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Best Headphones: Apple AirPods Pro at Amazon
"Lets you quickly pause your music and turn off the noise-canceling to hear the ambient sounds around you."
Best E-Reader: Kindle Paperwhite at Amazon
"Offers variable backlighting whether you're reading by day or night."
Best Bag: Nomatic 40L Travel Bag at Best Buy
"Has a place for valuables, an RFID-protected pocket, and a removable laptop sleeve."
Best Organizer: Dagne Dover Arlo Tech Pouch at Dagne Dover
"Can use this organizer for tech accessories or as a toiletry pouch."
Best Mesh Network: GoTenna Mobile Mesh Network at Amazon
"Great for staying in touch on cruise ships, in foreign countries, in remote areas, or during an emergency."
Best Smart Thermostat: Nest Learning Thermostat at Amazon
"Turn down the heat and watch those energy savings roll in even when you're at a beach in Cancun."
Best Pillow: iBeani Tablet Cushion Stand at Amazon
"Designed with cushioning to easily hold screens in place and can be adjusted for multiple viewing angles."
Best Adapter: JOOMFEEN Travel Adapter at Amazon
"It converts standard AC outlet power between 150 different countries employing EU, US, UK, and AU plug technology."
Best Speakers: Bose SoundLink Micro at Amazon
"Has an impressive wireless Bluetooth range and is small enough to fit in a coat pocket or carry-on bag."
Best Projector: XGIMI MOGO Pro at Amazon
"Great for showing off travel photos when visiting family and friends."
Do you have a friend or family member that's obsessed with traveling? This gift guide will give you plenty of ideas for those with wanderlust. We cover everything from noise-canceling headphones for peace and quiet at 30,000 feet to a wheeling suitcase that can charge smartphones and lock itself remotely. Now you’ll just need to convince the person you’re gifting to stay in town long enough to receive one of these gadgets.
Read on for our picks of the best tech gifts for travelers.
Our Top Picks
Best Headphones: Apple AirPods Pro
A clutch set of headphones can make any excessively long plane ride way more bearable and these Apple options fit the bill perfectly. First, a note about noise-canceling: headphones that offer this feature do so by actually producing a very small amount of noise that offsets and cancels out the noise of your surroundings. Normally, this can alter the sound quality, so it’s best to use care when buying headphones that do that. In the case of traveling, though, noise-canceling phones are the perfect plane companion because they can muffle the dull roar of the engine.
The Apple AirPods Pro offers that technology, plus a custom-made driver, three silicone earpieces, Bluetooth connectivity, and up to 24 hours of battery life. It's arguably one of the most comfortable constructions out there and a super unique feature lets you quickly pause your music and turn off the noise-canceling to hear the ambient sounds around you.
Best E-Reader: Kindle Paperwhite
Reading on some remote beach is one of life’s undeniable pleasures, but 20 pounds of books stuffed into your carry-on is one of life’s undeniable displeasures. The now-standard solution to this problem is an eBook reader and the Paperwhite expands on the original in some pretty great ways. Just like old models, you have access to the full breadth of eBooks available on Amazon, but the Paperwhite also offers variable backlighting whether you’re reading by day or night, 300 ppi to help eliminate eye strain, a no-glare screen, and weeks of battery life on a single charge. The best part? The thing weighs less than seven ounces.
Best Bag: Nomatic 40L Travel Bag
It’s hard to deny a bag’s travel ability when they put “TSA Checkpoint Compliant” right in the title. And it is true–this bag comes with a removable laptop sleeve that easily goes in and out, so you can zip through security lines. The bag is 21 x 14 x 9 inches and holds up to 40 liters by volume. It’s made of super water-repellent tarpaulin and it’s seriously organizable with a designated water bottle pocket, a place for valuables, an RFID-protected pocket (take that, hackers), compartments for shoes and toiletries, an included laundry bag, and more.
Best Organizer: Dagne Dover Arlo Tech Pouch
Many of us have experienced the clutter and chaos of charging cords and plugs at one point or another, and this electronics organizer from Dagne Dover can help sort it all out. The pouch offers two designated pockets and elastic holders for specific items. There's a slip pocket for laptops or hard drives, a mesh pocket for holding USB chords, and three elastic straps for different-sized chargers or power packs. The entire organizer zips closed, is made of a water-resistant material, and comes in six stylish colors. You also have the option of using this organizer as a toiletry pouch.
Best Mesh Network: GoTenna Mobile Mesh Network
If the person you’re shopping for likes to travel internationally or to remote locations, the GoTenna can help keep them connected when there is no cell service. These little devices act as their own mesh communication network, allowing users to send encrypted messages to one another through an app without the use of a cell phone carrier. They're great for staying in touch on cruise ships, in foreign countries, in remote areas, or in case of an emergency or natural disaster when cell service is down. GoTennas can also be placed in strategic stationary locations to allow users to create a larger network of connectivity. The kit comes with two devices.
Best Smart Thermostat: Nest Learning Thermostat
Stay with us here: a smart thermostat is the perfect gift for a traveler. Not because they can take it with them, but because they can take with them the peace of mind that they can control their thermostat from across the world. The Nest system offers Energy Star-rated control of your home, has tons of smart technology that learns when you’re home, when you’re not, and even when you’re across the room and want the screen to light up to show you the temperature. But it’s the Wi-Fi control that offers the travel-minded perk of being able to whip out your phone, turn down the heat and watch those energy savings roll in, even if you’re on a beach in Cancun.
Best Pillow: iBeani Tablet Cushion Stand
Propping up a tablet to watch a movie on the go just became a lot easier with the iBeani Tablet Cushion Stand. The pillow is designed with cushioning to easily hold up to a 12.9-inch screen in place and can be adjusted for multiple viewing angles. It’s also great to prop up in the hotel bed or Airbnb couch and has a little pocket for headphones, pens, or other small items. When it’s time to catch some sleep, the holder converts into a classic travel pillow.
Best Adapter: JOOMFEEN Travel Adapter
Think of this thing as the Rolls Royce of travel power adapters. It converts standard AC outlet power between 150 different countries employing EU, US, UK and AU plug technology. But it goes beyond the standard conversion: it gives you two USB inputs for mobile charging, it separates the AC power into three separate streams to charge a trio of devices simultaneously and it even has built-in surge protection.
Best Speakers: Bose SoundLink Micro
Whether heading to the beach, going camping, or simply traveling with friends, portable speakers are a great way to keep the entertainment going. The Bose Soundlink Micro is a top choice for a portable speaker and has an impressive wireless Bluetooth connection range of up to 30 feet. The rechargeable battery can last up to six hours, while the built-in microphone allows for hands-free phone calls. The speaker measures 3.9 x 3.9 x 1.4 inches, small enough to fit in a coat pocket or front pouch of a carry-on bag, and weighs 10.2 ounces. It comes with a USB charging cable and a silicone strap.
Best Projector: XGIMI MOGO Pro
Business travelers can make meetings a bit easier with the portable pocket projector from XGIMI. This compact device works with smartphones and tablets to turn any blank wall into a projection screen ranging from 30 to 100 inches with a projection distance of 3 to 8 feet. It's ideal for impromptu meetings and presentations when business amenities are lacking, but is also a fun way to watch movies at home. The device measures 5.7 x 4.1 x 3.8 inches, which allows it to easily fit into a carry-on bag. Plus, it's great for showing off travel photos when visiting family and friends.