Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or automobile, you’re sure to encounter some background noise that makes your listening experience less than ideal. Instead of cranking up the volume, use noise-cancelling headphones to, well, cancel out the roar of a jet engine or minimize the screams from a crying baby.
Our top-rated pick are the Bose QuietComfort 15 headphones. They’ve been around for years, and for good reason -- they’re one of the best pairs of noise-cancelling headphones on the market. They’ll cost you around $300, but your frequent flyer will love them.
Though smartphone cameras keep getting better, it’s still hard to beat a point-and-shoot camera for vacation photos. One of our favorites is the Canon PowerShot SX280 HS. It has tons of shooting modes to capture beautiful scenery, or a night out at the pub, plus it has 20x zoom to help get the perfect photo. It’s also small and lightweight, so it won't take up too much room in a day bag.
Though you can read e-books on any tablet or smartphone, the single-purpose e-reader is still a great companion while traveling. That’s because it can last for weeks on a single charge, which is perfect for long flights or extended vacations away from an outlet. We highly recommend the Kindle Paperwhite 2013 model for its improved E Ink's Pearl 2 display and massive Amazon e-book store. And for $120, it won’t break the bank.
Most anyone who travels for business also travels with a laptop. There are tons of easy-to-pack models out there, and one of our top picks is the lightweight MacBook Air. The 11-inch model is especially compact, weighing just 2.3 pounds. The all-day battery life also makes it an ideal choice for traveling.
Have a loved one that loves going far off the grid? A satellite phone is their best bet to stay connected.
The Spot Global Phone looks dated and has a massive antenna, but it will work in most corners of the globe, where many other cell phones do not. It can also withstand temperatures as low as -4 Fahrenheit (-20 Celsius) and as high as 131 Fahrenheit (55 Celsius). That makes it the perfect gift for mountain climbers, wilderness explorers, and anyone who goes off the beaten path.
At $500, it’ll cost you a little less than an off-contract iPhone 5S.
Whether you're backpacking up a mountain, far away from a power outlet, or in a foreign country and don't have the right plug adapters, a portable power pack is the perfect gadget to get extra juice for your electronics.
The Boost Turbine 4000 from Eton packs 4,000mAh of power, enough to charge most cell phones two to three times. It also has a hand crank on the back so you can recharge it at any time with just a little elbow grease.
The Nomad Charge Card is a unique little device no larger than a credit card that acts a portable charging cable. Just pop out the USB strip and plug it into your computer or a wall adapter and plug the other side into your phone. There's an iPhone version with a Lightning connection and a Micro-USB model for Android phones. The best part is that it can't tangle. It costs $25 and you can order one on Nomad's website.
Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET
Belkin SurgePlus USB Swivel Charger
A power strip is a handy gadget for when there's not enough power outlets at the airport or in your hotel room to charge all the tech you take on your travels. This surge protector and power strip from Belkin has three plug outlets and two USB ports. It also swivels, so it can fit into tight spots without blocking another outlet. For $30, it makes a great stocking stuffer.
Timbuk2 Power Commute Messenger
Perhaps the person you’re buying for has all the gear they could ever need, but they need a place to stash it. In that case, take a look at the Timbuk2 Power Commute Messenger bag. It has a built-in Joey T1 Charging Device to charge your gadgets and can fit laptops up to 15 inches. It’s made of tough, water-resistant ballistic nylon, and has a TSA-compliant laptop sleeve to get you through security without hassles.