It’s an awesome fact when you stop to think about it: we’re the most connected generation in human history. Cell phones, email, navigation, smart watches, FaceTime, SnapChats, Tinder—never before has the entire world (and all its proclivities) been at our fingertips as it is now.
And we’re probably the most mobile, too, as far as geography goes. Planes, trains, automobiles, cruise ships, Segways, Ubers…
But, the cardinal rule in a frequent traveler’s handbook is, expect the unexpected—and traveling unprepared is an invitation for disaster. From lengthy flight delays and missed connections, to losing luggage or being stranded in an unfamiliar place, part of the experience of exploring the world includes being well-equipped to handle whatever comes your way. So, to ensure that you and your clan will never be stranded or unconnected, ever again, without further ado, here are 8 Gear Essentials for the Traveling Fool:
When driving on a family vacation or business trip, you commonly run into two issues with your phone; running out of battery power, and where to keep it handy while driving. Also, we all know the angst of coming to a critical navigation point on the map app, whilst watching the phone’s battery floating precariously at 8%. The beauty of the sleek Safety Essentials Car Kit is, you’ll keep both hands firmly on the wheel, the phone is mounted in clear view and at arm’s length, and it’s high-speed charging like a momma bear. Custom designed for both Android and iPhone, this auto-centric mobile traveler has everything you need for road trips and commutes, worry-free from charging or accessibility concerns. Included in the kit
- The MagBuddy Air Vent Mount, which firmly secures the smartphone at eye level and easy reach for navigation, hands-free calling and music control.
- Dual USB Car Charger with 4.8A max. output that can fast-charge two devices simultaneously.
- A heavy-duty Certified MFi Lightning® Cable or Hybrid USB-C and Micro USB Cable to keep your device juiced to the gills through even the longest of road trips.
The MagBuddy’s powerful magnetic base also firmly grips GPS devices, MP3 players-- even tablets-- and mounts to the vent without any arms, legs or brackets, so it won’t snag cables, or block ports or buttons. $39.99 MSRP.
The car isn’t the only place gear can be left high and dry. Back in the day, you may have never left home without your traveler’s checks, but these days, constant connectivity is essential. Especially if you’re going somewhere outdoors, public or remote, a portable power bank is as essential as a bathroom. Why risk hoping to find a plug for your wall charger when you can have your own plug with you at all times? This is where the VOLT quickly becomes your best friend. About the size of a book and much lighter, the Naztech VOLT is a 27000mAh power plant, replete with three high-speed USB ports (USB 3.0, Adaptive Fast Charge and USB-C), and a priceless AC outlet that’ll even charge your ravenous laptop. The AFC port charges 4 times faster than standard USB, and the USB-C port will deliver lightning-fast 5V/3A output to a Macbook. Durable and compact, the VOLT is ready to be tossed in a travel bag, briefcase, or backpack, and watch your back throughout your journey. Don’t leave home without it. $199.99 MSRP.
The realistic downside to power banks is, unless
charged themselves first, they’re of no use to anything else. Not so with the
REV Portable Battery. When plugged into
an outlet using its Adaptive Fast Charge wall charger, the REV can recharge its internal
battery (twice as fast as other high-capacity batteries), PLUS one additional
device, at the same time-- maximizing time and efficiency when there’s only one
wall plug available. It also features a very handy LCD readout, so you always
know how much charge is left when you’re out n’ about. If you’re looking for
close to the same power capacity as the VOLT, but don’t anticipate the need for
an AC outlet-- and need more packing space for your trip-- the sleek, compact
REV is the ticket. $119.99 MSRP.
For the consummate business traveler, remoteness might not be the issue, but a revolving door of hotels and conference rooms sounds awfully familiar. In that case, the mighty mite SOLO is probably the best power source to go with. The Naztech SOLO is a potent combination of power and mobility, providing both a high-speed charger and portable battery for smartphones and tablets. This robust, little power bank-- equipped with foldable wall prongs and 5200mAh internal battery—will keep your devices powered and running all day, whether you’re near a plug or out in an overrun coffee bistro. Its 3A rapid input and pass-through charging features ensure that, when connected to an AC outlet, not only will SOLO recharge 3 times faster than standard portable batteries, it can also rapid-charge 2 USB devices at the same time. Up in the air? Don’t go solo, go SOLO. $69.99 MSRP.
As important as the cell phone, charger and power battery—though far less appreciated—is the humble yet indispensable charging cable. Over countless trips they’ve been forgotten, lost, destroyed or left plugged in at random destinations, replaced out of desperation by some overpriced, inferior gas station cables of dubious origin. Don’t let that happen to you (again). The 6-ft. 3-Way Hybrid provides a single charging cable with quick-change adapters for USB-C, Lightning and Micro USB formats, able to charge all of your mobile devices—including tablets, notebooks, Bluetooth headphones and speakers, cameras and gaming consoles-- and eliminate the need to pack any others on future trips. The thickly-braided, heavily-shielded Hybrid is incredibly bendable, built to last forever, and ready to convert into precisely the connection format you need in a heartbeat. Buy two of them! Unless, of course, you LIKE gas station electronics. $29.99 MSRP.
Planes, trains, airports and rail stations are not exactly ideal places for peace and decompression, but if your travels stick you there a lot, then these over-the-ear, noise-cancelling BT headphones are exactly what you need to make your escape. Housing 40mm neodymium drivers, the i9 produces crystal-clear, stereo sound with a distinct separation of treble, midrange and bass. Charged and wireless, they deliver 20 hours of music with a crisp Bluetooth 4.1 connection at up to 33 feet. Or, they also come with an aux cable if you just want to tune in, turn on and plug in. Just want to hear silence? The i9’s NoiseHush technology works wonders at shutting out the world and leaving you and your nucleus to yourselves. Adorned with the sensuous embrace of memory-foam pads and equipped with swivel cups for packing away, the i9 will easily replace anyone else as your Favorite Traveling Buddy.
For the iPhone or iPad-carrying traveler, consider the Xtra Drive Mini, a microSD card reader that liberates its user into a cloud-free world of endless memory, ceaseless entertainment and boundless photo albums. A pretty profound claim for such diminutive gear (about the size of a thumb), but the Mini does just that, with the potential of harboring up to 256GG of memory, and able to store, transport and share up to 170,000 photos, 74,000 songs, or even play 72 hours of video with a simple plug-and-play maneuver. There is a risk, though: such a device could quickly become habitual for frequent vacationers, businesspersons, foodies, photographers, students, teachers, bloggers and cat owners, alike. And the Mini is one less thing you’ll have to remember to pack, ‘cause it’ll always be on your key chain. $59.99 MSRP.
Think about it; your phone’s probably in your hands more than anything else, every single day. And while you’re thinking about that, think about all the places you go and everything you do—especially on a trip—with the phone in your hand. It’s no wonder there are so many incidents of breakage-- and a wonder there aren’t more (or outbreaks of cholera). Still, the new phones’ screens keep getting bigger and bigger, just begging for something to take a crack at them. It’s not up for debate, my friend, you’ve got to get protection. Designed specifically for the most recent iPhone and Galaxy smartphones, Naztech’s HD Tempered Glass offers the ultimate armor for your phone’s screen. Its deceptively ultra-thin window is made of SIX layers of drop/scratch/shatter-proof Japanese Asahi Glass, and equipped with a touch-screen technology that perfectly mimics bare screen accuracy. Even if you’re not a certifiable klutz or menace to society (bless your heart), here’s the best practical gift you can get yourself. $34.99 MSRP.