Vacations are fun (hopefully), but getting to the destination and losing out on some of the creature comforts of home is kind of a drag. Then you have to try to keep yourself entertained, hope your bag doesn’t get lost, and make sure you don’t fry your favorite gadget when traveling overseas.
The accessories on this list will help you out on all those fronts. They’ll also help you drown out travel noise, keep your devices nice and charged, and help your phone survive a dunk in the water.
A high-capacity external battery
External battery chargers have become popular, but because they get bigger in size along with how much power they provide, many folks only have a small one. Do yourself a favor and invest in a slightly larger, but way-higher-capacity battery like this one from Anker. It weighs less than a pound, but has the ability to charge an iPhone 6 seven times. There’s nothing worse than thinking you have enough power to get you through a trip, but getting stuck with a nasty layover or missed connection. Plus, this one has two USB ports, so you can help out a friend if you’re traveling together.
A power converter
Don’t fry your electronics when you go overseas. This is coming from a well-seasoned traveler who still managed to slip up last summer. It’s a little heavy-duty looking, but if you’re going abroad for a significant amount of time, it’s well worth investing in a power converter like this one from BESTEK.
In addition to its three outlets, this power converter has 4 USB ports, so you don’t have to take up any outlets when you need to charge your phone or tablet. If you’re picking one of these up you’ll be all set for travel to Europe, the US, UK, or Australia.
A waterproof Bluetooth speaker
If you’re going on a beach vacation, it’s a good idea to bring a waterproof Bluetooth speaker along. You can listen to your favorite tunes without worrying about it getting destroyed if a big wave comes or it gets left in the rain.
Out of all the durable options I’ve tested, JBL’s Flip 4 has survived my most aggressive water test yet: 10 minutes of full submersion. It’s also small enough to fit in a carry-on bag in transit, and a beach bag when it’s time to hang out by the water.
A streaming stick
If a hotel room is going to be your home-away-from-home for a week or two and you want to kick back and watch YouTube videos after a day of seeing the sights, Roku is your friend. Their latest streaming stick got our recommendation recently for good reason. Performance is pretty consistent, and any lag was app dependent, not system wide. Video output is limited to 1080P, but unless you’re staying an a very tech-forward hotel, you’re probably not going to have a 4K TV in your room. Best of all, the Roku doesn’t take up too much space, and can be powered by a TV’s USB port.
A selfie stick
For better or worse, selfie sticks have become a constant companion for many travelers. I’m recommending this one by Fugetek because people seem to like that it pairs with your phone via Bluetooth. Once paired, you can snap a shot or zoom in or out through the buttons on the stick’s base. This model extends out up to 49″ and is compatible with both iOS and Android smartphones, GoPros, and digital cameras. Reviewers on Amazon are generally happy with this device’s overall design and build quality, although one lamented the fact that it wasn’t strong enough to hold their DSLR despite Fugetek’s claims.