While so many “must-have” travel gadgets from days of yore have been ousted by apps, there is still a lot to be said for some seriously handy hardware to take with you on your next trip.
So, you may no longer need a travel alarm clock, but more-connected consumers need to find new ways to work longer, pack smarter and heck, even have a little fun on the road.
Here, we bring you our 10 favorite travel gadgets, gizmos and tools, so take a trip through the gallery to see our recommendations for the geek on the go and, as always, let us know yours in the comments below.
Travel Tech: 10 Must-Pack Gadgets for Geeks on the Go
You won’t believe how tidy your laptop bag can be until you try the Grid-It organization system. Made up of a weave of rubberized elastic bands, it holds small objects, their respective chargers and whatnot, neatly in place. This simple-but-brilliant system means you can find what you’re looking for without tipping out the contents of your bag in frustration.
2. Heys eCase
This back-friendly wheelie case will save your shoulders from strain while offering carry-on-safe dimensions, as well as a three-digit combination TSA lock should you check it in. With accordian-type pockets, the eCase can keep files and folders separate from clothing and other personal items. A padded laptop sleeve rounds off the rather tidy package. Truly a hero-in-a-hardshell, the eCase comes in a variety of colors and designs.
3. Targus Premium Laptop Charger
This is like your existing, standard issue laptop charger brick, but so much better. About the size of a BlackBerry and boasting a seriously sleek design, the Targus charger will power both your laptop and one other mobile device from a wall socket, on a plane or in a car. If you can afford it, ditch the brick and we’re sure you won’t look back.
4. Lewis N. Clark Belle Hop Travel Door Alarm
For anyone who can never quite get a good night’s sleep in a hotel room due to security worries, this gadget can help allay those fears a little. Its high-pitched 91-decibel alarm will alert you if your hotel room door is opened. Just don’t forget to disengage it before you answer the door to room service.
5. Logiix USB Power Cube
This teeny cube-shaped USB charger features a plug design that folds up when not in use so it won’t take up too much space in your luggage. It’s perfect for quick-charging a USB-powered gadget when you don’t have the time to get your laptop out.
6. Heys xScale Pro
Anyone who has been stung for overweight charges will see the value in the xScale PRO. This portable gizmo will weigh luggage of up to 110lbs (50kg) so you can ensure you’re on the right side of safe before you hit the scales.
7. CyberPower Extension Power Cord
For the true gadget-lover, an extension cord is a must-have travel accessory. If you’re traveling to foreign climes, then an extension cord will mean you only need one adapter and you can juice three gadgets at once. For domestic travelers it instantly solves any not-enough-power-sockets-in-cheap-hotel-rooms issues. Well worth the room in your luggage.
8. Jawbone Jambox
For the frequent traveler, a decent speaker is a hotel room luxury that’s worth splurging on. You’ll certainly be rocking out with the wireless Jambox – it’s a penny under $200 – but it has some great features. Although it’s properly portable, it boasts an output capacity of 85 decibels and a 10-hour battery life. You can use it as a speakerphone for cellphone and VoIP calls, and it’s got some amazing customization options via the MyTALK online platform.
9. The Really Tiny Book Light
A truly useful item, this tiny, lightweight lamp can be clipped onto your reading material en route or in your hotel room, and offers surprisingly bright LED illumination. It also doubles as a handy small-scale flashlight to have at your bedside for those moments when you wake up and can’t quite remember where the light switch is, or for that matter, where you are.
10. Philips Rechargeable Power Pack
A power pack for all your portable electronic devices, this can even keep your laptop going if you get caught short without a power supply. How long it can power a device depands on the gadget, but the claim is up to 60 hours for less power-hungry gizmos. It comes complete with 12 connector tips and a carrying case. Think of it as insurance against long travel delays so you’ll be able to carry on working — or playing — if there’s a holdup.