to Slack messages to video editing. 

What makes the Duex optimal for travel is its ability to slide in and out from the laptop lid, and then just collapse and act as a makeshift case before you pack it away in your back. While there's no need to lug around an extra bag or pack the monitor as a new entity, it unsurprisingly does add some bulk to your laptop. 

Review: This flip-out portable monitor is my productivity secret weapon

Insta360 X3

Best action camera for travel.


  • 360-degree footage
  • Compact and rugged for adventurous travel
  • User-friendly
  • 2.29-inch display makes for an excellent viewfinder
  • Software support can be sluggish
  • 360-footage requires a larger MicroSD card

Insta360 X3 features: 180g | 2.29-inch touchscreen | ½" 48MP sensor | Up to 5.7K resolution | 1,800 mAh removable battery | USB-C or MicroSD connectivity | Waterproof up to 33ft 

The best part of traveling is making memories and capturing them. However, lugging around a big camera takes up space, adds weight, and places limits on capturing fun action shots. As of right now, travel buff Nick Yiu likes throwing in his tiny but mighty GoPro to take versatile footage, but has his eye on the Insta360 X3 action camera. As the name suggests, the camera films at every angle, and assures you won't miss a shot -- even if you're skydiving. 

ZDNET's June Wan did have the chance to go hands-on with the Insta360 X3 in September, and his experience confirmed that it's worth a spot on Nick's wishlist and our best travel tech list. 

"Whether you're a professional or a beginner, the X3 brings a lot to the table for all to play," said Wan. 

This third-generation action cam is the Insta360's most compact, refined design yet and, according to Wan, "the exterior is gilded with a rugged blend of rubber and texturized ridges which assures you that the X3 can hang in the toughest outings and/or within the slipperiest of fingers." 

Perfect for long adventures, the camera is also capable of lasting two to three days on one charge, limiting yet another device you have to charge on your trip. Additionally, Insta360 puts "art" in artificial intelligence, as June Wan puts it, packing a suite of photo editing AI features on the back and front end. 

Review: Insta360 X3 360-degree action cam will blow you away  

What is the best travel tech gadget?

There are lots of tech gadgets that can optimize travel, from canceling out distractions on a long flight to capturing memories around you, and a device to power all of those devices. The items on this list consider functionality, durability, build, battery life, and more that hopefully enhance your journey.

Which travel tech gadget should I buy?

All the items on this list were carefully selected, as most have a different functionality for different needs, preferences, and even budgets. Here's a further breakdown if you're trying to decide which gadget makes for the perfect travel companion. 

How did I choose these travel tech gadgets?

To compile my list and decide which travel tech was the best of the best, I turned to experts and enthusiasts. I consulted Nick Yiu, who took 15 flights in 2022, the executive editor of travel publication The Points Guy,  Scott Mayerowitz , and Lonely Planet Destinations Managing Editor Alex Howard. As a frequent traveler myself, I also drew from my own experience and looked at products ZDNET has reviewed. 

What should I look for in a good piece of travel tech?

According to The Points Guy Executive Editor Scott Mayerowtiz, it's important to travel with tech that is lightweight, compact, and durable. 

"You might have to pay an extra $10 to $15, but it's well worth it to have the lightest device or the one with the battery that lasts that extra 20 to 30 minutes. It makes all the difference when you're on the road or in the air," he said. 

That said, it's also important not to get the most expensive item on the market, "How many chargers have you left in a hotel room when checking out in a rush?" joked Mayerowitz. "Maybe it doesn't have to be the 'best' product out there. Be mindful that things on the road get damaged." 

I considered Mayerowitzs' tips on what to look for when compiling this list -- making sure I talked to someone who had hands-on experience with every product and could vouch for it's quality. 

Is smart luggage worth it?

Smart luggage has been a hot-button item, but they don't necessarily make travel easier. If a smart suitcase has a lithium battery, you'll have to remove it before even getting to the airport. However, certain smart suitcases, like the Away suitcase, can be purchased without the lithium battery pack. 

Are there alternative travel tech gadgets worth considering?

While deciding on the best products on the market, we tried to find the best options to throw in your luggage and make your next trip as stress-free, entertaining, and easy as possible. 

However, there are also other options worth considering, depending on your different preferences and how you like to spend your travel time. 



Samsung galaxy earbuds 2 pro - a good airpods pro 2 alternative.

I love my AirPods Pro 2, but they're not the only Pro earbuds on the market with great sound quality and noise canceling abilities. The buds work well with, but aren't limited to, other Samsung ecosystem devices. Travel buff Nick Yiu relies on their great bass, compact size, and long lasting battery to get him through a trip. 


Kindle Paperwhite - A good travel gadget for avid readers

If your idea of in-flight entertainment is binge reading rather than binge watching, consider buying a Kindle . Not only will it save room in your bag, but you can download new books on-demand if you speed read through your flight or vacation. 


Bril UV-C Toothbrush sterilizer case - A good travel tech item to keep your toothbrush protected and clean

I've been traveling with this Bril UV light case and sanitizer for the past six months to keep my toothbrush clean and prevent the rest of my toiletries from getting wet. It's compact, sleek, and fast acting. 

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The 25 best travel gadgets in 2023

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For today's traveler, a packing list includes not only their daily wear and toiletries, but also tech gadgets: a phone, maybe a laptop or tablet, and possibly a smartwatch. You may also be wondering, what other gizmos are worth lugging around? As it turns out, there's a lot to consider. 

Whether you're on a long-haul flight, a never-ending road trip, or just jetting around your destination, there are plenty of travel-appropriate tech gadgets that can make your next trip a breeze. 

From gear to ensure you're charged up to a TSA-approved massage gun to ail the aches of travel, here are our favorite travel tech gadgets and accessories to ensure you're ready for anything that comes your way.

long journey gadgets

For keeping an eye on your valuables, put a Tile Pro or Apple AirTag in your checked baggage. We recommend Tile because it works for both Android and Apple devices, while utilizing the Tile user network to help you locate things that are much further away.

On the flipside: Apple's AirTag offers the same features, but only works with Apple devices. The AirTag connects to the Find My app built into every iPhone and iPad, which theoretically means it taps into a wider network of users to locate your item. Whichever you choose, consider a tracker in your luggage as personal insurance.

Sony WH-100XM5 Headphones

long journey gadgets

If you want the latest and greatest in over-ear noise-canceling performance, it's the Sony WH-100XM5s . The XM5s sport an updated design with a narrower headband and wider earcups for a roomier fit. The drivers have been updated and the ANC (active noise cancellation) performance has been kicked up a notch thanks to two processors and eight noise-canceling microphones, up from the four microphones found on the previous-gen XM4s. Speaking of the XM4s, they're still a great option and cost $50 less .

Beats Fit Pro

long journey gadgets

The Beats Fit Pro was released back in 2021, but they continue to be one of our favorite wireless earbuds. It packs the same features you'd get in the AirPod Pros, but in a more secure, sweat-resistant package. New for this spring, Beats introduced three new eye-catching colors: coral pink , volt yellow , and tidal blue . 

Panasonic ErgoFit Wired Earbuds

long journey gadgets

It's a good idea to have a pair of wired earbuds to toss in your bag for a flight or a long road trip. And while there are plenty to choose from, Panasonic's ErgoFit are a tried-and-true budget pair you won't regret. Available in more than 15 colors, these earbuds are as basic as you can get, but they'll get the job done for under $20. Just note that you'll need a Lightning adapter for Apple devices .

Anker 622 Magnetic Battery

long journey gadgets

If you own an iPhone 12, 13 or 14 and want to take advantage of MagSafe technology, this portable battery pack from Anker has a capacity of 5,000mAh, which is more juice than Apple's MagSafe battery pack , which is rated at 1,460mAh. The 622 is capable of wirelessly charging your phone at a max of 7.5 watts, but its best feature is the travel-friendly built-in kickstand. If you're looking for more power, Anker also sells a 10,000mAh version . 

For more picks, check out our guide on the best MagSafe battery packs . 

Mophie 3-in-1 Travel Charger with MagSafe

long journey gadgets

Apple stans will appreciate Mophie's 3-in-1 charger , which has dedicated charging spots for the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods. We're not sure what we like more: the convenient carrying case or that it comes complete with a 30W USB-C wall adapter.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 12

long journey gadgets

 The Instax Mini 12 is Fujifilm's newest camera, and just like its predecessor, it's a one-button instant camera that's so easy to use that even kids can operate it. The Instax Mini 12 improves on the lineup's winning formula by adding a new lens that you can twist to enable "close-up" mode. The entry-level instant camera works with Instax Mini film , which is widely available. Plus it runs on replaceable AA batteries, so you'll never have to worry about running out of power.

Anker 747 Charger

long journey gadgets

If you're a frequent traveler, you need a multiport charging hub. And Anker's GaNPrime-powered 747 Charger is one of the best you can buy right now . With three USB-C ports, one USB-A port, and 150W charging capacity, this compact charger can charge multiple devices — laptops, tablets, smartphones, or other small devices — quickly and all at once. And thanks to GaNPrime technology, the 747 is  smart enough to identify how many devices are connected and how much output each device needs.

Native Union Belt Cable Universal

long journey gadgets

When it comes to cables, it pays to have a spare just in case you lose one. For that, we recommend this universal cable from Native Union. Measuring at 6.5 feet long and made from braided nylon, the cord can quickly transition between micro-USB, USB-C, and Lightning connectors.

Bellroy Tech Kit

long journey gadgets

A dedicated tech bag can turn the roost of cables, cords, and techy accessories you travel with into a well-organized mobile workstation. While you should shop around to find a tech organizer bag that suits your particular needs, the Tech Kit from Bellroy is a quality option. It features a soft-shell body for added structure and protection, along with loops, pockets, and compartments to neatly store your essentials. It's also available in a compact size .

For more options, check out our guide on the best tech organizer bags . 

You can purchase logo and accolade licensing to this story here . Disclosure: Written and researched by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our partners. We may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected] .

long journey gadgets

Every product was carefully curated by an Esquire editor. We may earn a commission from these links.

20 Best Travel Gadgets That'll Make Your Next Trip Even Better

For more organized, manageable, and unforgettable adventures in your future.

Headshot of Maverick Li

This cohort of travel tech is also constantly evolving, from analog to digital, and increasingly becoming more portable: Handy enough to fit in your carry-ons or use on the go as you sightsee. Altogether, the best travel gadgets can make your trips more organized, manageable, and unforgettable—just better through and through. Hence, from tools you'll actually use during transportation or overnight stays, to devices that'll help you enjoy sceneries of a foreign land to the fullest, we recommend these 20 best travel gadgets below for every type of traveler and journey. Grab a cool instant camera , a portable WiFi hotspot , a universal power bank , or even a pair of binoculars, for example, then you'll really be bon-voyage-ing.

JEPWCO G4 Pro Anti Spy Detector

G4 Pro Anti Spy Detector

You never know what kind of creeps are lurking at your hotel room or AirBnb. Hence, a wireless hidden device detector that'll blow the gaff on those pinhole cameras, audio bugs, and trackers. And, it doesn't look like a detective's walkie-talkie, which is cool.

Twelve South AirFly Pro

AirFly Pro

Simply put, it's a TikTok viral gadget that'll connect your AirPods —or any wireless headphones and earbuds—to the airplane TV. A godsend for your inevitably long, dull flight across the country, or the globe.

EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter

Universal Travel Adapter

Maybe if all these heads of state and government just agree upon one shape of input/output plug, we'd have less international conflicts? Before then, grab one—or more—of these all-in-one travel adapters to, IDK, bridge the international relations?

Bellroy Tech Kit

Tech Kit

We won't tell you what iPhone chargers or power adapters to get—you probably already have the best. But we do recommend a carry-on organizer for all your essential tech accessories, and Bellroy's tech kit has a place for every possible one you might need while traveling.

Tile 4-Pack Mate Essentials (2022)

4-Pack Mate Essentials (2022)

So, you can (finally) stop losing things in hotels or restaurants and caving in to the hassle buying a new phone or AirPods in a foreign city or country. Those higher tax rates are no joke.

Omnicharge Omni 20+ 20000mah Power Bank

Omni 20+ 20000mah Power Bank

A portable charger on the road or in the air will prove a life-saver during those unexpected power-off moments. The Omni 20+ is one almighty power bank capable of charging your cameras, drones, laptops, and phones simultaneously, at up to 100W—one of the fastest speeds we've ever seen. It's got ports of all kinds for that matter, ready to lend a hand to all the heavy travel tech you'll bring along.

Vortex Optics Crossfire HD Binoculars

Optics Crossfire HD Binoculars

So, when you're at the top of Lady Liberty, you're able to get a clear shot of what's happening down there through its 10x magnification—and maybe spot your long-lost cousin? Or for when you're at Yellowstone and need a HD view of what's two miles ahead before venturing farther into the wild.

DJI OM 5 Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer

OM 5 Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer

Not just any selfie-stick. Use DJI's smart gimbal that is anti-wobbling to up your photography or vlogging skills to match even the pros. The ActiveTrack algorithm will automatically follow main objects in the frame for an HD focus. They can be walking, running, swimming, zig-zagging... This gimbal don't miss.

Trova Go Biometric Stash Case

Go Biometric Stash Case

Trova's portable biometric safe is for travelers who keep essentials with them as they wander through a whole new city or countryside of beautiful landscapes—so... Any traveler? Only you can access what's inside, so you can fully let down your guards and actually enjoy the trip, stress-free.

Solis Lite Hotspot & Power Bank

Lite Hotspot & Power Bank

The last thing you need while traveling is to go offline—especially if you don't speak the local language. Thus, a WiFi hotspot , like the Solis, which is one of the easiest to operate. Just connect it to the mobile app and pay for the data, then off you go—web surfing, messaging, or any easy Internet usage. Cell carriers be damned.

Bose Alto Audio Sunglasses

Alto Audio Sunglasses

Flexing designer shades on the go is pretty much any traveler's second nature. Bose's classic-cool smart sunglasses , with open-ear audio built in to play music only for you, will save you a pair of headphones at that, while letting you stay alert (of those pickpockets, specifically).

VANELC Portable UV Light Sanitizer Wand

Portable UV Light Sanitizer Wand

Just in case your voyage takes place during the cusp of yet another pandemic (we're still in one, by the way), this handy sanitizing light wand you can fit in a pocket will be able to rapidly sterilize those surfaces frequented by many before you.

Polaroid Originals Now I-Type Instant Camera

Now I-Type Instant Camera

For the true lifetime traveler who wants nothing but the excitement of capturing beautiful sights, Polaroid's one-step, retouch-not-needed instant camera will render perhaps the best film photographs with its own tools of saturation, focus, exposure, contrast, visual effects, etc. Now you can finally take a stock-photography-level picture.

VSSL Adventure Flask Kit

Adventure Flask Kit

Shop at Amazon

More than just a drinking vessel kit for passing around whiskey to your traveling mates during a makeshift happy hour, though that's definitely its main purpose. VSSL adds an LED light, compass, and a bottle opener to the setup, so folks who are really outside adventuring can stay safe and sound, and, of course, enjoy some sips.

JBL Clip 4 Portable Speaker

Clip 4 Portable Speaker

Speaker convenient enough that you can clip onto your backpack or pant's belt loop is one that'll soundtrack your excursion. Not to mention JBL's Clip 4 is one with a durability rating of IP67 and surprisingly punchy audio.

Ember Temperature Control Travel Mug 2

Temperature Control Travel Mug 2

Hot coffee isn't just for homebodies who stay still and attached to a seat; travelers and adventurers alike also deserve the heat. Ember's travel mug will keep the contents inside hot at the precise temperature, and keep them secure with a leakproof, slide-lock design.

Garmin Instinct 2 Solar GPS Watch

Instinct 2 Solar GPS Watch

Garmin's GPS watch beats Apple's latest release —the Ultra—to the punch at something any outdoorsman can appreciate: It's solar-powered. I.e. Instinct 2 has unlimited battery life as long as you keep the lights on. And it's built like a beast with a tough-as-nails anti-water/shock/heat case. It'll keep up with wherever you're traveling to, whatever extreme activity you might partake.

Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones

WH-1000XM5 Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones

On the flight, the tried-and-true WH-1000XM5—an undisputed upgrade from its predecessor in both comfort and noise-cancelling—is a clutch at extinguishing clamors of babies crying or air conditioners, and lets you enjoy your own library of soothing white noise. Just be careful of losing track of the flight attendant's announcements.

LARQ Self-Cleaning PureVis™ Bottle

Self-Cleaning PureVis™ Bottle

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When the worst possible lost-in-the-woods scenario comes and you must reserve to taking a scoop from a sketchy stream in the mountain, LARQ's auto-bacterial-killing bottle will come in handy to purify 99 percent of bio-contaminants out of your water. (Or simply use it because different countries have different standards regarding tap water.)

BALMUDA Rechargeable LED Lantern

Rechargeable LED Lantern

Balmuda's water-resistant lantern comes alive both under the sky and inside the four-walls, since it's main thing is mood-setting. It'll glow like a candle light to elevate your private romantic dinner near La Seine, or maybe shine a light to show your way at night in the campsite.

Headshot of Maverick Li

Maverick Li is the Style & Commerce Editor of Men’s Health, where he covers clothing, footwear, watches, and grooming. He was previously the Assistant Commerce Editor at Esquire.

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21 Best Travel Accessories For Long Flights

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long journey gadgets

Long-haul flights are tough. Whether it’s the discomfort of spending hours in a cramped seat or dealing with days of jet lag when you arrive at your destination, it’s clear that looking for the best travel accessories for long flights will help you deal with it!

If you’ve been wondering what to take on long-haul flights or are simply in a rush to purchase some last-minute gadgets to help make your flight smoother then read on to see what we think are some of the best long flight accessories to take with you!

Table of Contents

1. Travel Pillow

It took me a while to warm up to the idea of using a travel pillow, especially when I was trying to conserve valuable space in my bag. But now I think it is definitely a long-haul flight essential.

There are a myriad of different options available these days that are comfortable for an in-flight snooze but pack down to a minimal size so they won’t take up vital space in your carry-on.

This travel pillow , in particular, is a great option as it comes with a compression bag that you can easily hang from your backpack and it is made of memory foam.

If you have a red-eye flight or just want to get some rest while flying overseas, then a travel pillow is an excellent way to ensure that you’re as comfortable as possible and you don’t wake up with any weird kinks in your neck.

long journey gadgets

2. Eye mask

If you want to get some quality shut-eye while on the plane, then one of the best travel accessories for long flights is to include in your bag is an eye mask !

While some airlines will still give you a meagre eye mask in economy class, they tend to be flimsy, not particularly comfortable and can be difficult to adjust to your size.

This sleep mask is a great option for travellers as it’s made from silk, is fully adjustable and blocks out light incredibly well.

long journey gadgets

3. Earplugs

Apart from a travel pillow and an eye mask, the last piece of the puzzle to maximise your chances of getting some rest on a long haul flight is to pack some earplugs.

They have the obvious benefits of blocking out noise around you to ensure you don’t get bothered with people constantly walking down the aisles or moving around you.

They also come in very handy for when you arrive at your destination in case you have to deal with some street noise or noisy neighbours at your accommodation!

long journey gadgets

4. Noise-cancelling headphones

If you’re not a fan of shoving earplugs into your ears, then one of the best gadgets for long flights to consider adding to your carry on luggage is a pair of noise-cancelling headphones with a long battery life.

They tend to be a large improvement on the headphones which most airlines will give you in economy so not only will you be able to enjoy your movies more but you’ll also be able to use them to block out a significant amount of noise on the plane.

Bluetooth headphones can also be a good idea if you’re flight has an in-flight entertainment system that supports it or you are primarily watching media on your own devices.

I find in-ear headphones the most comfortable but ultimately it’s a personal preference and there are plenty of great over-ear options as well.

long journey gadgets

5. Headphone Splitter

If you’re travelling with a friend or family member, a headphone splitter is a great way to be able to enjoy a movie or TV show with them. These simple little gadgets allow you to plug in both your headphones into the same socket and receive the same audio.

They have great sound quality, take up little room and can be used throughout your journey on any mode of transport making them one of the best travel items for long haul flights.

long journey gadgets

6. Kindle E-Reader

If you prefer not to stare at a screen for the duration of your long haul flight, then investing in a Kindle is one of the best travel gadgets for a long haul flight.

There are a number of Kindles available on the market, but I prefer the Kindle Paperwhite as it has an in-built backlight that ensures you don’t need to rely on a poor overhead screen that exists on your plane.

If you’re going on a long haul flight, then it could be a good idea to take out a free trial of Kindle Unlimited so you can download a number of books onto your Kindle for free.

long journey gadgets

7. Audible Subscription

If you want to give your eyes a rest while on a long-haul flight, then it’s worth taking out a free trial of Audible before your journey!

This will allow you to download a couple of audiobooks for your flight and have several hours of entertainment that doesn’t involve looking at a screen!

If you haven’t tried audiobooks before and have been a looking for an opportunity to do so then a long-haul flight is undoubtedly one of the best times to do it!

8. Power bank

Whether it’s charging up your smartphone to allow you to listen to your audiobooks or ensuring your Kindle doesn’t die while you’re on the last chapter, a power bank is a great travel accessory for a long-haul flight.

While many flights do have USB chargers, you never know when you’ll get stuck on an older aeroplane without them so having a power bank is a good thing to pack into your luggage.

Apart from long haul flights, they’re an incredibly useful gadget if you plan on doing any camping, staying in hostels or simply are getting off the beaten path where power outlets aren’t always guaranteed!

long journey gadgets

9. Water Bottle

An essential for long-haul flights is certainly taking a reusable water bottle with you.

There are couple reasons for this, firstly most airport securities around the world will make you dump out your water when clearing security, so being able to refill a reusable water bottle is a lot better for your wallet and the environment compared to buying a plastic one!

Secondly, on a long-haul flight, rather than using a ridiculous amount of plastic cups or getting those small plastic bottles, you can ask the flight attendant to fill up your reusable water bottle to avoid running out of water!

Depending on your final destination, you can either buy a basic reusable water bottle where the tap water is safe to drink or alternatively a water bottle with an in-built filter.

long journey gadgets

10. Carry on Luggage

This might be a no-brainer before getting on an aeroplane, but one of the most important accessories to take on an airplane is great quality carry on luggage that allows you to easily organise your items.

There’s nothing worse (and also more annoying for your fellow passengers) than standing in the aisle and spending a long time trying to find that one essential item you need.

Some good options for carry-on luggage include the Osprey Farpoint 40 if you’re after a backpack , the Osprey Farpoint Wheels if you’re after a wheeled backpack or the Samsonite Winfield 2 or LEVEL8 Luggage if you’re after a traditional suitcase.

The Osprey bags are also available to view directly from Osprey and on REI.

long journey gadgets

11. Travel Insurance

While it’s hopefully unlikely that you’ll need to make a claim while on a long-haul flight, it’s worth considering travel insurance for the time you are in the air.

Make sure to pay attention to time differences when taking out your policy (particularly on a return flight).

World Nomads offers flexible and simple travel insurance policies with coverage for more than 150 activities that you can buy or extend while on the road.

If you’re flying to or from Europe, make sure to be familiar with the EC261 regulation that allows you to claim compensation for delayed or cancelled flights through companies such as ClaimCompass.

12. International SIM Card

While hopefully, it’s obvious to you that an international SIM card won’t be particularly useful while you’re actually on the aeroplane, packing one into your suitcase will make your arrival at your destination a lot easier!

Whether it’s getting directions to your hotel, check the latest currency exchange rate or messaging friends or family to let them know that you’ve arrived, buying a prepaid SIM allows you to have internet access as soon as you land and not have to bother with overpriced airport SIM cards, assuming they’re even available!

There are a number of prepaid SIM cards for many different countries available through SimOptions.

13. Sweatpants

If you’re wondering what to take on an airplane then one of my personal favourites is to pack a pair of lightweight sweatpants into my carry-on luggage.

This allows you to change into something more comfortable while on the plane and makes it a lot be able to get some rest and exercise during a long-haul flight.

long journey gadgets

14. Thermal socks

Combine your sweatpants with a pair of thermal socks that you wear exclusively on the aeroplane. This allows you to stay warm on a chilly long haul flight while also ensuring you don’t need to put on shoes every time you get up to walk around the aeroplane.

These type of socks can also double as hiking socks if you plan on getting active when you arrive at your destination.

long journey gadgets

15. Toothbrush & toothpaste

One of the best travel items for long flights is to ensure you pack a toothbrush and a small bottle of toothpaste (under 100ml!). Most airlines don’t provide these for you anymore if you’re travelling in economy, so packing these items is a must for personal hygiene and comfort!

long journey gadgets

16. Hand Sanitiser

It can be hard to stay clean and hygienic on a plane which is why I think an absolute long-haul flight essential is to pack a bottle or two of hand sanitiser , particularly given recent events!

This allows you to keep clean and germ-free, even if there’s a long line to use the bathroom and will undoubtedly be useful when you arrive at your destination as well.

long journey gadgets

17. Moisturiser

Aeroplanes are an inherently dry place and especially if you’re using a lot of hand sanitiser you’re only going to make it worse!

Therefore I would always suggest that travellers pack a small bottle or jar of moisturiser that they keep easily accessible during the flight. This will help prevent your skin from drying out and will keep as comfortable as possible on your journey!

long journey gadgets

18. Lip Balm

Apart from moisturiser, one of the best long-haul flight accessories to keep you comfortable is to pack a small bottle of lip balm .

As mentioned, planes are incredibly dry and your lips are probably going to feel this the most. Lip balm, along with your jar of moisturiser is the best way to combat this!

long journey gadgets

Immigration cards are still a thing. If you want to get out of the airport as quickly as possible, you want to be able to fill out your immigration card on the aeroplane so you don’t have to do it while sacrificing your place in line at immigration!

Therefore, make sure to pack a pen in your suitcase that is easily accessible so you can fill out your immigration details before landing!

20. Food/Snacks

Aeroplane food is a bit of roulette in economy class. While you might get one good meal, it’s best to be prepared for the fact that most of it is likely to be bad. Therefore, make sure to pack some food and snacks in your carry on luggage as a backup.

Items such as trail mix, fresh fruit and granola bars are a great healthy option that keep you full and gives you energy in case you find the in-flight meal inedible!

Packing some food and snacks is undoubtedly a must-have travel accessory if you’re spending a long time on an airplane! Don’t forget to add some gum or breath mints to your food bag as well!

21. Tissues

Finally, rounding out this list of travel essentials is a small packet of tissues. Allergies and sinuses can act up on planes and I find that economy class rarely has good tissues to give to its passengers.

Therefore, packing a small packet of tissues will ensure you’re prepared for your long-haul flight!

Choosing the best travel items for long flights can be a difficult task. After all, space is limited in your carry on luggage and you don’t want to add necessary weight. Hopefully, this list of the best travel accessories for long flights will make your decision easier and ensure you only take what is essential for your journey!

Did you find this list of airplane travel accessories useful? What would you add or remove from the list? Let us know in the comments below!

long journey gadgets

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About Michael Rozenblit

Michael is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Both solo and with his partner, Maggie, he has travelled to over 50 countries across the globe and has a particular affinity for the Balkans and Eastern Europe. He’s lived in numerous countries worldwide but currently resides in his hometown of Melbourne, Australia. Read more about Michael

I loved the advice I literally followed it while packing for Europe!

Hope you have a great trip Zara!

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21 Cool Travel Gadgets for Flights and Road Trips

Consider these useful solutions to common travel qualms.

Headshot of John Thompson

The Travel Gadget Everyone Should Get

Incharge 6-in-1 portable keychain charger cable.

AirFly Pro

Best Travel Gadget for Watching TV and Movies

Twelve south airfly pro.

Groove Belt

Most Underrated Travel Gadget

Groove life groove belt.

Electronics Travel Organizer

Best Electronics Organizer

Matein electronics travel organizer.

Portable Charger, 313 Power Bank

Best Portable Charger

Anker portable charger, 313 power bank.

POD Travel Pillow

Best Travel Pillow

Pluto pod travel pillow.

Go 650 ml Water Filter Bottle - 22 fl. oz.

Best Refillable Water Bottle

Lifestraw go 650 ml water filter bottle - 22 fl. oz..

Luma 150 Ultra Mini Pocket Pico Projector

Best Travel Gadget for Parents

Kodak luma 150 ultra mini pocket pico projector.

Portable Wash Bag

Best Portable Clothes Washer

Scrubba portable wash bag.

Minipresso NS

Best Travel Gadget for Coffee Lovers

Wacaco minipresso ns.

The best travel gadgets and electronics should highlight an inefficiency in your travel routine and help solve the problem. A travel gadget should provide high functionality, comfort, or both, while also being considerate of space. If your travel gadget does not have any of these qualities, then it's going to be hard to make a case they're worth bringing along for the ride.

Companies are constantly trying to come up with new gadgets to improve the travel experience, but the only way of knowing which ones actually work is by vetting them in person or conducting thorough research. Lucky for you, we took the time to bring together a list of worthy travel gadgets that could help improve your travel experience by leaps and bounds. Ahead, the very best travel gadgets and travel electronics, curated with all types of travelers in mind.

2023 Tech Awards | Best Duffel Bags | Best Carry-On Luggage | Best MagSafe Wallets | Best Macbook Accessories | Best Travel Bags | Best AirTag Wallets | Best Travel Pants | Best T-Shirts | Best Backpacks

Power is everything when traveling, and a lot of times our chargers can take up tons of space. The inCharge is the size of a small keychain and has six different charging input and output combinations to provide power to your phone, headphones, e-reader, smartwatch , and more. For quick reference, the inCharge has these specific ports: an input USB-C, an output USB-C, a USB-A, and an output lightning plus micro USB.

The AirFly allows your AirPods or headphones to be used to watch movies on your plane's in-flight entertainment center. We like the pro version of the AirFly, as it allows up to two people to connect to the same in-flight screen and watch at the same time. No more having to use the corded headphones that are passed out.

Making sure you look presentable while traveling is a subtle style move that will make you feel good and leave a positive impression on others. Ditch the pajamas and aim for a comfortable casual look. For keeping your pants in place, the Groove Belt is your best friend. It's wildly comfortable and simple to clip on and off, and it stretches enough to provide movement in all ranges of motion.

There are a zillion electronic organizers out there, and really you can't go wrong with most of them. Our favorite, however, is this simple water-resistant pouch from MATEIN that has over 5,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. It's got enough space to hold all your charging cords, as well as a space for small e-readers or small tablets. Best of all is the fact it's less than $25.

Read more: Best Travel Backpacks

Portable chargers are a must for every traveler. The 313 Power Bank from Anker has over 50,000 five-star Amazon reviews and comes with a USB input, a micro USB input, and a USB-C input. It's also worth mentioning the power bank comes with its own micro USB charger for powering up. What's great is the charger only costs $30.

Read more: Best MagSafe Chargers

If you think all travel pillows are the same, think again. The Pluto POD acts almost like a sensory deprivation mask that works to block out sound and light with smart design notes like a slide-down eye mask and a deep hood. This travel pillow is perfect for promoting relaxation in the air and on the road.

The LifeStraw Go is like any other refillable water bottle, except for the fact it's got a near-perfect filter built into, you guessed it, the straw. The LifeStraw can protect against a whopping 99.999999% of bacteria and 99.999% of parasites, making it a safe option for drinking water that comes from sinks and water foundations, and even some outdoor streams and rivers.

It's better to think of using this mini pocket projector at the hotel to watch your favorite shows or films, but in the rare chance you get stuck in a flight delay the projector can also be useful in helping entertain your kids. Regardless if you're a parent or not, this is an entertainment option that's fun for everyone.

Built tough enough to take on camping trips, but also portable enough to pack into your carry-on for vacations and business trips, the Scrubba Wash Bag is a portable scrubber (12" H and 21" L) that helps you clean small to medium loads of laundry on-the-go. All you need to do is load in water and a little bit of washing soap, then scrub the clothes along the interior washboard and let the dirty water drain.

This Minipresso from Wacaco is hailed by fans as one of the easiest ways to make espresso while traveling. You can pack it with your preferred beans and coffee grinder or pack it with pre-ground coffee. The only external ingredient you need is hot water, which can be obtained for free at the airport or at a rest stop on the road. Once you pack the coffee and pour it into hot water, all you have to do is flip the device over and press on the pump to pour out your coffee. The only place we don't recommend using the Minipresso is up in the air on a plane—leave it to the flight attendants to handle hot water.

Ruff Products BarkBowl Collapsible Dog Bowl

BarkBowl Collapsible Dog Bowl

Those who travel with dogs have to consider all the stops needed for their best friend. That includes proper hydration and food. The Ruff Bark Bowl is a collapsible bowl that clips onto the outside of your travel bag and holds up to 800ml. It's easy to clean and easy to pop open, whether you're on the road or in the air.

VSSL First Aid Stash Light

First Aid Stash Light

Made for the toughest environments, the First Aid Kit is a clever waterproof container that holds an array of bandages, pads, towelettes, tweezers, and creams. Built onto the ends of the travel-friendly container are an oil-filled precision compass and an LED flashlight. If you're looking for a first aid kit that carries the basics, you'll be comfortable knowing this will have you covered (and also save you space in your bag).

Perilogics Universal in Flight Airplane Phone Holder Mount

Universal in Flight Airplane Phone Holder Mount

If you're looking for a better phone holder for eye-level viewing, then this mount will do the trick. The universal design makes it easy to clip in all types of smartphones for a multi-angle adjustment. Place it on the plane seat in front of you for viewing or onto a nearby table for a quick Zoom call before your flight.

OOFOS Men's OOmg Low Shoe

Men's OOmg Low Shoe

Oofos slides are some of the most comfortable recovery shoes on the market, but wearing an open-toe shoe on the plane isn't always the best move. For a cushioned, closed-toe footwear option to pop on for long flights, look to the packable OOmg Low Shoe. The support is excellent, and the upper is made with breathable mesh that has a 4-way stretch.

Read more: Best Travel Shoes

STEAMERY Stockholm Cirrus No. 2 Travel Steamer

Stockholm Cirrus No. 2 Travel Steamer

The Steamery No. 2 is super simple to use and wonderfully effective. It's also compact, and thanks to a nifty travel pouch—that also doubles as a mitt to help press out deep creases—you can throw this bad boy into a bag and not have to worry about it taking up too much space or being too heavy.

Gravel Travel Layover Travel Blanket

Layover Travel Blanket

There are tons of travel blankets out there you can buy, but really only a few are worth your hard-earned money. The Layover from Gravel Travel is our top pick. It's large in area, but also insanely packable. Plus, it's insulated and actually warm. The Layover even has built-in pockets to stick each foot in and a snap closure that goes around your neck so your blanket won't slide.

ESR HaloLock Magsafe Compatible Charger

HaloLock Magsafe Compatible Charger

MagSafe chargers are wonderfully convenient. If you plan on snoozing on your flight but want to get some power, you can attach your phone to this HaloLock Magsafe charger and leave it on the tray table for a steady trickle. Best of all is the fact the charger has a built-in kickstand, so if you do feel like watching something on your device you have the option to prop your phone up. Pretty cool, we know.

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)

We omitted to name a bunch of headphones and earbuds from this list because you can read more in-depth about those at our dedicated roundups. However, we couldn't resist recommending the latest AirPods Pro. Not only do they serve as your music go-to and phone call companion, but their upgraded noise cancellation makes them an effective pair of sleep earbuds.

Whoop Whoop Band 4.0

Whoop Band 4.0

We love the Whoop 4.0 as an everyday health tracker, and when put in a travel setting it works just as well. Some features that stand out that are especially helpful for travel are its sleep tracking reporting and heart rate monitor—two metrics that you can view to combat how well you're getting along on your journey, which is especially helpful for those who battle flight anxiety.

GoPro HERO10 Black Accessory Bundle

HERO10 Black Accessory Bundle

The ultimate bundle for documenting your adventures. Sure this is the prior generation of the GoPro, but the new Hero11 is nearly $500 by itself. With this bundle, you get the Hero10, a mini-extension pole with a grip, a magnetic swivel clip, a camera case, and two rechargeable batteries.

Headshot of John Thompson

John Thompson is the Gear and Commerce Editor at Men’s Health, where he covers fashion, grooming, gear, and technology. He was previously the Style & Gear Editor at BroBible.com , and a commerce writer for TheManual.com . His interests include attending concerts, spending time outside, and following his favorite baseball team, the Kansas City Royals. 

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12 Best Travel Gadgets for Any Trip in 2021

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Ed Hewitt started traveling with his family at the age of 10 and has since visited dozens of countries on six continents. He wrote for IndependentTraveler.com for more than 20 years, producing hundreds of columns on travel and offering his expertise on radio and television. He is now a regular contributor to SmarterTravel.

An avid surfer and rower, Ed has written about and photographed rowing competitions around the world, including the last five Olympic Games.

He's passing his love of travel on to the next generation; his 10-year-old son has flown some 200,000 miles already.

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When it comes to travel, I am overall anti-gadget; like many independent travelers, I’d rather pack light than lug tons of stuff around in an attempt to carry every convenience of home with me on the road. That said, some travel gadgets are essential to just about every packing list. Besides your smartphone—which is a given for just about all of us—I’ve come up with the 12 best travel gadgets that deserve inclusion in your carry-on.

Universal (All-in-One) Plug Adapter

NEWVANGA international universal all in one worldwide travel adapter wall charger

After years of thrashing through a bag of adapters before every international trip, I was thrilled when all-in-one adapters started appearing on the market—that is, until I tried to use one in actual wall outlets.

Some outlets are recessed, requiring an extender that seemed not to be included in most adapter sets. Some adapters didn’t seem to correspond to the shape that you found in the guidebooks for the country you were visiting. Others were poorly made and came apart after a few days’ use.

That is mostly over, as today’s all-in-one adapters address most of these issues with a built-in extender on the European adapter plugs. Most have enough options that you will never be out of luck, and they tend to be better made to boot.

A couple of well-reviewed choices include offerings from NEWVANGA and Unidapt .

long journey gadgets

Noise-Canceling Headphones

Cudy ac1200 dual band smart wifi router

“ Noise-canceling headphones were probably the best travel investment I have made,” says pro photographer Erik Dresser, who logs tens of thousands of air miles each year for his work. Dresser notes that the headphones let him shut out the general din of the aircraft so he can relax more easily, permit him to sleep in flight without getting woken up by chatting passengers and crying babies, and signal to others that he is not up for socializing.

USB Flash Drive

Fire hd 8 tablet

A USB flash drive (also known as a thumb drive) can come in handy on any number of occasions while traveling, such as sharing a document with the hotel front desk so they can print it for you or accessing a photo of your passport if it’s lost or stolen.

Amazon lists thousands of these ; most work pretty well.

Portable Phone Charger

Anker powercore 10000, one of the smallest and lightest 10000mah external batteries,

On two separate occasions in the past few years (a company party and a fundraiser), the “party favor” was a small, rechargeable USB phone charger , probably the most useful and welcome party favor in history. The only thing about “party favor” quality chargers is that they tend to fail pretty quickly, so purchasing a good one is probably worth the money.

This one from Anker  will give you a heap of charges, which beats buying drinks you don’t need at a coffee shop just to be able to plug in.

For more recommendations, see SmarterTravel’s list of the best portable chargers .

Car Charger

Maxboost Car Charger

If you will be renting a car or driving your own vehicle on a road trip, bring a car charger/adapter . Recharging your stuff while driving helps combat the “not enough accessible outlets in the hotel” factor and allows you to use your device to map your route, play a podcast , or distract your kids in the back seat without running down the battery. The Maxboost Car Charger seems to be the leader in this realm, ranking #1 on Amazon’s best sellers list in this category.

Weatherproof Phone Case


In my informal gadget survey of friends who travel frequently, the one thing that few of them owned but many were thinking of getting was a weatherproof phone case . At home, such cases often seem overly bulky, but when traveling they’ve found it more common to get caught out in bad weather.

“ Ziploc bags work to protect the phone, but actually using the phone through a wet plastic bag is a mess,” one noted.

LifeProof cases are the go-to for many hardcore travelers, while PunkCase is a well-regarded option at a lower price point.

Fire hd 8 tablet

Bringing a tablet as well as a phone had always seemed like just too much stuff to me—until newspaper and magazine apps started getting good. I used to leave home with more than five pounds of paper reading material, which I left behind for other potential readers in airplane seatback pockets, gate areas or hotel lobbies; now I download magazines and books to a tablet.

Tablets come in a wide range of price points; click here to browse.

Kindle paperwhite

For heavy vacation/travel reading, many hardcore readers swear by the Kindle because it’s so easy to read outside in strong light. If you read a ton while traveling, and in all kinds of places, a branded Kindle e-reader is probably the way to go in lieu of a tablet.

Solar Charger

Goal zero yeti 400 lithium portable power station

For hardcore travelers who might spend long periods of time away from plugs of any kind—such as backcountry hikers, climbers, and campers— solar chargers are a useful addition to a packing list. Sure, part of the point of heading into the backcountry is getting away from connectivity, but that doesn’t mean that GPS devices, cameras, or even smartphones are completely verboten.

Leading brands for solar chargers include Goal Zero and Suntactics .

Mobile Hotspot

huawei mobile hotspot

Depending on which cell phone plan you use, a mobile hotspot can save you money on international plans and data charges. These devices broadcast a secure, dependable Wi-Fi signal you can use in any country, without having to rely on sketchy public Wi-Fi signals or use your own pricey data. Well-reviewed options include devices from NETGEAR and GlocalMe .

Sun-/Insect-Repellent Shirt

long journey gadgets

This isn’t exactly a gadget, but clothing has become quite technical in nature and can provide more than just routine cover. Many companies make pants , socks , and shirts that provide specific protection from both sun and insects, including measurable UV protection as well as EPA-certified insect repellent properties. Many are lightweight and breathable as well, making this a “tech” purchase perfectly suited to travel.

The Insect-Repellent Clothing and Gear Every Traveler Should Have

Smart Suitcase

Away carry on suitcase

We’re in the early days of smart suitcases , but the idea is extremely compelling—being able to check on your smartphone where your bag is, how heavy it is, and whether it has been opened. Many smart suitcases even provide the ability to charge devices through a USB connection.

There are also simple tracking devices you can put into your luggage, so that might be another way to tap into this type of tech without going all in on an expensive bag. As this tech comes into its own, soon enough tracking our own bags might seem almost routine.

Away’s The Carry-On will charge your phone and comes recommended by gear review sites, including SmarterTravel .

long journey gadgets

More from SmarterTravel:

  • 7 Tiny Travel Gadgets You Can’t Leave Home Without
  • 4 Surprising Low-Tech Gadgets You Need
  • 9 Travel Products That Take the Stress Out of Your Trip

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2017. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

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How-To Geek

The best tech travel gadgets of 2023.

Getting ready for a trip? Make sure to pack these handy tech items.

Read update

We've reviewed our recommendations and are confident these are still the best gadgets for traveling to pick up.

Before heading out on that month-long vacation or quick business trip, don't forget to gear up. From noise-canceling headphones and Bluetooth trackers to plug adapters and travel routers, these devices are the best tech travel companions.

UPDATE: 03/16/2023

Kindle paperwhite signature edition (water-resistant), epicka universal travel adapter, sony wh-1000xm4, anker powercore slim 10000 portable charger, fujifilm instax mini neo classic 90, nintendo switch, apple ipad (10th-generation), logitech k480, tp-link ac750 wireless travel router, what to look for in tech travel gadgets.

When shopping around for necessary gadgets to take on your next trip, there are a few things you'll want to consider.

First, it's important to think about what's necessary for your vacation or business trip---whether for work or play, you'll likely have limited space in your luggage for clunky or heavy tech. Before making any purchases, you'll want to ensure that it's something you'll need while you're away from home. Our list contains things that may be considered necessary for some, but the ultimate decision will be up to you.

Likewise, size and weight are equally important factors. If you're planning on packing your tech in a carry-on bag, for instance, you'll want to stick to pretty compact gadgets such as a portable charger or a tablet. If you play on checking a bag, you may be able to pack larger items such as an instant film camera.

Lastly, you'll want to consider your budget. If you're specifically buying a gadget for an upcoming trip, you may not want to drop a ton of cash. However, if you're a frequent flier or road tripper, perhaps it's a good idea to invest in something that's on the pricier side.

How-To Geek's product recommendations come from the same team of experts that have helped people fix their gadgets over one billion times. We only recommend the best products based on our research and expertise. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product. Read More »

Best eReader: Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition

If you're a frequent reader, carrying chunky books can take up precious space in your carry-on or checked luggage. However, the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition , our top pick for eReaders, eliminates this issue through its 32 gigabytes (GB) of storage and the ability to rent up to 20 titles at a time with Kindle Unlimited.

The Kindle Paperwhite Signature is hard to bargain with---you can charge it via USB-C, with one full battery lasting up to 10 weeks. Additionally, its display is something to write home about. The 300 ppi screen is glare-free, while its warm lighting is adjustable. The front light also automatically adapts to the brightness of your surroundings, making it an excellent option for red-eye flights.

Although you can use your Kindle without a Kindle Unlimited subscription (which costs an additional $9.99 a month), the accompanying plan provides a free trial and access to thousands of content with no due dates.

The bottom line? If you've been tossing around the idea of buying an eReader, the $200 Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition is your best bet.

long journey gadgets

The water-resistant 2021 Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition improves on the previous generation with more storage space, USB-C charging, and adjustable warm light.

Best International Plug Adapter: EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter

Planning on diving into international waters? The EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter is essential.

Universal travel adapters allow electronics to power up in different countries. For example, the United States has plugs with two flat vertical prongs, while the United Kingdom has plugs with a top vertical prong and two bottom horizontal ones. A travel adapter ensures you can charge your devices regardless of where you go.

This option from EPICKA functions explicitly as a multifunctional travel plug. However, it doesn't convert voltage, so you'll want to make sure your devices support 100 to 240 voltage---especially hair dryers and electric razors, which often don't.

It boasts four USB ports and one USB-C, all of which can be plugged in simultaneously. It covers more than 150 countries, including the U.S., the UK, Australia, and Japan.

Best of all, this adapter is super compact. You can easily pop it into your carry-on bag for quick access, perfect for unexpected layovers or delays.

A great gadget to pack in your international luggage, this travel adapter is small, compatible with USB-C and USB, and can be used in more than 150 countries.

Best Noise-Canceling Headphones: Sony WH-1000XM5

Whether traveling via plane, train, or car, noise-canceling headphones are something you won't want to go without. For that, we recommend checking out Sony's WH-1000XM5 headphones , which are some of the best on the market.

Compatible with both Bluetooth and 3.5mm connections, these headphones are very popular, and their sound quality is a large reason why. You also get some of the best noise cancellation around, complete with a comfortable design and convenient carrying case.

Other highlights? There's speak-to-chat technology, which automatically pauses your music when you talk. There's also built-in Alexa, touch sensor control that allows you to skip, pause, and play tracks, multiple device pairing, and two color options: Black and Silver .

All of those incredible features come with a hefty price tag, though---at nearly $400, these Sony headphones are a significant investment. However, if you have the cash to spend and want a pair of noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones that will last, these are your best bet.

The Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones feature ANC technology, amazing sound quality, and incredible comfort.

Best Portable Charger: Anker PowerCore Slim 1000

A portable charger is a necessity for traveling. If you've somehow managed to live without one (or you're looking to upgrade your current model), we recommend the Anker PowerCore Slim 1000 . Priced at less than $30, its impressively slim design can provide multiple charges for iPhones, Android devices, and smaller tablets.

Perfect for tucking into your carry-on, this Anker charger features PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technologies, which ensure that your device is receiving the fastest charge possible. It's also airline friendly and designed to provide optimal charging to low-power devices, such as headphones and Bluetooth speakers.

That being said, it does take nearly six hours to charge this gadget to its full capacity, so you'll want to gear this guy up a day or two in advance. Additionally, while there are both USB-A and USB-C ports, cords are not included, so make sure you have those ahead of time.

This charger has a 10,000mAh capacity, PowerIQ/VoltageBoost for optimized charging, and an ultra-slim profile.

Best Bluetooth Tracker: Tile Mate

A Bluetooth tracker is a great gadget, especially when you're away from home. These handy devices can be latched onto essentials such as your bag or wallet. And if you accidentally lose them, your tracker will help you find or keep an eye on them.

Our favorite? The Tile Mate , a compact little gizmo that can be easily snapped onto travel necessities and features a Bluetooth range of up to 250 feet.

At less than $50 for a pack of two, these trackers are super easy to use and affordable. You download the accompanying Tile app, which will ring your Tile when it's in Bluetooth range (you can also ask a smart home device, like Amazon Alexa or Google Home, to find it for you). There's also a custom QR code on each Tile, so you can be reached if someone finds it and scans the code.

We also like that the Tile Mate can be used to find your phone. You can double press the button on your Tile to make your phone ring, even when it's on silent. And, in cases when your Tile is out of Bluetooth range, you can use the app to see its most recent location on a map.

You'll have to upgrade to Tile's premium plan for added features like Smart Alert and item reimbursement. Additionally, the Tile is battery-powered, so you'll want to ensure it has a fresh battery before jet setting.

A handy Bluetooth tracker with an easy-to-use accompanying app that will help you keep track of your absolute necessities.

Best Instant Film Camera: Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic

Film cameras are all the rage right now, and this option from Fujifilm, the Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic , is no exception. This easy-to-use film camera instantly develops 2.1 by 3.4-inch (53.34mm x 86.36mm) photos.

In terms of its specs, the Instax Mini 90 is pretty cool. It can automatically detect the brightness of your background or surroundings and will adjust the flash and shutter speed, so you get a great photo every time. Additionally, there's a double exposure mode you can access by pressing the shutter twice.

While it has great ratings and reviews from buyers, we would only recommend this purchase if it's something that you've had your eye on for a while. The camera itself is pretty expensive, and the price can quickly continue to rack up with the added cost of repurchasing film.

If you're simply looking for something to take photos with, chances are, your smartphone may do the job just fine.

This mini instant film camera from Fujifilm is a top-tier option for capturing your trip.

Best Handheld Gaming Machine: Nintendo Switch

Having a handheld gaming machine on deck is particularly smart if you're a nervous traveler. These gadgets can help keep your mind and hands occupied as you wait to board a plane or even kill time during a layover.

Our number one pick is the Nintendo Switch , the company's latest addition to the handheld gaming universe. The Switch was essentially born to be a versatile device that's great for solo or group play. It features three play styles (handheld, tabletop, and TV mode), and the Joycons easily slip in and out for the latter.

Other things to love? Depending on what you're playing on the Switch, it has between 4.5 and 9 hours of battery life. It's super lightweight and compact (it weighs in at less than a pound), and the 6.2-inch touch screen is perfect for collecting coins in Mario , making friends in Pokémon, or farming in Stardew Valley.

While it's certainly a pricier investment, depending on how often you intend to use it (and whether or not you'd use it when you're not traveling), it could be worth it.

This model features everything good about the Switch, but with better battery life than the 2017 models. Play retro titles with a Nintendo Switch Online membership, with more games available with the Expansion Pass.

Best Tablet: Apple iPad (2022)

If you're looking for a great tablet to travel with, look no further than Apple's 10th-generation iPad . The device was updated with a refreshed design that's a lot more modern than the previous model. The larger 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display gives you more room to manage email, surf the web, or kick back with some Netflix.

The iPad is powered by the A14 Bionic processor, the same chip used in the iPhone 12 from a couple of years ago. That means you'll get great performance and battery life, with Apple quoting up to 10 hours of usage on a full charge. There's a USB-C port on the side for charging and connecting accessories like an external drive, and you get amazing stereo speakers.

What's more, the 10th-gen iPad works with the first-generation Apple Pencil and the new Magic Keyboard Folio. Apple also lets you pick between a Wi-Fi only iPad or one with 5G. Unfortunately, to get 5G, you'll be paying a premium, with Wi-Fi models starting at $449 while cellular costs $599.

Still, for the experience you get, the 10th-generation iPad is a great option if you only need a roomy screen with enough horsepower to juggle your everyday tasks.

The 10th-generation iPad from Apple gets a modern redesign with faster performance, a larger 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, and USB-C, making it a solid go-to tablet for a lot of users.

Best Tablet Keyboard: Logitech K480

Typing on a tablet screen can get old quickly, especially if you're used to typing on a physical QWERTY keyboard. If you want to ensure you're able to get work done on your tablet while you wait at the airport or bus station, the Logitech K480 keyboard is an awesome option to add to your travel tech collection.

Affordably priced with tons of amazing reviews, this Bluetooth-capable keyboard allows you to connect to three devices at once and, thanks to the switch dial, enables you to switch between them at any time. It's compatible with Windows, Android, Chrome OS, and iOS devices. Plus, the pre-installed AAA batteries can last up to 24 months.

We recommend making sure you need a tablet keyboard before purchasing. Although this Logitech gadget is super cool, it doesn't fold up. It features a classic keyboard design, so it could be a slight pain to travel with, depending on how much space you have.

This keyboard is super comfortable to use, allows you to switch easily between three different Bluetooth devices, and has a built-in cradle for your tablet.

Best Travel Router: TP-Link AC750 Wireless Travel Router

If consistently good Wi-Fi is a non-negotiable for you, you'll want to snag a travel router before leaving for your trip. We recommend the TP-Link AC750 Wireless Travel Router , a reliable option that's small enough to pack. It features five Wi-Fi modes, two of which are specifically designed for great connection on the go.

The AC750's router mode allows you to connect to a hotel's Ethernet to instantly create a private wireless network and share access across your devices. Meanwhile, you can also choose hotspot mode, where you can enable an outdoor WISP access point to create a private Wi-Fi hotspot in public areas.

Despite these "private" connections, you'll still want to use a VPN to protect your information, especially when you're away from home.

It also has a micro USB-C port that can be used to connect an adapter, portable charger, or laptop. You'll want to note that the router doesn't come with any cords (you will, however, receive a two-year warranty, which isn't too shabby).

TP-LINK's AC750 Travel Router is a solid option for connecting to consistently good Wi-Fi wherever you go.


10 Gadgets for Your Next Road Trip

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Technology equipment controlling control panel.

You already know the downsides of a long trip by car: traffic, road construction and boring hours with nothing but the highway to look at. Any device that can make the journey easier, safer and more entertaining for you and your passengers is going to be well worth the cost. There are many gadgets available today that can help make the journey more pleasant -- even fun.

The key thing to remember is that a road trip doesn't mean going without. Whether it's phone service, your favorite television programs, games , or the full range of information and entertainment available over the Internet, you can have it at all your fingertips while you travel.

Travel gadgets are aimed at making your time on the road easier and more enjoyable, so it's not unusual for people to become completely attached to them. Take global positioning systems. A novelty not too long ago, GPS is now something many drivers can't live without. The latest GPS devices not only give you driving directions, they guide you into the proper lane at intersections and offer updates on weather and traffic. Many new cars come with GPS built in.

These 10 cool gadgets may soon make it onto your must-have list for future highway excursions.

  • Mobile Wireless Internet
  • LED Road Flares
  • Mobile Satellite TV Receiver
  • Bluetooth Headset
  • Mobile Video System
  • Satellite Phone
  • SteriPEN Traveler
  • CarMD Vehicle Diagnostics Kit
  • Power Inverter

10: Mobile Wireless Internet

Mobile router by Autonet

Systems like the Autonet Mobile router let you take the Internet with you in your car. You can file a sales report, listen to Pandora radio or surf for restaurant suggestions without ever leaving your seat. The Autonet folks have developed a technology using the 3G network that gives you seamless connections even when you're speeding along the interstate. For even better reception, you can mount an external antenna to your vehicle.

Mobile wireless routers offer the same range of services as any home network. Use your laptop to connect to weather sites and get full-size pictures of conditions up ahead, or take advantage of the connection to access the latest traffic flow reports. Passengers can watch YouTube videos or send instant messages. Because the signal travels up to 150 feet (45.7 meters), you can still access your mobile network from your motel room if your car is parked nearby.

9: LED Road Flares

If your car breaks down on a curve or along a stretch of busy highway with a narrow shoulder, you could definitely be in danger. Placing a bright flashing light on the roof of your car or farther up the roadway could save your life.

Road flares have gone high-tech. The old combustible types were handy, but they could be dangerous, they burned toxic chemicals and they lasted less than half an hour. New light emitting diode (LED) warning lights put out a bright flashing beacon designed to alert oncoming drivers. They're safer, more effective and reusable.

The Aervoe LED road flare is shaped like a hockey puck and includes a rechargeable battery. It will flash for up to 60 hours and can be seen for up to half a mile (0.8 kilometers). In addition to warning other drivers of road peril, LED flares help police or roadside assistance personnel to locate you.

8: Mobile Satellite TV Receiver

If you subscribe to DirecTV or Dish Network, you're used to a wide range of television options, many in high definition. A mobile TV receiver lets you take that entertainment on the road. All you need is a television, a power source, a satellite antenna and a subscription to a service. (This is obviously not a gadget to use while driving.)

The power source can be your car battery, a dedicated battery pack or even a small electrical generator. The DirecTV Sat-Go system includes its own rechargeable battery. Antennas are compact, but you'll need a direct view of the sky -- trees or tall buildings can interfere. Just a few minutes of setup time will get you up and running. It can be a kick to watch your favorite shows while at the edge of a remote lake, keep up with the news in a national park, or enjoy sports highlights at a tailgate party.

Some gadgets are practical and sensible. Others are, well, a little weird. The RoadPro Sandwich Maker plugs into your car's power outlet and delivers a hot sandwich in minutes. If you can't wait until you reach the next pizza shop, the same company offers a portable oven and pizza maker. A 12-volt curling iron that plugs into your car's lighter socket can help you look your best while you travel.

7: Bluetooth Headset

woman driving with bluetooth headset

Using a handheld cell phone while driving is illegal in numerous states and the District of Columbia. If you must take calls on the road, the answer is a hands-free system based on Bluetooth technology. Bluetooth allows your phone to communicate with a wireless headset and microphone. You can make and receive calls and never have to fumble with the phone. Advanced models can even read text messages to you or let you know the status of the phone's battery via voice prompts.

Bluetooth can also send signals to full stereo headphones, giving you better sound quality and letting you play music as well as. You should not use headphones while driving. Yet another alternative is a Bluetooth speaker phone, which fits onto your dashboard and lets you or a passenger make hands-free calls.

Try out the device before you decide. Make sure the earbud is comfortable or that the speaker is designed to be heard in an environment like your car's interior.

6: E-reader

Some passengers love to curl up in the car with a good book, and that no longer means filling the car with a small library. Today, e-readers like the Amazon Kindle or the Barnes & Noble Nook give readers access to hundreds of books with the push of a button. The e-paper screens on these readers are great for reading in cars because they reduce glare and eye strain.

E-readers are steadily improving. The Kindle DX boasts a nine-inch screen. Newer versions of the Nook offer color images -- ideal for kids' picture books.

Another great feature of e-readers is that when you finish your Janet Evanovich thriller, you can download her next book over a WiFi or 3G network. You can also keep up on your favorite magazines and newspapers so you stay in the know while you're on the road.

Kids often find car trips BOR-ING, but gadgets can help them enjoy road travel. The Leapster 2 handheld video game system help tots pass the time, and it's both entertaining and educational. A Fischer-Price Kid-Tough digital camera lets kids take pictures as they go and is rugged enough to survive being dropped.

5: Mobile Video System

child watching television in car

They're standard in many minivans, but you can install a mobile video system in any car, too. They're the perfect antidote to that dreaded query, "Are we there yet?" Some systems mount the video monitor in the back of the driver's and front passenger's headrests, so that backseat passengers have a good view. Other systems have screens that drop down from the ceiling. The sound can play through the car's stereo system, but individual headphones usually make more sense. Noise cancelling headphones filter out road noise.

In addition to watching movies or television shows on DVD, passengers can play video games, including head-to-head competitions. Systems come with USB ports and card readers, allowing them to play any video or audio files you've saved. For example, you might collect a group of internet videos or DVDs about your destination or attractions along the way, so passengers can get excited about the places they're about to visit.

4: Satellite Phone

Everybody knows the frustration of dropping a cell phone connection. On long trips, especially to remote locations, it's likely to happen more than once. The solution is a satellite phone. Services like Iridium, Globalstar and Thurya provide coverage virtually everywhere in the world by using satellites to transmit signals instead of antennas mounted on earthbound towers.

A satellite phone is an especially good choice if you're going to be driving into areas where cell service may be spotty or nonexistent. The only restriction is that you need a clear view of the outdoor sky -- if you're at the bottom of a canyon, you may have to hike up to the rim for reception.

If you don't travel frequently enough to merit purchasing a satellite phone, you might consider renting one for your trip. Keep in mind that you'll pay more for calls, typically $1.69 a minute. Text messaging can save you some money, as they usually cost only 50 cents per message.

Gadgets are great. But it's important to keep in mind that even few seconds of distracted driving can result in an accident. Studies have shown that using a cell phone, even a hands-free one, slows driver reaction time as much as a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent -- the legal limit. Is your conversation worth that level of risk? If you're driving, let the passengers handle the gadgets.

3: SteriPEN Traveler

Salmonella, streptococcus and cryptosporidium -- these exotic-sounding inhabitants of unsafe drinking water can play havoc on your digestive system and turn a vacation into a nightmare. Keep them from tagging along on your travels with an effective water purification system. The SteriPEN Traveler uses ultraviolet light to deactivate germs in almost any water. It uses four AA lithium batteries and fits into most commercial water bottles. The SteriPEN takes less than a minute purify a bottle of water and retails for about $50.

The device is ideal for those days you stop your car to take a hike, especially in hot weather. As long as there are water sources along the way, you won't have to bring bottles of water for each hiker. And the SteriPEN, at 3.6 ounces (102 grams), is lighter and less bulky than most filters.

2: CarMD Vehicle Diagnostics Kit

You're 800 miles (1287 kilometers) from home and the check engine light begins to glow ominously. Now what? You might be glad you invested in a CarMD Vehicle Diagnostics Kit. Every car made since 1996 has built-in computerized diagnostic circuitry; mechanics use it to quickly identify problems in your vehicle. The CarMD lets you do the same. A check engine light can mean something as simple as a loose gas cap, or it can alert you to a serious mechanical problem. With the CarMD, you'll know what you're dealing with.

The CarMD system doesn't just present you with a trouble code. It works with a computer program to convert that information into a description of the problem, a list of parts that might need replacing, and even the likely cost of parts and repair. It also alerts you to recalls and technical bulletins from the manufacturer. Run a scan on your car before you leave, and it will give you a heads-up on looming problems. Use it on the road if trouble pops up to figure out what you need to repair.

The CarMD readout can be a boon when you're approaching a mechanic while away from home. You'll know what's needed and what a fair price for the repair should be.

Before you take off on your car trip, you should pick up an emergency tire repair kit, such as Slime Quick Spair or Fix-A-Flat. These products inflate and seal your tire in seconds so you can keep rolling until you can get a professional repair.

1: Power Inverter

One of the most useful gadgets you can take along on your car trip is the one that lets you power up all the other gadgets. An inverter changes the 12-volt direct current from your car's battery into the 115-volt alternating current used by most appliances. You can operate a small television, a laptop computer, a toaster or a coffee maker with that.

Inverters come in a variety of sizes. Smaller ones, like the Kensington K38037US, fit into the glove box and plug into the lighter/power outlet. In addition to giving you AC power, it lets you charge your smart phone or iPod through a USB cable. Larger inverters can be wired directly to the battery. A model from Power Line looks exactly like a coffee cup. Plug it in and you have two AC outlets in your cup holder.

Keep in mind that the power in your battery is limited. You'll have to look at the maximum load of any inverter you use. You may need to turn on and run your engine periodically to make sure you're not draining your battery.

Solar chargers, some only a few inches across, use sunlight to supply power to an internal battery. That power can then be used to charge a cell phone, MP3 player or other device that draws power through a USB connection. It's a great way to keep your gadgets powered up when you're on the move or camping in the woods.

Road Trip Gadgets: Lots More Information

Related articles.

  • Our Top 10 Stops for a Tech Road Trip
  • 10 Tips for Planning a Cross-country Road Trip
  • Top 10 Stress-free Road Trip Ideas
  • What was the first road trip?
  • What was the first cross-country U.S. road trip?
  • Can you transfer road trip plans to your GPS?
  • Aervo. LED Road Flare. (July 1, 2011) http://www.aervoe.com/paints_coatings/LED-Road-Flare-single.html
  • Amazon.com. "Kensington K38037US Auto/Air Power Inverter." (July 1, 2011) http://www.amazon.com/Kensington-K38037US-Power-Inverter-Ports/dp/B002DUD1RE
  • Amazon.com. "Powerline By Original Power 0900-66 200-Watt Coffee Cup Inverter." (July 1, 2011) http://www.amazon.com/Powerline-Original-Power-0900-66-200-Watt/dp/B000QFISDK/ref=sr_1_44?ie=UTF8&qid=1309388947&sr=8-44
  • Autonet Mobile. "Buckle up because this is a whole new way to experience the Internet." (July 1, 2011) http://www.autonetmobile.com/service
  • CarMD.com. "What is the CarMD Vehicle Health System?" (July 1, 2011) http://www.carmd.com/72.4.0/Article/What-Is-It
  • CarToys.com. "In-Car Theater." (July 1, 2011) http://www.cartoys.com/cartoys/webpage.cfm/WebPage_ID/101/action/Incartheater
  • DirecTV. "Sat-Go." (July 1, 2011) http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/content/equipment/satgo
  • Governors Highway Safety Association. "Cell Phone and Texting Laws," July 2011. (July 1, 2011) http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/cellphone_laws.html
  • McEvoy, Aoife M. "How to Buy a Bluetooth Headset or Car Speakerphone." PC World, March 2, 2011. (July 1, 2011) http://www.pcworld.com/article/155222/how_to_buy_a_bluetooth_headset_or_car_speakerphone.html
  • Nationwide. "Driving While Distracted: Statistics To Know." (July 1, 2011) http://www.nationwide.com/newsroom/dwd-facts-figures.jsp
  • Rubin, Ross. :Switched On: E-readers drive to digital distraction," Engadget.com, June 19, 2011. (July 1, 2011) http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/19/switched-on-e-readers-drive-to-digital-distraction
  • SatelliteInsight.com. "Satellite Phone Tips and TricksTo Maximize Your Service." (July 1, 2011) http://www.satelliteinsight.com/satellite-phone-tips.html#service
  • Slime. Quick Spair. (July 1, 2011) http://www.slime.com/product/871/Quick-Spair.html?utm_source=slime.com&utm_medium=Banner&utm_term=Quick%2BSpair&utm_campaign=Featured%2BProducts
  • Steripen.com. "Traveler." (July 1, 2011) http://www.steripen.com/traveler
  • Sub5Zero.com. "CarMD: Health Care Reform for Your Vehicle?" (July 1, 2011) http://www.sub5zero.com/gadgets/carmd-handheld-vehicle-diagnostic-tool-review

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Holiday Road: These Are Our Favorite Hacks and Gadgets to Make Your Road Trip Run More Smoothly

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.

Hitting the road for the holidays? You’re not alone — roughly 70 percent of Americans plan to travel more this year, more than they did in 2021, which increasingly includes road trips and RVing to get to their destination. Even if you’re all boosted up and visiting family and friends this season, you can still hit the road and make a great vacation out of getting there in your own car as opposed to braving the dreaded airport rush (although we do have tips on how to survive that, too ).

Of course, just because you’ll be hopping on the interstate to get to your aunt’s house for the holidays doesn’t mean you’ll have to do so begrudgingly. On the contrary, with so many companies striving to make your drive smoother than ever, you may be a little reluctant to get out of the car once you get to your final destination. From tech toys to ways to hack your comfort, the best travel accessories go a long way towards making your road trip experience more enjoyable.

1. Otterbox USB-C Fast Charge Car Charger

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Buy Otterbox USB-C Fast Charge Car Charger $59.95

2. BioLite CampStove Complete Set

Let’s face it—when you’re driving long stretches, there’s not always going to be time to stop for food. If you’re okay roughing it to save a few bucks on takeout, or if you just love campfire cooking, BioLite’s CampStove 2+ is a great option if you’re looking for a streamlined cooking appliance-slash-power source.

The CampStove 2+ is a wood-burning stove, simply use foraged sticks and twigs to heat the stove. Not only will you get a good flame going, you’ll simultaneously be generating electricity for your smartphone, headlamp and other road gadgets. With an extra grill piece add-on, you’ll be able to easily turn your road trip into a mini tailgate. The added KettlePot also boils water efficiently and nests right into the CampStove 2+.

We’ve reviewed the BioLite’s heartier companion, the FirePit+ if you want the full roaring bonfire, campfire cooking experience once you reach your destination. But the CampStove 2+ is an excellent choice anyone with an already overstuffed road trip car, since it weighs just under four pounds and folds up compact into a carrying bag.

Buy BioLite CampStove Complete Set $187.46

3. Weego 44S Jump Starter

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But this compact contraption goes even further with a brilliant flashlight, a USB outlet for charging electronic devices and a 12-volt accessibility port (adapter sold separately) in case you need to power anything else along the way.

Buy Weego 44s Jump Starter $74.99

4. YETI Roadie 24 Cooler

With the YETI Roadie 24 Cooler, you’ll hardly need convenience stores because everything you want — food, soda (up to 18 cans) or ice all easily fit inside — will already be within arm’s reach.

And unlike the dinged-up cooler you’ve lugged around since sophomore year, this snazzy one proves thoughtful in its look (nine color options), design (easy fit behind the passenger’s seat; taller frame to hold wine bottles) and construction (Quicklatch for one-handed access). It’s durable enough to take out of the car and to your campsite or cabin too.

Buy YETI Roadie 24 Cooler $250

5. Bindle 24 oz Water Bottle With Storage Compartment

Part-water bottle, part-storage compartment and part-snack container, this smart, sustainable solution from Bindle may be all you need, drinking-wise, for your next journey. Simply twist off the top cap to use the BPA-free bottle for any drink, hot or cold.

No matter how you choose to use it, the vacuum-sealed stainless steel bottle will stay at the perfect temperature for hours. And if that weren’t enough, the leak-proof bottom can store a few snacks, your ID, keys, cash or whatever other small item you need to keep nearby.

6. Pendleton Yakima Camp High Ridge Blanket

If you’re trying to catch a few winks, it can be a bummer if the driver is blasting the AC. But rather than get tense over the temp, simply get comfortable under this Pendleton blanket. Outdoorsy types adore the company for its vintage-inspired prints and high-quality materials.

We love this earth-tone, wool/cotton blanket, styled like a favorite wrap or shawl. Oh, and if anyone else in the car wants to get in on the warmth, the queen-sized blanket offers more than enough coziness for two.

7. World’s Best Feather Soft Microfiber Neck Pillow

With flights, neck pillows are a traveller’s staple, to the point where you sometimes get a freebie on the plane (whether or not you’ll get good sleep with those is debatable, though). But we’re here to tell you that car naps enhanced by the right pillow are just as good as those in the air.

Take Pluto’s aptly named The Complete Travel Pillow, for example. Because of its structured, pillowy hood (no leaning against the window necessary), adjustable 360-degree shape around your neck and chin, and built-in eye mask, this pillow is the ideal combination of comfort and support. And with the nifty velcro closure at the front, you’re assured it’ll always stay in place.

Buy Pluto The Complete Travel Pillow $145

8. ieGeek Portable DVD Player

Streaming services are as popular as ever, but if you want to rediscover your movie collection during an upcoming road trip, a portable DVD player is the right tool for the job. Looking to create a backseat entertainment system in your car? IeGeek’s portable DVD player is the way to go.

It has a 10.5-inch screen, which can be folded over the disc drive. The display has a resolution of 720P (1280 x 720), so you can watch HD videos via a flash drive or SD card. The sound quality is also pretty decent, with a dual-speaker stereo system.

This DVD player can last between five and six hours on a single charge before needing to be plugged into an outlet. You can also plug it into a car’s cigarette lighter — both a wall and car charger are included in the box. This portable DVD player also comes with a game link that contains 150 retro games (controller sold separately) and A/V cable, so you can connect it to a TV when you reach your destination.

Buy ieGeek Portable DVD Player $79.99

9. Sony WH1000MX5

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Soft and plush earcups also make the WH1000MX5s as comfortable as headphones get, meaning you can keep them on throughout a long drive without any discomfort (unless you’re the driver, of course). With superb sound quality to boot, you’ll want to keep them on as long as possible. 40mm drivers deliver full, crisp audio, not matter if you’re listening to music or podcasts.

One big bonus: the headphones feature incredible 30-hour battery life, plus five hours of battery with a quick 3-minute charge.

Buy Sony WH-1000XM5 Wireless Industry… $348.00

10. Welly Excursion Kit

The Red Cross recommends keeping a well-stocked first aid kit in your home or car, and even provides a list of the items you should keep inside. Welly’s Excursion is stocked with everything you’ll need in a single, compact package that you can take with you on camping trips, hikes, or road trips

The kit comes with simple, flexible bandages, triple antibiotic first aid ointment packets, hydrocortisone cream packets, ibuprofen, rolls of tape and large, fabric bandages. This is the most travel-friendly first aid kit we recommend, and it’s a good choice if you have a small car, or want to keep one in the trunk just in case. The hard metal case is especially durable, and weatherproof to boot.

Buy Welly Excursion Kit

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The Best Gear for Your Road Trips

A person reading a road atlas while sitting on the hood of their car, parked on the side of a road in the desert.

A road trip is an adventure. It doesn’t matter how far you go. But all adventures require a little planning (and one or two backup plans, in case things go sideways).

We took our first testing road trip in an age far less complicated than these past few years, but the gear we tested and the advice we’ve gathered here should still help you navigate the roads safely and comfortably.

Our original trip, in 2016, included 60 hours of researching and testing gear to take on the open road. We packed all of our top contenders into a Honda Fit EX and headed out on a four-day jaunt to determine what’s nice to have, what’s great, and what’s absolutely essential for your next road trip.

In 2020 we added a few items to help you adhere to safe-travel guidelines, and those things will always come in handy during flu and cold season. We’ve also added several selections to take on challenging winter car trips.

A car parked in the middle of a road with a bunch of road trip supplies placed for display on the ground next to it.

After traveling for 1,500 miles, through four states and six national parks, we think we have a good grasp on what makes an excellent road trip. In addition to performing our own research and testing, we consulted with half a dozen engineers, mechanics, and other experts to bring you these picks. Our hope is that the recommendations in this guide will help you see more and explore farther down the road than you thought possible.

Below, you’ll find recommendations for cargo boxes , binoculars , coolers , emergency beacons , a first-aid kit , a folding blanket , an ice scraper , an instant camera , inverters for your electronics , a multi-tool , phone mounts , a portable jump starter , ratchets and tie-down straps , a road atlas , stain remover , a stowable daypack , sun shades , sunglasses , a tire-pressure gauge , a toolkit for cars , a travel game , a travel pillow , water jugs , windshield water repellent , wipes , and so much more. These items will help you have a successful road trip, regardless of region or weather.

However, even if you have the best gear in the world, it’s always best to address small problems before they become emergencies. That’s why we asked Christopher Smith , a veteran automotive journalist with a penchant for restoring fixer-uppers, to help us put together some advice on how to prepare your car for a trip . (And he lives in South Dakota, where things are spread out, so he’s always prepared.) We cover everything from checking your tires and dipsticks to knowing what you should do if your car starts smelling like rotten eggs for seemingly no reason.

This guide isn’t specifically geared toward families, though most of the picks would be useful to a family traveling by car. We do have guides to infant car seats , travel car seats , booster car seats , and water bottles for kids —all things that are of particular interest to families on the road.

A car driving down a highway in the desert.

The research

Stowing your gear, in the driver’s seat, health and cleaning supplies, staying comfortable, refreshments, entertainment, just in case, preparing for a road trip.

A person grabbing an item from the trunk of a car that is filled with roadtrip supplies.

Being able to find what you need when you need it—whether it’s water, emergency lights, a change of clothes, or a granola bar—can make the difference between a short, easy stop that rejuvenates and a long, frustrating one that makes you question why you left home in the first place.

It all starts with packing. Don’t overthink it. We like to keep items grouped: emergency gear in the back right of the trunk, water in the back left, spare batteries in the glove compartment along with the power inverter, and so on. After a few days, double-checking that everything is where it should be before heading off becomes a comforting ritual, and it helps mitigate the worry that you left … something … in the motel last night.

And don’t overpack. As with a bag, a well-packed car is one that has less than you think you want to bring but everything that you truly need. You don’t have to bring everything—just the things that are essential. Remember, you want to enjoy the drive. Not having to worry about countless items that someone might lose or misplace is a big step toward that enjoyment.

Cargo boxes

long journey gadgets

Yakima SkyBox NX 18

The best cargo box.

This cargo box offers great aerodynamics, easy mounting and operation, and a lot of storage at a reasonable price.

Buying Options

A cargo box effectively allows you to double your trunk space by moving bulky items from your car’s interior or trunk to its roof. After gathering up as much intel as we could about rooftop cargo boxes from experts, retailers, manufacturers, customers, and outdoor-gear reviewers, we’ve concluded that of the 21 boxes we surveyed, the Yakima SkyBox NX 18 offers the best combination of features, build quality, and value pricing for most road trips.

The NX line replaces the Carbonite line of Yakima boxes, which included our previous cargo box pick, the SkyBox 16 Carbonite .

The cargo box’s low-drag aerodynamic design minimizes wind noise and reduces the impact on fuel economy. Its 18 cubic feet of space allows it to hold skis, duffle bags, backpacks, sleeping bags and other camping gear, or any random (though fairly lightweight) stuff, and it does so securely—both in solidly mounting to your roof rack and in resisting theft. If you don’t have a rack already, this REI car rack buying guide is a good place to start, but be sure to consult your car’s owner manual to see how much weight its roof can bear.

The SkyBox NX 18 is easy to use. Like most cargo boxes these days, it uses sliding brackets, rather than one or two fixed spots, for attachment to the crossbars, making perfect positioning a snap. To secure the brackets to the crossbars, you use a simple torque wrench (included) that will announce with an audible click—like a gas-tank cap—when you’ve tightened the four installation bolts down securely. The tool lives inside the cargo box, though out of the way of your gear, for safekeeping.

Once installed, the SkyBox NX 18 allows easy access from either side of the car, and its newly redesigned dimensions (a change from the previous model) make it less likely to interfere with a liftgate if you put it on a hatchback or station wagon.

If you need more space, Yakima’s older-generation 21-cubic-foot model (the company has not released an updated, NX 21 version so far) may still be available for purchase. Be aware, however, that this box weighs more and can encourage overloading past your car rack’s weight limit, which might be lower than you expect. It may also be too long in the back to clear some liftgates. As Ken Klaes, general manager of ReRack , a Portland, Oregon–based cargo-box retailer and rental company, explained to us: “A rack designed to carry 150 pounds doesn’t forget that the box is there; the weight of the box itself (often 50-ish pounds) needs to be subtracted from the weight rating to give you a real capacity for the box.”

Roof straps

long journey gadgets

Keeper Endless Loop Ratchet Tie-Down

The best ratcheting straps.

Easier to use than non-ratcheting straps, these straps ensure that your stuff stays put.

I spent many years working in rigging and rope access on offshore oil platforms, where I played with loads, angles, line pulls, and sheave-block friction percentages—in other words, I know a thing or two about strapping things down. You can find two common types of roof straps: ratchet straps, which have a mechanical lever and gear, and cam straps (sometimes called “lashing” or “loop” straps), which connect to themselves through a cam buckle . If I could choose only one type, I’d get ratchet straps because they’re easier to secure. More specifically, I’d get the Keeper Endless Loop Ratchet Tie-Down .

We spent several hours examining 22 strap options before landing on the Keeper version. Keeper is a reliable brand, and the ratchets are easy to tighten and loosen, thanks to their all-metal construction. ( Cheaper ratchets are hard to release and prone to sticking or breaking due to their reliance on plastic parts.) At 13 feet long, these 1-inch straps are long enough for all but the most strenuous loads on the largest of vehicles, and their nylon webbing’s 400-pound working load limit and 1,200-pound break strength put them right in line with similarly priced straps. You could get something that’s heavier-duty or longer, but you’d be paying more for strength or length you don’t need.

On our trip, driving in a car without a roof rack, we used the Keeper straps to great success. The straps held a full water jug to the roof of our Honda for a few dozen miles through the backroads of Arizona with no issues. Other Wirecutter staffers have owned Keeper straps for years and vouch for their overall strength and durability.

long journey gadgets

NRS 1″ HD Tie-Down Straps

The best cam straps.

Simpler and cheaper than ratchet straps, these straps have above-average strength ratings.

If you prefer the simplicity of a cam strap or don’t need the extra force that a ratchet strap provides, we like the NRS 1″ HD Tie-Down Straps , which come in a variety of lengths. They’re pricier than more popular options, but their webbing is rated to a 1,500-pound breaking strength (the cam itself has a 2,000-pound breaking strength) and a 500-pound working load, in contrast with the 600-pound breaking strength and 200-pound working load of this best-selling Keeper set . Equipment of this grade may seem like overkill, but Wirecutter’s Mark Smirniotis had several weaker cams fail on him when he was strapping loads to his Jeep. He noted in 2016 that of all the straps on Amazon with more than 25 customer reviews, the NRS straps were the only ones that had no reviews complaining of failed cams. NRS is primarily known as the premier kayaking- and rafting-accessory company, so the folks there probably know something about strapping awkwardly large loads onto cars.

long journey gadgets

Thule Quick Loop Strap 530

For smaller cars.

This strap offers a quick way to add load-stabilizing anchor points to a small car.

For owners of compact cars who want to move long or oversize loads, such as a kayak, we also like the Thule Quick Loop Strap . You secure these straps under the hood of your car (or the trunk, if you don’t have a hatchback) to create a set of forward anchor points to help stabilize the forward section of whatever it is you’re carrying. Judging from our testing, these straps are very quick to set up, and they can add a welcome level of versatility to tough packing situations.

  • Always check the maximum load of your car’s anchor points, such as the roof rack. Ratchet straps can apply a lot of force beyond just the weight of your belongings, so knowing your maximum load will help you avoid over-tensioning the straps.
  • If the straps vibrate against the roof while you drive, adding a few twists in them can sometimes stop them from slicing the air.
  • Don’t put knots in your straps, especially if you’re applying tension. Knots can cut through nylon with surprisingly little force. A knot also significantly reduces the overall load that the strap can handle.
  • Never use bungee cords to hold anything down. They’re fine for stabilizing items but not for securing heavy loads.

Driving can be fun, meditative, exhausting, and torturous. After five hours of driving through the desert, it can sometimes be all of those things at the same time.

A thousand little gadgets promise to make a long drive somehow easier. Most of them are useless and seemingly designed to distract you more than anything else. Try to avoid these items. The best gear is durable, unobtrusive, and easy to use—so you can keep your eyes (and your thoughts) on the road.

You will get bored—500 miles on cruise control with an automatic transmission can be a pretty dull time. Not always, of course, but sometimes it will be boring, and maybe that’s the point. In this frenetic age, that feeling is practically a luxury, and it’s essential to the trip. Revel in it.

A bunch of small roadtrip items placed on top of the dashboard of a parked car, including a case for sunglasses and a GPS system.

It would be impossible for us to pick the best overall sunglasses, since your choice ultimately depends on your personal style. We have picks for cheap sunglasses in a separate guide. But driving sunglasses are different because they’re designed to help you perform a specific task: driving safely. In that regard, Maui Jim makes the best sunglasses around, though they are something of an investment.

long journey gadgets

The best sunglasses

These are the clearest driving sunglasses we’ve found, with no perceptible distortion.

We compared a Maui Jim pair with more than 20 types of sunglasses, driving or otherwise, and found this pair to be the best of the bunch. The Maui Jim sunglasses had the clearest lenses, with no perceptible distortion, on the lightest frames we tested (0.6 ounce, or about half the weight of a wooden pencil). I’ve never encountered sunglasses that I can wear for hours on end without somehow hurting my nose, ears, or both. But during my trip there were a few afternoons when I had completely forgotten I was even wearing the Maui Jim sunglasses—despite five-plus hours of driving with them on.

The clarity of the lenses was another surprise. The Maui Jim lenses are so clear that it’s borderline unsettling the first time you try on these sunglasses. Thanks to the lenses’ exceptional clarity and polarization, everything—including the scenery around you and the road ahead—looks sharper through them.

A person reading an atlas while sitting on a car.

As far as specific model recommendations go, I suggest scanning the offerings on the Maui Jim website and reading the fit descriptions to find something that matches your aesthetic sensibilities. Unlike companies that go by lens size only, Maui Jim lists face shape as part of its fit guidelines. That means you’re more likely to find what’s most comfortable for you on your first try. Just keep in mind that bigger lenses tend to be better because they offer more coverage.

Maui Jim glasses come with a two-year warranty . After checking with the company, we confirmed that it fulfills warranties on its sunglasses no matter where you buy them. However, Maui Jim services only authentic lenses and frames that haven’t been modified in any way. You can tell whether the pair you have is genuine (and not a knockoff) by confirming that the Maui Jim logo is etched, not just painted onto the lens.

Smartphone mount

In an ideal world, people wouldn’t use a phone at all while driving, and if you have a copilot, you shouldn’t have to—you can delegate the phone-related tasks to them. But in reality, for many drivers, a phone is the source for navigation, information, messages, music, and (of course) phone calls. However, if you hold the phone in your hand as you drive—or look down at it in a cup holder or center-console bin—it can be a major distraction and safety risk. That’s why we recommend using a smartphone mount.

long journey gadgets

iOttie iTap Magnetic 2

The best dash- or windshield-mounted smartphone mount.

Whether it’s on a dashboard or windshield, this model is easy to set up, grips securely, and has a strong magnetic mount that supports most phones in any position.

long journey gadgets

iOttie iTap Magnetic 2 Air Vent Mount

The best vent-mounted smartphone mount.

This model is easy to set up and remove, and it has the same strong magnetic mount as the dash version. It securely held on to our cars’ vent slats.

long journey gadgets

iOttie iTap Magnetic 2 CD Slot Mount

The best cd-slot-mounted smartphone mount.

This mount attached quickly and firmly to our cars’ CD slots and has the same magnetic mount as the other iTap Magnetic 2 versions.

I enjoy the simplicity of my phone with no accessories, so I like that the iOttie iTap Magnetic 2 mounts offer an attractively easy way to mount and unmount my phone with one hand. In our tests , the magnets in all three versions— dash/windshield , vent , and CD slot —were strong, supporting most of our phones vertically and horizontally over even the roughest terrain. Only the large, 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max gave them some trouble when they held it horizontally; the mounts were solid with a 6-inch Google Pixel 2 XL.

To use the magnetic mount, you have to attach a small metal plate to the back of your phone or to the case. Doing so is safe for your phone, and we found this detail to be small, subtle, and attractive enough that we didn’t mind it. Often you can hide it entirely by attaching the plate to the inside of a phone’s case. But the plate could interfere with your ability to wirelessly charge your phone; if you want to be able to continue to use that function, consider the following options from our guide to wireless charging phone mounts .

long journey gadgets

iOttie Easy One Touch Wireless 2 Dash & Windshield Mount

Best mount for charging a smartphone on a dash or windshield.

This model delivered some of the quickest charging speeds and earned top results for stability. It lets you easily mount and unmount your phone, too.

long journey gadgets

iOttie Easy One Touch Wireless 2 Air Vent & CD Slot Mount

Best mount for charging a smartphone on a car’s air vent or cd slot.

This is the sturdiest vent-mounted model we tested, with fast charging speeds, a firm grip, and a quick way to attach and remove your phone.

The iOttie Easy One Touch Wireless 2—available as a dash and windshield mount or a vent and CD player mount —offers a convenient way to charge your phone in the car while also giving you easy access to audio controls, directions, messages, and more. In our tests , both models ranked among the quickest at charging our phones. Their spring-loaded tension arms made attaching or removing a phone of any size simple, and they held the phone steady while we drove. Both models offer a wide range of adjustability for positioning your phone where you can readily see it, regardless of the vehicle. iOttie also offers a magnetic mount (for vent use) that’s compatible with wireless charging.

Rain-repellent coatings

Rain and snow add stress to a road trip, and they decrease your visibility and your reaction time in an emergency. Along with wipers, rain-repellent windshield coatings can help keep your windshield clear. If you want the most effective rain repellent, pick up the classic Rain-X spray bottle and commit to applying it once a month. If you simply want to give your windshield a boost, Aquapel is almost as effective and can last six times longer between applications—but it is very expensive.

long journey gadgets

Rain-X Original Glass Water Repellent

Cheap but short-lived repellent.

This affordable hydrophobic spray offers effective protection, but it wears off after a couple of weeks.

Most auto-supply shops offer a huge variety of Rain-X products, including wiper blades, gels, and washer-fluid additives, but you should stick to the original Rain-X formula in the 16-ounce spray bottle because it has the most reliably positive reviews from buyers. Once applied, Rain-X forms a hydrophobic coating , which causes water to bead up and quickly slide off your windshield. Most people who have used Rain-X agree that maintaining its effectiveness requires reapplication about once a month. If your wiper blades start “chattering,” that probably means the coating is beginning to wear unevenly, and it’s time to reapply.

long journey gadgets

Aquapel Glass Treatment

Long-lasting but pricey repellent.

Aquapel bonds to your windshield for up to half a year, but it costs more than twice as much as Rain-X.

May be out of stock

If you can’t commit to applying Rain-X once a month, consider Aquapel . Instead of coating your windshield, it bonds to the glass chemically , and it should last for three to six months before you need to pull out another one-time-use sponge and reapply. YouTube user jwardell posted a 30-day comparison video that shows how Rain-X is more effective initially, but after a month Aquapel still works even after the Rain-X has all but worn off.

For either repellent, proper application is the key to getting the maximum benefit. You need to start with an extremely clean windshield. Then clean it again just to be sure. Both of these repellents dry best in warm weather, out of direct sun. Even when perfectly applied, however, these substances have potential drawbacks. Some people who have used them complain that the repellents cause noticeable haziness at night. Others report that they had trouble getting windshield chips professionally filled after learning that the chemicals interfered with repair methods—though Aquapel’s site disputes such claims. Still, if you’re stuck in inclement weather on a road trip or a commute, either the original Rain-X spray or Aquapel can help increase visibility and decrease your stress levels.

Ice scraper and snow brush

long journey gadgets

Hopkins SubZero 80037

The best ice scraper and snow brush.

Efficient at clearing ice and sweeping snow, this scraper works on vehicles of all sizes.

You save $8 (24%)

The Hopkins SubZero 80037 tool combines a scraping blade and ice-crushing teeth to make quick work of thick or thin ice, and its plow-like bristle broom is the best we’ve tested —equally adept at shoveling snow off body panels and brushing it out from tight spots around mirrors and wipers. The Hopkins SubZero has a self-locking extension that’s easy to use when you want to fold the scraper away to make room in the trunk of your car. It’s of average size—39 inches folded up and 60 inches fully extended. But no other contender offers such a complete scraping-and-sweeping package with so few weaknesses.

Paper road atlas

long journey gadgets

Rand McNally Road Atlas

The best road atlas.

This atlas is large enough to use while you’re in motion, with a logical, straightforward layout.

With the advent of GPS units and smartphone navigation apps (both of which we recommend over the onboard navigation systems that might come with a car), the age of the paper road atlas would seem to be over. But don’t let anyone convince you of that. A road atlas is the heart of every road trip. It’s the inspiration.

Planning a road trip starts with imagining the places you could be next weekend, if you threw a few granola bars and some clothes into the backseat and left everything else behind. Of course, you could bring up Google Maps, look up the top 10 travel destinations near you, plan your exact route, and save a PDF to your digital device so you’d know exactly where to go and how to get there at each stage of your trip.

A person's hands shown tracing a route on a paper road atlas.

Or you could pull out a physical map and highlight a route. You might not know exactly what to expect when you get there, but you’ll definitely know that you can get there. And regardless of electronic-device failures, you will always have a map in hand.

For use in the car, we like the classic Rand McNally Road Atlas —just make sure to get an updated edition. Its oversize shape makes it simple to read and easy to spread out on the hood or in your lap, and the user-friendly design can’t be beat. This atlas’s arrangement of state and keyhole maps is the best for navigation.

As a test, we used the Rand McNally atlas to complete the first leg of our trip, from Ventura to Joshua Tree, California, with no phones and no GPS, on roads we had never driven before. The Rand McNally atlas was simple, functional, and easy to follow. Most important, it was fun to use.

We did read one complaint from somebody who began using that year’s map early: Some of the roads it listed as passable were still mid-construction at the time. If you’re buying a map in the middle of the year or later, you could play it safe and stick with the current year’s edition.

long journey gadgets

Garmin DriveSmart 55

The best car gps.

Best-in-class directions, driver alerts, points of interest, and free map updates—combined with the best screen we’ve seen on any GPS unit—set this model apart from the pack.

For most shorter trips, a smartphone can provide all the navigation assistance you need. But should your journey take you off the beaten path (and out of your coverage area), we suggest the Garmin DriveSmart 55 . Like the best GPS units , the DriveSmart 55 can also connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth, which lets you send destinations to the device, get incoming messages on screen, and receive extra trip and traffic info. The DriveSmart 55’s extensive points-of-interest database helps guide you to an area’s best sites and businesses through integrated Tripadvisor ratings, Foursquare listings, a database of sites from the History network, and US national park directories (something that other brands’ models don’t offer). Similar to a smartphone, the DriveSmart 55 allows multi-touch gestures, such as pinching or spreading for easier zooming on a map; this feature is a clear step up from the resistive displays of less-expensive units, which allow only single-finger gestures and require you to tap on the plus and minus buttons to zoom in or out.

A GPS device attached to a car's windshield, showing a navigation screen with traffic information.

The DriveSmart 55 also provides helpful traffic info in many metro areas. It responds to voice commands as effectively as the best GPS units, and like other top models it includes free lifetime map updates—in contrast with the pricey updates you need to buy for many cars’ built-in navigation systems.

long journey gadgets

Sea to Summit Wilderness Wipes

The best body wipes.

Not quite a shower but pretty darn close, these wipes are amazing after a sweaty day in the desert.

Road-trip and backpacking veterans know just how much better a shower can make an adventure after three days and a lot of smelly clothes. When taking a shower is not an option, or even if you just want to tidy up a bit after a long drive, body wipes can provide some much-needed relief.

We considered 22 brands and tested nine different body wipes, including some that were popular on Amazon and others that were recommended on the blogs of seasoned outdoorspeople.

A person opening a pack of Wilderness Wipes.

Cheap, portable, and durable, the Sea to Summit Wilderness Wipes were the clear winners.

The wipes come in a resealable package, which helps keep them fresher for longer. You can find them in two sizes, XL (8 by 12 inches, in a pack of eight) and Compact (6 by 8 inches, in a pack of 12). On our trip, we preferred the XL wipes for their extra coverage and longer cleaning power. The fully compostable Wilderness Wipes were among the most lightly scented ones we tested, and their lack of alcohol left our skin feeling clean and moist.

Surface wipes

long journey gadgets

Clorox Disinfecting Wipes

The best disinfecting wipes.

Effective, EPA-approved, and (usually) easy to find, these pre-soaked wipes need only four minutes of contact time to neutralize the coronavirus—and they’ll kill other nasty bugs you might come across in your travels, too.

Most disinfecting wipes are the same. Although we recommend Clorox Disinfecting Wipes , we advise getting any pack of wipes you can find that contains a disinfectant on the EPA’s List N (most have a bleach or quaternary ammonium base). Clorox’s bleach-free wipes are usually sold in single canisters or in four-packs at a range of retailers. These wipes can eliminate the coronavirus and other pathogens on hard surfaces—countertops, door handles, and bathroom fixtures—in your home, vehicle, or motel room, but not on fabric or other soft materials.

Surface spray

long journey gadgets

Lysol Disinfectant Spray

The best disinfectant spray.

This aerosol works in 10 minutes and is fabric-safe, but it’s guaranteed to eliminate the coronavirus and other pathogens only on hard surfaces.

Instead of bleach, which can damage car interiors, Lysol Disinfectant Spray uses quaternary ammonium. It’s safe on hard surfaces and most fabrics, and it’s gentler on skin than bleach. It also produces fewer harsh fumes—which is good if you’re disinfecting the same space frequently. The spray eliminates the coronavirus, for instance, on hard surfaces in 10 minutes, but on soft surfaces it only sanitizes (kills most but not all pathogens).

One thing we’ve learned in the past few years is that face masks can be useful whenever you’re sick (with COVID-19, a cold, the flu, whatever) and don’t want to share your misery with fellow passengers, people at rest stops, or anyone else. Fortunately, compared with the situation in early 2020, medical-style N95 and KN95 masks (which many experts recommend as the best protection) are widely available these days. They’re easy to tuck into a bag, which we do now whenever we travel. You can find out where to buy these masks in our guide .

Stain remover

long journey gadgets

Shout Wipe & Go Instant Stain Remover Wipes

The best stain remover.

By keeping a pack of these in your glove box, you’ll remain tidy through multiple meals at drive-throughs.

In our testing, we’ve found that if you spend five hours a day in the car on a drive-through-fueled cannonball run, there’s no way you’ll get to your final destination without having some kind of condiments disaster. I met my own inevitable conclusion outside an In-N-Out Burger on the last leg of our trip.

When the unavoidable happens, you’ll need something more than a napkin and ice water to clean up the mess. We recommend Shout Wipe & Go Instant Stain Remover Wipes . We tested them against other instant spot removers and assorted DIY methods to see how they handled wine, coffee, lipstick, and mustard stains.

In our tests, the Shout wipes easily outperformed the popular Tide To Go pen , and the Shout option was the only stain remover that erased almost all traces of lipstick on the collar of a shirt. These wipes also did pretty well on the ketchup I spilled.

A person wiping a ketchup stain off of their white shirt.

The single-use towelettes don’t occupy much space; you can throw a dozen into your glove compartment and barely notice they’re there. Plus, by using a single wipe per stain, you don’t risk depositing an old stain on another piece of clothing, as you might with reusable stain-remover sticks.

Hand lotion

long journey gadgets

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion

The best moisturizing lotion.

Once it’s rubbed in, this moisturizing lotion is lighter and drier-feeling than competitors. It’s better for people with normal to oily skin.

You might find yourself washing your hands a lot on the road, which can result in cracked and dry skin. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion is thick enough to stay neat in your hand and thin enough to spread quickly and smoothly onto your skin. Unlike its competitors , this moisturizing lotion dries nicely without leaving a greasy film in its wake. And its neutral scent won’t follow you out of the bathroom or into your car.

Can a long road trip be comfortable? I didn’t think so: Long hours of sitting in one position, nights spent camping or sleeping in cheap motel beds, and breaks for indigestible fast food are a terrible combination. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

With a little planning and a few small luxuries, you can keep the enthusiasm of your trip alive. Skip the fast food and instead pack your own snacks and water. Keep off the main highways and pull over when the scenery strikes you (not when you’ve gone a certain number of miles). And stop for as long as you need. The cliché is unavoidable: It’s the journey that’s important, not the destination (though that should be good too!).

A person leaning against the back of a Honda hatchback.

Folding blanket

long journey gadgets

Nemo Victory Picnic Blanket

Comfortable and easy to carry.

Our favorite picnic blanket travels easily, feels comfortable to sit on, and holds up to wear and tear.

There’s only so much time you can spend in a car without needing to pull over to pause, stretch your legs, and take in the scenery. We stopped dozens of times on our trip, and we were glad every time we were able to take a side road, pull out a blanket, and find a place to sit down and share some food.

A rolled-up Nemo Victory Picnic Blanket.

In 2023, Nemo enlarged the Victory Blanket, which previously fit just two people, to fit four people. At roughly 95 by 95 inches, according to our measurements, the Nemo Victory Picnic Blanket is now bigger than most blankets we looked at; it’s well suited for larger groups of people or for two people who want room for more board games and snacks. For those who need even more space, the Victory Blanket is also available in a truly mammoth extra-large version (120 by 120 inches). Both sizes come with two adjustable, clasping straps that keep the blanket rolled up tight, and those clasps can perform double duty as bottle openers.

Travel pillow

long journey gadgets

Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow Cinch

The best travel pillow.

The redesigned-for-2022 Therm-A-Rest pillow remains a firm and supportive choice that packs down to 50% of its expanded size. It now has a sewn-in cable that you can cinch down to make the pillow firmer.

price may vary by color or size

A good travel pillow is hard to find. It shouldn’t take up much space, and it should be able to expand when it needs to. And, ideally, it should allow you to shape it for use as a shoulder or neck pillow when necessary, such as when you’re on a plane or in the passenger seat of a car.

We found that the foam-filled Therm-A-Rest Compressible Pillow Cinch fit all of those criteria exceedingly well. During the day, it can fold in on itself (a loop-and-toggle closure holds it tight), which makes it easy to stow in a backpack or to toss into the backseat. When it’s in this tightly packed configuration, you can also use it as a shoulder and lumbar pillow. The Therm-A-Rest pillow is a bit larger than your typical travel pillow when it’s packed down—about the size of a tissue box—but saving space is less of a priority when you’re driving instead of flying.

A person shown with a red Therm-a-Rest pillow in their lap.

At night, the pillow unrolls and expands into a decent bed pillow, though side-sleepers with larger frames may say it has too little padding. But this is a travel pillow, of course, so it will never feel like your home pillow, which is all part of the fun somehow. I sleep on my side and back, and I found it exceptionally comfortable compared with camping pillows I’d used in the past, although I did have to supplement it with a flannel shirt when I wanted to sleep on my side. In spring 2022, Therm-A-Rest released a slightly redesigned version of the pillow. The “regular” version is roughly the same size and weight as the old “medium” version, but the integrated pocket is now larger (9 inches deep instead of 6), which we found makes the pillow easier to roll up. The pillow also has a cord sewn in a loop into its back; you can tighten the cord and cinch it securely to make the pillow firmer. One other change: A thin layer of polyfill backs the brushed polyester fabric on its face and softens the lumpiness of the foam filling.

The Therm-A-Rest pillow is well reviewed on Amazon and on REI’s site. It’s available in a variety of colors and sizes, but we prefer the regular/medium for its mix of portability and support.

Silk sleeper wrap

long journey gadgets

Sea to Summit Premium Silk Travel Liner

The best sleeping bag liner.

This liner is a lightweight, moisture-wicking, easy-packing fix for scratchy motel sheets.

Not all motels are created equal. Some are fantastic, with their bright neon signs truthfully advertising a cheap, clean, and convenient place to stay. But out there you can stumble across other motels—desperate, last-chance places you wouldn’t wish on anyone, and cursed by all of the bleary-eyed travelers who’ve been forced to stay in them for a night.

The Highlander Motel in Arizona, shown at night.

Sea to Summit’s Premium Silk Travel Liner is the best accessory to bring along for these situations. Inclement weather, unexpected traffic, or poor planning (my personal downfall) may at some point prevent you from reaching your expected destination for the night and force you to stay somewhere you wish you didn’t have to. We can’t help you accept your fate, but we can make that night just a little easier to tolerate.

long journey gadgets

Nidra Deep Rest Eye Mask

The best sleep mask.

Lightweight and contoured, this mask fits comfortably and blocks light well for a wide variety of face shapes (though it’s best for those who sleep on their back). And the mask’s deep eyecups allow your eyes to flutter during sleep.

Not every bedroom on the road is as dark as some people would like. That’s why we recommend the Nidra Deep Rest Eye Mask . Its contoured eyecups rest over your eyes, giving them space to move, which makes this mask comfortable to sleep in—even when you’re sitting upright (as you might in the passenger side of a car). Although the mask is adjustable, with Velcro straps, restless sleepers may want to consider other options in our full guide to sleep masks . If the Nidra mask fits you well, its weightless feel can make you forget you’re wearing a mask at all as you continue to sleep in bright cars or poorly shuttered hotel rooms.

Puffy blanket

long journey gadgets

Rumpl Down Puffy

The best outdoor blanket.

This blanket offers the greatest warmth and durability for the lowest relative weight, price, and size. It also stuffs away very well when not in use.

The Rumpl Down Puffy blanket, which has a soft yet durable nylon shell that’s stuffed with water-repellent and sustainably sourced down, wards off the cold better for the price than the competition. It helps you to stay warm longer, inside or outside. (A puffy blanket has come in handy for us especially on winter road trips in an EV, when we don’t have the heat of a combustion engine warming the interior of the vehicle.) So far in our testing , the Rumpl blanket has survived four rounds in the washing machine without a snag, and it dries within an hour. And it’s been notably stain resistant after encountering dirt, dew, and even coffee.

Van camping mattress

long journey gadgets

Hest Sleep System

The best vehicle camping mattress.

Predominantly for van camping or long-term car camping, this blowup mattress takes up a hefty amount of space when stowed away but provides the most comfort of any camping mattress we’ve tested.

Although the size of the Hest Sleep System limits its use to either vans or pickup trucks, we’re including it on this list because of its impressive night-over-night comfort. If your road trips tend to include lots of outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, or climbing, a good night’s sleep is fundamental to having the energy you need to enjoy your days. The Hest mattress takes up about the space of a small cot mattress (78 by 25 inches). Half consists of a dense foam layer, and the other half is a high-pressure inflatable base that needs a pump system to inflate. The Hest mattress is not a small piece of kit when rolled up: It weighs 26 pounds and packs up into a 28-by-16-inch bedroll, including the air pump. If two of you are camping, you can connect two Sleep Systems together, though Hest also makes the Dually two-person foam mattress, which we haven’t had a chance to test yet.

long journey gadgets

Tinkle Belle Female Urination Device

The best pee funnel.

Sturdy and accommodating yet packable, the Tinkle Belle funnel is easy to use and clean when you’re on the road or hiking a trail.

It’s not always easy to find a secluded spot on the side of the road or a clean-enough public restroom. The Tinkle Belle funnel has a stable, rigid base and a flexible spout, so it won’t collapse under you during use, as Wirecutter senior staff writer Nancy Redd learned while researching the topic. One of the longest and widest of all the single-piece reusable funnels Nancy tested , the Tinkle Belle funnel makes less mess and is easy to use, as the more coverage a funnel has, the lower the risk of leakage or spills. While you’re on the road, a simple rinse works fine for cleaning the funnel. Although the Tinkle Belle funnel is larger than most, it folds up for more-compact storage. You can also buy it with a matching case .

Windshield protector and sunshade

long journey gadgets

A1 210T Fabric Sunshade

The best windshield shade.

This shade provides effective sun protection and fits a wide variety of windshields. It’s easy to store, too.

If you’re traveling through a sunny area, a sunshade for your windshield is a worthwhile investment. We like the A1 Windshield Sun Shade , which we found to offer the best combination of low cost, decent coverage, and ease of setup. Its pop-up design made it much simpler to install and stow than the accordion-style shades we tested.

Recommending just one sunshade for all cars is difficult because vehicles vary so much in size. But A1 offers several sizing options ranging from 59 by 19 inches to 69 by 36 inches (when the shade is fully expanded). You can compress each of these size options down to fit into a circular carrying case, which you can easily store on the door or underneath the seat. When you take the A1 sunshade out of the case, the compressed plastic arcs inside the sunshade spring open to create a rectangular shape, which you can adjust to fit your car’s windshield. Amazon reviewers mention that the build quality is solid and that the metallic finish does a good job against the sun, particularly in hot Southern states like Florida and Texas. Several reviewers also recommend , however, that you buy a size smaller than you think you need to avoid excessive overhang.

A person outside a car, unfolding an accordion-style windshield sunshade.

Although we prefer the A1 shade’s pop-up design, it’s not completely foolproof. Even with the choice in sizes, you still might have difficulty arranging the two plastic circles (which provide rigidity) within the A1 shade into a shape that hugs both edges of the front window and balances off the rearview mirror. Gaps, loose corners, or overhangs are almost unavoidable. In the end, what you gain in compactness and decent price, you lose in rigidity and reflective power. If you’re uncertain, measure before buying, or look into a custom shade like the WeatherTech shade described below, which is guaranteed to fit.

long journey gadgets

WeatherTech SunShade

A custom-fitted, maximum-protection shade.

This custom-fitted shade will ensure that no sun gets in, even in the sunniest climates.

If maximum temperature reduction is your goal, invest in a custom-fitted WeatherTech SunShade . Thicker than the A1 shade, WeatherTech’s shade completely blacks out the windshield when you install it. This shade is also notably bulky—about the size of a yoga mat when rolled up—and difficult to store discreetly. But if you frequent sunny climates, it’s well worth the cost, which at this writing starts at $55.

Passenger window UV protector and shade

long journey gadgets

Britax EZ-Cling Window Shades

The best passenger shade.

This shade sticks easily to car windows and provides great sun protection for passengers.

We researched 14 shade models and tested two finalists before determining that the Britax EZ-Cling Window Sun Shade is the best around. Available in a pack of two, it’s dead simple to install, and it’s effective. The Mylar on the back provides some protection against UV rays, and it acts like a large sheet of cling film that seems drawn to your windows once you pull the shades out of the box; the black mesh on the inner surface blocks a good amount of sunlight while still allowing you to see through the shade. We like the EZ-Cling shade better than film-only shades because the EZ-Cling design has a support ring of firmer material around its perimeter that makes it easier to install without prompting wrinkles and bubbles. I have way more fun than I rightly should when I’m putting these things onto car windows.

Unlike similar models with suction cups, the EZ-Cling shade doesn’t have any secondary or removable parts. Wirecutter’s Dan Frakes tried four other shades of various types and was dissatisfied with all of them, so he brought two EZ-Cling pairs for testing on a four-day road trip with his family. “They clung to the windows well,” Dan said. “They were a lot easier to install than both the suction-cup models and the flimsy film ones we’ve tried. We also removed them and reapplied them many times as our position relative to the sun changed, and it was easy to do so. Our only real complaint is that they’re small—they don’t cover an entire backseat window.” That kind of half-coverage can’t keep the sun off young children for too long, especially when the sun is low on the horizon.

Quick tip: Be sure to wipe your EZ-Cling shades with water when you first get them. A thin film protects the Mylar sheets during production, and it can leave a waxy residue on your car’s windows if you use the shades right out of the box without first wiping them down.

Portable extending shade

long journey gadgets

Shade extension

This extending shade attaches to a variety of vehicles, whether you have a roof rack or not, and whether you attach it to metal or a composite material such as a pickup-truck bed cover.

Although the MoonShade works best on SUVs and trucks, it’s lightweight and adaptable enough to work with smaller vehicles. When deployed, the MoonShade covers 9 by 7 feet, and its height adjusts from 78 inches to 96 inches. The shade mounts in three ways: directly to a roof rack, with very strong magnets, or with surprisingly robust suction cups for composite materials. We found that all three methods are secure enough for most situations, though as you might imagine, the suction cups are somewhat less stable than a direct mount on a rack. The MoonShade weighs 8 pounds and stows away into a carrying case that measures 28 by 6 inches, which is small enough to fit in the trunk of most cars. The MoonShade is great if you like to pull over in the middle of the day and set up a lunch, or if you tend to do activities outdoors in predominantly shadeless areas, as in the Southwest.

You could cross America with no plan at all and survive solely on fast food as your nourishment, without ever having to leave your car. But we don’t recommend that. Packing your own snacks and bringing your own water is not only healthier but also safer—you never know when you might be stranded somewhere along the way.

We got stranded on our second day of driving, somewhere east of Joshua Tree, California, when we pulled off the side of the road onto a soft, sandy shoulder (we were new in this part of the country). The car’s dash thermometer read 105 degrees Fahrenheit. As we waited, I was thankful that we had full water bottles, more water in the trunk, and plenty of food.

A highway patrol officer drove up, gave us a little lesson about sand, and pushed us out with no trouble. So things turned out fine. The beauty of a road trip is in the unexpected moments. You can be prepared for most of them by having a little food and water on hand.

A person standing with their arms out and their back facing the camera, while looking out at a scenic landscape.

RTIC Soft Pack Cooler 20 Can

Best soft cooler.

This simple lunch-box-style cooler is insulated with thick closed-cell foam and made from a durable coated nylon.

Capable of carrying everything from healthy snacks to emergency ice packs, a cooler is one of those items that can make long trips a lot more enjoyable. After several 500-mile days on the road, having a chilled container filled with cold drinks and body wipes is a gift. We recommend bringing along our favorite soft cooler , the RTIC Soft Pack Cooler 20 Can .

A red and gray RTIC Soft Pack Cooler 20 Can.

The lid of the RTIC cooler is capped by more than 2 inches of closed-cell insulation , and its walls are a touch thicker than those of the far more expensive Yeti Hopper Flip. When we tested them head-to-head, all that extra insulation seemed to give the RTIC cooler an insulating edge. The exterior of the RTIC cooler is made of a durable, thickly coated nylon—waterproof and tough—and the zippers are waterproof, as well. Still, don’t leave the cooler out in the sun, as the light and heat can degrade the material and slowly wear it out.

When the RTIC cooler is open, it stands erect like a grocery bag, providing easy access for loading and unloading.

long journey gadgets

Coleman 70-Quart Xtreme 5 Marine Hard Ice Chest Cooler

Our hard-cooler pick.

Better insulated and less expensive than the competition, this cooler keeps ice for a week. And its well-designed drain port makes it easier to clean.

If you need extra insulation for longer hauls and don’t mind sacrificing a little extra space, we recommend the Coleman 70-Quart Xtreme 5 Marine Hard Ice Chest Cooler . Our testing shows that a hard cooler will almost always outperform a soft cooler in insulating ability (five-plus days, versus a soft cooler’s two-day average) and durability. So the hard cooler is a great pick for RVs, trailers, or boats. But hard coolers are huge, so you might not have room for one if you’re carrying a bunch of other equipment.

A person looking out at a rocky landscape.

Water bottles

long journey gadgets

CamelBak Eddy+ (25 ounces)

Great for the car.

A bottle with a straw is the easiest way to quaff water and keep your focus on the road since you don’t have to tilt your head back while drinking.

The 25-ounce CamelBak Eddy+ is the most reliable, most versatile water bottle for road trips that we found. This bottle has an integrated straw in the lid that features a plastic bite valve to keep it sealed (something that anyone who has owned a CamelBak hydration pack will be familiar with). Just bite down to open the straw, and release to seal it shut. That leak-free lid makes this bottle an ideal driving companion—it fits in a cup holder and is easy to sip from while you’re keeping your eyes on the road. The straw lid twists off to reveal a wide mouth that makes adding ice to your drink easy, which is handy if you like to keep your water cold. However, this is a plastic bottle, so adding ice could also make it sweaty; if you want to avoid that, the insulated version should prevent moisture from accumulating on the outside of the bottle.

A large, vintage, metal tank with a Route 66 sign painted on it.

Contigo Autoseal Transit Mug

The best mug for road trips.

Contigo’s Autoseal Transit is a wider mug that may fit better in cup holders than our top travel-mug pick. It doesn’t retain heat as well as our top pick, but some people may find its flat lid easier to drink from and to clean.

The Contigo Autoseal Transit Mug is a very different mug from the Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug—our top pick for travel mugs —but it offers several features we like for road trips. The lid has fewer parts, is easier to clean, and prevents spills with its Autoseal button, which you have to hold down to keep the sipping port open. Plus, the flat lid won’t bump your nose or get in your line of sight while you’re drinking, as can happen with the Zojirushi model’s flip-top lid. Although this Contigo mug doesn’t keep drinks nearly as hot as the Zojirushi mug over a long period of time, some people might prefer that (we’ve heard complaints of the Zojirushi model keeping drinks too hot in the past). In addition, the Transit is a little wider than the Zojirushi mug, which is good if you want your mug to fit more snugly in a car cup holder or if you use a device such as an AeroPress, a pour-over dripper, or a tea steeper directly with your mug.

Edward Abbey wrote an entire book about being alone in the desert , long before portable screens, streaming music, and the best and worst of what instant entertainment can bring. He saw incredible things. But then again, Abbey wrote that book before he had kids.

Being in close proximity on a road trip can bond families and friends. Of course, a packed car could also become a pressure cooker. Some games, toys, and electronics can provide welcome relief.

Even more important, on our trip, every 100 miles the scenery around us changed drastically, and being able to charge our cameras allowed us to capture some wonderful personal moments.

A rural road through a landscape of red rocks.

Bestek 300W Power Inverter

The best inverter for simple devices.

More-sensitive gadgets may not function correctly while using this DC-to-AC converter, but a smoother converter costs $100-plus.

Lots of newer cars have USB ports capable of charging plenty of smaller gadgets. But to plug in bigger items, such as a computer, or certain items that have larger batteries, you need an inverter to transform your car’s round-plug, 12-volt direct current (12 V DC) outlet into a three-prong outlet with the same 120-volt alternating current (120 V AC) you have in your home. After sending our three favorites, culled from a list of 18 top-rated inverters, to physicist Jim Shapiro for testing, we recommend the Bestek 300W Power Inverter for simple devices such as water boilers. Not all inverters are equal, however, and you need to know what you’ll want to plug in before deciding which one to buy.

The Bestek unit—like every inverter that sells for less than $100—creates AC power, but in what’s called a “modified” sine wave. Shapiro examined this phenomenon using an oscilloscope. “Although the Bestek and similar units produce voltage at the same 60-hertz frequency as house voltage, the waveform has sharp corners, unlike the smooth, curvy sine-wave signal from your local power company,” Shapiro explained. “Those sharp corners give rise to higher frequency harmonics that are not friendly to electronic devices.”

A graph showing the difference between a pure sine wave and a modified sine wave.

However, because many electronics, including laptop computers, use power supplies to convert AC back into DC before delivering the power to your device, a higher-quality power supply can make the arrangement work—as owner reviews attest. Shapiro was able to charge an iPad without any problems via the AC outlets on the inexpensive Bestek inverter. Charging a Dell Chromebook, on the other hand, caused some problems: “The screen flickered, and I noted that when I asked the computer to display the charging time left, it oscillated between giving that time and ‘calculating,’ indicating that the software was having problems.”

While we were on the road, we realized that the Bestek inverter’s dual USB ports and dual outlets offered a nice benefit, particularly for people traveling in an older car that didn’t have USB ports built in everywhere. You shouldn’t have issues charging USB devices because they charge on DC voltage anyway. And though you can’t see the inverter’s safety features, such as over-voltage and low-voltage shutdown, they’re included as well.

For powering a TV (for tailgating) or any other demanding piece of electronics during a road trip, we used to recommend the Go Power GP-SW150-12 Pure Sine Wave Inverter. It now appears to be out of stock almost everywhere (or discontinued). As an alternative, we recommend looking into a portable power station , which is basically a large battery in a protective box, with AC outlets and other ports built in. They tend to be expensive, so for road-trip purposes we recommend our budget pick, the Jackery Explorer 300 . If you need to power only a laptop during your trip, we have several recommendations for portable laptop chargers . Note that portable power stations and laptop chargers both charge on wall outlets and can’t draw power from a car outlet.

long journey gadgets

Nekteck PD 45W Type-C Car Charger

The best car charger.

This model can charge phones, tablets, and computers from its USB-C port, plus it has a second port for charging USB-A devices. It adheres to USB-C fast-charging standards and includes a quality cable.

If your electronic gear doesn’t require AC—for instance, you’re charging smartphones or Bluetooth speakers more than laptops or portable TVs—you can save a few bucks and a lot of space by getting a car charger . Compared with the familiar USB-A port, the smaller USB-C port can charge most modern phones faster (if you’re using the right cable) and can even charge tablets and laptops. And the Nekteck PD 45W Type-C Car Charger provides the best of both worlds. When you’re using a USB-C–to–Lightning cable , the charger’s USB-C port can charge an iPhone about three times faster (at 18 watts) than the USB-A wall charger that comes in the box from Apple; your phone can charge from empty to roughly 50% in just half an hour. This Nekteck charger’s 45-watt output and included USB-C–to–C cable also support the maximum charge rate on Android phones (such as the Samsung Galaxy S10), the 2020 iPad Pro, and even many laptops. And you can use the 12-watt USB-A port at the same time to charge a second phone or other device with any USB cable you already have.

Two people sitting around a campfire.

Bluetooth kit

long journey gadgets

Besign BK01 Bluetooth Car Kit

Best bluetooth adapter for cars with an aux-in jack.

The Besign BK01 kit offers great sound quality for music and good sound quality for phone calls. It also lets you pair two phones and access your voice assistant with the press of an easy-to-find button.

If your car lacks Bluetooth support—which you may want for wirelessly listening to music or connecting your phone calls over the car’s stereo system—and you aren’t willing to swap out the stereo for a new one that has such a feature, your best option is a Bluetooth kit. You can check out our full guide for all the options, including an FM transmitter and a speakerphone . But the best and easiest way to add Bluetooth to cars with a line-in jack is to get an aux kit. The Besign BK01 Bluetooth Car Kit provides good sound quality for music, clear-sounding voice audio for hands-free calls, and access to Siri or Google Assistant at the press of a button. It also allows you to connect two phones at once, so you and your passengers don’t have to duke it out for the aux cord.

A sign showing the distance to Joshua Tree.

iPad headrest mount

Depending on the length of your trip and the temperament of your passengers, you may need to find a way to keep folks occupied. Providing their favorite movies or TV shows on a tablet is an option. After testing six top tablet-mount contenders, we determined that Arkon’s Center Extension Car Headrest Tablet Mount is a great pick for viewing by multiple backseat passengers.

long journey gadgets

Arkon Center Extension Car Headrest Tablet Mount

For multiple viewers.

This model positions a tablet solidly between the front seats for easy viewing by all backseat passengers.

You save $14 (56%)

The Arkon mount anchors with a pair of adjustable clamps that tighten around the metal rods that support a front seat’s headrest; the tablet holster is located on the end of an extendable pole that you can move to a position between the front seats, where all three passengers in the backseat can view it.

A sign welcoming motorists to Utah.

We had recommended the LilGadgets CarBuddy Universal Headrest Tablet Mount for people who preferred a mount that’s best for just one backseat passenger. It appears to have been discontinued, but it’s a good find if you can get your hands on one.

Instant camera

A white Fujifilm Instax Mini 12 instant camera.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 12

The best instant camera.

Fun and simple to use, this camera takes good-looking wallet-sized photos for 60¢ per print.

long journey gadgets

Fujifilm Instax Mini Film (Twin Pack)

Instax mini film.

Buying Instax Mini film in twin packs helps you get the best price.

With a smartphone, showing a photo to hundreds of followers is as easy as pressing the share button. But if you want to create something tangible, an instant-film camera can add a fun and welcome dose of analog charm to your digital world. Our pick is the Fujifilm Instax Mini 12 , which provides high-quality, retro-cool prints at a reasonable price.

Also, when your phone is serving as a radio, a map, a restaurant guide, and whatever else, you’ll appreciate having a dedicated tool that does one thing: take instant shots that look great.

Six instant camera photos from a road trip, shown next to each other.

After doing extensive research , we found the Instax Mini 12 to be the best instant-film camera. Its compact body feels durable, and thanks to its minimal controls, anyone can easily learn how to use it. The 3.4-by-2.1-inch prints cost only about 60¢ apiece , so documenting your trip won’t break the bank. Its photos aren’t perfectly sharp, but they are pleasingly colorful and creamy, with a classic look that we love.

A person holding a Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic instant camera up to their eye to snap a photo of something.

Travel game

long journey gadgets

Chat Pack: Fun Questions to Spark Conversations

The best silence-breaker.

The questions are not always the most thought-provoking, but they sure can spark a conversation.

You can find countless travel games for all ages, from magnetic chess boards to Adult Mad Libs , and we’re not about to review them all here. (You know what kinds of games you like to play.) So instead we’ll tell you about the game we chose, Chat Pack: Fun Questions to Spark Conversations .

I am, as a rule, generally wary of anything designed to prompt conversation. But by day three of our trip, with 1,100 miles behind us and 400 miles ahead, my then girlfriend (now wife) reached for Chat Pack and told me it was time.

It’s hit or miss with Chat Pack. Some of the questions are oddly inspiring, if clunkily written: “What is one item you own that has virtually no monetary value but has such sentimental value that you would not sell it for $1,000?” So, what item do I have that has no value but remains precious? My grandmother’s wire glove stretchers. And that became an hour-long conversation.

A close-up of a person's hand sifting through cards in the Chat Pack card game.

Some of the questions were abrupt duds: “If rain could fall in any scent, what scent would you want it to be?” “Like rain,” we both answered. Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh rain? The feeling of camaraderie in the car was strong; we agreed that it was a dumb question. We were a young couple on an open road in full accordance with each other, and that’s not a moment you take lightly.

So get a Chat Pack. Your mileage may vary. But this pack helped us pass the time, and it takes up barely any space.

Make time in your trip for the detours. If there’s one bit of non-gear-related advice we can give, it’s that the complicated route always proves to be more interesting. There will be times in the car when a sort of tunnel vision can set in, and the destination becomes all-consuming. At my worst, as I pressed down on the accelerator, I found myself mentally calculating the time saved for every increase in miles per hour—as if the scenery I was flying past wasn’t what I’d come to see in the first place.

The first time we pulled over without a plan was on some Bureau of Land Management stretch east of Zion National Park in Utah. We were alone, on an outcropping overlooking a shallow canyon. Someone had built an impromptu fire pit. But somehow it wasn’t until we finished lunch that we realized there was no point in going any farther.

You can find many ways to plan a trip. But once in a while, take a risk and make a left when all the maps and devices are telling you to go right. You won’t know where you’ll end up—and that’s the whole point.

A scenic view of a river rushing through the middle of a wide, semi-forested canyon.

Athlon Optics Midas ED

The best binoculars for nearly everyone.

Amazingly affordable with great optics, these binoculars offer performance comparable to that of many models costing thousands more.

Binoculars might not be a necessity. But when you’re standing on the edge of a trail in Zion National Park and looking for nesting peregrine falcons or lying at the edge of your campsite in Joshua Tree watching a pack of coyotes move under a full moon, will a good pair of binoculars come in handy? Yes. Yes it will.

A person standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon, using binoculars to look at something far away in the canyon.

The waterproof and lightweight Athlon Optics Midas ED binoculars boast a rugged shock-absorbing exterior. And this pair’s optical clarity and extra-wide field of view allow you to see more of the scene, more clearly and accurately. In fact, the professional ornithologist who tested binoculars for us said that things looked every bit as good through the Athlon binoculars as they looked through his $2,500 Leica Ultravid pair.

And the optics of the Midas ED pair aren’t the only strong suit: These are exceptionally durable binoculars that easily withstood the humid, dusty, and hostile environment of the Mexican rain forest and the harsh sun of the Californian desert. Also, their focus dial adjusts reliably and smoothly across a wide range of depths, making it easy for you to focus on what you’re trying to see, no matter where it is.

Stowable tote or daypack

It’s always a good idea to have a bag on hand for spontaneous off-the-road excursions. But anything that will take up space on a trip needs to be functional enough to hold cameras, snacks, jackets, maps, and souvenirs. And it needs to be durable enough to survive beach trips, sightseeing excursions, picnics, and museum tours.

long journey gadgets

Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Travel Day Pack

A pack that won’t crowd your trunk.

Toss this lightweight, phone-sized packable bag into your trunk or under your seat, and you’ll never get caught without a spare bag again. If you need something to carry every day, though, you’ll probably prefer one of our more-structured picks.

After researching dozens of packable daypacks across a spectrum of portability, features, and prices, and then packing, unpacking, loading, wearing, and drenching the top-rated finalists during multiple rounds of testing, we’ve found that the Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Travel Day Pack is the smallest and lightest packable backpack of the bunch. Packed up, it is very discreet, nearly the size of a keychain accessory. The bag itself is a no-frills sack made from a paper-thin siliconized Cordura nylon, so it’s very light and water resistant. The Ultra-Sil bag also has reinforced stitching at stress points, which allows it to carry more weight than you might expect. That said, since this pack is made of such thin, light material, carrying large or awkwardly shaped loads is somewhat uncomfortable, especially in comparison with our more structured picks.

If lightness, waterproofing, comfort, and organization are more important to you, check out the alternative picks in our review of packable daypacks for travel .

long journey gadgets

Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50+

An easy-to-spread physical sunscreen.

This physical sunscreen lotion absorbs easily and is free of added fragrance. Though this water-resistant formula can feel greasy, like most physical sunscreens, and leave behind a white cast (especially on darker skin), we’ve found its dependable coverage to be worth the trade-off.

On most road trips you’ll be exposed to the sun, whether it’s your arm out the window or your legs and neck during a pit stop, so we recommend bringing our favorite sunscreens along for everyone to apply. (The one exception: your youngest passengers. Do not put sunscreen on an infant. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends keeping children who are younger than 6 months out of the sun entirely.) Although most sunscreens containing only physical UV blockers are notoriously harder to spread and more visible on skin than sunscreens with chemical UV filters, Blue Lizard’s Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50+ formula spreads relatively quickly and easily, and it absorbs nicely. Formulated with both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, this sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection, from both UVA and UVB rays. Blue Lizard says this formulation, which contains no added fragrance, is sweat resistant and water resistant for 80 minutes (the highest such claim allowed by the FDA). It comes in bottles that uniquely change color, from white to blue, in the presence of harmful UV light.

long journey gadgets

Banana Boat Light As Air Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+

A lightweight, oxybenzone-free chemical sunscreen.

Although it contains added fragrance, this easy-to-apply chemical sunscreen lotion doesn’t have an overpowering sunscreen-y scent. It rubs in nearly transparently and appears colorless on most skin tones.

Banana Boat Light As Air Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ is our favorite chemical sunscreen that doesn’t contain oxybenzone. Fairly runny and lightweight, it blends seamlessly into a variety of skin tones. Although it contains added fragrance, it’s not strongly scented. It’s water resistant for up to the maximum-allowable claim (per FDA guidelines) of 80 minutes, and it costs far less per ounce than our physical-sunscreen pick.

The open trunk of a car, filled with roadtrip gear and supplies.

Having an emergency kit in your car is a great idea for day-to-day driving, but it’s pretty much a necessity for long-distance road trips. Although it’s tempting to buy a preassembled kit and be done with it, we haven’t found a great one yet. Even the most promising options suffer from having jumper cables that are too short, too thin, or both. Basically, if you want a good kit, you have to make it yourself, and we’re here to help.

We spent hours researching and testing each of these essentials to confirm that they’ll be useful in case of an emergency, whether it’s your own or someone else’s.

On a desolate stretch of two-lane highway in northern Arizona, we were driving behind a rental camper van just as it had a rear-tire blowout after hitting a rumble strip. The couple driving the van couldn’t find their jack, didn’t know where the spare tire was, and had come to a stop just past a low dip in the road. It wasn’t a good scene. But it couldn’t have happened at a better time (for them, at least), and it gave us a great opportunity to put our emergency gear to the test.

It’s also wise to get a membership to a roadside assistance program. We don’t have a single best recommendation for everyone, since your options and needs vary depending on what car you have, how you use it, and where you live, but here’s a good guide by Popular Mechanics on what to look for in choosing a plan. Basically, make sure your plan fits your needs. For example, if you live in a city, 3 miles of free towing may be enough. But if you’re going on a road trip across the desert, paying for more range is worthwhile.

First-aid kit

long journey gadgets

First Aid Only 298 Piece All-Purpose First Aid Kit (FAO-442)

All the basics.

This kit is chock-full of bandages and cleaning supplies that are suitable for minor incidents.

On the road, a first-aid kit is useful for keeping someone comfortable until people with real medical expertise can help. It’s much more important to have a basic kit with you—and to be sure that the bandages haven’t degraded and the disinfectants haven’t expired—than to have a 432-item, war-zone-worthy kit sitting at home.

We like the First Aid Only 298 Piece All-Purpose First Aid Kit . It lacks some of the higher-quality tools that we recommend for a wilderness first-aid kit , but it comes with plenty of bandages, alcohol prep pads, pain relievers, and equipment to treat up to four people’s minor cuts and scrapes on a weekend trip. (For an extensive list and comparison chart, see our full guide .)

Snow shovel

long journey gadgets

Voilé Telepro Mini Avalanche Shovel

The best car shovel.

This small shovel slices through icy snow and can be disassembled for car storage. It isn’t cheap, but it’s what we’d want to have in a roadside emergency.

After spending two years researching car shovels and testing five contenders, we found that the best one to keep in the trunk for an emergency is the Voilé Telepro Mini Avalanche Shovel .

The tool, popular with ski patrols and people clearing backcountry trails, has a solid metal scoop and a two-piece handle that clicks together to form a sturdy shovel. Our tester keeps the Voilé shovel in her truck every winter, and it has come in handy more times than she can count. Though the Voilé shovel is too short to be a primary shovel, it’s perfect for any kind of fast shoveling. When you aren’t using it, you can tuck its three pieces neatly under a car seat or in the back.

long journey gadgets

Accu-Gage RRA60X

The best tire gauge we’ve found.

This is the favored tire gauge of all the professionals we interviewed.

Checking your car’s tire pressure (including that of the spare tire) is like flossing: It’s something that everyone should do but many people don’t do. Proper inflation is vital . Too much, and you’ll feel every bump and have more difficulty stopping your car; too little, and your tires will wear faster. Worse, they’ll also overheat, which can separate the treads and blow the tires, something we saw happen right in front of us in the middle of nowhere in Arizona. Don’t let that happen to you.

A person sitting next to the front tire of a car, using a gauge to check on the tire pressure.

When we asked three different San Francisco Bay Area tire shops which gauge they used, they all pointed to the Accu-Gage 60 PSI gauge with shock protector . After our testing, which included road-tripping with the tool ourselves, the Accu-Gage model has emerged as our favorite tire gauge for several years running. It’s accurate and durable, and unlike a digital gauge, it has no battery to wear out. The Accu-Gage model is available in several different configurations , but the performance is largely the same. We prefer a version with a hose attached and a straight chuck, because that design makes it easier to hold the gauge and check the tire pressure at the same time. The version we tested even comes with a removable rubber bumper in case you drop it.

Portable jump starter

A portable jump starter is essentially a lightweight battery attached to two jumper cables that you use to jump-start your car. It’s easier, safer, and less intimidating than old-fashioned jumper cables that you attach to another car—and it’s something that you can use if you’re alone, instead of waiting for roadside service/a kind stranger/a friend/a relative to show up and bail you out.

long journey gadgets

Weego Jump Starter 44s

Staff-favorite jump starter.

This jump starter has the right safety features and contains enough juice in a small package to start most cars and SUVs.

Wirecutter has recommended Weego gear since we first published our guide to portable jump starters in 2017. Guide writer Mark Smirniotis researched 40 lithium-ion jump starters and tested 12. Two Weego portable jump starters (both of which are now discontinued) became picks: the Weego 22s (the top pick; about $60) and the Weego 44 (the upgrade pick; about $150). Though we no longer maintain that full guide, many of us at Wirecutter still keep a Weego jump starter in our cars . But now, in many cases, it’s an updated version, namely the affordable Weego 44s , which hovers around the same price as the 22s model, its less powerful predecessor.

Measuring 5.62 by 3.44 by 1.04 inches (LWD), the Weego 44s jump starter is about the same size as a cell phone in length and width. It also weighs less than a pound (around 12 ounces, according to my kitchen scale) and has safety features that help prevent you from hurting your car or yourself: If you incorrectly attach the jump starter to your battery (which can potentially damage the battery or your car’s electrical system), the unit’s reverse-polarity protection feature activates, issuing a red light and an alarm alerting you not to proceed.

The Weego 44s is rated to work with a wide range of vehicles, including gas engines up to 7 liters and diesel engines up to 3.5 liters. It can jump-start pretty much any gas- or diesel-powered passenger-vehicle engine—anything from a Mini Cooper (2 liters or less) to a Dodge Ram (as much as 6.7 liters)—and it fits that power into a package that’s small enough for most glove boxes.

The Weego 44s comes partially charged out of the box and takes about 2.5 hours to charge from zero. A USB-A–to–Micro-USB charging cord is included, but it doesn’t come with a charging cube, so you need to plug the USB-A end into your own USB phone charger that works in regular household outlets or use an outlet with a USB-A port . According to the company, the unit can stay charged for more than a year in storage, though you should make sure to top it off every three to six months. With regular use, it’s rated to last for about three to five years or up to 1,000 recharge cycles. Plus, it can provide multiple jumps before it needs a recharge itself (five lights on the side of the unit indicate its remaining battery life).

The Weego 44s has checks and balances to ensure that you safely jump-start a car, but its lithium-ion polymer battery comes with certain caveats. Though the manufacturer indicates that the unit will operate in temps of -4 °F to 140 °F, leaving it in a car in extremely hot or cold conditions is not a great idea. “Most devices that contain a lithium-ion battery, whether it’s your smartphone or a portable jump starter, should not spend long periods of time in extreme temperatures since it can cause permanent damage to the battery,” says Wirecutter senior staff writer and battery expert Sarah Witman. “You should also keep in mind that car engines need more power to get started in freezing temperatures, so it’s especially important to keep your jump starter fully charged when driving in cold climates.”

Jumper cables

If you’re a die-hard jumper-cable partisan, make sure that the cables you get are long enough for most scenarios and thick enough to carry sufficient current to jump most vehicles.

long journey gadgets

Lifeline AAA Heavy Duty 16-foot 6 Gauge Booster Cables

The best cable option.

This cable is long and durable enough for any situation, with a current rating that can handle SUVs.

After scrutinizing the specs of dozens of jumper-cable options and having an electrical engineer analyze three top-rated models, we recommend Lifeline’s AAA Heavy Duty 16-foot 6 Gauge Booster Cables . As this image illustrates, these cables are long and thick enough for most situations, and their 400-amp current rating means they can handle most vehicles, even trucks and SUVs. They also come with a surprisingly sturdy and convenient mesh storage bag.

A person using jump starting cables to jump start a car.

One thing that sets these Lifeline cables apart from other cables we found on Amazon is that the 6-gauge description is accurate. For example, Capri sells a 4-gauge, 20-foot cable that reviewers say is closer to 8-gauge. That’s no good, because thinner cables can fail to deliver sufficient current to start trucks, SUVs, and other larger vehicles.

A close-up of jump starter cables connected to the battery of a car.

If you’re unfamiliar with how to use jumper cables, familiarize yourself . But lest you forget, Lifeline includes a handy diagram in the bag. The important thing to keep in mind: Do not attach the black clamp to the black post of the dead battery. Instead, clamp it to an unpainted metal surface under the hood. Also, don’t touch the exposed parts of the clamps together while the cables are hooked up to a battery; they will spark.

long journey gadgets

Decked x BoxoUSA Tool Bag with Tool Roll

For the at-home mechanic.

This tool roll is designed for off-road emergencies. The handy roll and its mix-and-match tool configurations offer almost everything necessary to keep a vehicle on the road.

If you don’t own any tools for car maintenance, this kit is a great start. With 65 individual tools, the Decked x BoxoUSA Tool Bag with Tool Roll has nearly every tool that a home mechanic (especially those who own a truck) might need to keep their vehicle on the road. As the kit was designed originally for off-roading, bringing the whole thing and all its contents would be overkill for most people (the entire kit weighs 31 pounds). But selecting the necessities—the ratchet and wrench set, for instance—depending on the kind of journey you’re planning is easy and efficient due to the built-in compartmentalization. Included within the kit are combination wrenches, sockets, impact sockets, hex and torx keys, breaker bars, and a family of hammers, pliers, and screwdrivers. The heavy-duty Cordura nylon bag is built to last, too. If you’re at all interested in doing some of your own car maintenance, or if you want to be prepared in case of emergency, this toolkit offers a solid foundation.

A scenery shot of a tall hill made of rocks and a big blue sky in the middle of a desert wilderness environment.

Petzl Actik Core

A rechargeable headlamp.

This headlamp emits bright light with the highest beam quality. And it stays charged for days, whether you charge it via USB or use AAA batteries. It’s the perfect headlamp for backpacking trips.

We’ve been testing headlamps since 2012, including our latest round of research and testing in 2022. For a road trip, we like the Petzl Actik Core because it’s rechargeable, so you won’t ever get caught with a dead battery, as long as you have a USB car charger on hand. Its 450-lumen light ranks among the brightest of all our picks. (As of early 2023, the Actik Core was updated and now has a 600-lumen beam ; we’re currently testing the new version.)

Twice during our trip we pulled into our camping site late, and our headlamp was the first thing we reached for. Knowing that it was always charged meant that we didn’t have to hunt for batteries or use our car lights and disturb neighboring campers.

Right out of the box, the Actik Core was easy to use. It has just one button and three brightness options: low (6 lumens), medium (100 lumens), and high (450 lumens). If you hold down the button for several seconds, the color turns to red; double-pressing lets you access the strobe setting. Compared with some other rechargeable headlamps, which require complicated button-press configurations to reach the desired setting, we found this one to be simpler, though we lamented its lack of a flood beam. We also liked the double-button setup of the Black Diamond Spot 400 and the Vitchelo V800 a bit better than the Actik Core’s single button.

Flare alternative

long journey gadgets

StonePoint LED Emergency Beacon

The best emergency beacon.

Crushproof and waterproof, this set of three beacons comes with magnets for car mounting. And these are much safer than traditional flares.

To keep yourself safe while your car is parked on the side of the road, we suggest StonePoint LED Emergency Beacon flare alternatives.

We like the StonePoint set because, for the price of one high-intensity model like the PowerFlare device, you get three separate lights that are all crushproof to 20,000 pounds, waterproof, magnetic, and easy to set up and turn on. The magnets are important because they let you mount the beacons on your car, which adds height; having a flare anywhere above the surface of the road greatly increases your visibility. By putting one on the road (preferably elevated on something and located about 100 feet before your car), another on the trunk, and another on the hood, you create a very visible early warning for drivers.

Two people attempting to change the tire of a van parked on the side of the road while a police officer watches nearby.

Traditional magnesium flares will almost always be brighter and more visible. But their hazards—both to your health and to the environment around you—are substantial. (Read the health and environmental hazards section in this report [PDF] for a breakdown of the risks and the potentially harmful chemicals involved.) Combine that with the fact that you can mitigate any differences in visibility simply by elevating an electric flare, and you end up with a compelling argument against using traditional flares.

Of the three beacon models we tested, we couldn’t figure out how to open or turn on the Wagan model. And the Smittybilt U.F.O. safety light, though tough, wasn’t especially effective during the day and came only one to a package. Only the StonePoint beacons were easy to fill with batteries and place on the road exactly when we needed them. They also happened to be the brightest flare alternatives we had with us.

I should take a moment here and repeat what the responding officer told us when he arrived on the scene. Regardless of what safety beacons you have laid out behind you, “Stay off the road, and when in doubt stay in your car.”

long journey gadgets

Leatherman Skeletool CX

The best multi-tool.

This light, slim multi-tool is easy to carry and built to last.

No emergency kit is complete without a multi-tool. Most minor situations—such as a loose Phillips-head screw or a need to create a rag for checking your oil—are easily fixed as long as you have the right tool. Multi-tools are small enough to carry in a jeans pocket or to attach to a belt, so you can take a set of useful tools almost anywhere. Our choice is the Leatherman Skeletool CX , which comes with pliers, a bit driver, a pocket clip, and a carabiner/bottle opener, in addition to a high-quality, 2.6-inch 154CM carbon-fiber stainless steel blade. The Skeletool CX stood out from the other 22 multi-tools we tested because it focuses on the functionality, ergonomics, and solid construction of a few essential tools, instead of cramming dozens of different tools into a single bulky body that makes it difficult to use. That means it’s easy to carry but still has just about everything you could possibly need (short of a hammer and a socket set) to make an emergency repair in the field and on the road.

long journey gadgets

Duck Brand Max Strength Duct Tape

The best duct tape.

This tape is super strong and sticky, flexible enough to wrap around corners, and easy to tear in a clean, straight line.

If you can’t duct it, fuhgeddaboudit . We tested the heck out of 11 rolls of duct tape and chose Duck Max Strength tape above the competition for its perfect blend of attributes, namely high material strength, a strong adhesive, and superior overall flexibility for easy wrapping around odd shapes and curved surfaces. Is it an absolute necessity on the road? No. But the moment you need to fix a ripped tent wall or to keep unruly motel shades shut, you’ll be glad you packed some duct tape. It can even handle first-aid duties when the right materials for the job are unavailable. Duct tape is, as any MacGyver fan will tell you, a very useful tool.

long journey gadgets

Reliance 4-Gallon Aqua-Tainer

The best water jug.

This water jug holds enough water for two people for two days, and it has a spill-proof screw-on vent cap.

The general rule for water in an emergency is that one person needs one gallon of water for one day. But four to five gallons is a good amount to throw into your trunk—enough to get you through being stranded, even with a passenger. You should increase that estimate if you plan to go out in the middle of nowhere, or if your travels take you to a desert region or some other dry place. We found on our trip through the Southwest that we were refilling our water bottles a lot more than we were stopping for gas.

A person getting water from a large container.

After researching 16 different types of water jugs, we recommend the Reliance 4-Gallon Aqua-Tainer for most situations. The Reliance jug has two standout features: a screw-on vent cap and a spigot cap that reverses in on itself when not in use. These features work together to prevent major spills. The screw-on vent cap doesn’t come undone, unlike the pull-top vents on some competitors, which tend to pop open and spill water as soon as you hit anything other than the smoothest roadways. Spigot caps can be a weakness for some jugs, too. In contrast, when not in use, the Reliance jug’s spigot unscrews and drops into the jug itself, sealing up the whole canister nice and tight. On our road trip, we used the 4-Gallon Aqua-Tainer, which can provide water for two people for two days; for more people, consider the 7-Gallon Aqua-Tainer .

The Reliance Aqua-Tainer jug is made from BPA-free molded plastic. It’s easy to pack around in the trunk of a car—certainly easier than large, bladder-type jugs (like the MSR Dromedary Bag ), which, though excellent for camp showers and good for a backpack, are too difficult to pack around in a trunk because of their non-rigid shape. The Aqua-Tainer’s hard sides also make it easier to use for dispensing water from, say, the roof of your car. But be sure to throw a shirt or towel under the Aqua-Tainer before setting it atop your car like this: We learned the hard way that the molded plastic edge can scratch your car’s paint job if you’re not careful.

Before investing in a jug, you should know that water kept in plastic bottles won’t harm you, even if left in a hot car . A 24-pack of Poland Spring is not environmentally kind, but it is safe for a brief trip. Avoid gallon jugs, since they’re typically made out of HDPE plastic, which punctures easily. (Such jugs also have caps that pop off easily.) We wouldn’t buy collapsible jugs, either, since they are prone to leaks and are unruly when pouring.

It takes only a few minutes to get your vehicle checked out for a proper road trip. When in doubt, or when preparing for an especially long trip, see a mechanic first. There are plenty of potential mechanical troubles that a professional can identify—and that you’d rather learn about in their shop than on the side of a highway. Use these tips to determine where to go for help, based on the age of your car and what you need done.

  • Dealership service departments: newer vehicles covered by factory warranty, or when specialized service is required
  • Independent mechanics: general maintenance items such as brakes, steering, suspension, exhaust, and fluid changes
  • Quick oil/lube centers: oil changes only

Getting word-of-mouth advice from family and friends remains a very good way to find reputable mechanics. Sites such as RepairPal and Yelp are also helpful. And don’t forget to check local Facebook community groups.

The vehicle inspection: Six key areas

  • Under the hood: Check the engine oil, transmission fluid, engine coolant, windshield wipers, washer fluid, and brake fluid.

Four images identifying important car components under the hood.

  • Tires: Check for proper inflation and good tread that doesn’t show uneven wear. For inflation, consult your owner’s manual to find your tires’ recommended PSI; don’t go by what’s printed on the side of your tire, which is the maximum PSI. For tread wear, stick a penny into the center (not the edge) of each tire’s treads, with Lincoln’s head facing down—if you can still see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tire is worn out. Also, if you have a spare tire, check it and make sure that a jack and a lug-nut wrench still accompany it. If you don’t have a spare, consider getting one from a dealer or a salvage yard. Or invest in an emergency roadside repair and inflation kit—like the Slime 50107 Smart Spair Emergency Tire Repair Kit —which includes sealant for small punctures as well as a small air compressor for reinflating tires. At the very least, bring along a portable sealer kit like Fix-A-Flat , but be aware that these options work only on very small punctures in the tread and could ultimately require you to replace your whole tire. So it’s really better to have a spare, if possible.

A person checking a tire's tread with a penny.

  • Lights: Check all the bulbs, including the turn signals, headlights (high and low beam), brake lights, parking lamps, reverse lights, and license-plate lights.
  • Smell test: You can sniff out potential problems in your car by paying attention to its odors.
  • Sulfur/rotten-egg smell: You have trouble with your exhaust or emission system that could be dangerous. Get your car to a mechanic immediately.
  • Sweet smell: This scent indicates an engine coolant leak; the smell could be strong when you’re using the heater, and accompanied by fogged-up glass. The coolant is toxic, and when it runs out, your engine will overheat.
  • Burning carpet/paper smell: Your brakes are hot. Smelling this after you’ve used your brakes hard (such as after coming down a mountain) is not unusual. But if you smell this while you’re driving around normally, it means your brakes might be stuck, which is a serious problem.
  • Musty/mildew smell: This odor is generally attributable to water getting stuck in the ductwork for your heating and air conditioning. It usually indicates that a drain plug is blocked, which you sometimes can fix just by running your fan on high for a few minutes.
  • Burning rubber smell: Unless you’re doing burnouts, this smell can be caused by slipping engine belts or a tire rubbing. In these cases, the smell is usually accompanied by a noise, namely squealing (with belts) or grinding (with a tire rubbing).
  • Noise test: Cars make lots of noises, and the following are some that should get your undivided attention.
  • Clunking or rattling over bumps: This sound can indicate a variety of problems with the steering or suspension, but it often points to worn plastic or rubber bushings that allow contact between metal components. In extreme cases, these components can fail, causing major damage or even loss of control if the vehicle is moving.
  • Clicking or groaning sounds when turning: Clicking is a sign of imminent axle shaft failure on front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive vehicles, so get to a mechanic immediately if you hear this sound. Groaning noises are less serious and occur because of a lack of lubrication in steering components or bushings.
  • Loud humming that increases steadily with speed: This sound almost always points to a bad wheel bearing, especially if the noise gets louder or quieter when the car is turning.
  • Grinding, squeaking, or squealing when stopping: Squeaking and squealing happen when the brake pads are worn and need replacing. Grinding means the pads are already gone, and you’re pushing metal against metal when you stop.
  • Feel test: The following are a few situations that should warrant a visit to the shop.
  • Soft or spongy brake pedal: Brakes should be firm; a soft pedal means something is wrong. Either you have a mechanical problem or the brake fluid is leaking.
  • Shimmies or vibrations: These sensations usually indicate that a rim is bent or that a tire is out of balance, but they can also be signs of loose steering or suspension parts.

Pre-trip planning

Before heading out, check these commonly taken-for-granted aspects of road-tripping.

  • Update your GPS system. Factory-installed GPS devices generally receive updates once a year and require CDs, SD cards, or USB thumb drives purchased from the manufacturer for installation through a dealership. Mobile third-party GPS units get updates throughout the year, and you can install the updates via most home PCs through a simple download from the GPS manufacturer’s website.
  • Make sure that you have maps or a paper atlas. Sometimes technology fails. Having a current map for backup is always a good idea.
  • Make sure you’re covered by a roadside assistance program. Auto-club programs are the most common source of roadside assistance plans, with companies such as AAA and Good Sam offering coverage to members regardless of what vehicle they drive or its age. Most new cars, however, come with complimentary roadside assistance that lasts a certain number of miles or a certain number of years, whichever happens first. So check your owner’s manual (and read the fine print, since these plans can be very limited). Many auto insurance companies also provide vehicle-specific roadside assistance, usually for a monthly fee. Some credit card companies offer a mix of complimentary and basic fee services, and even cell phone companies are now offering basic services to customers. Verizon’s roadside assistance plan costs $5 per month and covers any vehicle, as long as the phone is present. Most of these plans have limitations and plenty of fine print to study, so carefully review your coverage before hitting the road.

This article was edited by Ria Misra and Christine Ryan.

Meet your guides

long journey gadgets

Kit Dillon is a senior staff writer at Wirecutter. He was previously an app developer, oil derrick inspector, public-radio archivist, and sandwich shop owner. He has written for Popular Science, The Awl, and the New York Observer, among others. When called on, he can still make a mean sandwich.

Wirecutter Staff

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Further reading

road trip checklist

Road-Trip Essentials

by Eve O'Neill

We spend a lot of time driving each year, and this is our list of essential road-trip gear to include in your packing list.

Highway sign indicating meltdown ahead in half mile.

Traveling With Little Kids Can Be Tough. The Right Gear Can Help.

by Kerry Davis McGuinness

From compact car seats and cribs to portable blackout shades and white noise machines, the right tools for travel can lead to less fuss—and more fun.

long journey gadgets

The Gadgets We Bring on Every Trip

by Haley Perry

You don't have to be a digital nomad to travel like one. Here are a few gadgets and accessories to make travel as painless as possible.

A person walking on a rocky mountaintop surrounded by vibrant yellow foliage.

Gear for Fall-Foliage Hikes

by Christine Ryan

This is the gear that Wirecutter staffers pack for fall-foliage hikes.

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The Longest Journey

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Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime. The Longest Journey is more than a game - it's more like a book, a movie and a game all rolled into one. Explore an interactive and beautifully created universe from the perspective of April Ryan, a young art student who soon discovers that there is more to her world than meets the eye.

With the power to pass between worlds like others pass from waking to sleep, April must embark on the longest journey of her life; a journey not only across twin worlds, but also into her very own heart and soul. Embark on a voyage across phenomenal worlds, encounter a fantastic cast of unforgettable characters, and unravel one of the most epic stories ever told.

Experience what critics around the world are calling one of the best adventure games of all time. Experience The Longest Journey !

Wanderlust Storytellers – An Inspirational Family Travel Blog

26 Best Car Travel Accessories [2024 Car Travel Products Guide]


Home » 26 Best Car Travel Accessories [2024 Car Travel Products Guide]

Do you plan on going on a long drive soon? If yes, you should consider getting some travel accessories to ensure a safe and pleasant journey.

Finding the best car travel accessories can get challenging, as thousands of products are available in the market.

Road trips have a unique thrill, which is only dampened by inconvenience and discomfort.

But when it comes to car travel accessories, the most critical factor to consider is the level of comfort and convenience provided by them.

How can we make that road trip more fun and more enjoyable? Especially if you will be spending big chunks of time driving from point A to point B?

That’s why we have shortlisted 26 of the best options you must consider. These car travel products reviews will surely help you select the ideal accessories for your next trip.

We have divided our recommendations into two parts – accessories for adults and accessories for kids.

So, give it a read!


Our Picks for the Best Car Travel Accessories

Travel Car Accessories

Without further ado, let’s take a look at, in our opinion, the best car travel accessories for adults.

1. Lebogner Insulated Car Console Organizer

Lebogner Insulated Car Console Organizer

The first accessory on our list is an insulated car organizer to keep your food warm or cold. It measures 18 x 12 x 12 inches and can fit most of the standard vehicle seats. It has convenient carry handles and is made from water-resistant fabric. You can keep small items in the three outside mesh pockets.

We especially liked how this organizer can fold flat, which allows for secure storage when it is not in use. You will also appreciate the fact that it comes with a 100% Lifetime Money-Back Guarantee.

YES! This sounds like a fabulous product – buy it now!

2. Huicocy Car Visor Mirror

Huicocy Car Visor Mirror

You cannot expect your makeup and hair to hold up for long hours of a car journey. Huicocy understands this problem and offers the Car Visor Vanity Mirror as a solution. It features a tri-fold design to ensure multiple viewing angles and secure storage.

You can easily mount this vanity mirror on your car’s sun visor using the Velcro design. It comes in a universal size that will fit the visor in most standard vehicles.

3. RoadPro Portable Stove

RoadPro Portable Stove

One of the essential travel accessories for the car, when you are going camping, is a portable stove. The RoadPro portable stove kit not only heats leftover food but also cooks meals at a maximum temperature of 300°. You will need to plug it into a standard 12-volt socket to power it up.

We especially liked the 8 x 3.75 x 2.5-inch disposable aluminum pans used in this stove, as it enables convenient cleanup. The only bummer is that these pans need to be purchased separately.

4. High Road Heavy-Duty Hanger Bar

High Road Heavy-Duty Hanger Bar

If you ever had to drive for a long time to get to a meeting, you know how annoying creases can be on a three-piece suit.

If only there were a way to carry your clothes without risking any wrinkles or fold marks.

The car clothes hanger bar from High Road is the perfect accessory in that scenario.

It has a sturdy metal construction and can be expanded from 35 inches to 59 inches, which makes it suitable for all kinds of vehicles.

5. 6-Port USB Car Charger

6-Port USB Car Charger

A list of travel accessories for car trips cannot be completed without including a portable charger. Jelly Comb offers the USB Multi-Port Car Charger in two colors – black and white. It features 65W 13A rapid charging and comes with six ports, ensuring enough simultaneous charging power for half a dozen devices.

We especially liked that its cable length is over four feet, which means it can reach backseat passengers too. It also comes with 1-year friendly after-service, in case you were wondering.

6. Janiste Mirror Dash Cam Touch Screen

Janiste Mirror Dash Cam Touch Screen

The next accessory we have included is a must-have, irrespective of whether you will be traveling a long distance in a car or not. Jansite offers an exceptional, touch screen rear-view mirror with a dashcam. It has a G-sensor and parking monitor to ensure a safe parking experience. With it, you can switch between five view modes with a single key.

We especially liked the 1080P FHD recording capability and 10-inch IPS touch screen of this accessory. You can record picturesque road views while traveling. Moreover, it allows simultaneous recording through the front and rear cameras.

7. MediKit Deluxe First Aid Kit

MediKit Deluxe First Aid Kit

One of the most common problems during a family camping trip arises in the form of minor injuries or health problems.

That’s why you must keep a comprehensive first aid kit in your car.

MediKit’s Deluxe First Aid Kit contains 115 pieces of all the essentials you could need and more.

It comes with a 100% lifetime replacement guarantee and includes a bag that features a durable nylon construction and is easy to carry.

We especially liked the thoughtful inclusion of equipment to handle trauma situations.

8. Nulaxy Bluetooth Car FM Transmitter

Nulaxy Bluetooth Car FM Transmitter

Nulaxy offers the Bluetooth Car FM Transmitter in three colors – black, mint green, and peacock blue. If you buy this accessory for your car, you can answer calls with a single button press.

And you can play songs in three different ways (TF Card, Aux Cable, or Bluetooth connection).

We especially liked its LCD and voltmeter function, which shows you the voltage of your car battery.

You can also charge a device using its built-in USB port as it is compatible with all kinds of mobile devices.

9. ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion

ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion

If you experience lower back or tailbone pain when sitting for a long time, you should get the ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion.

It is made of a non-slip rubber bottom and comes with a zippered velour cover that can be washed in a machine.

It is, in our opinion, the best foam car seat cushion with gel memory you can find.

Although it is highly unlikely, if you are not satisfied with this seat cushion, there is a money-back guarantee backing it.

10. Coffee Gator Pour Over Brewer Mug

Coffee Gator Pour Over Brewer Mug

The next accessory on our list of recommendations caters specifically to caffeine lovers out there.

If you are a coffee drinker who is about to embark on a long car journey, you should get the Pour-Over Brewer Mug from Coffee Gator.

It allows you to brew and take coffee on the go and does a surprisingly good job!

It is available in seven different colors. We especially liked that it’s 100% BPA-free and comes with a 100% satisfaction promise.

It fits all standard car cup holders. You can use it to keep your coffee hot for over six hours or cold for over 20 hours.

11. MIKAFEN Universal Car Seat Belt Pads Cover

MIKAFEN Universal Car Seat Belt Pads Cover

MIKAFEN offers seat belt pad covers, which feature a top-notch foam lining and a high-quality cotton blend.

These covers ensure optimal comfort if sudden brakes are applied.

As a bonus, it also comes with 2-year quality insurance and a 30-day unconditional refund, so you can rest assured about its quality.

We especially liked how easy it is to use these covers. You can choose from two colors – black and gray – depending on the interior of your car.

12. Swigzy Car Cup Holder

Swigzy Car Cup Holder

Although nine out of ten recently manufactured vehicles have cup holders, most of them fail to hold all sizes of cups and bottles.

What if you could expand and adjust it so that it may hold any cup or bottle?

Swigzy has answered that question with the help of its Car Cup Holder.

The base of this accessory can expand from 2.5 inches to 3.75 inches in diameter to fit several built-in cup holders.

The extender expands from 3.4 inches to 3.8 inches in diameter, which is enough to hold nearly all 32 oz. to 40 oz. bottles.

We especially liked the one-inch slot on the side of this accessory, which allows you to place cups or mugs with handles.

13. CamelBak Chute Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Bottle

CamelBak Chute Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Bottle

Imagine having to travel in a car for hours in the middle of nowhere with no water.

Such a road trip could quickly go from pleasant to nightmarish!

A water bottle is perhaps the most crucial thing you want to pack into the car.

But why take a regular bottle when you can get CamelBak’s Vacuum-Insulated Stainless bottle?

It is made from 18/8 stainless steel and is available in seven colors. It is capable of keeping fluids hot for 6 hours and cold for 24 hours.

What makes it even better is its lifetime guarantee.

14. Lebogner Auto Steering Wheel Desk

Lebogner Auto Steering Wheel Desk

If you have traveled on an airplane, you definitely know how drop-down trays on the seat in front work.

Those trays function as desks for eating and working on your laptop during long flights.

Have you wondered if you could get something similar for a long car journey?

Lebogner’s Steering Wheel Desk brings that idea to life!

It securely hooks onto the steering wheel of your car and can be used for various purposes.

It is durable enough to hold a meal, notebook, or laptop. And we’re sure you will appreciate its 100% lifetime money-back guarantee.

15. QBUC Car Back Support

QBUC Car Back Support

Driving a car for hours on end can get tiring. So, having a travel accessory that adds some comfort can pay huge dividends.

We recommend the QBUC Car Lumbar Pillow to prevent backache while driving continuously.

You also get a washable cover and adjustable slip-proof straps.

We especially liked its perfect design with a focus on the anatomy of the spine to ensure maximum comfort by relieving tightness and soreness.

The memory cushion will return to its original shape after use and you can choose to get it in any of six different color options.

16. Beam Electronics Universal Smartphone Air Vent Mount Holder

Beam Electronics Universal Smartphone Air Vent Mount Holder

Beam Electronics offers an excellent air vent mount holder for your smartphone.

It is not only easy to install and operate, but you can place your phone in the holder and press the arms on both sides to securely lock it in place.

It features 360-degree rotation to ensure the best viewing angle for you.

This mount holder is compatible with all mobile devices, except the Pixel 5.

We especially liked its 1-year warranty, which shows that it has top-notch quality.

17. FOVAL Car Power Inverter

FOVAL Car Power Inverter

The penultimate recommendation on this list of car travel accessories is the powerful 200W car inverter from the reputed brand FOVAL.

We especially liked its compact and lightweight design – it measures slightly more than a credit card!

It comes with a built-in fuse that will protect your device against overloads, overcharging, overheating, and short-circuiting.

There’s also a user manual and an 18-month customer service guarantee.

The inverter includes four USB ports and two standard plug outlets.

18. B-comfort 4 Magic Headrest Hooks and Car Trash Bag

One of the simplest yet practical accessories that you can get is the set of four headrest hooks from B-comfort.

You can attach and remove these hooks easily without elevating the headrests.

You can also ‘hang’ these hangs on the front or back side of the seats, as required.

These hooks can be used for hanging various things like water bottles, backpacks, umbrellas, groceries, and so on.

It comes with a free-hanging car trash bag that is big enough to hold all the garbage.

19. Coghlan’s Pop-Up Trash Can

Coghlan’s Pop-Up Trash Can

If you are going on a road trip and will be camping overnight, you should be taking Coghlan’s Pop-Up Trash Can.

It is an excellent way to ensure that your campsite is clean.

It can expand and contract easily and quickly, which allows for hassle-free storage when it is not in use.

We especially liked the lower-edge grommets to prevent them from blowing away and the inside clips on top for securing garbage bags.

It serves as the perfect portable trash can to keep your camp clean.

Our Pick for the Best Car Travel Accessories for Kids

Find below a list of some of our favorite kids’ car travel accessories. You can also find some other fabulous products for travel in our best travel gear for kids guide.

20. Kids Backseat Organizer

Kids Backseat Organizer

My Specialty Kids Shop offers the Kids Backseat Organizer. You can adjust it to suit your child’s comfort perfectly.

The material used in this product is the same as laptop bags for adults and is PAHs and lead-free.

If you are not satisfied with this product, you can return it within 90 days for a full refund, no questions asked!

21. Car Sun Shade

Car Sun Shade

Kinder Fluff offers a pack of four sun shades for your car windows.

The package consists of two semi-transparent and two transparent shades along with a storage pouch.

We especially liked these sunshades because they can be installed easily without any suction cups or adhesives.

When not in use, you can fold them for convenient storage in the free pouch. Pretty neat, right?

22. KNGUVTH Backseat Car Organizer

KNGUVTH Backseat Car Organizer

KNGUVTH offers a pack of two backseat car organizers that also serve as seat back protectors.

We especially liked the adjustable straps that are not visible to the passengers sitting in the front seats.

You can use these organizers to keep snacks, toys, books, water bottles, and more.

It is 16 inches wide and 24 inches long, ensuring that it fits in most cars. The kick mats can also hold iPad and tablets up to 10 inches in size.

23. Lusso Gear Car Seat Organizer

Lusso Gear Car Seat Organizer

One of the most significant challenges faced by parents who travel with kids in the car is the mess that is left in the backseat.

It can be a daunting task to clean and organize toys, spilled food, baby gear, and more.

The Car Seat Organizer from Lusso Gear has nine compartments and four cup holders.

It is available in five different colors and stitching options. You also get a lifetime money-back guarantee with this accessory.

24. Shynerk Baby Car Mirror

Shynerk Baby Car Mirror

Traveling with a baby on board is no joke! You need to ensure that your kid is safe in the backseat.

And what better way to do that than having continuous surveillance?

You can install the Shynerk Baby Car Mirror on the head of the rear seat within seconds.

The mirror has 360-degree rotation and pivot features to ensure that you get a complete view of your kid and the surroundings.

25. Papablic Portable Travel Baby Bottle Warmer

Papablic Portable Travel Baby Bottle Warmer

If you are looking for car travel accessories for toddlers, you should get the Portable Travel Baby Bottle Warmer from Papablic.

You can use it to warm milk or water on the go without using electricity.

It has a portable design, making it easy to carry in a standard diaper bag.

It is compatible with most of the typical baby bottle brands. You also get a 100% money-back guarantee.

26. Travel Booster Seat

One of the best car travel accessories for families who love road trips in countries overseas is a lightweight portable booster seat.

You can find inflatable booster seats that can be inflated for use and deflated to make it easier to pack. They are lightweight and portable and comfy to use for shorter road trips.

Find the best inflatable booster seats for travel here.

Car Travel Essentials

Each of the 26 accessories we have shortlisted and reviewed today provides exceptional comfort and convenience for adults and kids. It helps to make long road trips more enjoyable.

One last thing you can add to your list if you have kids or if you are planning on sleeping in your car a few nights is to grab a comfy travel blanket and pillow set .

We hope you will find some interesting and useful products that you will be getting before you start planning your next road trip .

Till next time!

Tip:  You might also be interested in checking out our guide on the best flight accessories here.

Photo of author

Jolene Ejmont

3 thoughts on “26 best car travel accessories [2024 car travel products guide]”.

Thanks for given this type of information. we know safety is a top priority. baby mirror features a shatter-proof safety which has been crash tested and certified to provide peace of mind that in the event of an accident, your little one is safe. The black polymer plastic holds the mirror tightly in place, furthering the safety of the mirror and making it both lightweight and durable. In online market place you can get multiple designable walkie talkie. But from here i can recommend a site that given multiple unique products.

Thank you for the info 🙂 Much appreciate it!

These accessoires are amazing Thank you for the info much appreciate it!

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The 35+ best travel accessories for staying comfortable on long haul flights.

These essentials will help you jet-set in luxury (even if you're not boarding a private plane).

By Danielle Directo-Meston

Danielle Directo-Meston

E-Commerce Writer

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Aero Private Airline

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, The Hollywood Reporter may receive an affiliate commission.

As film festivals, awards shows and coronavirus vaccinations continue, so do flights carrying Hollywood stars and insiders to their destinations. A record number of travelers have passed through TSA checkpoints in recent months, with nearly 2.4 million people (the highest so far in 2022) going through on July 1, according to the U.S. agency .

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that air travel is safe for those who are fully vaccinated, and the federal government stopped enforcing mask mandates in airports in April. The U.S. is no longer requiring pre-departure testing, however, the CDC still requires proof of vaccination for non-citizen and non-immigrant visitors.

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Luxury airline Aero has seen business take flight since its U.S. launch in February 2021, when it began offering private flights from Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles to Aspen. (It launched in Europe in 2019 with flights between Ibiza and Mykonos.) It rolled out flights last summer from L.A. to Sun Valley, Jackson Hole and Napa Valley and a route to Las Vegas debuted in October, while European offerings have expanded from London to Ibiza and Nice, Aero chief executive officer Uma Subramanian tells The Hollywood Reporter .

“We have seen demand continue to increase since Aero launched and throughout the pandemic,” says Subramanian. “[The coronavirus] has really illustrated that travel is essential to who we are as human beings, and so there is enormous pent-up demand for new travel experiences. At Aero, we are excited to welcome new and repeat guests on our routes in the U.S. and Europe.”

Aero’s luxury-loving clients are “clamoring for a seamless travel experience to visit destinations like Los Cabos,” adds Subramanian. “Aero’s guests are seeking a radically better air travel experience. They are discerning customers who value service, time and the quality of the experience. In Europe, our clients have told us they want to go to places like Nice, Ibiza, Mykonos, and Lake Como.”

“During the pandemic, we have built a loyal following with couples and families looking for better alternatives, which give them peace of mind. Many guests are now traveling regularly with Aero, many to their second homes,” continues Subramanian. The flight company’s clients have included Emma Roberts, Hollywood stylist Tara Swennen, DJ Mei Kwok, fashion designer Alana Hadid and musician Jack Gilinsky, among many others.

Whether you’re jetting off on a private plane or looking to recreate the luxury experience, we’ve rounded up some of the best long-haul travel accessories (but they’ll work just as well for your short trips, too). Ahead, check out our go-to flight essentials, including traveler-approved backpacks , handy toiletry bags , luggage brands that frequently fly with A-listers, must-haves for sleeping soundly and more.

1. State Lorimer Fanny Pack

A fanny pack version of State’s best-selling Lorimer carryall, this convenient crossbody bag now comes with a longer strap. This compact but mighty bag can hold your essentials (like a phone, charger, wallet, sunglasses and lip balm) and a 12-ounce water bottle, making it easy to keep your must-haves in reach (or pass them through the security check) while you’re traveling.

2. Comrad Recycled Cotton Compression Socks

These cozy and stylish socks are nice on your feet and Mother Earth. Comrad uses recycled cotton for these compression socks, which come in a variety of colors and help to relieve swelling and boost circulation. They’re also great for post-workout recovery and the contoured design and stretch make them easy to put on and take off. (Brie Larson and Karlie Kloss have reportedly worn the brand.)

Courtesy of Comrad

3. Amazon Kindle Oasis

Featuring 8GB or 32GB of built-in storage and a seven-inch 300 ppi Paperwhite screen, Amazon’s water-resistant Kindle Oasis is the best slim e-reader for avid bookworms who want to quickly turn pages, adjust the screen shade and read worry-free while traveling. The 6.6-ounce tablet can withstand being dropped in two meters of water for up to an hour, and readers can adjust the font size and face, line spacing and margins to suit their preferences.

The Kindle Oasis is available with or without ads and can hold thousands of e-books (or 35 to 160 Audible books), and a single charge gets you up to six weeks of battery life.

Courtesy of Amazon

4. Béis The Seatback Organizer

Never forget your stuff on the plane when you use Béis’ Seatback Organizer , which has plenty of compartments for your tablet , favorite novel (or e-book ), snacks, stationery and more.

Courtesy of Béis

5. Ostrichpillow Go Memory Foam Travel Pillow

Our go-to for long flights and road trips , Ostrichpillow’s memory foam travel pillow supports your head and neck as you snooze while seated. We like the adjustable design so you can customize your comfort, and it comes with a handy storage bag.

6. Olika Ultra Hydrating Hand Sanitizer

Olika ‘s charming bird-shaped hydrating hand sanitizer has saved us from hastily digging to the bottom of our bags, thanks to the convenient clip and portable size. It’s available in a variety of scents or in a fragrance-free version for those sensitive to smells. (The product is currently sold out on Olika’s website , but it’s in stock at Walmart and Bloomingdale’s .)

7. Paravel Cabana Pet Carrier

For those traveling with their furry best friend, Paravel’s Cabana pet carrier (available in an array of stylish colors) will keep them comfortable. Made of recycled materials and vegan leather, this carryall measures 11 x 11 x 20.5 inches and folds flat for easy storage. Add a monogram to personalize your pup’s travel palace.

8. Pakt The Travel Backpack

Designed in collaboration with gear reviewer Chase Reeves and with the input of over 300 travelers, Pakt’s travel backpack boasts more than 20 features that make it essential for keeping your stuff organized on long flights and other trips. Made of water-resistant fabric spun from recycled single-use plastics, this carry-on-sized pack has a cool dual-compartment clamshell design with a mesh divider, a separate laptop compartment, a waterproof section for toiletries (or items that might leak), an exterior water bottle compartment, a hidden back pocket for important documents, a luggage pass-through and plenty of easy-to-adjust straps to keep you comfortable.

9. Bowers & Wilkins PX7 S2 Noise-Canceling Bluetooth Headphones

For when you need to tune out engine noise (or a loud seatmate), Bowers & Wilkins’ redesigned PX7 Bluetooth headphones are a must for traveling audiophiles. With a battery life of up to 30 hours, these headphones are equipped with excellent adaptive noise canceling and ambient pass-through, while the retooled 43.6mm drivers deliver incredible depth and full clarity — you’ll forget you’re 30,000 miles above, and not in the studio with your favorite musician. They come with a 35mm audio cable so you can plug into your plane’s entertainment center. And if you’re low on juice, a 15-minute charge gets you five more hours of listening or quiet time.

We found that the earcups are insanely comfortable, and we like the auto-stop feature when you take off the headphones. If all of that’s not enough, let the sound engineers and industry pros at Abbey Road Studio and Skywalker Sound (who use the British audio brand’s gear) convince you to make the worthy investment.

MORE BUYING OPTIONS Bowers & Wilkins | Amazon

10. Allbirds R&R Sweater

We’re fans of sustainable lifestyle brand Allbirds’ R&R collection ($98 to $118), which includes sweaters, hoodies and sweatpants in women’s and men’s sizes. The pieces are made of a special blend of organic pima cotton, hemp and Tencel, so expect to lounge on the plane in comfort while you’re wearing the classic fitted sweater and slim-fit sweatpants . Best of all, everything is carbon neutral.

Courtesy of Allbirds

11. Anker PowerCore 20100 Portable Charger

Ensure that all of your devices are powered up during and after that long flight with this high-speed portable charger by Anker . It’s got enough juice to charge smartphones five to seven times (depending on which model you have), and it recharges in as little as 10 hours when you use a two amp charger.

Anker PowerCore 20,100 mAh Portable Charger $49.99 on Amazon.com Buy now

12. Dagne Dover Essentials Clutch Wallet

Dagne Dover’s travel clutch doubles as a crossbody wallet for when you want to stay hands-free. The sleek leather carryall has eight card slots, zippered pockets for your phone and other essentials and a handy wrist strap.

Courtesy of Dagne Dover

Dagne Dover Essentials Clutch Wallet (reg. $135) $79 Buy now

13. MedicPro N95 Masks

For extra peace of mind and safety, MedicPro’s NIOSH-approved N95 respirator face masks will filter out 95 percent of airborne particles, including droplets, dust and debris. They’re particularly handy if you’re heading to a dusty destination.

14. Etekcity Luggage Scale

The last thing you need before a flight is to get stuck unpacking (and repacking) your belongings when you’ve exceeded the luggage weight limit. This portable luggage scale is an essential travel accessory to keep on hand so you can skip the hassle at check-in and weigh and reassess your baggage ahead of time.

Etekcity Portable Luggage Scale $15.97 on Amazon.com Buy now

15. EltaMD UV Lip Balm with SPF 36

Sunscreen is always a good idea regardless of your destination. Swipe on EltaMD’s UV Lip Balm has SPF 36 to keep your pucker hydrated mid-flight, then again once you land to protect your lips from the sun.

16. Moon Dissolving Teeth Whitening Strips

For those who want bright pearly whites for all of those vacation selfies, these dissolving teeth whitening strips from Kendall Jenner-approved oral beauty brand Moon can be used wherever you are — whether it’s mid-flight or on the ground. The company says they’ll whiten teeth up to seven shades in about two weeks. (We like the fresh peppermint flavor, too.)

17. Barmes Freebase Suitcase

For digital nomads who literally live out of a suitcase, Barmes Design’s genius Freebase luggage functions as a mobile office and carry-on luggage in one sturdy hard case, so it’s convenient for layovers. It has a 45-liter capacity and includes seven accessories for organizing your goods, including three removable bags for your essentials and laptop, two packing cubes, and gym bag and a convenient liner bag for easy customs inspection.

18. Sony LinkBuds S Truly Wireless Noise Canceling Earbuds

For those who prefer to drown out sound with pocket-sized earbuds (as opposed to bulkier over-ear headphones), we’re fans of Sony’s newly-released LinkBuds S , which offer excellent noise canceling on planes, convenient and intuitive touch controls, and smart features that automatically adjust the settings depending on your environment. The Integrated Processor V1 promises immersive sound quality for audiophiles, and they boast IPX4 water and sweat resistance. (If you do prefer headphones, we also love the company’s noise canceling WH-1000XM5 Bluetooth headphones that include a 35-millimeter jack for plugging into onboard entertainment.)

19. Amazon Basics 3-Piece Hardside Spinner Luggage Set

You can’t beat the price of Amazon Basics’ three-piece luggage set , which comes with 21-, 26- and 30-inch scratch-resistant spinner suitcases, which roll comfortably from the terminal to the tarmac. It’s perfect for travelers who want a full matching set without breaking the bank, and each piece has four double spinner wheels, telescoping handles and fully-lined interior organizers with dividers. The luggage can also expand up to 15 percent so you can fit more when you head home.

20. Dimj Packing Cubes, 8-Piece Set

Keep your belongings organized with these best-selling travel packing cubes , which come in a range of colors and eight- or nine-piece options. The sets include three sizes of clothing cubes, organizers for your tech accessories, shoe holders, and smaller zippered bags for your pocket-sized essentials.

21. Gravel Layover Travel Blanket

No more fussing with itchy standard-issue fleece blankets that never cover your shoulders — Gravel’s packable and insulated Layover travel blanket is made of recycled water bottles and has a built-in foot pocket, and the snaps let you connect the edges (or attach another blanket) so your accessory stays put. It’s six feet long and 3.5 feet wide, and rolls up into a small pillow-sized stuff sack that measures seven inches by five inches by three inches. A zippered pocket lets you stow away your phone, headphones, wallet and other personal items, and the fabric is waterproof and anti-static.

Courtesy of Gravel

22. Away Medium Check-In Suitcase in Lavender

Travel in one of this year’s most stylish hues with Away’s medium suitcase , which is now available in lavender. (The rest of the brand’s luggage also comes in the new colorway.) This check-in bag features the direct-to-consumer travel gear brand’s signature features such as a lightweight polycarbonate hard shell, 360-degree spinner wheels, an interior compression system and a water-resistant laundry bag.

Courtesy of Away

23. Calpak Luka Waist Bag

If you prefer to keep your essentials on your person, Calpak’s Luka waist bag (available in other colors) is a comfortable and convenient choice. It’s made of lightweight fabric and features plenty of interior compartments and a hidden exterior pocket, and it can be worn as a fanny pack or crossbody.

24. Bose QuietComfort 45 Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones

If a premium audio experience (or the ability to block out noise) and comfort are your top flight priorities, you’ll want to pack Bose’s QuietComfort 45 wireless headphones . Whether you’re connecting to your own device or to on-flight entertainment, these around-ear Bluetooth headphones offer up to 24 hours of battery life (15 minutes of charging gives you up to three hours of listening time), and you can choose from Quiet and Aware noise canceling modes.

The dual-microphone delivers clear sound on calls, and you can personalize your audio settings and switch between devices with Bose’s app. The headphones are also compatible with Amazon Alexa, so you can control your music, ask for information about your destination and more.

25. Enro Tech Face Mask

We’re fans of Enro’s comfortable and stylish face masks , which are available in two styles and in a range of sizes (including for kids), colors and prints. The brand says independent lab tests have found that its washable face coverings filter 99 percent of particles (including viruses and bacteria), thanks to the built-in PM0.1 filter. Thee masks have a water-repellent outer layer and an adjustable nose bridge and ear loops.

Courtesy of Enro

Enro Solid Tech Face Mask $17 and up Buy now

26. Roam Expandable Luggage

If you’re the type of traveler that always ends up coming home with more baggage, Roam’s expandable line of luggage will help you carry the extra load. The travel brand offers four carry-on and check-in suitcase sizes that can now carry up to 28 percent more, so you can pack light on the way and stuff your bag on the way back. You can also completely customize Roam’s luggage colors from the handle to the body to the wheels, and finish it with a monogram, too.

Courtesy of Roam

27. Stojo Titan 24oz Travel Cup

Avoid getting parched while reducing waste with Stojo’s collapsible 24-ounce Titan silicone cup , which we’ve taken with us on nearly every flight and used at coffee shops whenever we travel. It’s great for throwing in your bag when you know you’ll need to drink up later as you can’t bring water through the TSA checkpoint. If this size is too big for your liking, the company also has 8-, 12- and 16-ounce options.

28. Manta Sleep Eye Mask

Get light-free shut-eye with Manta Sleep’s blackout eye mask . It has adjustable modal eye cups that mold to your face (without preventing you from blinking), so you can enjoy your snooze session in comfort.

Manta Sleep Eye Mask $35.00 on Amazon.com Buy now

29. Tallgo Travel Neck Pillow

This memory foam neck pillow will make your mid-flight nap a more comfortable one. It’s made of soft velour material and the ergonomic design helps to support your head and neck when you’re sleeping in your plane seat. It comes with a storage bag and can be easily stuffed away when it’s time to deboard.

Tallgo Travel Neck Pillow $15.99 on Amazon.com Buy now

30. Bellroy Travel Folio

Keep your passport, boarding documents, vaccine card and other travel essentials in one sleek spot with Bellroy’s leather folio . It comes with RFID protection, a mini pen (as well as space for a full-sized one) and plenty of interior slots for your ID and credit cards.

Courtesy of Bellroy

31. Everlane ReNew Transit Backpack

For essentials that you want to keep within arm’s reach on the flight, Everlane’s ReNew Transit backpack (available for preorder for late September and early October shipping) is compact enough to be stowed under your seat. Made of recycled polyester with a water-resistant finish, the backpack has comfy straps so you can breeze through the terminal, and the luggage pass-through strap lets you attach it to the handle of your rolling suitcase with ease. Inside, it’s got a compartment for a 15-inch laptop, a water bottle holder and two organization compartments; outside, there’s a large zippered pocket and an external bottle pocket.

Courtesy of Everlane

32. Travelsox Flight Travel Socks

These travel-friendly socks are made of a blend of Coolmax, Lycra and nylon, which help to prevent moisture build-up. The compression design helps to reduce mid-flight foot swelling, stimulate blood flow and keep your feet comfortable while you’re seated for long periods.

Courtesy of Travelsox

33. July Carry-On Pro Luggage

Australian luggage brand July is the latest name in stylish travel accessories to land in the U.S. The company’s Carry On Pro suitcase is ideal for frequent travelers who prefer a sleek design and like to travel light and efficiently. This 26-liter luggage has a TSA-friendly lock, an ejectable USB charger and a detachable front sleeve for quickly removing your laptop (or whatever else you decide to stow in it) at the airport. Inside, a hidden laundry bag, convenient twin-strap compression system and storage compartments make it easy to organize your belongings.

Courtesy of July

34. Monos Carry-On Pro Plus

Another luxury luggage option for stylish travelers, Monos’ Carry-On Pro Plus is for frequent flyers who also want to take advantage of the brand’s summer sale. (Brandi Cyrus was recently spotted flying out of Nashville with the same suitcase.) Made of aerospace-grade polycarbonate, this style fits a 15-inch laptop in the front compartment and fits in most overhead bins. It’s finished with vegan leather accents, super-quiet 360-degree wheels and a sturdy telescoping handle.

Courtesy of Monos

35. Travelpro Maxlite Air Hardside Expandable Luggage

Packing more than a week’s wardrobe? We’re partial to Travelpro’s 29-inch checked hardside luggage , which is expandable and lightweight. It features a 100 percent polycarbonate shell that absorbs impact and can expand up to two inches. Other colorways are also available.

36. Samsonite Stryde 111 Carry-On Spinner

When you expect a late-night arrival, Samsonite’s new Stryde 111 carry-on spinner will keep your path illuminated, thanks to the brand’s built-in eVision LED lighting in the handle. USB ports keep your devices powered up when you add your own battery charger, and the inside includes three removable accessories to keep your items organized.

Courtesy of Samsonite

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long journey gadgets

Ignite Your Cataclysm Classic Journey with Fiery Upgrades

Ignite Your Cataclysm Classic Journey with Fiery Upgrades

A New Age of Cataclysm

The maddened Deathwing the Destroyer will erupt from his lair once again, shattering Azeroth as we know it. With Cataclysm Classic™ 1 , your journey will continue into the era of fire and destruction. This time, however, you’ll enjoy a much faster content cadence, improvements to Leveling, expanded Collections, and more !

Cataclysm Classic will require only a WoW® subscription or Game Time to play. However, these optional upgrades can heat up your experience during your adventures in Azeroth.

long journey gadgets

Blazing Heroic Pack

The Blazing Heroic Pack includes Lil’ Wrathion pet for both WoW Classic progression 2 and modern World of Warcraft characters 3 , the Avatar of Flame flying mount 2 for WoW Classic progression characters, and a Runebound Firelord flying mount for modern World of Warcraft characters 3 . WoW Classic progression characters will also enjoy Hammer Regalia Transmog Set 4 and Town-In-A-Box Starter Set toy 4 .

Blazing Epic Upgrade

The Blazing Epic Upgrade includes everything in the Blazing Heroic Pack, plus a Level 80 Character Boost and 30 days of Game Time.

Upgrade Now

Follow the official World of Warcraft news site for more information as we draw closer to the next update for World of Warcraft Classic .

  • Certain restrictions apply. Visit shop.battle.net for more information.
  • 1 Available on or before August 31, 2024.
  • 2 Available in WoW Classic progression realms (currently Wrath of the Lich King Classic™) immediately after the purchase.
  • 3 Available after the modern WoW® realms restart with the Guardians of the Dream (10.2) update anticipated on November 7, 2023.
  • 4 Available with the Cataclysm Classic pre-patch anticipated on or before August 31, 2024.
  • The toy, Transmog set, and Avatar of Flame mount only available on WoW Classic progression realms (currently Wrath of the Lich King Classic™). The Runebound Firelord mount only available on modern WoW® realms.
  • Requires WoW® Subscription or Game Time.
  • Boost only available on WoW Classic progression realms. and usable only on the WoW game account for which it was purchased or redeemed.

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NASA’s Lucy spacecraft swoops past first of 10 asteroids on long journey to Jupiter

This image from a video animation provided by NASA depicts the Lucy spacecraft approaching an asteroid. On Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023, Lucy encountered the first of 10 asteroids on its long journey to Jupiter. (NASA via AP)

This image from a video animation provided by NASA depicts the Lucy spacecraft approaching an asteroid. On Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023, Lucy encountered the first of 10 asteroids on its long journey to Jupiter. (NASA via AP)

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s Lucy spacecraft on Wednesday encountered the first of 10 asteroids on its long journey to Jupiter.

The spacecraft on Wednesday swooped past the pint-sized Dinkinesh, about 300 million miles (480 million kilometers) away in the main asteroid belt beyond Mars. It was “a quick hello,” according to NASA, with the spacecraft zooming by at 10,000 mph (16,000 kph).

Lucy came within 270 miles (435 kilometers) of Dinkinesh, testing its instruments in a dry run for the bigger and more alluring asteroids ahead. Dinkinesh is just a half-mile (1 kilometer) across, quite possibly the smallest of the space rocks on Lucy’s tour.

Lucy’s main targets are the so-called Trojans, swarms of unexplored asteroids out near Jupiter that are considered to be time capsules from the dawn of the solar system. The spacecraft will swing past eight Trojans believed to be up to 10 to 100 times bigger than Dinkinesh. It’s due to zip past the final two asteroids in 2033.

This photo provided by NASA shows a photo taken by the Lucy spacecraft during Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023 flyby of asteroid Dinkinesh, 300 million miles from Earth. It turns out Dinkinesh, which is only a half-mile across, has a dinky sidekick ... just one-tenth of a mile across. This little companion was a surprise to everyone. (NASA via AP)

NASA launched Lucy on its nearly $1 billion mission two years ago. The spacecraft is named after the 3.2 million-year-old skeletal remains of a human ancestor found in Ethiopia in the 1970s. Lucy will next swing past an asteroid named after one of the fossil Lucy’s discoverers: Donald Johanson.

One of two solar wings on the spacecraft remains loose. Flight controllers gave up trying to latch it down, but it is believed to be stable enough for the entire mission.

Wednesday’s flyby caps what NASA is calling Asteroid Autumn. NASA returned its first samples of rubble from an asteroid in September. Then in October, it launched a spacecraft to a rare, metal-rich asteroid named Psyche.

Unlike those missions, Lucy will not stop at any asteroids or collect any samples.

It will take at least a week for the spacecraft to send back all its pictures and data from the flyby.

Until now, Dinkinesh’s only been ”an unresolved smudge in the best telescopes,” Southwest Research Institute’s Hal Levison, the lead scientist, said in a statement.

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.


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  1. 23 Best Travel Electronics & Tech Gadgets of 2023

    1 Best Travel Gadget for WiFi Verizon Jetpack MiFi 8800L $8 at verizonwireless.com 2 Best Travel Gadget for Smartphones Anker 325 Power Bank (PowerCore 20K) $50 at Amazon 3 Best Travel Gadget...

  2. The best travel gadgets of 2023: Expert travel tech

    Written by Christina Darby, Associate Editor May 25, 2023, 1:47 p.m. PT. Anker 747 GaNPrime 150W charger. Best travel tech gadget overall. View at Amazon. Tessan International Plug Adapter. Best ...

  3. The 25 Best Travel Gadgets in 2023

    For today's traveler, a packing list includes not only their daily wear and toiletries, but also tech gadgets: a phone, maybe a laptop or tablet, and possibly a smartwatch. You may also be...

  4. The 10 best travel tech gadgets for your next adventure in 2022

    That way, you don't have to hang around your hotel room waiting for your phone to charge. 6. Portable charger. This charger has a 10,000 mAh battery. Credit: Belkin/Amazon. Ironically, the things ...

  5. 20 Best Travel Gadgets 2023

    Ember Temperature Control Travel Mug 2. $199 at Amazon $200 at Walmart $200 at Bloomingdale's. Hot coffee isn't just for homebodies who stay still and attached to a seat; travelers and adventurers ...

  6. 21 Best Travel Accessories For Long Flights

    4. Noise-cancelling headphones If you're not a fan of shoving earplugs into your ears, then one of the best gadgets for long flights to consider adding to your carry on luggage is a pair of noise-cancelling headphones with a long battery life.

  7. 21 Cool Travel Gadgets for Flights and Road Trips

    The Travel Gadget Everyone Should Get inCharge 6-in-1 Portable Keychain Charger Cable $16 at Amazon Read more Best Travel Gadget for Watching TV and Movies Twelve South AirFly Pro $55 at Amazon...

  8. 12 Best Travel Gadgets for Any Trip in 2021

    That said, some travel gadgets are essential to just about every packing list. Besides your smartphone—which is a given for just about all of us—I've come up with the 12 best travel gadgets...

  9. The Best Tech Travel Gadgets of 2023

    $13 at Amazon Tile Mate Best Bluetooth Tracker $47 at Amazon See More What to Look For in Tech Travel Gadgets When shopping around for necessary gadgets to take on your next trip, there are a few things you'll want to consider.

  10. The Best Travel Accessories to Pack on Every Trip

    27 Best Travel Accessories to Pack on Every Trip (2023) | Condé Nast Traveler Shopping The Best Travel Accessories to Pack on Every Trip From luggage scales to hand cream and portable chargers,...

  11. The Best Gear for Travel in 2023

    The ExOfficio Give-N-Go 2.0 Sport Mesh 6″ Boxer Brief is the best men's underwear for travel because it balances fit, comfort, odor-proofing, and value better than anything else we've tested ...

  12. 10 Gadgets for Your Next Road Trip

    10 Gadgets for Your Next Road Trip By: John Kelly Remember when having GPS in the palm of your hand was novel? Now it's standard equipment for many drivers. See pictures of essential gadgets. Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

  13. 17 Best Gadgets for Long Flights & Travel

    If you are a frequent traveler, long flights are definitely a norm for you, and you may be looking for gadgets to make flying more comfortable, right? Here is a list of the best gadgets for long flights. Is your upcoming flight more than a short hop? Will you be having a long layover in a random city?

  14. Best Road Trip Accessories 2022: Favorite Travel Gear, Gadgets, Tech

    But the CampStove 2+ is an excellent choice anyone with an already overstuffed road trip car, since it weighs just under four pounds and folds up compact into a carrying bag. Buy BioLite CampStove ...

  15. The Best Gear for Your Road Trips in 2023

    The best cargo box. This cargo box offers great aerodynamics, easy mounting and operation, and a lot of storage at a reasonable price. $799 from REI. $804 from Amazon. A cargo box effectively ...

  16. The Longest Journey

    Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime. The Longest Journey is more than a game - it's more like a book, a movie and a game all rolled into one. Explore an interactive and beautifully created universe from the perspective of April Ryan, a young art student who soon discovers that there is more to her world than meets the eye. Digital download now available!

  17. 26 Best Car Travel Accessories [2024 Car Travel Products Guide]

    1. Lebogner Insulated Car Console Organizer The first accessory on our list is an insulated car organizer to keep your food warm or cold. It measures 18 x 12 x 12 inches and can fit most of the standard vehicle seats. It has convenient carry handles and is made from water-resistant fabric. You can keep small items in the three outside mesh pockets.

  18. The Best Long Flight Travel Accessories for Jet-Setting in Luxury

    5. Ostrichpillow Go Memory Foam Travel Pillow. Our go-to for long flights and road trips, Ostrichpillow's memory foam travel pillow supports your head and neck as you snooze while seated. We ...

  19. 15 Car Accessories For Those Long Drives

    Gadget Flow · 7 min read · Oct 3, 2016 Heading for those long drives sometime soon? You need some cool accessories to make your drives more smooth in that case. Here are some of the best car...

  20. The Longest Journey on GOG.com

    The Longest Journey is an adventure through the twin worlds of Stark and Arcadia, seen through the eyes of April, an 18-year old art student. The game you cannot miss! Extraordinary adventure game with over 150 locations in two different dimensions. Gripping story with many twists, smooth gameplay, and a fantastic music, will accompany you ...

  21. Ignite Your Cataclysm Classic Journey with Fiery Upgrades

    A New Age of Cataclysm. The maddened Deathwing the Destroyer will erupt from his lair once again, shattering Azeroth as we know it. With Cataclysm Classic™ 1, your journey will continue into the era of fire and destruction. This time, however, you'll enjoy a much faster content cadence, improvements to Leveling, expanded Collections, and more!

  22. The Long Journey Home Wiki

    The %$^£ are one of the antagonists and Minor Aliens in The Long Journey Home. Whatever they once were, the Dragons of Entropy and designated servants of Nush, the god of famine, now control basic android shells covered in a poor excuse of actual organic material. Those are needed to steer their mutating and organic ships they acquired after their imprisonment via an unknown source. There is ...

  23. 27 Long journey Synonyms. Similar words for Long journey.

    If you know synonyms for Long journey, then you can share it or put your rating in listed similar words. Suggest synonym . Menu . Long journey Thesaurus. Image search results for Long journey. Cite this Source . APA; MLA; CMS; Synonyms for Long journey. (2016).

  24. NASA's Lucy spacecraft swoops past first of 10 asteroids on long

    Credit: NASA via AP. NASA's Lucy spacecraft on Wednesday encountered the first of 10 asteroids on its long journey to Jupiter. The spacecraft on Wednesday swooped past the pint-sized Dinkinesh ...

  25. NASA's Lucy spacecraft swoops past first of 10 asteroids on long

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA's Lucy spacecraft on Wednesday encountered the first of 10 asteroids on its long journey to Jupiter. The spacecraft on Wednesday swooped past the pint-sized Dinkinesh, about 300 million miles (480 million kilometers) away in the main asteroid belt beyond Mars. It was "a quick hello," according to NASA, with the spacecraft zooming by at 10,000 mph ...

  26. I Went on a $17 Guided Tour of Singapore's Last Crocodile Farm

    A sign outside of Singapore's last crocodile farm: Long Kuan Hung Crocodile Farm Amanda Goh/Insider Lim Chu Kang is known for being home to some of the country's remaining farms, as well as the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, a national park.. The journey from my house in central Singapore to Long Kuan Hung Crocodile Farm took about 35 minutes by car.

  27. Jayson Tatum's journey to 10,000 points with the Celtics

    Top-flight guards highlight 2023 NBA free agency. With All-NBA Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum having hit the 10,000 career points mark younger than any Celtic before him, Boston decided to put together a highlight reel spanning the entirety of the St. Louis native's career with the team to celebrate the major milestone.

  28. 6 Important LG Journey Cons (And 2 Pros)

    - Analysis by KJ David. An LG-branded prepaid smartphone that was initially carried by TracFone and Net10, the LG Journey is destined to sit alongside other entry-level smartphones featured here on Phonerated, at least when it comes to technical pros and cons. For starters, it offers a 5.45-inch 720p-only facade that has a wide 18:9 solution -- the conventional screen solution at the time we ...