This year the annual Best Travel Gadgets list was held back by a few months as we all continued to adapt to restrictions around the pandemic. But, as vaccinations roll out and the situation starts to improve, there’s hope many of us will be on the move again soon. So this is my list of the 14 must-have Best Travel Gadgets, Apps and luggage for 2021.
2021 Best Travel Gadgets
The latest flagship smartphone from Samsung has something for everyone and is a perfect travel companion. A huge 6.8″ Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED display overshadows the current Galaxy Note. It supports the S Pen and is flanked by AKG Speakers making it perfect for movies on the go.
It’s at the back, though, that travellers will take the most interest. The main camera is a whopping 108MP and is 1 of 4 lenses that can capture 4K video in 60fps. All whist running on a superfast 5G network (where available).
Buy Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G $799 | £725
13. Samsonite Konnect-i Backpack
Why bother taking your smartphone out when your backpack can operate it for you! Meet the Samsonite Konnect-i Backpack powered by Jacquard™ by Google.
Once paired with your smartphone over Bluetooth, the Konnect-i can control your music, help with navigating a new city or even pick up your messages, all from a touch or swipe of the smart shoulder strap.
Buy Samsonite Konnect-i (standard or slim) Backpack $219 | £179
Each bud has a large 9.2mm driver unit and 3 microphones that continually calculate outside noise to ensure the best noise-cancelling sound reaches your ears. The party trick for the PI7, though, is the charging case. It can be plugged into an aeroplane seat and steam the inflight audio wirelessly to the earbuds!
Buy Bowers & Wilkins PI7 Earbuds $399 | £313
11. App in the Air
For the second year in a row, App in the Air (AITA) makes my list as the must-have travel app in 2021. The app has continued to evolve during the COVID pandemic, ensuring it delivers ALL the travel information its users need.
As a personal travel assistant, AITA provides you with a single App for all your travel bookings, air miles, location information and much more. Every frequent flier will benefit from the Apple Watch app. And if that’s not enough, the AITA community of premium users is one of the most passionate and engaged Facebook group of travellers I know.
Download App in the Air from Free
10. Zendure SuperTank Pro
At 580g, some travellers might choose a lighter power bank, but the new SuperTank Pro is a superb power option for travellers for features and reliability. It has 4 x USB-C ports, can fully charge a 16″ MacBook Pro and any other gadget you travel with.
The SuperTank Pro has one of the best LED displays on any power bank I’ve tested. With detailed information on the charging performance of each device, whether it’s a power-hungry notebook or a small pair of wireless buds, the SuperTank Pro charges them all.
Buy Zendure SuperTank Pro $249
There are some superb laptops available at the moment. During 2020 into ’21, most brands have added noteworthy upgrades to their notebooks, but the one with the biggest shift and, I can’t believe I’m writing this, best value for money, is the brilliant new M1 powered Apple MacBook Air.
With a starting price of just $999/£999, Apple’s lightweight, backpack friendly notebook shares nearly all the same specifications as the more expensive Pro, has 18 hours of battery power and needs only a 30W USB-C power adapter.
Buy Apple M1 MacBook Air $999 | £999
The new Luggage Harness from the limited edition RIMOWA x Chaos collaboration is my favourite new piece for 2021. As hand luggage only traveller, this new harness not only provides me with a little extra storage if needed but allows me to keep everything I usually need to remove for an airport security check close to hand.
The future of wireless headphones has arrived with unlimited playback and no need to worry about battery life; meet the new Urbanista Los Angeles ANC Wireless headphones. These soon to be released Active Noise Cancelling headphones have a material called Powerfoyle™ built into the headband and are a flexible solar panel.
Just one hour in sunlight will transform into 3 hours of playback, perfect for the beach or city walks. And fear not if you have a long haul flight. The Urbanista Los Angeles have a 50-hour battery life when fully charged!
Join the mailing list for the 2021 launch on urbanista.com.
AT long last, you can enjoy that brilliant SONOS sound outdoors and on your travels with the Roam. This portable smart speaker will fully integrate with your SONOS network at home and then move to a Bluetooth connection for your smartphone when on the move.
Roam is IP67 rated, so it is water and dustproof and weighs only 430g, so it can join you by the pool or on the beach and has a 10-hour battery to last all day long.
Buy SONOS Roam Portable Speaker $169 | £159
If you’re an Apple fan with all the devices, then the Satechi QUATRO Wireless Power Bank is what you need. The 10,000mAh power pack can charge up to four devices at any one time, and with a dedicated magnetic circle for Apple Watch and a QI Wireless surface for your AirPods, the USB-A and USB-C ports are left free for bigger devices.
All modern smartphones are supported, and thanks to Power Delivery (PD) fast charging capabilities on the USB-C port, the QUATRO Power bank can output 18W of power, enough for an iPad Pro!
Buy Satechi QUATRO Wireless Power Bank $99 | £89
4. Cinemood TV Projector
Travel-friendly, with a 150″ display and a 4-hour battery life, the Cinemood TV is a palm-sized projector that can go and work almost anywhere. It can stream movies from Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime, plays 1000s of games and display digital books.
There is a built-in sim card, USB-C for charging or streaming, and it comes with a free to download smartphone app, which can double as a smart control and is bright enough to work in daylight.
Buy Cinemood TV $499
One of Apple’s worst kept secrets for 2021 will also no doubt be its biggest seller of the year. AirTags are small Bluetooth tracking devices that can help you locate a missing item anywhere in the world. Using the Apple Find My network, AirTags will crowdsource the Apple user base to find your missing luggage.
Tired of replacing luggage? Concerned about your impact on the planet? Then the trailblazing new Horizn Studios Circle One Cabin case is what you need. Made from BioX, a new patented material that is constructed with Flax, a natural fibre. But Horizn hasn’t stopped there.
Circle One has been designed to always be repaired and not replaced and because sustainability is for future generations Horizn Studios are offering 30% off for the under 30s.
Buy Horizn Studios Circle One Cabin Case €685 | £650
When Lenovo announced the new Tab P11 at the beginning of the year, many countries were still in lockdown, and this family-focused tablet was a good tool for digital learning. And, as we begin to travel again, it’s an even greater gadget for being on the road.
Balance screen time for kids between entertainment and productivity with Google Kids Space Mode for learning or enjoy Netflix HD on the bright 11″ 2K IPS LCD Multitouch display.
Buy Lenovo Tab P11 $229 | £259