Traveling abroad can be a disorienting experience. Unfamiliar food, languages, and customs surround you, and you may be tempted to hole up in your hotel room to avoid the chaos. But there is no need to stress about your impending international journey. We have created a list of the eight best tech-savvy gadgets for travel that help turn your trip into a memorable adventure.
- Travel Door Alarm
They say you can’t put a price tag on peace of mind, but the Belle Hop Travel Door Alarm lets you do just that. For only $12, you can have a portable alarm system that provides additional security for your room. The alarm emits a high-pitched noise if there is any movement near your door, alerting you to potential break-ins.
- Wi-Fi Hotspot
You can’t always depend on your hotel to have wireless Internet. Hotels in many countries either do not offer Wi-Fi or charge high rates for a wireless connection. A portable Wi-Fi hotspot provides Internet service no matter where you are, allowing you to be connected at all times. For a reasonably priced Wi-Fi hotspot, rent from XCom Global, which charges a flat $15 per day for unlimited data usage.
- Travel Router
If you know your accommodations have Ethernet but you want to cut the cord, your best bet is a travel router. This small piece of technology wirelessly connects all your Internet-capable gadgets, letting you surf the Web through a smartphone, computer, or other device at the same time. The TP-LINK Wireless Nano Router costs about $20 and supports up to 150 Mbps, which is enough to stream video, make a call via the Internet, and even do a little gaming on your trip.
- Portable Washing Machine
About the size of a bar of soap, the Dolfi portable washer cleans your clothing through ultrasonic technology. All you need is a small basin, water, and detergent. This revolutionary new device has a few caveats, the biggest being that it is still not available for purchase. The company used a crowdfunding campaign to build the portable washer and hopes to start shipping the device in December 2015. Another obstacle is the price: the Dolfi will set you back $109, making it a better choice for frequent travelers that don’t mind spending a little extra for convenience.
- Tile Tracker
For only $25 (even less if you buy a few at once), Tile trackers keep track of your valuables so you don’t have to. Hook these small electronic squares to anything you don’t want to lose, and then use the smartphone app to locate the trackers. Use on expensive possessions like digital cameras or place the tracker in a bag with important documents like your passport to guarantee you don’t lose your essentials while traveling.
- E-Book Reader
While we love the feel of a good old-fashioned paper book, they aren’t the most travel-friendly items for enthusiastic literati. Packing a few books adds weight and takes up tons of space. An e-book reader like the Kindle ($85–$300) solves that problem. These portable electronic devices let you browse, download, and read books on the go using a wireless Internet connection.
- Language Translator
You don’t need to purchase an actual device for translating if you have access to a smartphone with Internet while traveling. Download the free Google Translator App to decipher speech in 40 different languages. If you don’t have a smartphone with Internet while you travel, you can buy the Franklin electronic translator for about $25. Although it does not require an Internet connection, the translator interprets only French, German, Spanish, and Italian words.
- Universal Adaptor
Hands down, the best “bang for your buck” product is a universal travel power adaptor. We like the Targus World Power Travel Adaptor, which sells for a reasonable $20. It works with electrical outlets in more than 100 countries around the world, and the small device easily disassembles for the traveler with a full suitcase.
Even on a tight budget, these affordable tech tools take some of the stress out of worldwide travel. Get a few of these gadgets to prepare for your next international vacation.