If you’re travelling to Europe, you’re going to want to pack light. Who wants a giant suitcase weighing them down when they’re racing through the station in Budapest trying to make the last train for Sarajevo, or wandering through the cobbled streets of Barcelona looking for a quaint, yet elusive, AirBnb? With pack space at a premium, you’ll have to choose your travel gadgets wisely. Here are six gadgets that are worth sacrificing that third pair of shoes for.
1. Samsung Galaxy S8
If you are only going to bring one piece of tech with you to Europe, hands down, it will have to be your smartphone. This one device can serve as your phone, e-reader, media viewer, stereo, map, translator and, with a travel keyboard, word processor. The best smartphone available, particularly for travel, is the Samsung Galaxy S8 plus. With the S8 plus’s 6.2” Infinity Screen, which gives you the most screen in the smallest space, you won’t miss your larger devices when watching videos or video chatting with your friends back home. The camera is so good you won’t need to bring anything else, and the casing is water and dust resistant, which means you can really take it anywhere. Pair the Samsung Galaxy S8 plus with T-Mobile service for free in-flight texting and free texting abroad in many European countries, and you have the ultimate travel gadget.
2. TP-Link Wireless Mini Pocket Router
If you do need your laptop for your trip, throw this tiny pocket router in your bag. When your hotel’s Wi-Fi is spotty and the only option available is an Ethernet cable, you’ll be grateful for this mini wonder and its built-in USB port.
3. Mudder International Plug Adapter with USB
A plug adapter is an absolute must when traveling abroad, so instead of worrying about which one you’ll need for every place you go, get the Mudder all-in-one. This version will work in more than 150 countries and give you a couple of spare USB ports to charge your other devices in.
4. Scrubba Wash Bag
You no longer have to worry about bringing along enough clean underwear for your entire trip or the headache of finding a laundromat in a foreign country with this lightweight, tiny washing machine. The Scrubba is a bag with internal nodules that work to clean your clothes like an old-fashioned washboard. Just add water, your dirty laundry and a little bit of detergent to the five-ounce bag, work the bag over something like rocks, a hotel chair or a park bench and voila, your clothes are clean.
5. Ivation Mini Travel Steam Iron
If you not only like your clothes to be clean, but you want them to be pressed too, check out this steam iron that fits in the palm of your hand. This is a great addition to your travel gadgets if you’re backpacking across Europe, but don’t want to look like you’re backpacking across Europe. The Ivation iron has three heat levels, an extra-long cord and a powerful 420-watt motor.
6. Shure SE215-K Sound Isolating Earbuds
The noises that come with travel are often part of the charm … until they’re not. For those times when you need to drown out a window too close to the street, or a person in your train compartment playing music too loud or a noisy neighbor, plug in these Shure Earbuds. They have fantastic sound, great noise-cancelling ability and come with a carrying case.