Travel with less and do more, we always say. That’s why we’re fans of the gadgets below. They’ll help you save space as you stay online, and powered up, not to mention they’ll help those long-haul flights pass a lot quicker. The next time you fly, you’ll be glad you have these super in-flight accessories.
1. Grid-It! Wrap
Why We Like It: Every cord, adapter, and other travel knickknack has its place—and that’s not tangled up at the bottom of your purse or briefcase. Get orderly with this great accessory’s unique elastic retention system of rubberized interwoven bands. Even better, stash your 7- to 13-inch e-reader, tablet, or small notebook in its built-in compartment, then close the flap to cover your accessories. Practice makes perfect, so check out this weirdly addictive game to see how much stuff you can fit in the Grid-It!
How Much: $25-$50
Buy It: Visit CocoonInnovations.com.
2. Quick Change Universal Dock Adapter
Why We Like It: This versatile, elegant 5 1/2-inch cable has a rotating head with Mini-USB, Micro-USB, and Apple 30-pin connectors. So it can help you charge and/or sync hundreds of different devices. It’s got a handy clip for attaching to your bag or (if you’re in touch with your inner geek) shirt pocket.
How Much: $30
Buy It: Visit Aviiq.com.
3. I-MEGO Walker Junior Headphones
Why We Like It: You don’t have to shell out three bills for decent noise-cancelling headphones. As they go on comfortably over your ears, these cans can cancel out ambient sound pretty well; but they do even better once powered on (with the help of a AAA battery). Given their low price, they pump out surprisingly decent sound, with strong bass and fairly crisp treble. They also work unpowered, which means a dead battery doesn’t kill your tunes. Best of all, they twist and fold up quite compactly, about as small as over-ear headphones could.
How Much: $140
Buy It: Visit Amazon.com.
4. The Thinnest Backup Laptop Battery
Why We Like It: Forget about bothering the flight attendants or doing yoga poses in the aisle to try to find an electrical outlet near your seat. This powerful sheet battery is about half as thin as a AAA battery, yet it can keep your laptop running an extra 3 1/2 hours. (Thanks to the 10 laptop adapters it comes with.) It also features a USB port, handy for topping off your tablet or supplying days of power to your phone or music player. So at the end of a long flight, at least your gadgets won’t feel so drained.
How Much: $190
Buy It: Visit Hammacher.com.
5. Gogo 24-Hour Pass
Why We Like It: If you know you’ll want Internet access onboard, purchase it ahead of time. You’ll save 15 percent off the regular price and will be able to quickly get online on thousands of daily Gogo-equipped flights. You’ve got 12 months to use it from the time of purchase and the 24-hour clock starts ticking when you first sign in. Before or after you use your pass, you can sign on for free through the Gogo platform to such sites as eBay, OpenTable, Pogo, and Zappos.
How Much: $13
Buy It: Visit Gogoair.com.
6. 3M Gold Privacy Filter
Why We Like It: Did your aisle-mates bring popcorn to share for the movie they’re watching on your laptop? Do they plan to help you finish polishing your presentation before the wheels touch down? Then they have no business peering over at your screen. With this filter, you will see sharp, undistorted text and images, and all they (anyone glancing at an angle) will see is shiny gold. Easy to attach and remove, it’s available in sizes 9 to 17 inches for both Mac and PC laptops.
How Much: $44-$100
Buy It: Visit Shop3M.com.
Award-winning Fodors.com Travel Technology Columnist Scott Tharler is an expert in gadgets, gambling, and travel. He’s written four books, hundreds of mobile and wireless tips, and dozens of freelance articles. In addition to his Discovery News gadget blog contributions, you can find links to other gadget articles, social feeds and lists of his current favorite gadgets at about.me/gadgetfans.
Photo credits: 1. Cocoon Innovations, LLC, 2. AViiQ, 3. I-MEGO, 4. HAMMACHER SCHLEMMER & COMPANY, INC., 5. Logo: Gogo LLC; Laptop: Daniel Irvine/iStockphoto/Thinkstock, 6. 3M