Folks, traveling can be tricky business. From packing everything you need, to remembering to bring all your chargers, to anticipating every possible weather condition you might run across during your trip, traveling requires a lot of brainpower and a ton of forethought.

Do you ever wish traveling was just, you know, easier? Good news—it can be!

There are a select few gadgets that can turn your next trip from a trial into a breeze—and even better, they’ll all fit snugly into the smallest corners of your carry-on. Get ready for a total travel transformation!

1.) The Adaptable Adapter



Edinburgh does it with three pins. Istanbul prefers just two!

The Travel Adapter is by no means a new gadget, but it’s still a must-have! When you’re traversing the globe, you’ll find that the voltage will change as much as the scenery, the currency, and the language. So, to ensure that you can plug-in in Paris and charge-up in China, don’t travel internationally without one.

Most models cover the same global regions and voltage options, and many now come with built in USB ports for those power hungry devices we’ve all become addicted to—think Smartphones, laptops, and digital cameras. For stylish, space-saving styles check out these cool designs to find an adapter that suits your taste and will—of course—keep you current!

2.) The Not So Selfie Stick

Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley/

Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley/

Have you ever returned from a vacation to discover you’re in only one of the photos?

Remember that one where you reciprocated snapping shots with that nice family in Trafalgar Square—and they cropped off the top of your head, but still managed to catch your worried, awkward smile as you squirmed around, fearing they’d suddenly disappear into the crowds with your camera?

It might be time to consider the much-maligned Selfie Stick.

Portable, retractable and lightweight, this polarizing picture prop might be infuriating to some, but it’s undeniably handy for more than just self-shots. Open it up, clip in your Smartphone, and click the blue tooth button to capture your entire family. It’s also perfect for romantic couples as well as travel buddies, and by far the easiest way to capture everyone gathered in front of iconic attractions. Take a group “selfie” leaning against the Leaning Tower of Pisa, or capture your whole crew on your latest Mediterranean cruise! Not to mention, it’ll fit neatly into your purse or daypack.

Check local attractions for their policies on the Selfie Stick as some galleries, museums, and events do not permit its use. We’re not sure how much staying power this useful, but divisive, device has, so say “cheese” now—before it gets banned everywhere!

3.) Hanging around

Brian Lees

Brian Lees

These little gems are cropping up everywhere, and are so useful you’ll wonder how you ever managed without one.

The truth is, when you’re traveling, you always need somewhere to put your bag—but finding a decent spot isn’t always easy! Remember that not so pleasant “facility” you once had to run into? Or that crowded outdoor café, or that not so recently cleaned train carriage? Gross.

Enter the Bag-Hanger!

This small, yet strong device, looks just like an ornament or brooch.  However, it quickly swivels open to rest on any flattish surface, revealing a hook underneath, onto which you place the strap of your bag, allowing gravity to do the rest. Simple yet ingenious! When you’re dining outside, no more worried glances over your shoulder to make sure everything’s still intact. With this little cutie, you can dangle your bag in clear sight, right in front of you, as you bask in the adoring comments from your jealous friends!

Available in many attractive designs from cool, functional stainless steel, to floral and jewel encrusted objets d’art, these handy, watch-face sized must-haves are now available in marketplaces all over. So don’t hang around—these fashion accessories are just waiting for you and your bags to snap them up.

 4.) Weathering Down

Dora Tang/

Dora Tang/

One thing that’s notoriously tough to plan for when traveling is the weather.

We’ve all had our mood dampened by rain, or those big fluctuations in temperature between destinations. I once flew from sunny Hawaii to snowy Chicago—in shorts! So, with umbrellas being kind of awkward, and a bit of a liability in the wind (apologies to Mary Poppins), a really smart item to put on your travel wish list this year is a down jacket. Not much of a gadget I hear you say? Well, when a quilted down jacket can shrink down and disappear into a convenient pull-cord pouch measuring about six inches in length, then unfold to protect you from the cold and rain—we think it qualifies as its own, special kind of gadget!

Taking a jacket on vacation should not limit the number of sundresses or board shorts you’re able to pack. Nor should it look like a combination of cling wrap and an outer tent sheet, when you finally put it on in that cold London drizzle! Down is the best for ease of packing, allowing the jacket to be tucked away in the corner of a carry-on, then quickly unfurled revealing all of its glorious, wrinkle free and fashionable shape, as those clouds roll in overhead! There are plenty of choices out there, some with hoods for extra protection and some not, but for a few cool designs, ranging from expensive to affordable, check out these amazing jackets that beat the competition –hands “down!”

These small, yet immensely helpful gadgets will go a long way to improving your international travel experience, and are so convenient to pack, you’ll still have room to throw in that favorite sweater or extra pair of shoes! Now that’s travel savvy!

Now, if we could only find a gadget to make everyone drive on the same side of the road!

What’s your favorite international travel gadget that you never travel without? Let us know in the comments!

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About The Author

Brian Lees is a Content Writer and Editor with 21 years of experience in the travel industry and a lifetime of personal traveling memories. Originally from Scotland, Brian is a big fan of soccer, family, friends, and food. He's now happily settled on South Shore Long Island with a wife, 2 kids, and a dog to keep him busy! Between trips to Jones Beach, he's happy to keep the CheapOair blog filled with travel insights for you all.