Travel Gadgets That Really Are Worth the Hype

Traveling is an adventure, but it's also a process that comes with its own set of challenges. From long flights and layovers to keeping your devices charged and staying organized, having the right gear can make all the difference. With so many travel gadgets on the market, it's hard to know which ones are worth buying. Especially when it comes to limited packing space. These are my tried and true top five travel gadgets that really are worth packing. Whether you're a seasoned traveler or planning your first big trip, these must-have items are going to help you enjoy the journey! 


Travel Gadgets That Really Are Worth the Hype


Let's dive into some of my favorite travel gadgets that are going to elevate your travel experience to a whole new level. Don't worry, most of them are under $20 and won't break the bank!

1. Airplane Travel Foot Hammock

I bought this about 10 years ago and I still love it. Full disclosure, if you are tall, this isn't for you. I'm 5'2" and it works really well for me. I only take this on flights that are longer than four hours. It does pack up small and it's squishy so it doesn't take up a lot of room. 

You hook the adjustable strap over your tray table and then shorten or lengthen the strap as needed. It allows me to rest my feet on the strap and extend my legs. Those restless legs on long flights is a real thing, so having the opportunity to stretch out a bit really does help. 

Don't miss this post: How to Save Money and Travel the World {no travel hacking!}

2. Foldable Cell Phone Stand

I will not travel without this on any flight. It permanently stays in my travel bag and I always check to make sure it is in there before any flight. It will be the best $10 you will ever spend. I promise!

This stand folds up flat and then you can use it as a stand on your tray table to watch shows, or as a hook to hold your phone above the tray table. Every single time I use it on a flight, my seat neighbors always mention what a good idea it is! 

It's so nice to not have to hold your phone in your hand to watch all those shows you downloaded! 

It made my favorite travel items I won't get on a plane without and it still gets my favorite travel items list!

3. Inflatable Seat Cushion

Last year, my husband was going to join me on one of the longest flights he'd ever been on before! It was a 16 hour flight on our way to Africa. 

He had a friend recommend this inflatable seat cushion and his life will never be the same! It's actually made for camping, but if you find that airplane seats are uncomfortable and hard {as most do!}, this inflatable seat cushion will change your life. 

It folds up small and is easy to inflate and deflate once you get to your destination. It's also great if you are doing any bus tours or safari drives like we were to help give just a little bit more padding. 

If you are headed to Africa, don't miss our ultimate Africa packing list!


4. Travel Backpack

I travel a lot, and I found that I was reaching for whatever random backpack I had in my closet to use as a carry on. I finally decided to do some research and I searched high and low for a good travel backpack. I was even willing to pay real dollars for one, but I ended up finding the perfect travel backpack. It had similar features to ones that cost two and three times as much and after traveling with it for more than a year, it's honestly one of my best travel items.

This backpack has so many compartments to keep you organized, and yet it still fits under the seat in front of you. My favorite thing it has is a separate shoe compartment in the bottom. I can fit 2-3 pairs of shoes in that pocket without any issues! 

I also love that it has a strap to fit easily onto my suitcase so that I can wheel it around versus having to carry it on my back. It makes travel really easy.

There is a laptop sleeve and even a dry/wet bag compartment. There are even lots of internal zipper pockets that keep all your travel items and documents organized. There are even side straps that can help compress the bag.

It's honestly the best travel backpack out there! 

Side note: This is a great backpack for a carry on, but if you are looking for an actual travel backpack to use instead of a suitcase, I highly recommend these. We packed for three weeks in Africa with these backpacks {this one for the guys this one for the girls} and they were incredible.

5. Travel Tripod

I don't take a trip without this travel tripod. It folds up to about the size of a travel umbrella so it can fit in a large purse or backpack. It securely holds your phone and it does have a remote, though I use my Apple watch to take the photo instead. 

As a mom, I'm rarely in the picture, so it's nice to take this on vacation and know that you can get in the photo too! It also allows you to get family photos with everyone in the picture. It doesn't take long to set up, and it folds up small. It's also sturdy enough that a little wind isn't going to knock it over! 

You'll never awkwardly have to ask for someone to take your photo. I won't go on any trip without this travel tripod! 


I don't own this yet, but I will be purchasing it for an upcoming international flight. On domestic flights I use my phone and watch my own downloads, but on international flights I use the inflight entertainment. This adapter allows you to use your own headphones, not the cheap plastic wired ones they pass out. You won't have any cords getting in the way, and if you have nice headphones you've purchased already {I love my airpods}, then you get to actually use them! 

This adapter even has a 16+ hour battery life, so it will be perfect on those long flights.



As you can see, these are huge investment items, but they will make your travel that much smoother and more enjoyable. Safe travels!

disclaimer: this post may have affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing through them, I may receive a small commission. These small purchases help me to continue to keep writing content and creating at Rachel Teodoro. Thank you!

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