Gift Guide 2017: Travel Tech

November 17, 2017

1:30 pm

The only problem with going home for the holidays? The actual process of going home. Travel is never fun, and shuffling through an endless line just to wind up in a cramped airline seat for hours is enough to sap anyone’s holiday spirit before it begins. And in today’s ever-more connected world, many people aren’t just traveling across the holiday season.

Which is why the next gift guide in our holiday series takes a look at travel. Here are the best tech gadgets, gear, and specially modified sweatshirts you may want to consider gifting to that frequent traveler in your life.

Gear to Carry On

You can split travel tech into two buckets: The tech that’s designed to be carried around on your person whenever you travel, and the tech can stay safely packed away in your luggage until you reach your destination. First up, here’s a look at the best light-weight, easy-to-reach carry-on tech.

BauBax Sweatshirt, $120

What makes a sweatshirt a travel item, you might ask? Well, this one has a built-in inflatable neck pillow in the hood, a zippable pocket for your passport and a pen/stylus for a zipper. The whole thing’s made with microfiber cloth and includes an attached eye mask and gloves, to boot.

The men’s version is linked and pictured above, but a women’s version comes with all the same perks.

RFID Blocking Leather Passport Holder Wallet, $8

This simple, sleek passport wallet blocks RFID and comes in 8 colors, all genuine leather. It’s not flashy, but no one’s passport should be.

1Voice Wireless In-Ear Headphones with Charging Case, $50

One must for a large trip is plenty of tunes or podcasts, and you’ll need earbuds to play them on that won’t lose their charge. These ones run for about seven hours on a single charge, and come with their own portable charging case, which itself can recharge the ear buds about six or seven times in a single day. Days only have 24 hours, so don’t ask me how that math works out. It runs on Bluetooth 4.2, syncs to two devices, and has a built-in mic for answering calls.

Gorilla Power 4-Port USB World Travel Charger, $28

Speaking of keeping things charged, you’ll want a portable hub for all those devices you’ll be operating. Granted, you probably don’t have much more than a smartphone and tablet, but if you’re travelling with a group of friends or family, you’ll be everyone’s hero when you get inevitably get trapped in a corner of the airport without any outlets in sight. This one has four USB ports, letting it charge four devices at a time, and comes with adapters that let it handle Australian, US, UK, and EU outlets alike.

Gear to Make the Travel Life Better

Travellers can get discombobulated: They’re always waking up in a new location, with none of the comforting routines of home. With these next travel tech gadgets, you’ll find easy ways to inject a few creature-comforts into even the drabbest of hotel rooms.

Matte Black Espro Travel Tea Press, $35

Would you believe there was once no truly worthy tea-filtering travel press?

Here’s how Espro, who created the device after a successful Kickstarter campaign, explain the process: “We have created a brand new patent pending tea press system that stops extraction the moment you press it down, while micro-filtering the tea twice bringing the nuances and intensity that only a press can create. It’s easy. Pour loose-leaf tea in mug, then add hot water. Stir. Wait 2-7 minutes. Press and Enjoy.”

The device makes 12 oz of tea and holds 15 oz when functioning as a travel mug.

Travel Size Foam Roller, $13

The foam roller is one of those things that is difficult to convert people to, but amazing once you’ve gotten used to it. And if you’re in the tech community, you probably spend way too much time hunched forward typing furious on a laptop. Throw this light-weight sucker into your luggage and you’ll have a way to release those tight muscles and tendons no matter where you are in the world. It might not come with any bells or whistles, but that’s why it works so well.

Kodak 180° Panoramic HD WiFi Security Camera, $70

Security is important, and most people don’t want to opt for an entire built-in system. But even if that expense isn’t holding you back, having a portable security option is appealing. This camera records motion-triggered video clips, storing them in the cloud and even alerting you immediately through its own IFTTT channel. It comes with a base, but you can detach it in order to move to everywhere you’d like. Take it on your travels or leave it at home while you’re away.

Luggage

One type of travel tech that we can’t leave without mentioning: The best travel luggage.

OXA Travel Backpack/Duffle/Shoulder Bag, $38

Need a classy 12 x 7 x 18 inch camping backpack? Or duffle bag? Or shoulder bag? Or all three in one item? You’ve got it.

This bag is made with high density cotton canvas and PU leather, making it both comfortable for packing around essentials and durable enough to do so across the world. And at $38 with a one-year warranty, it’s an affordable way to travel.

Find more TechCo-Approved gear and gadgets for your home on TechCo

Stay tuned for the rest of our guide throughout the season. We’ll be covering holiday guides for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, the DIYer, cannabis, entrepreneur, STEM, and various others.

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Adam is a writer with an interest in a variety of mediums, from podcasts to comic books to video essays to novels to blogging — too many, basically. He's based out of Seattle, and remains a staunch defender of his state's slogan: "sayWA." In his spare time, he recommends articles about science fiction on Twitter, @AdamRRowe

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