The 10 Best Tech Gifts for Buy for Travelers in 2018

Check out the must-buy items for your jetsetting friend or family member

Do you have a friend or family member that's obsessed with traveling? This guide to travel tech gifts 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.

  • 01 of 10

    A clutch set of phones can make any excessively long plane ride way more bearable and these Sony 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 Sony WH1000XM2 offers that tech, plus full-sounding 40mm drivers, a super-wide 4–40,000Hz frequency response curve, Bluetooth connectivity and up to 30 hours of battery life. Its 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.

  • 02 of 10

    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 the Kindle 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 six ounces.

  • 03 of 10

    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, anRFID-protected pocket (take that, hackers), compartments for shoes and toiletries, an included laundry bag and more.

  • 04 of 10

    Hotels, try as they might, can’t seem to figure out how to get a good in-room coffee situation. It’s either a sad office K-cup or a sad office K-cup with a brand name label. Top that off with the nuisance of having to duck away from a day of activities to get your caffeine fix at a decent coffee shop and you’ll see why this gadget is a great additional to anyone's suitcase. The Espro press is the perfect gift for a coffee-loving vagabond because it makes fresh french press coffee in a single-serving stainless steel travel mug. The vacuum sealed mug keeps things hot for up to six hours. The press mechanism is about ten times finer than the standard French press, so the coffee is strong and grit-free.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    A travel watch pays dividends on a trip: it let’s you map direction when you’re exploring, it’ll notify you about e-mails/texts (so you don’t need to be hovering on your phone) and it can even track activity. The G Watch works particularly well as a travel watch because it’s not nearly as pricey as some of the more premium smartwatches out there. It does everything you want it to do (it has Android Wear app functionality, activity tracking, customizable faces and bands and 1.2 GHz processor for snappy performance) at a price that’s much more manageable in case you lose it when you’re hopping trains in Europe.

  • 06 of 10

    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 tech 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.

  • 07 of 10

    These Sony workout earphones have a solid inline mic and are useful in so many ways on a trip. For starters, your workout doesn’t necessarily stop while traveling, so these IPX5 splash rated sweat-proof buds are great for the morning run. The battery life is astounding at seven hours of talk time and 175 hours of standby. The Bluetooth operates with an internal ceramic antenna that broadcasts Bluetooth 4.1 for more stable connections, and the wire is a short necklace style connection that won’t become a tangled mess in the bottom of your day bag.

  • 08 of 10

    This piece of travel tech will double as two gifts in one. That’s because it’s both a high performance wireless router and a 10,400 mAh portable battery with USB port. First the router: the thing can create stable Wi-Fi from any wireless network, so you can say goodbye to spotty, airport networks. You can use the USB port to both charge smartphones (up to three times for most devices) and plug in an external hard drive to create a little mini server for transferring files. Basically, it’s a mobile office that fits in your backpack.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    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.

    Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best travel adapters

  • 10 of 10

    Suitcases are an important investment for travelers. The Bluesmart rises above the packing pack with a ton of tech features. It offers firm construction and durability like a lot of luggage (it’s built with Class A Makrolon and reinforced nylon), but it’s also got built-in GPS functionality for lost luggage, a USB charger for phone juicing and even a digital lock that you can engage when you aren’t even near it. Plus, it comes with a two-year warranty, so this gift recipient can travel worry-free.


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