No matter whether you are taking a weekend trip, a two week holiday or a long-term travel adventure, the right travel gadgets can make your trip even better. After backpacking around Asia for more than eight months, we have given a lot of thought to which gadgets were the most useful for us and which ones we wouldn’t want to live without on the road. The following 15 awesome gadgets made the final cut and landed in our list of the ultimate best travel gadgets for backpackers!
Best Travel Gadgets for Backpackers – The List
- LifeStraw – Drink water safely from any tap
- USB Reading Lamp – Never be lost in the dark anymore
- Power Bank – No power socket? No problem!
- HDMI cable – No more missed episodes abroad
- Mobile WiFi Hotspot – Keep your phone costs low
- Optical Camera Lens for your phone – Step up your mobile photo game
- Luggage scale – Avoid repacking at the check-in counter
- Travel adapter – One adapter to bind them all
- Noise cancelling headphones – Balsam for your ears
- Bluetooth speaker – Ready for the next pool party?
- DJI Spark Drone – Be the eye in the sky
- Leef SD reader – Solving the space problem of the iPhone
- External hard drive – Save your files before you lose them
- Cable Organiser – Law and Order for your cables
- Portable Safe – It’s safe in the bag
The LifeStraw is one of the essential travel gadgets if you plan to visit countries where it is not safe for you to drink the tap water. It is also very useful if you plan to go camping in the wild. The LifeStraw is a small water filter device which removes 99.9999% of bacteria (including E-Coli and Salmonella) and 99.9% of Protozoa. You can use the LifeStraw for about 1,000 litres of water before you’ll need to replace it. To filter the water, the LifeStraw uses hollow fibre technology which makes chemicals and iodine unnecessary.
The best thing about this highly useful travel gadget is, that you don’t have to go out and buy bottled water and therefore it helps to reduce your ecological footprint. Also, with every LifeStraw sold, a school child in need receives safe drinking water for an entire school year. If you’re interested, you can read our post about the best water purifiers for your travels and why you need one.
A USB lamp is probably one of the most underrated travel gadgets under $10 for backpackers. It is perfect if you stay in a dorm and need some light to read or if you go camping and don’t have any power sockets around. On our long-term travels through Asia, we also often needed it in hotels that didn’t have any bedside lights (or even bedside tables). Bright lights before bed are bad for a good nights sleep, so a bedside light is a must for us. The awesome thing about having a USB light is that you only need a power bank to use them, so you don’t need to have a power socket next to the bed.
With all the electric travel accessories and gadgets we carry around with us these days, a power bank is almost a no-brainer. We recommend investing in a power bank with a lot of juice as it will last you a longer time without recharging it. A power bank can not only charge your phone, but you can also use it as a power source for a USB lamp, a USB fan (perfect for those long bus travels without air-con) or to charge your camera with a USB battery charger cable.
The HDMI cable is one of the best travel gadgets for people who travel for a longer time. Often if you want to relax in your room and watch some TV, you can only receive some local channels in a language you probably don’t understand. An HDMI cable is a game changer in this situation. Just connect your laptop or tablet with an HDMI cable to the TV and watch your downloaded movies/series or Netflix/Amazon Prime on the big screen. If you want to connect the TV to your iPhone or iPad, you’d also need an Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter. For MacBooks, you can get the Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter.
Some people recommend you get a global wifi hotspot. Don’t listen to them, as this method is still overly expensive. Better get yourself a mobile WiFi Hotspot. With this little device, you insert a SIM card into it and use it as a mobile hotspot. This will save you a lot of money, especially if you’re on the road for a longer time, as you can buy local SIM cards which are cheaper than roaming.
Pro tip: When you get a local SIM, don’t go for the tourist packages. Ask for a local data only package. You can always make phone calls with apps like WhatsApp.
This is definitely one of the must-have travel gadgets for backpackers who want to stay in contact with friends and family!
The best camera is the one you carry with you. These days, most of us constantly carry our phones around with us and the phone cameras get better and better. If you want to bring your phone photography to the next level, you can get great optical camera lenses! We recommend to get this set, as it comes with 4 different lenses, including a 12x optical zoom lens.
Especially if you’re flying a lot during your travels, a luggage scale comes in super handy and scores as one of the travel essentials gadgets. Most of the airlines have strict weight limitations for luggage and a luggage scale can prevent a lot of frustration and repacking in front of the check-in counter. This luggage scale only weights 60 grams and is very easy to handle.
Unfortunately we live in a world with a huge variety of different power sockets. This makes it extremely important to have a travel adapter with you wherever you go. We recommend the Skross travel adapter as it is made to a very high quality. Pro tip: pack some additional fuses in case one gets damaged while using the travel adapter.
Noise cancelling headphones are a game changer for your sleep. While you can still hear noise with normal headphones, these cool travel gadgets block out any noise and give you the quiet you need on some days. Of course these headphones are also perfect to listen to your favourite sound. Great for dorms or when you want to work on a laptop in a noisy cafe.
No matter whether you want to listen to a podcast while taking a relaxing bath or listen to some chilled-out sounds while lying on the beach, the JBL bluetooth speakers will do the job. And don’t worry if they fall into the bathtub or the ocean, as they are absolutely waterproof. Ready for the next pool-party?
With the DJI Spark, taking a drone with you on your travels is finally a lot easier. Because of its compact size you can just pack it in your daypack and take it wherever you want. Using the included remote it is very easy to navigate the drone through the sky. The DJI Spark will make your holiday pictures a lot more spectacular! For us, the DJI Spark is one of the best travel gadgets 2018! Read our post about the best drones for travelling if you’d like to know more.
One of the weaknesses of the iPhone is the limited space to store pictures and videos on it. The Leef SD reader offers the perfect solution for this and one of the best gadgets for under $50. Just attach it to your iPhone and save all your pictures and videos on a Micro SD card. You’ll never be worried again that you don’t have enough space left on your phone!
Too often we heard stories from people who lost all of their pictures because their laptop, phone or camera got stolen or lost. Because of this we always recommend to save your important files on a external hard drive as well. We recommend the LaCie Rugged because it is very sturdy, dust and water resistant. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
With all the gadgets and tech we are carrying around with us, there are always a lot of cables and chargers included. Because of this, a good cable organiser feels like a blessing and is one of the best gadgets to buy if you like law and order! The BAGSMART double-layer travel cable organiser is made of water-resistant polyester and offers enough space not only to store all of your cables, but also your tablet in it as well.
To keep your awesome travel gadget safe on your travels, we recommend getting a Pacsafe Travelsafe 12L GII Portable Safe. Hotel safes are not always as safe as you’d think they are, because they mostly have a master code or master key which can be used to open the lock. With the Pacsafe Travelsafe, only you can open it and make your belongings being safe. It’s definitely one of the top travel gadgets if you like to have your stuff safely stored away from thieves.
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