2019 Gift Guide: Must-Have Smartphone Accessories for the Traveler

Must-Have Smartphone Accessories for the Traveler

Smartphones are vital travel companions. While you're on the go, they connect you with loved ones back home, help you find tickets and passes for tourist attractions, and make it easy to find your way through foreign roads — but even the most powerful smartphone could use help from travel accessories.

If you have a loved one who is always getting their passport stamped, or maybe you're the world-traveler and you want to get yourself something nice, here's a list of essential smartphone accessories that make traveling so much easier.

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Stocking Stuffers for Less Than $25

Protect Your Phone at the Beach

A tropical vacation probably means a cocktail or beer on the beach, but it could also end up with a smartphone covered in sand or dropped in water. The JOTO Universal Waterproof Phone Case protects most smartphones (up to 6.8" diagonal size) from water and sand whether you're at the beach, on a lake, or even underwater (up to 100 ft.). Best of all, the clear window on both sides makes it easy to take photos and videos and check your phone while it's protected.

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Only downside is the name plastered at the top of the case is a homophobic slur in many Spanish-speaking countries. Just something to be aware of.

One Charging Cable to Rule Them All

A charging cable is a must-have when you're traveling, but if you and your family have several different devices, your backpack could quickly get tangled up with all types of cords. The YOUSAMS 3-in-1 Multi-USB Charger is a nylon-braided cable that has 3 different charging ports (Lightning, Micro USB and USB-C) to charge your Apple iPhone, Google Pixel, or Android phone. Best of all, you can charge three different devices all at once!

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Entertainment on the Plane Made Easier

A long plane ride requires some entertainment, and that might be coming from your smartphone. However, there usually isn't a ton of real estate to place your phone while you watch a movie or series in your seat, so the SkyClip allows you to easily mount your device to the airplane tray table in front of you. If your tray table is down, the SkyClip doubles as a smartphone stand so you can also watch while you eat.

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Same Trip, Different Plug

Outlets in different parts of the world may differ. If you've got a wall charger that works in Los Angeles, it won't work in London. If you buy one in London, it won't work in Berlin ... so a travel adapter is necessary to charge your smartphone at your hotel or rental. The JOOMFEEN Universal Power Wall Charger can connect to an outlet in over 150 countries with US/EU/UK/AU plugs. If you have multiple smartphones to charge, the world adapter plus allows use of the AC power socket and USB ports at the same time.

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Make It Easier to Protect & Access Your Phone

If you're visiting a touristy part of a foreign country, you could potentially be the target of pickpockets, who can steal your keys, wallet, and phone from your purse or pocket. Although there are several ways to protect your valuables, the Bone Lanyard Hook makes it easy by safely securing your smartphone (from 4 to 6.5 in.) around your neck. Best of all, if you need to quickly use the phone, you can easily do so. The perfect gift for that traveler always on the go.

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Driving on Vacation?

You might need a car while you're out on vacation or traveling abroad, which is why you need the Beam Electronics Universal Air Vent Cell Phone Mount to help you navigate those unknown roads. Simply stick the mount into any car's air vent, and you can secure your phone (1.9 to 3.7 in. wide) to monitor your GPS while you drive. It beats looking at your phone from your lap.

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A Picture Perfect Holiday

A vacation or holiday just isn't complete without great photos, and you might need a tripod for that. The UBeesize Tripod S is a 10.6-inch tripod with flexible octopus-style legs that can give you a wider variety of unique shots when you have no one else to take your photo. The tripod comes with a wireless remote that allows you to take photos remotely, from a distance of up to 30 ft. It works with most smartphones (up to 3.54 in. wide).

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A Simple Bag to Carry Your Phone

A backpack or suitcase can easily carry your smartphone, but if you want a smaller bag, for just the essentials, you need a crossbody bag. The MINICAT Nylon Small Crossbody Bag is a small and ultra-light bag for your smartphone, as well as your cash, passport, keys, headphones, tickets, and more. The bag features six card slots, so you can easily stash your debit and credit cards, and the bag also blocks RFID, so your cards are secure from hackers.

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Never Run Out of Life

You won't always find an outlet to charge your smartphone, which is why a portable battery charger can come in clutch when you're traveling. The Anker PowerCore 5000 Portable Charger is a tiny, yet powerful charger that can provide at least one full charge to almost any smartphone. Simply charge the charger, turn it on, connect it to your phone, and take advantage of the exclusive PowerIQ technology, which provides the fastest possible charge to your device.

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Keep It Wireless with These Inexpensive Bluetooth Headphones

Not all headphones have to cost an arm and a leg. The Mpow H7 Bluetooth Headphones are affordable over-the-ear wireless headphones to use while on vacation. Buttons on the side of the headphones allow you to easily control music, podcasts, phone calls, and more from your smartphone. Charge them fully to get up to 18 hours of battery life; once you run out, you can switch to a 3.5mm audio cable. The headphones come in black, blue, silver, and pink.

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Track Your Stolen or Lost Property

It's easy to lose your personal property when you're vacation: you might leave your wallet at the bar, your luggage at the airport, or your purse in the back of a taxi. Luckily, the Tile Mate makes it simple to track your lost or stolen goods. Simply attach the Tile Mate to your wallet, backpack, or keys and use your smartphone to track it (within 200 ft.) If you lose your phone, but still have your Tile, you can double-press the Tile button to make your phone ring out loud.

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Great Gifts for Friends Between $25 & $99

Improve Your Smartphone's Camera

Your smartphone's camera might be good — but it could always be better. If you want to capture more with your photos, or get super-close shots, a third-party lens, like the Xenvo Pro Lens Kit, can make all the difference. Use the wide-angle lens to shoot beautiful photos of scenery, landscapes, and architecture, while using the macro lens to get a close up look at insects, flowers, and other intricate details. The kit comes with two lenses, a clip to attach the lenses to your iPhone or Android (and it has an LED light on it), a quick-release lanyard, a durable travel case, a cleaning cloth, and a lifetime warranty.

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Entertainment for Everyone

A family vacation means several different smartphones, tablets, media players, and other devices — which also means that getting movies, TV shows, and other forms of entertainment on each device could be a pain, unless you have a wireless travel router.

The RAVPower FileHub is a powerful wireless data transfer, backup, and travel router. Simply insert an SD into the FileHub with the files you want to share, and you can connect to up to 5 phones, tablets, or laptops at once, so that those devices can stream entertainment. If you're stuck in a hotel with poor Wi-Fi, you can connect the FileHub to a DSL or cable modem, and use it as a regular router to share internet to your different devices.

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Get the Files You Need Fast

If you want something smaller than the RAVPower FileHub, but still be able to share files wirelessly, the SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick might be perfect for you. The flash drive is meant to work with your smartphone, tablet, and computer, so you can wirelessly save and access important files. Need to print out a concert ticket? Wirelessly share the PDF from your phone to a computer and print. Want to share vacation photos but don't have anymore room on your smartphone? Wirelessly share the photos to your tablet devices. You can even stream HD videos and music to up to 3 devices at once.

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Make Your Vacation Videos Look GREAT

Many newer smartphones can shoot in 4K, different FPS, and a variety of focal lengths, making them a great tool for capturing memories on vacation. However, the shakiness of your hand can ruin a video — unless you have a stabilizer.

A gimbal, such as the Hohem iSteady Mobile+, can easily keep your video stable as you move around, whether you're going up stairs, running down the beach, and more. The iSteady Mobile+ works great for action shots, time lapses, and slow motion videos, and is compatible with most smartphones on the market.

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A Great Speaker for Listening to Music on the Go

Headphones are great but when you're traveling and relaxing at the beach, by a fire, or in your hotel, you want to listen to your music out-loud. The only (good) way to do that is with a portable outdoor speaker, such as the Bose SoundLink Micro.

The Bluetooth speaker is perfect for the beach and camping, thanks to its waterproof speaker, tear-resistant strap, wireless range of up to 30 feet, and up to 6 hours of play time from its rechargeable battery. The built-in speaker phone is even great for taking calls and accessing your phone's Siri or Google assistant.

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Speak the Language with This Instant Translator

If you don't speak the language, navigating a foreign country can be difficult, especially in places where English isn't spoken much. Although learning the language is the best method to communicate, you may not have the time, so an instant translator can help out in a pinch.

The Cheetah Mobile is a Microsoft-based AI instant translator that lets you speak and learn a new language using back-and-forth translation. The CM smart instant language translator supports 42 different languages, including English, Chinese, Spanish, French, German, and more, as long as it's connected to your smartphone via the CheetahTalk application.

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Splurges for $100 & Up

A Luggage to Charge Your Phone With

The SWISSGEAR 7272 19" USB Energie Expandable Luggage isn't just a durable and lightweight carry-on spinner luggage, it's also a battery pack. This luggage features 360-degree, multi-directional spinner wheels, as well as a power pack mesh pocket with an external USB charging port to charge your smartphone, tablet, and other devices. Never worry about finding an outlet when you've got your SWISSGEAR 7272 close by.

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Wireless Earbuds for the Go

Although they'll cost you a pretty penny, the Apple AirPods are one of the best accessories you can get for your phone when you're traveling. Even if you don't have an iPhone, the AirPods make it easy for you to listen to music wherever you are: simply pair the headphones ad you're good to go.

Unlike over-the-ear headphones, the AirPods are compact so you can comfortably wear them and also keep them close by without taking up too much room. If you need to hop on a call while you're listening to music or watching a movie, you can easily tap on the AirPods to talk.

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A Different Type of High-End Headphones

Not everyone is a fan of the AirPods, which is why we've included a different style of high-end headphones to this list. The Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones are superior noise-cancelling Bluetooth over-the-ear headphones. Use the Bose Connect app on your smartphone to adjust the noise cancellation levels, enable music sharing, manage your connections, and update your software.

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Cover photo by Nelson Aguilar/Gadget Hacks

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