The Ultimate Tech Essentials for Travel
The gear you see here was road tested from coast to coast and across a couple continents — by both Apple fans and PC devotees — and after all those test runs, we can’t imagine traveling without ‘em.
Check out the full line-up of 2017’s Ultimate Travel Essentials.
Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones
You've seen them here before, but the QC 35s are still the best noise-cancelling headphones we've tried. This model's wireless, but comes with a cord so you can keep listening when the Bluetooth battery dies.
To buy: amazon.com, $349
Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Headphones
Eliminate distracting noises while traveling, or don’t. These in-ear noise-cancelling headphones from Bose make it your choice at the touch of a button.
To buy: amazon.com, $249
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom
It’s tougher than it looks: UE’s latest speaker can survive being dropped or drenched, so you can rock out poolside (or as one tester learned, leave it outside in a thunderstorm) without fear of shorting the circuitry. Plus, it weighs less than a pound.
To buy: amazon.com, $100
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Type Cover
This sleek, user-friendly hybrid is thin and light, but with an expansive, high-quality display. The built-in kickstand makes in-flight use a breeze.
To buy: amazon.com, from $625
HP Spectre x360
This is one sleek machine, with coppery trim and a slim half-inch profile. Fast processing and a 4K touch screen make the device shine.
To buy: hp.com, $1,449
iPad Pro & Smart Keyboard
You can finally leave your laptop at home. New iOS 11 functions — like multitasking and file management — make the 10.5-inch iPad Pro a worthy substitute. And with a much larger screen and interactive pencil, it allows for a more productive travel experience than previous models.
Time for an upgrade: the new MacBook Pro is thinner and lighter than the Air, but with faster performance, a crisper display, and up to 16GB of RAM. In other words, it's a no-brainer for travel. And though we were skeptical at first, the Touch Bar won us over — the instant webpage access and fingerprint unlock function are both lifesavers.
To buy: apple.com, from $1,299
iPhone 7 Plus
The supersize Plus won us over with its photo capabilities — the dual-lens, wide-angle camera alone makes it worth the purchase, and we loved the universally flattering portrait mode. Add to that a longer battery life, stereo speakers, and a water-resistant shell, and it's easily the best pick for travelers in Apple's lineup.
To buy: apple.com, from $769
Unmatched battery life, a stellar camera, and Google Assistant make this phone the best Android pick for frequent fliers. It even got rave reviews from our Apple loyalists.
To buy: google.com, from $650
Flight 001 4-in-1
This modular adapter has plugs for 150 countries in one bright, compact package. It's color-coded, so you can check compatibility with a glance at Flight 001's companion map.
To buy: amazon.com, $25
Fancii Cool Mist Personal Mini Humidifier
Packing a humidifier can alleviate the chapped lips and moisture-sapped skin that crop up in dry climates or after flying. This model is small, cordless, and ideal for a hotel room — just supply a water bottle and a few AA batteries.
To buy: amazon.com, $36
These handy cloths provide streak-free disinfecting and come in graphic packaging that’s easy to spot swimming in the bottom of an overstuffed bag.
To buy: sephora.com, $6
Once you own this pay-as-you-go hotspot device (you can rent one, too, if you need it for a shorter trip), pressing start will activate a 24-hour pass for up to five devices to access unlimited data. Day passes cost as little as $8 and cover more than 100 countries.
To buy: amazon.com, $80
Clip or stick this Bluetooth tracker to valuables and never lose your keys again. Or your wallet. Or your kid. (Kidding. Sort of.) The battery is guaranteed to last for a year, and it’s compatible with both iOS and Android devices.
To buy: amazon.com, $25
Flux Charger Plus
It's slimmer than a smartphone, but with 10,000 mAh of charging power and built-in micro-USB and lightning connecters, this portable battery has more than enough juice to keep multiple gadgets going strong.
To buy: amazon.com, $60
The Oasis is easily the best e-reader on the market today. It's lightweight and user-friendly, with page turn buttons, a touchscreen, and an adjustable backlight that's glowy, not harsh. And it'll last through even your longest flights: After 14 hours of reading, the Oasis still had a 75 percent charge.
To buy: amazon.com, $290