Travel gets better every year thanks to technological advancements on planes, at airports and in your day to day life. Are you headed for a getaway? Traveling for business, pleasure or both? Whether you're making your way by plane, train or automobile, no trip is complete these days without digital accessories. The problem is, with so many gadgets and varieties of each on the market, it can be hard to choose.
We rounded up some of the top tech accessories specifically for travelers. If you travel with tech, these accessories are must-haves.
1) Know Roaming Smart Sticker
If you’ve left the country, chances are you’ve felt the wrath of data roaming’s dagger in your phone bill. You’ll be safe from that happening with the KnowRoaming Smart Sticker. The KnowRoaming Smart Sticker is an app and an actual SIM sticker that protects your pockets while keeping you connected internationally. When you’re home, the sticker does nothing. You won’t even notice it’s there. When you land in a new country, the sticker automatically activates and switches you onto a local carrier.
Unlimited data rates start as low as $7.99 per day in a majority of countries in Europe like France, United Kingdom, Spain and tons more. If you prefer pay-as-you-go, the rates are super low for data, phone calls and texts. Basically, if you need data on the go and travel often, this will change your life.
2) Plastc Card
Plastc has changed the credit card game for the better. Plastc allows you to combine all of your credit cards, gift cards and loyalty cards into one secure card. Up to 20 cards can be stored on the Plastc Card. An e-ink touch screen on the card allows you to scroll through and choose which card you want to use for each payment, and then you swipe it exactly like a regular credit card at all the places you already frequent. If you’re worried about security, don’t be, as Plastc comes with protection. The magnetic stripe and NFC chip are disabled until you select your card, preventing any fraudulent activity. A secure card PIN of your choice, photo ID, proximity alerts if you get too far from your card, and ‘Return Me’ mode, are all features with Plastc. If you do happen to lose your card, you can completely wipe your card data remotely from your smart phone.
3) Travel Power Strip
What is it with most hotels offering only one or two outlets? We have all been there -- the inconvenience of having to pull the hotel nightstand out so you can plug in your phone. Is there anyone who travels these days that doesn’t have something that requires recharging? In cases where multiple devices are in need of recharging, a travel power strip comes in super handy. The Monster Power Strip, which is about $15 on Amazon and elsewhere, also has a USB plug. Another option: Belkin has one with two USB plugs, but it’s twice as expensive.
4) Home Monitoring Camera
Watch what’s happening at home from anywhere in the world. The device is a discreet HD camera that works with a phone app to allow travelers to connect with family through Wi-Fi. Use the 24-hour playback to keep a tab on kids and pets, or the two-way microphone to do a free video chat.
5) Kensington ComboSaver Portable Notebook Lock
A notebook computer is stolen every 53 seconds in the U.S. It says so right on the box this lock comes in, citing 2005 FBI statistics. So imagine how fast your laptop — and the data it contains, might fly out the door if you left it unattended in a Starbucks in London or Paris? Kensington has been making notebook security systems for years, and theirs is the brand you see most often in college dorm rooms and other areas where laptops are easily swiped.
If the only smart feature you want is the ability to track your bag, save some money and just buy a LugLoc. All you have to do is put the tracking gizmo, which combines GSM and Bluetooth technology, in your suitcase. With a tap on the app, a map will appear showing its location. Genius.
7) Olloclip 4-in-1-Lens
If you have an iPhone and you take a lot of pictures, especially when traveling check out the Olloclip which slides onto the corner of your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. The Olloclip acts as a wide-angle lens for your mobile camera, doubling your field of view and capturing robust street scenes and landscapes. Also included: a fish-eye lens and two macro lenses for portraits and detail shots. What’s even better? It’s under $100.00.
8) Logitech Keys-To-Go
This universal keyboard is just a quarter-inch thick and connects via Bluetooth to any Android or iOS device. It’s a top-rated travel tech accessory for its mechanical keys, which are dramatically easier to use (and less prone to typos) than the touch pads you’ll commonly find elsewhere.
9) USB Wall Charger
Think about how many items you take with you when you travel. Kindle? iPod? iPhone? After a long flight/flights, all might need recharging. One option is plugging them all into a laptop with USB outlets, the other is an affordable little piece of awesomeness. The USB Wall Charger plugs right into the wall, and has outlets for multiple USB devices. The Monoprice 8856 is a great buy for $7.80, but there are similar products available on Amazon for similar prices, like the PowerGen for $15. Another option: Travel in the car much? How about a USB charger that plugs into the cigarette plug. Many come with two USB outlets so your devices don’t have to fight for over which gets juice.
10) Wallet Ninja
Possibly the weirdest looking, but most useful thing you could ever put in your card holder. Why? Because you just never know when you're going to need a tool to open a letter or a bottle or a box - all in the same outing. Wallet Ninja, a credit card-sized pocket multi-tool, is definitely a great travelling companion. The 16-in-one device, made from heat-treated steel, is also a ruler, a phone stand, a peeler, a screwdriver, and probably offers more uses than we can put into words, so be careful how you use it. It's TSA-approved for on-board use as well.