Cool Gadgets

Travel forces you to interact with the world in new ways, and cool gadgets do much the same. (It’s particularly thrilling when you can combine both.) Technology has radically reshaped the way we travel, from the advent of GPS, to smart phones, and even selfie sticks. Travel + Leisure stays abreast of all of the coolest gadgets designed to aid travelers on their journeys, from revolutionary robot suitcases and robot room service to a hotel fully manned by robots. But it's not all robots. Tech news increasingly overlaps with travel news: these are the devices travelers use to organize and plan their lives.Sorting Through the Best Tech GadgetsA cell phone game leads players young and old to explore the physical world in new ways. A lens the size of a keychain fob reveals whether or not sunscreen has been applied evenly. A camera shows its users existing images similar to the photograph they’ve framed before they ever close the shutter. A motorized suitcase gives rides to travelers (who sit astride it like a hobby horse) on their way to an airport gate. Drones fly to remote villages or difficult to navigate neighborhoods bearing supplies to combat Zika.The most transformative tech gadgets often look unassuming: when was the last time you gazed at your EZPass with admiration? Yet electronic toll-collection systems have saved drivers countless hours of sitting in traffics. A smart phone, for all it can do, is similarly compact, and travelers can use it to do everything a travel agent would have in the past, and more: book hotels or rent apartments, meet people, arrange rides, buy tickets, find restaurants, and make reservations. Other gadgets are geared more for the outdoors, from popular GoPro portable video cameras to handheld GPS satellite devices and solar-powered cell-phone chargers. Travel + Leisure reviews the latest tech, from smart watches to virtual reality devices, to help you find the gear worth the investment.

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The Best Noise-cancelling Headphones for Every Type of Traveler

A good pair of headphones should be at the top of every traveler’s essentials list — and we're not just talking about the pair that came with your smartphone. Even if you’re not the type of person who plans to spend the entire duration of a 10-hour flight listening to music or watching movies, you’re still going to want to tuck a pair of headphones into your carry-on bag. Why? Because falling asleep on a plane or train is not the easiest or most relaxing thing to do. And your best bet to block out the sound of that baby crying behind you or the couple loudly discussing their vacation itinerary in the next seat: a quality pair of noise-cancelling headphones. RELATED:The Best Waterproof Headphones for Swimming, Water Sports, and More So what sets noise-cancelling headsets apart from their standard counterparts? There are two components and we will get a little scientific here, so bear with us. Each pair has a miniature built-in microphone that picks up sound waves from background noises — the buzzing of the airplane’s engine or your neighbor’s snoring, for example. Then, an integrated noise-cancelling system emits waves of the same amplitude but of the opposite phase, effectively cancelling out the annoying ambient noises. The result — if you’ve gotten a high-quality pair of headphones — should be silence. That way, you can enjoy your podcast binge without having to turn up the volume really high to block out the background noise. Or you can use a white noise app like Noisli to drown out any annoying sounds. One more important bit to note: the difference between active and passive noise-cancelling is that the latter uses physical insulation such as better soundproofing materials to reduce ambient sounds. Here, we divided the best noise-cancelling headphones into categories to help you find the pair that best suits your travel preferences and needs. Love a great deal? Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter and we’ll send you our favorite travel products each week.

Fly Around the World Without Leaving Home Thanks to a New Version of Microsoft's Flight Simulator

Flight Simulator 2020 is the reboot of Microsoft’s popular game, which puts players in the pilot seat.