Everyone has their own experience of travel. Many of us travel for work, and need mobile access and the ability to concentrate anywhere on the road. Some of us travel internationally, and need workarounds in order to use our laptops and other electronic devices. And others are roadtrippers and adventurers, who want an enhanced experience. Investing in a gadget that’s made with your type of travel in mind can make each and every trip that much more gratifying.
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For the roadtripper: the TomTom GO 620
On a daily basis, I make do with the Google maps app on my phone when I need to find the best route through rush hour traffic. But recently, my family embarked on a road trip from Boston to NYC and then from NYC to DC and back again. We cranked up Paul Simon’s Graceland, sang along, and played games as we drove. And we became frustrated by constantly squinting at the navigation on my phone, and the many, many inconvenient taps and swipes necessary to access more information about our route or to change our plans a smidge. After our trip, I looked into different satellite navigation devices, and discovered that the TomTom Go 620 is a great alternative for people who love to road trip and need beautiful maps, easy-to-access information, and intuitive controls. As toptenreviews.com raves, you can connect it to your phone for a full range of features, but you can also disconnect completely if you like and let the TomTom light your way.
For the connected traveler: Mophie Juice Pack Access
I’m addicted to my iPhone and, when I’m traveling, my addiction is even worse. Keeping up with work emails, replying to petsitter text messages, and finding an open pharmacy in an unknown city — my phone gets a workout when I travel, and as a result, my battery life is terrible. Because we’re often away from our hotel or AirBnb for much of the day, keeping our phones charged is a challenge. The Mophie Juice Pack Access takes that concern away completely. It’s a case for your phone that keeps is charging on the go. It’s streamlined and easy to grip, and as 9to5toys.com explains, it provides access for wired headphones and Lightning cables, which previous models did not.
For the adventurer: The GoPro HERO 7
I fell in love with the idea of the GoPro a few years ago while on a vacation in Hawaii with friends. One friend was an avid surfer, and he used his GoPro to take incredibly stable, vivid video of every wave he caught. When we went snorkeling and spotted a sea turtle, his waterproof GoPro caught the entire adventure for us to watch later in excitement. The GoPro HERO7 is waterproof, rugged, and very stable. Its voice control features, streaming capabilities, and easy-to-use touchscreen make it a great gadget for those who love adventure and want to share their experiences with friends and family back home.
For the traveler who wants to shut out the world: Bose Quiet Comfort 35 Wireless Headphones
Need to sleep on your next redeye, but have trouble shutting out the noises around you? These headphones will blot out that ambient noise like no others. Want to listen to your playlists, binge watch your favorite shows, or lose yourself in a movie while you wait to board or kill time in a hotel lobby? These Bose headphones will block out the sounds of the spring breakers behind you, or the loud cellphone conversations on either side of you. Travel is sometimes more of a nuisance than an escape, and these headphones will allow you to escape. Great battery life and Alexa-connectivity are bonuses. Nearly 3000 Amazon reviews and 4.5 stars back up this top-of-the line product.
For the world traveler: The NEWVANGA International Universal Adapter
I have been burned by so many travel adapters in the past. Some of them don’t work with the recessed outlets found in many international accommodations. Others work in some countries, but not others. And many just don’t live up to their claims of…actually working, anywhere, at all. The NEWVANGA works with any type of outlet, in any country, and has lasted me a good five years with no sign of slowing down. I’ve taken it to Europe, and the friend who recommended it to me has used is in Asia and Kenya, where it never failed her.
WBUR Guide Picks
Best for roadtrippers who need a better navigation experience: TomTom GO 620
Best for travelers who must stay connected: Mophie Juice Pack Access
Best for documenting your outdoor adventures: GoPro HERO7
Best for tuning out the world: Bose Quiet Comfort 35 Wireless Headphones
Best for international travel: NEWVANGA Universal International Adapter
Rebecca is an outside contributor providing content for WBUR Guides. Based on her experiences as a professional writer and editor, frequent traveler, and busy mom, her product guides share her unique perspective with her fellow WBUR listeners and readers.
Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Barnard College of Columbia University. When she’s not writing, Rebecca enjoys cooking without stopping to measure precisely, swimming a poorly executed freestyle, and spending time with her husband and son near their home in Somerville, MA.