What the Tech? Best gifts for travel

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(ABC 6 News) – Thoughtful gifts are the best gifts. If you’re looking to find that perfect present for someone on your list consider what they do for a living. If they need to travel for work or just like to get out of town frequently, there are many tech gadgets that make traveling a little easier.

One of my personal favorite travel gadgets isn’t something you plug into a wall. I bought my own ScotteVest travel vest more than 10 years ago for a trip and I haven’t traveled without it since. I’ve even given them as gifts to family members who were going on vacation.

A ScotteVest has 15 or more pockets of all sizes that cut down on the need for a separate carry-on to hold all of the devices I need. I can carry a smartphone, keys, passport, pens, camera, a book or Kindle, and even an iPad in the many interior and exterior pockets, and the vest is weighted so it never feels like you’ve got all that stuff on you.

It saves me from taking a bag for all of those things on an airplane and I’ve found in some airports, rather than taking all of that stuff out of a bag at security, I just place the vest on the conveyor belt. Note that this is different from the security checkpoint in every airport.

Airplanes are noisy so a good pair of noise-canceling earbuds will block out engine noise and the snoring or talkative person beside you. Don’t buy earbuds without Active Noise Canceling or ANC. Some cost in the hundreds of dollars, The Bose Quiet Comfort is best in class, but other brands, such as Nokia earbuds are under $20.

Finding enough outlets in a hotel room to keep everything charged is sometimes frustrating. I picked up a travel power strip by Anker a few years ago that’s small enough to fit in a carry-on or suitcase. It has 3 electric plugs and three USB connection ports. The power strips (actually a block) is under $20.

I paired mine with a multi-plug charging cable. These cables have a standard USB and two connected adapters for USB-C and a lightning plug for iPhones.

Unless you have an iPad Air or a small Chromebook, taking a laptop onboard an airplane is a bit cumbersome.

Several years ago I left the laptop in a bag and picked up an iPad Pro primarily for traveling.

I also paired it with a Bluetooth Keyboard from Brydge that gave my iPad nearly all of the abilities that my iPad provides. Brydge keyboards have lighted keys and new versions even have a built-in trackpad.

None of these gadgets are useful if the battery dies so a portable power bank makes a great gift for anyone who travels. The portable charging blocks are thinner than ever and a few do not require a cable connection. For smartphones with wireless charging, look for a power bank that connects to the phone by simply placing the phone on top of the charger.