When I travel, I want to be as comfortable as possible, whether it's in the hotel, on a plane or in the car.
I carry a lot of gadgets — my friends have even remarked that my hotel room is like stepping into a toy store — and many of these will help you travel better. I don't own everything below, since some of my gear is a bit outdated, but all of these are the latest and greatest editions of what I like to take along with me.
If you're shopping for a frequent traveler this season, these are great gifts for them.
I included the Bose QC 35 II noise-canceling headphones in my best gadgets guide of the year, but I have to include them here as well. I bought the original set and love the updated model, which includes a button with a dedicated Google Assistant. You still get the comfortable headphones and carrying case, an optional 3.5mm headphone jack cord, support for Bluetooth connectivity and more, but also the option to ask Google whatever you want (so long as your phone is connected.) They're steep in price but beloved by frequent travelers, including me.
Buy now: Bose QC 35 II
I recommend carrying your own wireless travel router wherever you go. This one lets you pull in the hotel Internet (either corded or wireless) and create your own Wi-Fi hotspot. It also lets you skirt any rules on how many gadgets a hotel lets you connect to the internet at once. This model includes an SD card reader for streaming stored movies and TV shows to your smartphone or tablet, as well as a 6,000mAh battery that'll charge up most phones one or two times.
Buy Now: Wireless travel router
Why carry a bunch of travel adapters when you're on the road when you can pack just one? The Epicka Universal USB Travel Adapter supports plugs in more than 160 countries. Just pop out the one you're using and then plug in your charger. It also has four built-in USB ports so you can charge multiple gadgets at once. Just keep in mind that this is for electronics, not high-power accessories like a hair dryer. For that, you'll need a voltage converter, too.
Buy now: USB travel adapter
I was just at a wedding and decided to pack a Google Home Mini with me to see if I could play some tunes in the hotel room. It worked like a charm, allowing me to play music on demand using the hotel Wi-Fi, find out the New York Jets score and more. It's compact, which means it'll slide right into your travel bag or backpack, but still packs the full functionality of the larger Google Home. Bonus: Ask it to play white noise if you can't sleep in a quiet hotel room or need to drown out loud neighbors.
Buy now: Google Home Mini
I've been carrying the Incase Icon backpack for the past several years, and it still looks brand new. It's comfortable to carry and is chock full of pockets for storing all sorts of gadgets (your iPad and laptop), as well as areas for pens, a padded sunglasses pocket and more. Plus, it's really comfortable to wear over long periods of time. Every time I try a new backpack I come right back to the Incase Icon, which just goes to show it's worth the price.
Buy now: Incase Icon backpack
Going on a road trip? Consider filming the experience with the VAVA dash cam, which includes the ability to record footage in full HD, a remote picture button and support for iOS and Android smartphones. Just stick it on the dash and start driving. Record 20-second 360-degree videos of your trip, including the outside and inside of your car, with the camera's swivel function. It also offers a live-video feed and support for GPS tracking.
Buy now: VAVA dash cam
The Tile can help you keep track of anything, from car keys to backpacks and camera cases. Just attach the small gadget to anything and sync it up with your smartphone app. If you're ever looking for something that might be lost, open the app and track the Tile or have it emit a loud noise so you can find what you're looking for. If you lose your phone, double tap the Tile and it'll ring it. It starts at $24.99 but you can get discounts by buying in bulk, which I recommend.
Starting at $24.99
Buy now: Tile tracker