Essential Travel Tech Gadgets for Your Summer Vacation

ipad kindle airpods travel tech gadgets

1 kg in your hand luggage is all you need to get wallet, documents, GPS, media center, camera, theft security, books, tv, movies, music, and games on your summer vacation! Here’s the essential travel tech gadgets.

No portable espresso machines or 1 kg cameras

There is no shortage of travel tech gadgets when you do a quick search on Google. Most articles claim that all are “essential” and “must have”. I know that some people just want inspiration to waste money and in this case, a list of 101 gadgets is maybe what they’re looking for (they probably don’t fly with Ryan Air).

For others, like me, there are several good reasons to minimize the use of tech on a vacation:

The most obvious is; you actually don’t need it. And here I’m thinking about portable espresso machines, huge cameras, drones, boomboxes, and the like.

Unplugging is good for your mental health. It helps you relax and avoid stress. I am not one of those who preach a completely unplugged, tech-free vacation. I would, however, advise that you only use your phone and tablet sparingly.

Traveling with tech is impractical. It takes up space, which is usually limited. Particularly if you fly, many airlines require electronics to be in your hand luggage. Moreover, your electronics are fragile and may get stolen. Maybe you have insurance, but the process of making insurance claims is not on most people’s fun list and you still have to pay the excess.

The sun obliterates your electronics. This applies in particular to batteries, which can be very costly. A new iPhone or a battery change is not exactly cheap (and no, don’t think you can buy the “battery change kit” and do it yourself – you may end up killing your phone or yourself or both).

So, let’s jump in…

Travel tech through thick and thin

These gadgets have followed me on my vacations in various model iterations through thick and thin. I have included a small gallery here before the actual list of recommendations.

Here’s the best essential travel tech gadgets

Please note that I may get a small commission from links at absolutely no extra cost to you.


essential travel tech gadgets iphone

An iPhone is the most dependable phone when you’re out (and in general). Wallet for your boarding pass, (Google) Maps for navigation and reviews, and Spotify for relaxing to music are examples of great apps that improve your vacation. The supply and quality of travel apps are also much better on iPhone than Android, so you don’t have to waste time on missing or broken apps. And you have a great camera for vacation photos.

See iPhone selection on Amazon.

iPad Air

essential travel tech gadgets ipad

The iPad Air is an allround device that is great to browse for vacation-related things, watch TV, and play games. I always download TV and games that work offline to pass the time during a flight. The iPad is also horribly insufficient for most work and productivity, so you don’t get tempted (sorry, Apple and cultists).

See on Amazon.

Kindle Paperwhite

essential travel tech gadgets kindle

More than 6 million English books weigh approximately 200g in your bag. Instant delivery, tolerates water, and works in both sunlight and darkness. Do I need to say more?

See on Amazon.


essential travel tech gadgets airtags

AirTags are pretty expensive, but so is losing your valuables. Placing a few of these strategically in your luggage may save you both money and headaches. Especially when the already stressed luggage personnel decide to send your bag on a little trip on its own.

See on Amazon.

AirPods Pro

essential travel tech gadgets airpods

The small AirPods Pro fit in your pocket and have GPS for extra security. Especially the 2. generation has outstanding noise-cancellation, which complements your favorite music or audiobook to completely unwind. I honestly don’t understand people bringing bulky Over-Ear headphones, because the AirPods are so good you don’t need to.

See on Amazon.

Chromecast HD

essential travel tech gadgets chromecast

A 40g wireless media center that plugs directly into the TV in your hotel room or vacation house is great entertainment in the evenings. Especially for pool vacations that can be frustratingly boring when it gets dark.

See on Amazon.

Anker 511 Charger

essential travel tech gadgets gan charger

GaN charging technology is the new kid on the block. I won’t even bother writing the full name but the essence is that you get more power in a smaller size. According to Anker, the 511 is 70% smaller than a normal 30W charger. 30W is more than sufficient to charge an iPad. It weighs around 100g and the size is ideal for traveling. There’s only one port, but I find this adequate as the charging is extremely fast – and fast is usually what you want on a vacation when you’re out and about rather than a lot of ports. If you insist on several ports, you can of course get that too, but you will have to give up more space.

See on Amazon.

Xbox S (optional for a vacation house)

essential travel tech gadgets xbox s

This one is very much optional, but it can be a lifesaver if you stay in a vacation house with kids. The Xbox S can play all modern games and weigh only 2kg (its larger sibling the Xbox X weighs 4.5 kg). It is definitely not suitable for hand luggage. However, the additional entertainment provided on a rainy day is worth taking up a small part of your car trunk.

See an Amazon.

About 1 kg in your luggage …

Excluding the Xbox, all the gadgets together weigh approximately 1 kg or 2.2 lb.

It is pretty amazing to think that this package will get you e.g.:

  • Wallet and travel documents.
  • GPS navigation, fast charging, camera, media center, noise-cancellation, and luggage tracking.
  • Books, music, TV, movies, games.

Happy vacation and remember to unplug. The real vacation is not your tech but your experiences!

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