The Top 10 Travel Gadgets You Need in Your Carry-On

Travel gadgets have exploded in popularity in recent years, with innovative companies creating products to solve a host of headaches and hassles encountered by travelers. In fact, the global travel gadgets market is projected to reach $14 billion by 2025, up from just $5 billion in 2016.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most useful and game-changing travel gadgets that can elevate any trip. From keeping devices charged to helping you sleep on long flights, these gadgets aim to make travel more convenient, comfortable, and enjoyable.

We’ll be covering portable chargers, noise canceling headphones, travel pillows, luggage scales, scratch maps, GoPro cameras, universal adapters, and compression bags. For each type of gadget, we’ll recommend some of the top products on the market and explain how they can enhance your travels.

Whether you’re a frequent business traveler or a casual vacationer, this overview of the best travel gadgets can help you pick out the perfect accessories to accompany you on your next adventure. So read on to discover the latest travel tech that no jetsetter should be without!

Portable Chargers

Having a portable battery charger is essential for any traveler who wants to stay connected while on the go. With a portable charger, you’ll never have to worry about your phone or other devices dying when you need them most.

When choosing a portable charger for travel, there are a few key factors to consider:

Battery Capacity

How much extra power do you need? Portable chargers come in capacities ranging from 2,000 mAh to over 20,000 mAh. A battery with 10,000 mAh can charge an average smartphone 3-5 times before needing to be recharged itself. Frequent travelers and those taking longer trips will want a high capacity battery that can keep multiple devices charged over several days.

Size and Weight

You’ll want a portable charger that’s compact and lightweight enough for your luggage or bag. Lower capacity batteries (5,000 – 10,000 mAh) are pocket-sized while higher capacity options are larger but still reasonable for travel. Avoid overly bulky chargers.

Number of Ports

Look for a charger with at least two ports so you can charge multiple devices at once. USB-C and fast charging ports will provide the fastest charge speed.

Reliable Brands

Stick with trusted brands like Anker, RAVPower, and Aukey when it comes to portable chargers. Check reviews and avoid no-name products.

The Anker PowerCore Slim 10,000 mAh is a great portable charger for travelers. It’s ultra compact, charges two devices simultaneously, and can charge an iPhone 8 fully 2.6 times. The RAVPower 16750mAh Portable Charger provides an excellent balance of charge capacity to size ratio. With two USB ports and one USB C port, it can charge up to 3 devices efficiently. Just be aware that higher capacity chargers are heavier. Overall, having a good quality portable battery charger provides peace of mind for travelers who need to stay charged and connected on the go.

Noise Canceling Headphones

Noise canceling headphones use active noise cancellation technology to block out unwanted ambient sounds. This makes them ideal for travel when you want to minimize distractions and disturbances, especially in noisy environments like planes, trains, and buses.

The key benefit of noise canceling headphones is their ability to greatly reduce background noise so you can focus on your music, podcasts, movies or calls without distraction. The constant hum of a plane engine or chatter of fellow passengers simply fades away with good noise cancellation. This makes long flights or train rides much more peaceful and enjoyable.

Some of the top brands of noise canceling headphones include Bose, Sony, Sennheiser, Beats by Dre, and JBL. Within each brand there are different models to suit various needs and budgets.

The Bose QuietComfort range is considered the gold standard of noise canceling with its excellent ambient noise reduction capabilities. The Sony WH-1000XM3 and WH-1000XM4 models also rate very highly for their great noise canceling technology, audio quality and long battery life. For budget options, the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 provide decent noise cancellation at a fraction of the price.

When choosing noise canceling headphones, key factors to compare are:

  • Noise canceling ability – look at reviews and ratings for how well the headphones block ambient noise across different frequencies. The very best can block out up to 90% of background noise.

  • Audio quality – while noise canceling is the priority, you still want headphones that produce clear, high-quality audio for music and calls.

  • Comfort – for travel, comfort is critical. Seek well-padded ear cups that don’t cause pain over long trips. Weight is also important.

  • Battery life – the best noise canceling headphones can last up to 30 hours of continuous playback per charge. Having long battery life means less worrying about running out of juice mid-flight.

  • Additional features – some models provide extras like transparency mode to let in ambient sound when needed, sensors that pause playback when removing headphones, Bluetooth connectivity and carrying cases. Consider features that align with your preferences.

By investing in a quality pair of noise canceling headphones designed specifically for travel, you can say goodbye to the ambient cacophony of noisy planes, trains and buses. Just silence, music to your ears, and the ability to focus on what matters most.

Travel Pillows

One of the most underrated but crucial travel accessories is the travel pillow. Getting adequate rest while on a long flight or road trip can make a huge difference in your energy levels and enjoyment of the trip. Choosing the right travel pillow can allow you to sleep soundly even while sitting upright in an airplane seat or car.

When selecting a travel pillow, comfort is key. There are a few main types to consider:

U-Shaped Travel Pillow

The U-shaped travel pillow wraps around your neck and provides support on both sides.


  • Cradles your head and neck for full support
  • Stays in place while you move
  • Compact size easily fits into carry-on bag


  • Can push head forward in an unnatural position
  • Not ideal for those who sleep with head tilted back
  • Bulky around neck area

Memory Foam Travel Pillow

Memory foam molds to the unique contours of your head and neck.


  • Customizable comfort and support
  • Relief of pressure points
  • Retains shape over time


  • Can feel warm due to insulation
  • Foam may flatten with extended use
  • Not as portable as inflatable option

Inflatable Travel Pillow

Inflatable travel pillows blow up for cushioning and can deflate for packing.


  • Lightweight and portable when deflated
  • Less bulk around neck than traditional pillows
  • Affordable option


  • Requires inflation every use
  • Not as supportive as memory foam
  • Prone to air leaks over time

No matter which design you choose, be sure to find a pillow that suits your sleeping style and needs. With a high-quality travel pillow, you’ll arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and recharged.

Luggage Scales

Knowing the exact weight of your luggage before arriving at the airport can save you time, money, and hassle. Overweight baggage fees are typically $50-$200 per bag domestically and can be even higher for international flights. Digital luggage scales allow you to easily weigh your bags at home to avoid unexpected charges at the airport.

The best digital luggage scales balance accuracy, durability, and ease of use. Look for ones with a large digital display that is easy to read. The scale should measure in both pounds and kilograms. High accuracy within 0.1 lbs/kg is ideal. Make sure the scales can weigh up to 50-100 lbs per bag depending on your needs.

For durability, scales made of durable ABS plastic with a metal handle and hook can withstand being packed in bags without breaking. Look for products with auto calibration, auto shut off, and low battery indicators as added convenience features. 

Top recommended digital scales include the Etekcity Digital Hanging Luggage Scale, which measures up to 110 lbs with accuracy to 0.1 lbs and has a built-in LED screen. The GreaterGoods Digital Luggage Scale is another top choice made of durable ABS plastic with accuracy to 0.2 lbs. For a hanging scale, the EatSmart Precision Voyager is excellent with a 110 lb capacity and removable LCD display.

Using a digital luggage scale takes the uncertainty out of packing and helps avoid costly overweight baggage fees. Weighing bags at home is quick and easy for travel peace of mind.

Scratch Off Your Travels with a Memorable Map Souvenir

Scratch maps make for fun and interactive souvenirs to commemorate your travels. These maps come with a scratch-off coating that you can scrape away to reveal colorful map details underneath. As you journey across the world, you can scratch off each country, state, or city you visited for a visually satisfying way to display your past adventures.  

Scratch maps cater to a wide variety of travelers and come in many shapes, sizes, and designs. Small regional maps scratch off states and cities within a country. World maps reveal countries filled with flags, colors, or topographic details. Maps also come in different materials from paper to wood, metal, acrylic, and more.

Paper maps tend to be the most budget-friendly option. These disposable souvenirs make great small gifts for kids to scratch off places they’ve been. Or get a sturdy wood or acrylic map for a sophisticated addition to your home or office decor. 

Consider getting a map with scratch-off stickers or labels you can peel and stick to mark special memories. Or find a framed map ready to hang on your wall after scratching. The map can showcase current travels or serve as a lifelong record of your journeys around the globe.

Scratch maps allow you to rediscover the childlike joy of maps while creating a personalized souvenir. They make great gifts for all ages whether given at the start of a trip or presented afterward to reminisce. With so many map styles and designs, you can find the perfect fit for any traveler or geography lover in your life.

GoPro Cameras

GoPro cameras have become an essential travel gadget for many travelers who want to capture stunning photos and videos of their adventures. Having a lightweight, durable camera that can mount virtually anywhere makes it easy to document everything from hiking through jungles to snorkeling around reefs. 

GoPro’s top-of-the-line Hero model delivers incredible image quality for an action camera along with different field of views to choose from. The Hero9 has a front display for easy selfie framing and can shoot 5K video with 20MP photos. The Hero8 offers good 4K video and 12MP photos in a more compact design. For budget-focused travelers, the Hero7 White allows you to shoot 1440p video and 10MP photos.

Battery life can range from 30 minutes to over an hour for the newest GoPro models. Choosing spare batteries or an external power bank can ensure you don’t run out of juice while recording. The cameras come with mounts to attach to helmets, poles, handlebars, chest harnesses, and more to capture unique perspectives. Waterproof, protective housing allows you to take the GoPros up to 33 feet underwater.

Having a GoPro camera on hand allows travelers to live in the moment while knowing they can revisit epic memories in stunning detail. They capture exciting experiences in ways impossible with smartphones and make it easy to relive the thrill of adventure. For active travelers who want an easy-to-use, versatile camera to document their explorations, GoPros deliver.

Universal Adapters

One of the most essential gadgets for international travel is a universal adapter. When visiting a foreign country, you’ll likely find that the power outlets are different shapes and sizes than what you’re used to at home. This means that without an adapter, you won’t be able to plug in and charge your electronics like your phone, laptop, camera, etc. 

Trying to find a compatible adapter once you’ve arrived can be a major hassle. Bringing a universal adapter guarantees that you’ll be prepared no matter where you are. The best universal adapters will work in over 150 countries worldwide with a variety of outlet shapes.

When choosing a universal adapter, look for one that has multiple USB ports so you can charge multiple devices at once. Safety is also key – make sure to select an adapter that has surge protection and smart fuse technology to prevent short circuits and overheating. The Skross World Adapter is one of the top options, covering over 200 countries with 6 AC outlets and 2 high-speed USB ports. 

Other top-rated universal adapters include the Pac2Go adapter which works in 150+ countries and has integrated USB ports. The Ceptics Universal Worldwide Plug Adapter provides worldwide coverage with a compact design. Wherever your travels take you, having a universal adapter makes it easy to keep your essential electronics powered up and ready to go.

Compression Bags

Trying to cram everything into your suitcase without going over the weight limit is one of the biggest hassles of packing for travel. That’s where compression bags come in handy. These bags use compression to significantly reduce the volume of your clothes, freeing up precious space in your luggage. 

There are a few different types of compression bags. Roll-up compression bags are probably the most popular and affordable option. You simply roll up your clothes tightly, seal the bag, then roll it to push out the air. This can reduce the size by up to 80 percent. 

Compression cubes offer a more organized way to compress. They have different sized cubes to separate items like shirts, pants, underwear, etc. The hard shells provide better compression than soft roll-up bags. Brands like Eagle Creek, Shacke Pak, and Pro Packing Cubes offer compression cubes in various materials and sizes.

For serious compression, vacuum compression bags are the way to go. Rather than manually rolling out the air, you use a vacuum to suction out all the air. This shrinks clothes down to a fraction of the normal size. Brands like SpaceSaver, Vacwel, and Outbound make portable battery-operated vacuum pumps for travel.

Some key tips when using compression bags:

  • Pack items loosely in the bag rather than tightly rolling. Dense packing prevents compression.
  • Organize items by category for easy access at your destination. 
  • Use compression for bulky items like sweaters, jackets, and pants. Avoid compressing delicate fabrics too much.
  • Double bag if concerned about tears and put sharp objects in plastic bags first.

With some compression bags in your arsenal, you’ll be amazed at the amount of extra space you can free up in your luggage. Just beware of overstuffing your bag to the point you can’t zip it closed!


When packing for your next trip, having the right travel gadgets can truly enhance your experience and make travel more convenient and enjoyable. In this article, we covered some of the most useful and best travel gadgets like portable chargers, noise canceling headphones, travel pillows, luggage scales, scratch maps, GoPro cameras, universal adapters, and compression bags.

Portable chargers and noise canceling headphones allow you to stay powered up and block out disruptive ambient noise when you’re on the go. Travel pillows, luggage scales, and compression bags help maximize comfort and get your packing situation sorted. GoPro cameras and scratch maps let you vividly capture and share your adventures. Universal adapters provide charging compatibility in different destinations.

What travel gadget do you find to be an essential when you hit the road? We’d love to hear your top gadget recommendation in the comments below! 

When selecting the best travel gadgets to accompany you on your next trip, consider your key needs and travel style. Focus on gadgets that will solve your unique pain points and enhance the experience. And don’t forget the basics – having a durable suitcase, a quality toiletry bag, passport holder, and comfortable walking shoes can go a long way too. With the right gear in tow, you’ll be equipped for an amazing trip!

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