Becky Hart | Oct 10, 2022
Some travel gadgets are more obvious than others. Noise-cancelling headphones, e-readers, cameras, a GPS device to help you track your luggage. They once were on the cutting edge of innovation but seem to be in just about everyone’s carry-on these days.
So what about the best travel technology you might be missing? Whether you’re looking to improve your own packing list or are shopping for a gift for someone else, try these off-the-beaten-path gadgets for travelers.
Digital nomads who rely on a tablet to do business often wish they had a dedicated keyboard for easier typing. Unfortunately, these can take up a lot of room. That’s not ideal when you’re always on the move and want to carry as few bags as possible.
A foldable keyboard solves both those problems. Easier to type on than a touchscreen and with a smaller footprint than a standard keyboard, this gadget is bound to make someone working remotely from anywhere a happy camper.
As someone who’s known to get cold in middle of summer, I sometimes find it difficult to find joy in winter travel. A heated jacket goes beyond a cozy down coat. And heated insoles will keep your toes toasty whether you’re on a woodland hike in a U.S. national park or perusing a Christmas market in a chilly European plaza.
Maybe you have jetlag, or it could just be a general inability to sleep in a new place, but not getting enough rest can spell disaster for the best of vacations. A gadget like the Dadow Sleep Aid Device can help you fall asleep faster, or at the very least, help you relax after a full day of travel. And it does it without medications or supplements, perfect for those looking to take advantage of the wellness travel trend.
We’re going off-script with this suggestion. Of course, you won’t pack a video doorbell, but installing one before you set off on your adventures can help you keep an eye on things at home. As long as there’s a Wi-Fi signal, you can see any activity on your doorstep and talk to someone on your porch. Add an electronic smart lock to the mix, and if there’s a trusted neighbor dropping off your mail while you’re on vacation, you can unlock the door to let them in and make sure it’s locked again when they leave.
There’s something to be said for unplugging and leaving your phone behind when you travel. However, there are also tons of mobile apps that can make traveling safer, easier, and more rewarding. These are being developed and change all the time, but here are a few that you might wish you’d known about sooner.
Traveling solo can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also get a bit lonely at times. Some people recommend hitting the dating apps to meet new people on the road. That’s not our favorite recommendation as it comes with some obvious risks (differing expectations of why you’re meeting, for starters). Try an app like Tribefy that focuses on connecting people with similar activity-based interests, whether that’s hiking, photography, food, or foreign languages.
Some of us are more organized than others. For those who need a little help (or who just love a good list), try PackPoint. Not only can you save packing lists if you’re a frequent traveler, but the app also takes into account the type of travel and what you’ll be doing, weather at your destination, and if you’re one of those people who thinks three shirts is enough for a week-long vacation.
TikTok isn’t exactly flying under the radar anymore, but there’s more to it than cat videos and pre-teens doing awkward dances. Search for local inside knowledge about your destination. You’ll find some inspired recommendations that take you off the typical tourist trail and treat you to some real hidden gems.
If you’re a U.S. resident traveling internationally, you’ll want the Seven Corners app on your phone. Among its features is the ability to easily find medical care near you if you get sick or hurt while traveling. You'll also find a digital copy of your travel insurance ID card for when the medical facility requires proof of coverage before treating you.
It’s free for iPhone and Android users. Plus, anyone can use it. You don’t have to purchase a Seven Corners plan to download and use it to find medical care, so tell your friends and family.
There’s no shortage of high-end backpacks that promise to protect your laptop, camera gear, and other technology while you travel. Some of them are worth investing in, especially if you’re someone who throws their bag in the overhead bin, is prone to dropping things, or has invested a lot of money in their technology. For more modest budgets, you might be able to get away with a simple laptop sleeve that fits in the bag you already have. Bonus points if it’s also waterproof.
Don’t overlook the benefit of a case for your cords and chargers, too. The only thing worse than forgetting your charger at home is getting to your destination and finding out the cord was damaged en route. Look for an organizer that keeps all those odds-and-ends collected, protected, and tangle-free.
You likely have a protective film on your cellphone screen, but don’t forget to also get one for your laptop and tablet. Look for one that not only protects your screen from scratches and dents, but also provides a layer of privacy. Privacy screens can be added to most laptops to prevent the person next to you on the plane from sneaking a peak at whatever you’re working on.
To protect your digital identity, use a VPN when you’re online and protect your data with an encryption service. Taking cybersecurity seriously can also be as simple as always locking your device with a strong password or face recognition. Finally, be cautious of public Wi-Fi, which many of us depend on to avoid data charges when we travel. A portable Wi-Fi hotspot might be a good solution for you, particularly if you’re a student or digital nomad.
Travel insurance can help protect your belongings during your trip. Seven Corners’ trip protection plans provide coverage for lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed luggage.
When it comes to your favorite gadgets and technology, be sure to read your plan document carefully. Some coverage for belongings excludes computers, electronic equipment, and other similar items. Unfortunately, laptop travel insurance is rare. If your plan doesn’t include travel insurance with gadget coverage, it may be best to purchase protection for theft or damage through the item’s manufacturer or another insurer. Your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance may provide coverage.
To find the right travel insurance for your trip, and to learn more about the benefits and exclusions of our plans, contact a licensed Seven Corners agent.
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