5 Travel Gadgets and Other Useful Products for Flyers

If you travel – if you fly – you know the importance of useful gadgets and other products that don’t take up much space. We haven’t tried all of these so no guarantees but they look intriguing (and practical). Click the links for more information. If you have taken any of these items along on a trip, we’d love your opinion.

LISTEN: Rick Seaney loves gadgets.

5 Useful Travel Gadgets

Did we miss something? Of course we did, but perhaps you’ll be kind enough to tell us.

1. Portable luggage scale

These are a must, mainly because you do not want overweight bags. On most U.S. airlines, the allowance for checked-bags on domestic flights is 50 lbs but this can vary by carriers around the world. If you go over the limit, you typically pay the standard bag fee plus an overweight fee (which can cost up to $200 and sometimes more on international routes). Get a scale and weigh your bag before you go to the airport. They are widely available but we saw some at Target for under $20.

2. Squeeze Pods

These little ‘single serving’ packets of shampoo, moisturizer, shaving cream, hair gel and more could be tossed in a suitcase, used as needed, then thrown away. No messy bottles to deal with (or that’s the idea as we understand it). The Squeeze Pod people have an explanatory video on their site, plus pricing information: three pods for under $2 or a 15-count box ranging from $7.75 to $8.75.

3. International adapter plugs

If you’re traveling outside your own country, chances are you’ll need an adapter plug. You can find these all over the internet; TravelSmith has a selection including some under $10.

4. Hand sanitizer

Have you seen the new photos of travelers on Passenger Shaming with their bare feet on tray tables? That’s why you need hand sanitizer, especially the wipes. You can find these almost everywhere for under $5 a pack; we saw good deals at CVS and Boots.

5. Portable battery chargers

Even notice that the better the phone the quicker it loses its charge? [Or so it seems to us!] Digital Trends list 20 portable chargers they like, ranging in price from pretty expensive to under $20.

Bonus: Inflatable bag for breakables

The witty folks at BuzzFeed refer to the Vinni Bag as a wine bag but this inflatable plastic container would be good for any breakables in a checked-bag (and note that a bottle of wine is way over the 3.4 ounce liquid allowance for a carry-on). It costs $28 and can be reused and recycled.


Updated: August 22, 2017