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All Ages

8 Award-Winning Gadgets That Will Change the Way You Travel

See recent posts by Amanda Norcross

Each year, the editors at SmarterTravel put new travel products to the test, helping travelers like you choose everything from the most convenient carry-on bag to a sturdy pair of travel shoes that won’t eat your feet. With the release of the SmarterTravel Editors’ Choice Awards 2019, we’re highlighting several products that appeal to parents, kids and families. Consider these items for your holiday gift (or wish) list, or add them to your cart for an upcoming family vacation.

BenQ Portable Projector & Speaker ; Courtesy of Amazon

1. BenQ Portable Projector & Speaker

Want to take your vacation rental to the next level? Get a portable projector! The BenQ Portable Projector & Speaker can be used to watch movies and TV shows, and also functions as a Bluetooth speaker. It’s easy to install, super lightweight and just plain cool, making it the SmarterTravel Editors Choice Gold Winner for the Best New Travel Tech in 2019. Bonus: The portable projector is equally as fun for movie nights at home, both inside and out.

SANDMARC Anamorphic Lens ; Courtesy of SANDMARC

2. SANDMARC Anamorphic Lens

Want to shoot better video on your iPhone? (Who doesn’t?) The SANDMARC Anamorphic Lens is the answer. The Editors Choice Silver Winner for Best New Travel Tech in 2019, this lens allows more horizontal information into your shot and is able to capture better light (especially at night). The lens comes with an iPhone case (or you can clip it on to your current phone case).

FlyTunes Wireless Audio Transmitter ; Courtesy of Scosche

3. FlyTunes Wireless Audio Transmitter

This genius wireless audio transmitter by FlyTunes connects Bluetooth headphones with in-flight entertainment systems, gaming devices, radios and more, making it ideal for both kids and adults on the go. The device can even be paired with two headphones so your kids or you and your partner can watch a movie together in-flight. The lightweight portability, affordability, and seamless connectivity make this new travel gadget the Editors Choice Bronze Winner for Best New Travel Tech 2019.

Keds Double Decker Perf Suede ; Courtesy of Zappos

4. Keds Double Decker Perf Suede

And the winner is… Keds? Yes, a shoe that’s comfy enough for travel can also be kind on the wallet. SmarterTravel’s Gold Winner for Best New Travel Shoes for Women 2019, the Keds Double Decker Perf Suede features a Dream Foam Footbed, and comes in regular and wide sizes. The slip-on design also makes these shoes especially convenient at airport security.

Nisolo Travel Derby ; Courtesy of Nisolo

5. Nisolo Travel Derby

The Nisolo Travel Derby takes first place in Best New Travel Shoes for Men 2019. Not only are these men’s shoes lightweight and collapsible, but they’re also surprisingly stylish. Of course, they’re also comfortable; SmarterTravel’s tester walked for miles in them without complaints of foot pain.

L.L. Bean Wayside Tote ; Courtesy of L.L. Bean

6. L.L. Bean Wayside Tote

Finally, a bag that’s stylish enough to carry as a purse, but substantial enough to double as a carry-on or suitcase! SmarterTravel editors were actually able to fit three outfits (rolled), shoes and other travel essentials into the L.L. Bean Wayside Tote. The SmarterTravel Editors Choice Bronze Winner for Best New Personal Items 2019, this newly released bag features two pockets for water bottles and a fleece-lined pocket for a phone. It’s available in Black and Vintage Plum. (Excuse us while we go buy one).

TravelPro VersaPack ; Courtesy of Amazon

7. TravelPro VersaPack

The Travelpro Crew VersaPack has it all: four zippered external pockets, one of which comes with a TSA-compliant, zippered quart-size bag; an external USB port near the handle; and best of all, zip-in organizers including a garment organizer, all-in-one organizer, waterproof laundry organizer, two-packing cube zip-in, and a suiter. The innovative carry-on bag also has a four-position telescoping handle, making it easily adaptable for travelers of varying heights. It’s no wonder the Travelpro Crew VersaPack is the Gold Winner for Best New Carry-On Luggage 2019.

Gel Memory Foam Pillow – Made by Design ; Courtesy of Target

8. Gel Memory Foam Pillow – Made by Design

You don’t have to spend a lot of money for a travel pillow that’ll properly support your neck. Case in point: Target’s Gel Memory Foam Pillow – Made by Design is the Bronze Winner for Best Next Travel Pillows 2019. The pillow’s cooling technology will keep you comfortable on the plane, as will the gel memory foam. This travel pillow also has a chin buckle that doubles as a strap for your carry-on bag.

To see the full list of this year’s SmarterTravel Editors’ Choice Awards, click here.

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