The 5 Best Smart Glasses for Travel in 2023

Ray-Ban Stories Smart Sunglasses are our top pick.

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Best Smart Glasses for Travel

Travel + Leisure / Jaclyn Mastropasqua

From smart TVs to smart suitcases to smartwatches, it seems like everything in our lives now boasts high-tech capabilities. One of the smart wearables that's gaining some steam — after many years of attempts — is smart glasses. As with regular glasses, smart glasses tend to come in many different shapes and sizes, and their functions vary, too. Some play audio, others don’t. Some can shoot stunning, high-resolution video of your travels, while others don’t even have a camera. But all smart glasses have one thing in common: they go far beyond the capabilities of typical frames. 

When choosing our top smart glasses, there were two qualities we valued most of all: practicality and style. That's why we've selected Ray-Ban’s Stories Wayfarer Smart Sunglasses as our best overall pick. These Ray-Bans look like classic Ray-Bans Wayfarers, but they come with a slew of smart features, like a small camera, a speaker, and voice control. But if you have something different in mind, read on — our list has something for every smart glasses seeker.

Best Overall

Ray-Ban Stories Smart Glasses

Ray-Ban Stories


Why We Love It
  • There are both regular lenses and sunglasses available in this style.

What to Consider
  • They can't get wet.

These classic, stylish frames do just about everything smart glasses should do. There’s a camera for taking photos and recording videos (and they come with 4GB of flash storage that can hold about 500 photos or 15 60-second videos). There are also speakers so you can listen to music, and a microphone so you can use voice control to work all the elements. Plus, with the speaker and microphone, you can take hands-free calls without headphones. If you're in a place that calls for quiet, you can also use a touchpad control on the glasses instead. The glasses are even sold with a portable charging case to keep them powered up on the go. What's more, you also have your pick of lenses, from transition lenses to blue-light lenses. The only downside is they are not water-resistant at all — and neither is the case — so you can't wear them in the rain.

Price at time of publish: $299

The Details: Polarized lens | 5MP camera | Microphone | Wireless internet | No water resistance | 2-hour battery life

Best for Music

Bose Frames Audio Sunglasses

Bose Frames


Why We Love It
  • They allow you to listen to music or a podcast while remaining aware of your surroundings.

What to Consider
  • They’re available as sunglasses only.

Audio specialists Bose have crafted smart frames designed to immerse your ears in headphone-less sound — a great thing for travelers looking to stay aware of their surroundings while they listen to music or podcasts, or take a phone call. While the audio quality might not match that of headphones, these sunglasses do provide substantially rich sound. One of the quirkier features is the volume control; press a button on the frames then turn your head left or right to adjust the levels. (Of course, you could adjust the volume on your phone, too.) Keep in mind these frames come with tinted lenses only, thus are not for indoor use. 

Price at time of publish: $199

The Details: Non-polarized lens | No camera | Microphone | Bluetooth | No water resistance | 3.5-hour battery life

Best Budget

TechKen Sunglasses

TechKen Sunglasses


Why We Love It
  • You can play music and receive phone calls while running or hiking.

What to Consider
  • They use earbuds instead of speakers to play audio.

This pair of sunglasses may look a little, well, sporty, but for such an affordable pair of smart glasses, it's worth putting up with that aesthetic. Compatible with both Apple and Samsung devices (you connect to your phone via Bluetooth), these glasses allow you to listen to music or take calls all day long thanks to their long battery life. They don't have many other frills, though, and instead of miniature speakers, there are earbuds attached to the glasses that you need to finagle into your ears. But at least it's more difficult to lose earbuds when they're attached to your sunglasses! 

Price at time of publish: $16

The Details: Polarized lens | No camera | Microphone | Bluetooth | No water resistance | 8-hour battery life

Best Digital Assistant

Amazon Echo Frames

Amazon Echo Frames


Why We Love It
  • They have tinted frames and blue light-filtering frames.

What to Consider
  • There's no camera.

If you love Amazon Alexa and use the service regularly at home, you’ll love these — they bring Alexa with you on the go. Ultimately, these glasses are designed to let you be screen-free, and therefore leave your hands free, too. The glasses can read your phone notifications and text messages, call friends and family, adjust all the Alexa-connected smart devices in your home, and play music, podcasts, or the news. Unlike some other smart glasses on this list, these are splash-resistant, so you don't have to worry about them shorting out if they get a little sweaty. The frames have two lens types — tinted and blue-light-filtering — so there are options for both outdoor and indoor use.

Price at time of publish: $270

The Details: Polarized lens, prescription ready | No camera | Microphone | Bluetooth | Splash-resistant | 2-4 hour battery life

Best Goggles

OhO Camera Ski Goggles

OhO Camera Ski Goggles


Why We Love It
  • The goggles shoot in 4K, and the camera angle can be adjusted.

What to Consider
  • OhO works better with iPhones than Androids.

Instead of adding a separate camera to your ski gear list, go two-for-one with these goggles that feature an embedded video camera. The waterproof ski goggles are perfectly designed for capturing your excursions on the slopes, from standard still photography to 4K video with a variety of FPS (frames per second) settings. We love that you can adjust the camera to two different angles depending on the view you want to capture, and that they come with a 32GB memory card (but feature the capacity for memory cards up to 128GB). Though these goggles lack other smart functions like phone call capability and audio playback, we do think the camera is impressive on its own.

Price at time of publish: $350

The Details: Mirror multi-color lens | 24FPS, 30FPS, 60FPS, 120FPS | No microphone | WiFi | Waterproof | 70 minute battery life

Tips for Buying Smart Glasses for Travel 

Decide how you’ll use them

In general, smart glasses are great for a variety of hands-free activities, but it’s best to ask yourself exactly how you’ll use your frames. The primary functions of smart glasses are to hear audio (from music to phone calls) and take photos and/or videos — but not all smart glasses have both functions. Next, it's worth weighing secondary features. For example, if you want to film your latest ski run or active hike, the best choice would be something that's waterproof.

Choose the best style for your needs

While you should consider overall aesthetics when selecting smart glasses, you also need to pay close attention to the lenses. Most smart glasses are sunglasses, which are great for outdoor use but can't really be used inside. See if your smart glasses come with clear lenses or blue-light–filtering lenses for indoor use. And, if you wear prescription glasses, see if the smart glasses can be fitted with prescription lenses.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What are smart glasses?

    Smart glasses are standard glasses embedded with “smart” technology — most commonly, that includes a microphone and speakers for phone calls and playing audio. Depending on the model, smart glasses may also be able to take photos and videos and even connect to other smart devices in your home. They are well-suited for hands-free activities, such as walking around town when you're sightseeing, going on a hike, or even skiing. But you can also use them just for your own convenience, as a sort of combination of headphones and a hands-free mobile phone. Most smart glasses are sunglasses, but some have clear lenses, and others even have blue-light-filtering capabilities.

  • How do smart glasses work?

    Smart glasses typically connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth, allowing you to receive calls and tap into your music playlist or podcasts. As such, smart glasses need to be charged before use — some may come with a portable recharging case, but most will need to be plugged into a power source with a cable, just like a phone or camera. Once charged, smart glasses last anywhere from a couple of hours to a full day. But the battery life will depend on how you are using them. 

  • How can I use smart glasses while traveling?

    Smart glasses can be helpful for traveling as they are designed to be hands-free. It might be fun to take some photos or videos right from the glasses themselves rather than reach for your phone or camera. They can also be used to set reminders to help you keep track of your schedule. Some models can even connect to other smart devices, allowing you to quickly and easily check in on your home while you’re out exploring. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the audio functions allow you to stay alert to what's going on around you, whereas headphones often cut you off from your environment. And it's always a good idea to be alert and aware of your surroundings.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Stefanie Waldek is a freelance travel writer with nearly a decade of experience. For this article, she evaluated smart glasses based on their smart features and appearance, and she read dozens of customer reviews.

Related: The 13 Best Sunglasses for Travel of 2023

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