7 Gadgets to Pack when Traveling

Travel isn't what it used to be. Evolving technology makes seeing the world more convenient and secure. Whether you're planning a family vacation, weekend at the beach, or business trip in Prague, here are 7 gadgets that'll help make your trip enjoyable.

1. Smartphone

Practically a staple in modern life, smartphones can come in handy in all types of situations. Snap a few photos, get directions, even find the best restaurants in Paris for your romantic getaway. Keep in mind that whether or not you can connect to a network depends on your carrier.

2. Digital Camera

As smartphone cameras up their megapixel game, digital cameras may seem like a thing of the past. However, packing a digital camera can come in handy if your phone gets lost, suffers water damage, or flat out stops working. Whether you're planning a camping trip, or an international excursion, pick a camera that can handle the elements. Look at slim yet sturdy models that can withstand extreme temperatures, moisture and impact. A high megapixel count and generous optical zoom don't hurt, either.

3. Laptop or Tablet

Tablets are becoming more and more interchangeable with their laptop brethren. Their thin, lightweight design and long battery life make them ideal for plane and train rides, and video-chatting features make keeping in touch with loved ones a snap. Even lower-end models offer impressive functionality at a fraction of the cost of a laptop.

If you're not tablet-savvy, you can bring a tried and true laptop. The best model for you depends on where you're going and how hefty the rest of your luggage is. There's a diverse selection of thin and portable laptops on the market for light travelers. If you're going to be away from home for a longer period, it may be helpful to pack a tablet and a laptop. Campers might do better without either.

4. Battery Charger

Leave your bulky charger bricks at home and pack a portable battery charger. Many models can charge multiple gadgets at once on a plane, in a car, on from a standard wall socket in your hotel room. For even more convenience, you can forego the cables and opt for a wireless electromagnetic charging pad. These gadgets use inductive charging to juice up your laptop, tablet, smartphone, portable gaming consoles, and other electronic devices. The types of gadgets supported depends on the model of the charger.

5. Portable Reading Light

Illuminating, but not intrusive like a flashlight, a portable LED reading light provides just the right amount of brightness for a few nighttime chapters or just finding your way to the bathroom at 3am without disrupting your companion's z's.

6. Surge Protector

If you're packing lots of gadgets, chances are your hotel room will be short a few sockets. A surge protector lets you plug in several devices while using up only one wall outlet. As a bonus, it also protects your devices from unstable currents due to inclement weather, power outages, and other unexpected happenings.

7. Portable Digital Scale

An indispensable tool for flyers checking in baggage. Find out how much your luggage weighs and avoid overweight charges. Many models can support up to 100 lbs or more.

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