15 Gadgets Every International Traveler Should Have

Modern tech gadgets aren’t just for fiddling with at home anymore.

With international traveling on many people’s to-do lists in 2024 and beyond, technology nerds will be happy to know that there is a litany of devices, gadgets, and products that will streamline their next adventure.

This is a definitive list of the must-have tech gadgets every international traveler should pack.

1. Portable Power Bank

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Traveling overseas means taking a lot of pictures. You’ll also often use smartphone apps like Google Maps and YouTube to maximize your exploration skills. All this use means the average traveler drains their device’s battery in record time.

Combat this by bringing a portable power bank with you. In 2024, these devices are the size of a small smartphone and can fit in any pocket. They will supply you with a much-needed top-off whenever your device is about to run dry.

2. Rechargeable Makeup Mirror

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Whether you’re a man or woman, you can use a mirror while traveling. (We don’t want to look anything less than our best.) Bringing a portable, rechargeable makeup mirror is always handy, whether you’re putting on makeup on a dimly-lit train or need a quick fit check.

In addition, these inexpensive devices can also work as lamps in a pinch, giving you light when you need it and illuminating any room.

3. International Power Outlet Converter

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Please don’t make the same mistake I did the first time I ventured overseas to spend a few months in Europe. I forgot to bring an international power converter, which rendered all of my U.S. devices useless. While I purchased a converter upon arrival, I couldn’t help but think I could’ve found one far cheaper if I’d bought it before I left.

A power outlet converter is arguably the most essential of all the gadgets on this list. You can’t power your devices without one.

4. Apple AirTags

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If I had to guess, I’d estimate that I lose or temporarily misplace approximately 50% of everything I own. I may be exaggerating, but only to highlight one of the most ingenious products to come to market in a long time: the Apple AirTag. It’s a small tag you can place on anything, and it acts as a tracker if you lose the item.

From luggage to keys to wireless earbud charging cases, an AirTag gives even the most savvy traveler well-deserved peace of mind in case they ever lose something.

5. Wireless Airplane Bluetooth Transmitter

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Despite their many technological advances, the best way to watch in-flight entertainment from an airplane’s seatback system is to use old-fashioned wired headphones. (Until now, of course.)

Wireless Bluetooth transmitters connect to a standard headphone jack found in most airplane audio-visual systems. The handy little device lets you use your wireless headphones with the airplane’s built-in entertainment services. How cool is that?

6. Self-Cleaning Water Bottle

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Many overseas countries lack clean water and modern plumbing compared to the United States. That means it’s a good idea to take a self-cleaning, refillable water bottle the next time you travel overseas.

These marvels of modern technology effortlessly purify and filter water, making it safe to drink. This comes in handy when traveling to less developed nations that don’t enjoy the benefits of modern plumbing.

7. A Handheld Fan

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I recently stayed in Venice, Italy, for five days, and I wish I had brought a small, handheld fan with me. Many hotels in Venice don’t have modern air conditioning, and of course, I visited during unseasonably high April temperatures. I can’t remember the last time I sweated while I slept.

If I had read (or written) this before leaving for my trip, I could’ve slept in comfort. Oh well. Live and learn.

8. Universal Smartphone Mount

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Smartphone mounts aren’t just for use in your car; they can also clamp to bed frames, airplane seats, and other practical locations. Tossing an inexpensive plastic smartphone mount into the carry-on is one of the best decisions an international traveler can make.

It’s a lifesaver. Mounting it to the seatback in front of you while flying solves the problem of holding your phone awkwardly with your hands for an agonizingly long flight.

9. An E-Reader

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I can’t be the only person who daydreams about reading novels while sitting at a winery in France’s wine country, can I? Of course not. Bringing physical books adds unnecessary weight to your luggage, so it’s best to bring an e-reader like an Amazon Kindle.

Before you know it, you’ll sit comfortably in Bordeaux, drinking an outstanding red wine while reading through a digital version of one of your favorite novels.

10. Noise-Canceling Headphones

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Noise-canceling headphones can transform your next overseas adventure into something utterly devoid of unwanted sounds. Whether you’re in a crowded cafe, noisy hostel, or on a jam-packed cross-Atlantic flight, noise-canceling headphones can block out everything you don’t want to hear.

I prefer Sony’s lineup of high-end headphones, but Bose, Apple, and other manufacturers compete well with Sony. Honestly, any noise-canceling headphone set is better than none when traveling internationally.

11. An Ultraportable Laptop

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Carrying around a typical laptop, which easily could top five pounds, will become cumbersome after a few days of use overseas. Mitigate the wear and tear on your poor body, lugging around a heavy laptop by investing in an ultraportable notebook.

These lightweight, super-thin computers have all their heavier cousins’ capabilities but are far easier to carry around. The only downside is that you’ll pay a premium for the privilege.

12. A Portable Garment Steamer

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It doesn’t matter if I pack my clothes perfectly before I leave for an international trip. Whether I fold, roll, or vacuum-pack my items, it doesn’t matter. Without fail, I will unpack my luggage and be welcomed by the most creases I’ve ever seen.

While not the most practical item to pack in a suitcase, a portable garment steamer takes the stress out of dealing with really creased clothing. You’ll always be dressed to the nines—what’s not to love about that?

13. A White Noise Machine

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Getting a good night’s sleep in an unfamiliar country is often easier said than done. Street noises, annoying hums from air conditioning units, and your fellow neighbors can make restful sleep nearly impossible. Bringing a portable white noise machine goes a long way to helping you get the good night’s sleep you deserve.

It’s incredible what white noise can do to your sleep patterns. Although technically “noise” itself, it can block out more common sounds and make dozing off infinitely easier.

14. A Portable Monitor

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If you’re a digital nomad who frequently works in international cities, working exclusively on your laptop pales in comparison to your office setup, which offers much more real estate to get work done. Fortunately, a portable monitor saves the day and makes you more productive.

Portable monitors seamlessly connect to your laptop of choice, effectively giving you double the amount of real estate to work with. They’re game-changers for digital nomads and remote workers looking for more efficiency.

15. A Handheld Game Console

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Not all international travel involves sightseeing and eating at tourist-trap restaurants. For many men and women, traveling has a fair amount of downtime, and what better way to fill up the lazy hours of an afternoon than by playing video games on a portable game console?

Modern offerings by Nintendo, Sony, and Steam give a home-console-quality gaming experience in a portable package that no gamer should be without.

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