After all the planning, the anticipation, the arguing with your boss that you submitted that PTO weeks ago, the time has arrived: your vacation. There’s no right way to travel, but a lot of people lie back and accept that getting from point A to point B is miserable. It doesn’t have to be—even for us coach-flying peons. Find below a spate of goods that’ll make your next flight, train ride, or traipse through Europe’s sketchiest Airbnbs way more comfortable. (By the way, here are ways make your flight cheaper, too.)
The more prepared you are, the more you can truly escape and unwind. Enjoy Vienna without freaking that your phone’s going to die. Is it just me, or does everything seem to double as a power bank these days?
The best carry-on. Cotopaxi
The bag can hold 35 liters, opens from the front like a suitcase, and is sturdy enough to withstand harsh weather, with got tough ballistic nylon paneling and a smooth waterproof coating on the front. It will keep you organized with zippered mesh compartments sleeves that keep clothing and accessories separate. There are also quick-access zippers along the sides of the bag to more easily access the padded laptop section or the main compartment. For extra security, the bag features YKK security zippers that can be tucked under built-in loops, making it hard for pickpockets to unzip your bag. The Allpa Travel Pack also comes with a bright yellow rain cover, a mesh laundry bag, and a smaller day-pack for shorter trips.
Save space without sacrificing your library. Amazon
The 7-inch Kindle Oasis is a traveling reader’s best friend since the device is IPX8 waterproof-rated. Load it full of books or audiobooks from Audible so you don’t have to worry about packing multiple paperbacks in your suitcase. It comes in either 32GB or 8GB storage options and two colors—graphite or champagne gold. You can adjust the color of the screen’s backlight to match your surroundings or just based on your preference. Bluetooth connectivity makes it play nice with your wireless headphones so you can swing to the sweet sounds of the Harry Potter novel you’ve already read a dozen times.
Traveling is much simpler when you can talk with the people around you. Amazon
Forget flipping through the pages of a bulky book to learn the Portuguese word for “elephant”. The Pocketalk translator includes 74 languages—with more on the way—and allows for real-time translation of full sentences from your native tongue to any of the included options. It comes with a two-year data plan so it doesn’t need WiFi to get the info you need. Use the touchscreen to switch between languages and then stick the portable device in your pocket.
Catch some Zzzs. Amazon
The 3.5 x 9.5-inch Bucky lightweight, eye mask employs molded cups keep pressure off your eyelids while it blocks out sleep-ruining light. It uses a velcro strap that you’ll want to adjust as the mask breaks in. It comes in a handful of colors.
Snap great photos anywhere without the equipment. Amazon
When you’re on vacation, you want to relax. Don’t fret over getting—or missing—the perfect Instagram opportunity. If you don’t have your fancy DSLR on you, throw a lens on your smartphone. This lens kit from Xenvo comes with a wide angle lens for landscape shots and a 15x macro lens for interesting details. It also comes with a GlowClip mini LED light to help in darker settings.
Rock out on the trip. Amazon
The Jaybird X4 Bluetooth headphones have 8 hours of battery life and are IPX7-rated water/sweat-proof, which means they’re well-suited for sporty travelers. Sync them with the Jaybird App to customize your sound preferences. To ensure a secure fit, the headphones come with silicone ear fins—small, medium and large sizes included—that help lock the earbuds into place. They are small enough that they can fit underneath a helmet, so feel free to use these while you are snowboarding or biking. The X4s come in two finishes—black and “storm.”
Cut down on bulk. Amazon
If you’ve got work to do on your trip but don’t want to take your laptop with you, a foldable Bluetooth keyboard will keep your load light. This compact Jelly Comb keyboard has a two-hour rechargeable battery and works with laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
And now for a different type of keyboard. Amazon
The Korg nanoKEY2 is diminutive, but reliable. The 25-key USB MIDI keyboard has buttons that bend pitches, shift octaves, and sustain notes for more control over your playing. It’s also portable, requires no separate power supply, and has improved velocity control that allows you to play notes bolder and softer, rather than at one consistent volume.
Keep your dirty clothes separate. Amazon
Yes, you could use a Hefty bag, but those are ugly and prone to getting holes, granting your dirty underwear permission to mingle with your clean shirt. Gross. This Flight 001 bag will keep things nice and sovereign. Nothing ruins a laid-back vacation vibe like facing the stinky results of living without a laundry machine.
Even more juice. Amazon
If you’re traveling for business, take a portable battery pack that can recharge both your laptop and your smartphone. Anker’s PowerCore+ 26800 has two three-amp USB ports and a 30-watt USB-C port capable of powering your laptop. It can charge your smartphone more seven times or a laptop twice.
One choice to rule them all. Amazon
Unless you’re well and truly, literally unplugging, you’ll need a travel adapter for your devices abroad. This PORS-ELA adapter has got a “no-fry” fuse system and strong polycarbonate shell. Charge up to three devices at a time with the two USB ports and AC socket. It can be used in over 150 countries, weighs a quarter of a pound and includes a travel pouch.
Take your phone with you everywhere. Amazon
Diving between tectonic plates in Iceland? You’ll want some photos of that. The JOTO waterproof case can fit pretty much any phone, with extra room for bonus items. The case can survive underwater up to 100 feet and does a stellar job keeping out dust and dirt. There’s also a neck strap for easy carrying. It’s clear, so you can take photos and text without exposing your phone to the elements.
Record it. Amazon
The Hero7 by GoPro records stabilized 4K video, can take 10MP photos, and has a touchscreen on its back so you can monitor or take a look in your photos or footage. There are three photo modes: Single, Burst, and Time Lapse. The camera is waterproof up to 33 feet and can be controlled with your voice by saying things like “GoPro, take a photo.” Once you have recorded the videos or photos, connect to WiFi and upload the media to the GoPro cloud account. Access the footage from your phone to make it easy to share your exploits with your friends and family.
A darn good option. Amazon
Do: neglect your inbox. Don’t: neglect your teeth. The Philips Sonicare is a great toothbrush that happens to come with a charging travel case. The brush itself has five cleaning modes: a standard “2-minute Clean” mode, a natural whitening mode, sensitive gum and teeth mode, a gum care mode, and deep-clean mode for harder-to-reach areas.