The holidays have snuck up on us again, and that means many of us will be traveling to see friends and family or just to get away. Whether you’re headed to far-flung locales or taking a well-earned staycation, there are plenty of gadgets out there that can make your journey much more comfortable. I’ve found some of the best budget-friendly finds on Amazon, designed for all sorts of travelers. I’ve personally tested and vetted all these items to make sure they are worth your hard-earned cash.
You gotta take some photos when you’re traveling. Comes with a super wide angle and macro lens that screw into the same holder. It’s ideal for single lens phones if you’re not ready to spend big bucks to upgrade just for more cameras. You can use it with Apple or Android phones with more than one camera, you just need to position it over the main wide camera.
And it comes with a clip-on LED light, lanyard and polishing cloth? Magic! I can’t believe this is only $40.
What’s a vacation without music? This is a teensy tiny 6.2-ounce Bluetooth speaker that you absolutely need to find space for in your carry on because it’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. It’s only $18 and the sound is pretty impressive with rounded bass. Bonus points: It gets loud enough to fill a small room with music.
But it doesn’t stop there! It also acts as a remote shutter for your camera. It can even act as a speaker from a Windows PC when connected via USB.
Prefer a more familiar brand? The excellent JBL Go 3 has been dipping to as low as $30 in the past few months. Otherwise, check out our full list of the best mini Bluetooth speakers.
Maybe you need a portable charger for your phone. But you also have an Apple Watch. There’s no need to take multiple cords and chargers because the iWalk Apple Watch and phone charger is a twofer. Your watch magnetically snaps onto the charging pad, there’s an integrated Lightning cable plus, an additional port for a second Lightning input on the side.
At 9000 mAh capacity it’s enough to charge up your watch multiple times or your phone 2-3 times depending on model. But never fear if you are also needing to charge an Android or USB-C device as it also has a USB-C in and out port on the side. There’s also a version that doesn’t have the Apple Watch charger on it for $29.
This looks like a simple piece of cardboard, but it folds into various configurations to hold a phone or tablet. Perfect for the tray table on the airplane, in the back of the seat in front of you or for just kicking back and watching a movie in bed.
Naturally you need a bag to store all these gadgets, so why this one from Matein? It’s designed for your tech first and foremost with an integrated USB port on the side that leads to a USB-A cable inside. So you can plug a portable power bank inside to keep your phone and other gadgets charged on the outside.
It has plenty of padding, especially for your laptop; it can fit a 15-inch with ease. There’s also a secret back pocket so thieves can’t reach it when you’re wearing it on your back, plus a luggage strap to attach to a carry-on. It also looks way more expensive than $30.
Whether you’re traveling solo or enjoy extra peace of mind when sleeping in a different location, this travel door alarm is the ideal personal safety tool. Stick the metal prongs in the door while the door is closed, so if someone tries to enter the prongs come apart and hopefully deter the would-be thief with a screeching 90-decibel alarm. It also has a light to keep tabs on your stuff and only costs $10.
Why bother with packing cubes when you can have a vacuum pump do the work? If you’re familiar with space bags, this is the same concept except you get a four-bag kit (two medium, two small) plus a powered pump to help compress everything. Now all you need is the clothing, shoes or stuff you’d normally sit on your suitcase to compress.
When you’re traveling away from home, you’ll probably agree that it’s the creature comforts you miss the most. If you got addicted to bidets during the great toilet paper shortage of 2020, this is a portable bidet you can take on the go. At $32 it runs off two included AAA batteries, with two levels of intensity for the most flexibility.
Outlets can be a rarity while traveling, so it’s important to make the most of what you have. A USB travel strip lets you use every outlet to charge your devices to the max. For only $12 you can charge your phone, laptop and camera all at once.