The way we travel today has changed dramatically since those first international trips I took decades ago. In those days, we wandered the world with a film camera, a notebook and eyes wide open. Now, those of us who create content while travelling rely heavily on technology to provide us with the tools we need to work while exploring all corners. These are some of the best travel gadgets, perfect to gift to someone special. You can also use this guide to help to choose your own essential travel accessories for your next trip.
Skye Gilkeson | Updated May 22, 2020
15 of the Best Travel Gadgets to Gift This Year
I was gifted a brand new pair of Parrot Zik 3 wireless headphones and I’m not sure how I lived without them. I have used other brands in the past but had to part ways as they were too stiff to wear after a while, particularly on long haul flights.
These are covered in soft leather and sit comfortably over the ears. I can wear them from the plane to the street in comfort and with incredible sound quality.
I’ve been travelling with a GoPro for years and I wouldn’t travel without it. It is one of the best travel gadgets for a number of simple reasons; It’s compact, perfect for tucking into a running belt, handbag or carrying in the palm of your hand and of course, it is made for adventure travel.
We have used it snorkelling, white water rafting, mountain bike riding, ziplining. The list goes on. It’s a must-buy for the active traveller. There are a few GoPro accessories that I highly recommend too:
A waterproof housing is essential for us, we carry our GoPro in it all the time for added protection from bumps and any risk of rain. We simply change the back of the cover if we need better quality sound.
The GoPro selfie stick, gimble or adventure kit bundle may come in handy. The selfie stick enables you to shoot a super wide shot without the awkward out of proportion arm you’ll have to crop around later and a gimble ensures a smooth shot.
The GoPro Jaws Clamp Mount is also useful for the adventurous; attaching the camera to a car, bike, canoe or any other craft.
I have had a number of DSLR cameras over the years. At the moment I am shooting with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II and I cannot fault it. For someone looking to step up their photography game, a DSLR really is one of the best travel gadgets you can buy and will change the way you take photos whether it’s for work or play.
Compact or Mirrorless Camera
Compact and mirrorless cameras are becoming increasingly more popular with travellers, particularly those who feel that DSLR are too heavy. Vloggers are often drawn to more compact cameras as they are lightweight, discreet and can be carried around all day for filming.
360 Degree Camera
Have you seen those cool photos on Instagram that show beautiful landscapes street-view style? Those images are created using a 360-degree camera. A photographer friend uses the Samsung Gear 360 Degree Cam and loves it.
The camera captures two super wide videos or images at once. You then use the app to stitch the images together and you have your very impressive Insta-worthy shot.
A Kindle is a really handy travel companion for book lovers. Gone are the days of carrying heavy books and swapping at hostels (although that was a lot of fun). Now, you can simply download the titles you want as soon as you want them, which is particularly important for those studying or growing a business while travelling.
Lenses For Your Phone
I have met a few Instagram photographers lately and it’s fascinating to see their work. Some rely solely on their iPhone and they take incredible photos. Lenses for the iPhone are a big help here. Try the Moment Lenses macro, tele, wide or superfish lenses.
We’ve all laughed at them and nearly been decapitated by one at a tourist attraction, but secretly we all wish we had a Selfie Stick, if only to achieve that elusive perfect high angle that takes off 5 kilos. Jokes aside, selfie sticks can come in handy, particularly if you are shooting video on your phone.
The added length allows you to film a wider angle, bringing in more of your surrounding than a simple talking head. Don’t forget to flip your phone to landscape orientation first.
The GripTight PRO GorillaPod Stand by Joby is on my own list right now. A very clever invention, you simply clip your phone into the stand, place the tripod on the ground or wrap it around a tree or any other object, allowing you to capture you photos or video from the exact angle you are after.
Neoprene Computer Case
I’ve been using my neoprene laptop case for years now and it has saved my computer on many occasions from falls and lots of incidental impacts while travelling.
Confession: I have about 6 power banks of varying sizes and shapes that I take when I travel. I couldn’t do my job without them. With the demands of social media, particularly when it comes to video media, my phone gets drained very quickly on the road. This dual USB Power Bank could be a lifesaver for travellers who like to stay connected.
Universal Travel Adapter Plugs are non-negotiable for travel. I prefer simple adapters like these to the bulky, universal plugs as I find they fall out of sockets easily. A multi-port USB Charger Plug will also become your best friend after a long day of exploring. Simply set and forget by plugging in all of your gadgets at once.
Not exactly one of the best travel gadgets, but rather the best backpack to protect your favourite camera and travel accessories, the right camera bag can be both a time saver and a lower back saver while in transit and out shooting.
These backpacks fit my DSLR, lenses, GoPro, accessories, laptop and even a few extra essentials for a day of touring. Make sure you get an all-weather cover for your pack too, so you’re covered when you get caught in the rain.
A little waterproof wireless speaker is a great accessory to throw into a daypack to help boost laptop audio while watching movies at night or to play songs from your phone via Bluetooth.
Personal Wifi Hotspot
A digital nomad’s first question when checking into a hotel or sitting down at a cafe is sadly often “Do you have wifi?”. A portable wifi hotspot like this one from Skyroam offers unlimited internet access for 24 hours a day for a daily rate.
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Skye is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Fit Traveller.
She is a journalist, writer, photographer, intrepid traveller and a former personal trainer with a passion for helping others reach optimal health.
As a TV journalist and producer, Skye has worked for household names such as 60 Minutes, Sunrise, TODAY and Nine News. She has also written for Women’s Health, Fodor’s Travel and Yahoo7 Travel, among many others.
Equally comfortable in a 5-star resort or hiking a far-off mountain, Skye loves the unexpected and enriching life experiences that each trip brings and can often be found in a backstreet chatting to locals with her camera in hand.
Skye is based in Sydney, working to master the balance between motherhood and her appetite for adventure.
Read more about Skye’s story here.