When you can work anywhere from to Barcelona to Bangkok, you need to be prepared for whatever you encounter along the way. It can be a huge challenge to stay focused, build productive routines and maintain a healthy lifestyle while traveling the world. These 13 travel gadgets for digital nomads and frequent travelers are my top picks to help you stay organized, healthy and productive, no matter where you are.
Between eating out, having an unpredictable daily schedule and having irregular access to a gym, it can be hard to maintain your usual exercise regime while traveling- although the evidence seems to indicate that travel is actually good for your health! These are my two favorite tools for making sure I have no excuses not to break a sweat.
- Jawbone UP3: It can be all to easy to spend all day basking in the cold glow of a laptop without without taking a break to get some exercise. Using a fitness tracker is a great way to get motivated to get up and move every day. The Jawbone UP3 includes features like activity tracking, a heart rate monitor, sleep monitoring and and community challenges. While there are a number of great comparable products on the market, The Jawbone is the fitness tracker I use, and I’ve been quite happy with it.
- TRX: The TRX is a lightweight device that comes in a small netted bag that easily fits in a backpack. To use it, all you need is a door frame, tree or railing to hook it on, so you can stay jacked and toned wherever you are. You can use the TRX for a wide range of exercises, but is particularly great for bodyweight rows, bicep curls, core training, and pistol squats.
When the noise, distractions and general chaos of travel become overwhelming, tune out from the world with the help of these devices.
- Kobo e-Reader: I am a huge fan of my Kobo e-reader, which is perfect for reading during those long hours spent in transit. It allows me to carry my massive e-library around the world in my purse. There are several reasons I recommend a Kobo over a Kindle. The Kindle forces its users to purchase books through Amazon, as the company uses a Digital Rights Management system to ensure its eBooks can only be read on Kindle eReaders. Kobo, however, uses the EPUB file format, which means you can either buy books straight from your Kobo using Kobo’s bookstore or purchase them from a wide range of online booksellers and use Adobe’s simple software to transfer them to your eReader using a USB cable.
- Bose QC35: Noise cancelling headsets are essential essential gear for the digital nomad. With so much time spent on trains, planes, noisy airport lounges or coffee shops, having a great and durable set of noise cancelling headphones to create your own private sanctuary of sound or silence is essential. Go with the gold standard in headphones and spend a few extra bucks on the Bose QC35 headset. Not only do these comfortable headphones produce a wonderful, rich sound, the QC35’s active noise cancelling feature can mute noisiest of street sounds.
You don’t want to miss important communications with a client or spend hours wandering around lost in an unfamiliar city. To avoid the panic that comes with your phone’s battery going into the red zone while you’re on the go, invest in a decent portable power bank.
- Zendure A2: This is hands-down one of the best power banks on the market- it’s durable, stylish, has enough capacity for several charges. The Zendure A2 is made from crushproof PC/ABS composite material with dual-injection molding and a shock-absorbing central belt. The 6700mAh power bank delivers about 5360mAh to your mobile devices.
- Xiaomi 10,000mAh Power Bank: Xiaomi’s elegantly designed metallic power bank will catch your eye if you want something sleeker than all of the clunky black power banks on the market. Beyond style, the device boasts great capacity, portability and power. It is available in silver, gold or rose anodised aluminium alloy.
- CHARGEKEY: Instead of carrying around your cables with you everywhere you go in case you need a charge, try out CHARGEKEY. It is a portable USB charging cable for iPhone and Android. Also, it’s about the size of a house key, so it fits on your keychain. It works just like a standard usb cable for charging your smartphone from any USB port.
Track your luggage
Whether you are traveling with all your life’s possessions in your suitcase or are headed to meet a client who would definitely notice if you wore the same suit two days in a row, putting your luggage in the hands of the airline (I’m talking to you, United Airlines!) or simply having the misfortune of being targeted by an unscrupulous luggage-pinching opportunist is a risk not worth taking. Keep tabs on your belongings with one of these luggage trackers.
- Tile (Gen 2): This durable, waterproof short distance tracker fits compactly on just about any object. However, if your luggage ends up at the wrong airport, the Tile doesn’t have the range to tell you where in it is since it relies on Bluetooth and doesn’t use a GSM tracker. However, if it does end up in the right airport, it is quite easy to find thanks to integrated Bluetooth technology and a reliable app. Another advantage of Tile is its relatively low price.
- LugLoc Luggage Locator: This is a great luggage tracker. One of its best features is its rechargeable battery with a long lifespan. It is guaranteed to last for 15 days of continuous tracking service on one charge. In addition, there are no service fees or charges. With superior Bluetooth and GSM connection reliability, it’s an extremely easy to use tracker that provides global, real time access and coverage.
Keep your gadgets organized
When you are ceaselessly packing and unpacking your suitcase, going through airport security scans and lugging your briefcase to meetings, it’s hard to keep all your gadgets and cords organized. Check out these great tools for keeping your objects in order so you can avoid untangling the dreaded knot of cables or losing your passport at the bottom of a messy handbag at the customs desk.
- Grid-It Organizer: This slim woven organizer made of futuristic materials will keep your objects securely in place with rubberized elastics. It’s versatile enough to hold everything from digital devices to watches and keys. It can also functions as a mousepad.
- Knomo Knomad Mini: This is a slick and stylish organizer created by Knomo. It gives you an organized space to store your digital devices, passport, tickets, cards and cables. The Knomad Mini also comes with a 5,000mAh battery built into the canvas that’s good for at least two complete recharges of an iPhone 5S, as well as two six-inch cables for both Android and Apple devices. It comes in a variety of colors and a choice of leather or canvas.
And finally, here are a few more fun gadgets to add to your travel survival arsenal.
- Cardsharp2.2: I love the innovative design of this thin little knife. The size of a credit card, this foldable knife fits in a wallet and can be easily and safely transported (just make sure not to leave it in your carry on when you go through security!). It is, in my opinion, an essential survival and backup knife to have- just in case!
- Pilot: This device is not out yet, but I’m extremely excited about its upcoming release in May 2017. Remember the Babel fish in The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy? Pilot basically works just like that. Pop the wireless earbuds into your ears and start talking. The smart earpiece allows wearers to speak different languages but still clearly understand each other. Simply put, when one person speaks, the other hears it in their language. I can’t wait to try this one out!
Do you have a favorite gadget you wouldn’t travel without? Is there something that should be added to this list? Let me know in the comments below!
Soheila is the founder of Thinkstr.co and the Principal of Oppfinn Consulting. As a project manager and consultant, her interests lie at the intersection of innovation and societal impact. On Thinkstr.co, she writes about business, technology, travel and smart cities.