Whether you are looking for Black Friday sales or Cyber Monday sales, or just want some gift ideas for the travelers in your life, the following are either things that I use on every trip, or are things my Glam Italia Tour travelers have used and I have thought were pretty cool. Almost everything on this list is under $30.
Best Travel Gadgets
The absolute MVP travel gadget this past year was my Apple Air Tag. I actually have a few of them in different bags, but he peace of mind I got every time I landed and could see my suitcase was at the same airport as I was, was worth its weight in gold.
At the time of writing this post Amazon has AirTags at their lowest price ever.
You probably already know that in the post-Covid world airlines have been losing up to 10% of checked luggage. Travelers with Air Tags could at least tell the airline exactly where their bag was, be it in the wrong country or be it in the misplaced luggage room. Personally I flew 8 internationals and 16 domestics this year and breathed a massive sigh of relief when I could see my suitcase had landed with me. Available in single units for under $30 on Amazon
You should always fly with a fully charged external power bank. Although many planes now have chargers in the seat back, they don’t always work. If your flight gets delayed/rerouted you need to be able to have phone/electronics access.
You also need an external battery for when you are out an about on your trip. Typically while traveling we take more photos and videos than usual, and that uses up your phone battery really fast. You can find portable chargers in a variety of sizes and weights, most of which are light enough to keep in your handbag and not weigh you down. See Portable Phone Chargers here on Amazon.
If traveling to a foreign country, most of the time you will need a travel adaptor to not only configure that country’s different plug shape, but also to convert the electricity to their voltage. Without an adaptor, should they have a higher voltage than your home country, your electronics will fry the moment you plug them in. (The U.S. runs on 110 volts whereas Europe runs on 220.) Similarly, if your country runs on 220 volts and the guest country is 110, your electronics will operate at half speed.
I have been using a small packing cube for my electronics, but several of my tour travelers this year had these electronics cases. They come in several colors.
These electronics cases are quite a slim fit, so pack easily into your hand luggage/carry on bag. I always recommend bringing a back up charging cord and a back up charging block, as these both have a habit of disappearing/being left behind. See Electronics cases on Amazon here.
Like the electronics case above, this handheld fan is also on my personal Christmas list!
This past summer there was a heatwave in Southern Europe and it was very hot every day. Some of my travelers brought these handheld fans with them, and I seriously wished I had one! The fans are small enough to slip into your handbag, yet are surprisingly effective! I also like that they have a USB charger, so you’re not having to mess around with buying batteries. See handheld fans here on Amazon.
This one is also on my Christmas list. It doesn’t hurt to have a powerful mini flashlight with you when you travel.
Whether you’re walking home in the dark or whether someone has blown the electricity in your apartment, (happens all the time in Italy where I travel all summer!) it is definitely advantageous to have a more powerful light source than your cellphone. This mini flashlight measures less than 5 inches and only weighs 4 oz. It fits easily into a handbag, or clips onto a pocket. See it here on Amazon.
I have had this tiny hairdryer for several years now, and it is definitely another travel MVP. Although incredibly small it is also incredibly powerful. I have very thick hair and am able to blow-dry it in normal time, even though this dryer is tiny.
The Titanium part of the dryer gives you a smooth, quick blow-dry, and stops the crazy, static hair you can get from regular hotel hairdryers. At an average price of $35 it is a smoking deal! Check for Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday sales. Find it here on Amazon.
This is another of my absolute MVP travel electronics, and is something I use every day of my life. It took me a while to move into reading digitally, and for the first few years I just used the Kindle App on my iPad. 2 Christmases ago I bought myself a Kindle Paperwhite (bought in the Amazon Black Friday/Cyber Monday for sale. (For $99).
Not only is is amazing for travel, it is has become indispensable in my daily life too. The Kindle Paperwhite holds around 5000 books, is waterproof and glare resistant (perfect if you like reading at the beach or by the pool). There are several different types of Kindles, but I have and love the Paperwhite, so that’s the one I talk about.
Kindles are so lightweight and slim, you can slip them in your handbag and read anywhere. You don’t need to have a light on to read with a Kindle, so can comfortably read without waking the person next to you. I don’t know how I ever managed without mine! See Kindles here on Amazon.
Kindle Unlimited: I bought the Kindle that didn’t come with Kindle Unlimited. (You can add Kindle Unlimited any time) Because kindle books have no manufacturing or shipping costs, most sell for $5 or less. Authors receive the same amount of royalties regardless of whether you buy a $24 paperback or a $4.99 eBook, so you can read very inexpensively with Kindle. You can read library books on Kindle via the Libby App – it connects to most local libraries.
You also have the option of joining Kindle Unlimited. This gives you access to millions of books for free, all covered by your monthly membership fee. All of my books are in Kindle Unlimited, so you can get them free too! Check out Kindle Unlimited here.
For more travel planning information join my monthly newsletter here.