If you love to travel, technology is here to help. Here are five new and useful gadgets that will make your next flight infinitely better.
1. Twelve South AirFly Pro Bluetooth Transmitter
This little gadget is a life-changer; it can wirelessly connect your own bluetooth-enabled earbuds or headphones to devices that only have a wired jack, or no bluetooth connectivity — such as an airplane seat. So instead of having to use those wiry earphones given out by the airlines, you can enjoy audio from your AirPods Pro or Bang & Olufsen headphones (or whatever else you use). It’s quite simple to set up as well; just plug it in, turn it on, then sync it to your headset.
This Pro version also lets you connect two sets of headphones to one device for shared listening. So if you and your partner or kid insist on staring at the same screen on the plane, you could use this to listen to its audio together.
$84, available from apple.com.
2. Wireless Bottle Mist Humidifier
Every time I fly to Japan during Winter, I’m always reminded how dry the air is. This bottle puffs out a steady stream of vapour, which helps to humidify the immediate air around you. I find that this helps with sinuses as well, especially when the mist is aimed directly at the face. It makes breathing more comfortable in drier climates, plus you can leave it on overnight in the hotel room next to you as you sleep. It works wirelessly and isn’t terribly big, which makes it portable and good for travel. I wish I discovered this sooner.
$12.96, available in White (featured here) and pink from SHOPEE.
3. Journey Swiv 3-1-in-1 Wireless Charging Station
Here’s a 3-in-1 charger that lets you charge a smartphone (one with wireless charging capabilities like an iPhone), Apple Watch, and earphones with a wireless charging case. If you use the Apple ecosystem of products, this charger will prove extremely useful. Just set it up on your nightstand wherever you go, and place your three mobile devices down on it to charge.
It folds in neatly so you can pack it into your bag with ease, and a USB-C to USB-C cable is included in the box, so all you need is your own wall charger with a USB-C port. Most hotels are still stuck on USB-A as their default port for charging accessories, so I would highly recommend bringing your own charging head.
US$119.99, available at JOURNEYOFFICIAL.COM.
4. Rolling Square Cables
In my Google search for travel gear, I kept getting pushed the ads for Rolling Square, a tech company that specialises in pretty special cables, and I ultimately succumbed to the advertising and got these two:
This is the inCharge 100W cable in XL and X sizes. It has a USB-A, USB-C and lightning head to fast-charge any USB-C smartphone, like the new iPhone 15 series and can also pretty swiftly charge iPhones that still use the lightning port.
It also works for charging laptops and iPads, and because the cables are short and flat, they can be packed in easily to any gadget pouch or even your pocket should you need it on the plane.
inCharge X and XL 6in1 universal 100w cable, $29 each.
5. Hobolite Mini and Micro Continuous Lights
I recently discovered Hobolite through their collaboration with Leica Akademie China. This lighting brand was established in 2021, and offers portable bi-colour continuous lighting solutions, like their Mini and Micro lights.
These little boxes of light are, if anything, beautiful. They resemble retro tools used by photographers, but they sport modern technology, including remote bluetooth connectivity to smartphones. The colour temperature of the LEDS are adjustable (from cool daylight to warm incandescent), and they can be screwed on to tripods and of course the whole suite of Hobolite accessories.
It’s certainly bright enough to be used as an on-camera continuous light, and it’s a conversation starter. Every person who has seen these lights now want their own — and this is before I can even turn them on and demonstrate how bright they can be. As you can see, they are both small enough to go into my travel kit.
Hobolite Micro 8W Bi-Color Continuous LED Light, from US$159.99 and mini 20w Bi-Color Continuous LED Light, from US$299. Full review of hobolite coming soon, plus local availability to be announced.