Booked yourself a well-deserved holiday? Congrats! The only thing left to do is pack, and this is where the panic sets in for most of us. There's the pressure to pack light and, yet, still have all your essentials on hand, lest we're stuck with a dead battery far from home. Some travel gadgets, such as Bluetooth transmitters, can help us in unexpected ways, especially if you're not a fan of in-flight headsets. Others make solo travel a little less daunting, when it comes to clicking scenic pictures with you in the frame. It all begins with taking stock of what you already have in your tech bag and preparing for activities planned during the holidays.
We revisited our trending gadgets of 2022 and scoured social media for must-pack items currently on the rise. If someone you know is travelling soon, one of these nifty tools might make a thoughtful gift, too. Shop these best-rated travel tech items from Amazon with a Prime membership, to get them as soon as possible, before you take off.
1. Best Tablet: Apple iPad Pro (Wi-Fi + Cellular, 128GB), Silver
- Fast M2 processor
- 5G works well
- Brilliant 12.9-inch Liquid Retina Extreme Dynamic Range (XDR) screen
- 12MP front camera always keeps you in the centre
- Expensive accessories
The 2022 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro is the latest in the series, and has quickly gained the reputation of being one of the best tablets out there for its elegant design and powerful processor. The lightweight tablet is perfect for travel - you can stream and play games on it with excellent results; it carries an 8-core central processing unit (CPU) for performance and a 10-core graphics processing unit (GPU) for faster graphics. Its Liquid Retina XDR screen delivers extremely vivid, high-quality content - perfect for TV show binge-watching on flights - with brightness levels peaking at 1,600 nits. Hold video chats with loved ones back home, with confidence, through a 12-megapixel selfie camera that moves when you move. Despite its power-hungry features, the Apple iPad Pro can impressively last nine hours of web surfing on a single charge.
Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh354.83 for 12 months with select banks.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh256, a one-year accidental damage protection for Dh427, and a two-year damage protection and one-year extended warranty for Dh545.
2. Best Travel Power Bank: Anker PowerCore+ (26,800mAh)
- High battery capacity
- Takes only three and a half hours to recharge
- Power delivery port for laptops and two USB ports for other devices
- Includes wall charger and USB-C cable
A power brick is undeniably one of the most important tech gadgets for travelling. With little to no access to outlets and being heavily reliant on the smartphone for pictures, GPS and translating apps, can quickly deplete your smartphone's battery. For travel, make sure the power bank is in your carry-on baggage, to comply with airline regulations. We've repeatedly picked Anker's PowerCore+ 26,800mAh as our best power bank, because it charges a wide range of devices. The 45-watt USB-C power delivery (PD) port is reserved for laptops and two 15-watt ports fuel smartphones and tablets several times over. Reviewers write that they get seven charging cycles for their phone and even use it as a power backup for their DSLR cameras and earbuds. It packs small for travelling and replenishes its own battery using a dedicated wall charger, too. Check out other power banks for travel here.
Warranty: The manufacturer offers an 18-month warranty.
3. Best Smartwatch: Apple Watch Series 8 (GPS + Cellular, 45mm)
- Call and text from the smartwatch, using cellular connectivity
- Takes your electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Alerts emergency services in the event of a crash
- Battery lasts up to 36 hours in low power mode
- IP6X dust resistance, and swimproof in up to 50 metres of depth
- Incremental upgrades from the Series 7
- Best compatibility with iPhones
Make sure you’re always connected and safe on your trip, with the Apple Watch Series 8. The Watch has a number of amazing health features, such as a dedicated ECG app that generates readings incredibly similar to a single-lead electrocardiogram. Another upgrade sees crash detection, where in the event of a car crash, the device instantly alerts the authorities and emergency contacts of your location. Likewise, a hard fall will put you in touch with dispatchers, as well. And if you’re planning to hit 10,000 steps every day at your destination, you're all set to track your goals through the Workout app - it puts your heart rate zone on display and lets you craft your own fitness schedule for the day. The Series 8 also boasts superlative cellular connectivity, so that you can stay connected without the hassle of lugging around a phone. There's more: enjoy the convenience of Apple Pay, built-in GPS (Global Positioning System) and streaming services on your wrist, making the watch a must-have wearable device for iOS users. And, if you're concerned about the battery life, the newly introduced low-power mode keeps the watch on for a whopping 36 hours. Check out other smartwatches.
Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh154.17 for 12 months with select banks.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh108 and a two-year extended warranty for Dh179.
4. Best E-Reader: Kindle Paperwhite Bundle (16GB, Black) with Amazon Fabric Cover (Denim)
- Sharp, bright screen
- Great performance
- Cloud-based storage
- Vast e-book store
- No adaptive backlight
- No waterproofing
It’s one of the best e-readers available right now. The Kindle Paperwhite has the same sharp display as its predecessor, but a bigger, 6.8-inch screen, without a major increase in price. It also features increased RAM (random access memory) for faster performance, along with Amazon’s vast e-book store. Purpose-built for reading in any situation, the Paperwhite has a 300ppi glare-free display that reads like real paper, even in bright sunlight. This bundle comes with a beautiful denim cover to keep the e-reader safe from scratches and falls. Take it with you on long plane or train rides, and it’ll keep you engaged for hours. See other e-readers here.
5. Best Bluetooth Audio Adapter: Twelve South Airfly Pro
- Can be used in-flight, with games and gym equipment
- Pairs up to two devices
- Over 16-hour battery life
- Doesn't support microphone on audio devices, say reviews
If you have wireless gadgets that rely on Bluetooth connectivity, get the Airfly Pro audio transmitter or adapter. This tool is a portable bridge that links your wireless headphones to an entertainment system that doesn't support Bluetooth pairing. It's going to come in handy on flights, where wired headsets are usually supplied for streaming movies and music. Plug the Airfly Pro into the system and pair it with your wireless device - this way you get to keep your own headphones on. The charge lasts up to 16 hours, so you're all set for long flights. Reviews say the audio quality is undisturbed and clear.
6. Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones: Sony WH 1000XM5 Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones
- HD noise-cancelling processor with eight mics
- 30-hour battery life
- Voice assistant compatible
- Wireless and wired
- Minimalistic design
- Case is bulky
- Maximum volume is low for some reviewers
Tune out the world in a pair of solid ear cans that actively cancel ambient noise on-flight. You could opt for any noise-cancelling over-ear headphones, but this Sony pair has garnered quite the fan-following on the internet. The WH-1000XM5 have a padded build, so they sit snug on your head as you doze off, free from any sharp edges to affect your sleep quality. Reviewers attest to the active noise cancellation, which the gadget does via a high-definition processor and eight mics. The battery lasts for 30 hours, and even if it runs out of charge, the provided audio cable keeps the music on. Plus, these are super flattering and give you hours of charge in just three minutes. Have a look at other over-ear headphones here.
Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh93.17 for 12 months with select banks.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh69 and a two-year extended warranty for Dh113.
7. Best Instant Camera: Fujifilm Instax Mini 11
- Slim, fun design
- Built-in flash for good low-light shots
- Includes Selfie Mode
- Available in several stylish colours
- Flash cannot be turned off
If you love a retro vibe, you’ll love the Instax Mini 11 - this instant film camera creates high-quality photos with a nostalgic flare. Just click, and you’ll receive an instant, credit card-sized print. The latest rendition of the camera features an automatic exposure function that no longer needs manual adjustment for different lighting functions. It also has an in-built flash that works great in low-light conditions. There’s even a Selfie Mode, which allows the camera lens barrel to extend for a close-up shot. Reviewers do caution that the flash cannot be turned off, so watch out for overexposed shots when you’re outdoors. Still, this instant camera is a fun way to make memories on every trip!
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh18 and a two-year extended warranty for Dh29.
8. Best Travel Adapter: Anker Universal Travel Adapter
- Four USB-A ports
- Four outlet pins for Europe, USA, UK and Australia
- Converts voltage
- Doesn't have a USB-C port
A travel adapter will help you stay connected no matter where you go, especially if you're hopping continents. The Anker universal travel adapter works in over 150 countries, and has four USB-A ports. It's capable of converting voltage, too, so you can use your hair tools, grooming gadgets and more worry-free. With this adapter, you get to power four devices at the same time, helping you reduce charger clutter in your tech bag. Reviews say it's bulky by design, but it is sturdy and packs well in medium-sized kits.
9. Best Smartphone Gimbal: DJI OM 4 SE Handheld Stabiliser
- Gesture to remotely click selfies
- Folds small for storage
- 15-hour battery life
- Tripod included
- Multiple filming modes
- Better optimised for iPhones, according to reviews
Add a pro's touch to your travel videos and pictures, with a gimbal stabiliser. Daring adventurers and city tourists, alike, appreciate shake-free shots to document their travels, and this handheld accessory elevates every frame to pro levels. The DJI OM SE is our number-one smartphone gimbal of 2022, for the array of filming features it offers - from dolly zoom to time-lapse. Whether you're moving back and forth, up and down or side to side, the 3-axis gimbal latches onto your phone and records steady footage. The included tripod stand helps you take group pictures with family and friends - all you have to do is gesture at the gadget to trigger the controls. Reviews say it even doubles as a power bank. However, most Android users do point out that the app isn't Android-friendly. Browse more stabilisers for your phone here.
10. Best Bluetooth Tracker: Tile Pro (2022), 4-Pack
- Bluetooth range of 120 metres
- Reverse tracker - finds phone for you
- Loudest Tile tracker yet
- Replaceable battery
- Battery lasts one year
Bluetooth trackers have been on the rise, because they let travellers keep tabs on their checked luggage and cabin bags. If you're travelling to a busy destination or just want to take extra precautions, a pack of Tile Pro trackers would be a worthwhile investment. While the more popular AirTag by Apple is exclusively tied to iOS, the Tile trackers work with both Android and iOS devices. Toss it into a bag and the tracker alerts you from up to 120 metres away. Once the tracker is out of the Bluetooth range, it'll use other Tile users in the vicinity to track down where your item was last seen. Buyers say the alarm on the Tile tracker is loud enough to be heard from a packed suitcase, and handful others attest to finding a lost checked baggage at the airport.
Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh23 and a two-year extended warranty for Dh33.
11. Best Tech Kit: Native Union Stow Organiser, Sage
Protect your smaller tech items, like a phone charger, USB cables, earbuds and microSD cards, in a dedicated tech pouch. The Native Union travel organiser comes in five different colours, packs small and looks stylish with genuine leather accents. Inside, you'll find elastic loops, flexible pockets and a zippered compartment for flash drives. On the outside, an exterior easy-access pocket fits your smartphone or travel documents. Buyers love the hidden compartments and use the kit to store their Apple products when travelling. There's little chance of misplacing your everyday tech essentials with a pouch, since you'll always know where to look first.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.