VACATION IDEAS

Top 10 Most Useful Travel Gadgets

Each year ushers in a wave of new gadgets, but which ones are essential to travelers? From the mother of all gadget chargers to a device that could save you hundreds at the luggage check-in counter, here are our favorite devices for frequent fliers.

By Budget Travel Staff, Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013, 9:35 AM

Source Article: Top 10 Most Useful Travel Gadgets

FOXL v2 might not have a sexy name, but this pocket-size speaker system sure does lay on the sound, making it easy for you to bring the party with you. The item provides a full range of tones, streamed via Bluetooth from a smartphone or tablet. It even has a built-in mic for group phone calls. It weighs 9.5 oz and is water-resistant. $199, soundmatters.com

(Courtesy FOXL v2)

The Powerbag. You can take it with you—all of it—and keep it juiced all day. This item comes in backpack, strap bag, and roller bag form and contains a battery charger with charger cables to keep the power flowing through iPads, iPods, and iPhones while you walk. $139-$249, mypowerbag.com

(Courtesy mypowerbag)

A solid starter set, the Audio-Technica Ath-Anc23BK noise-cancelling headphones shut out up to 90 percent of ambient noise and come with soft, interchangeable ear pieces and an airline adapter to connect you to your favorite in-flight entertainment. $79.95, shopaudiotechnica.com

(Courtesy Audio-Technica)

Armed with the 3.25-inch Palomar ZoomArt mini telescope, you'll get a 6x-magnified view of the Mona Lisa's dimples or every detail of the Sistine Chapel's ceiling—no matter how many pushy museumgoers have elbowed you out of their way. $54, palomarweb.com

(Levi Brown)

As overweight-bag charges soar, we could all use help lightening up. The new Heys Touch Scale (in six fun colors) does the trick: Simply slide the hook under any bag's handle, lift, and tap the display to see the specs in pounds (up to 110) or kilograms. $30, heysusa.com

(Levi Brown)

Skip the ho-hum in-flight movie and stage your own screening (on a laptop, an iPad, or a DVD player) with the Branch Earphone Splitter, which lets three listeners tune in to one device. $8, amazon.com

(Levi Brown)

LeapPad2

Keeping your kids busy on a long-haul flight no longer means surrendering your iPad. The LeapPad2 Explorer Learning Tablet (for children 3 to 9), runs for eight hours per charge and mines a library of more than 400 educational games, books, videos, and apps. $100, leapfrog.com

(Courtesy LeapPad)

Charge up while you dream. The iLuv RockWall features two USB ports, allowing you to revive your iPad and iPhone simultaneously from one wall charger—and can be used with international plug adapters when you are traveling abroad. $49.99, iluv.com

(Courtesy iLuv.com)

TomTom's Start 55 TM has a five-inch-wide touchscreen, provides 3D display of complicated highway junctions, and comes with real-time traffic updates. Plus you get access to lifetime map updates, which can be downloaded four times a year. $159.95, tomtom.com

(Courtesy TomTom)

The iPad. Consider it the ultimate in-flight entertainment device. Movies, music, video games, and a library's worth of book titles: Apple's 16-gigabyte touch-screen tablet delivers it all in full color. From $399, apple.com

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