The best travel gear for graduates

Traveling is once again a rite of passage for many new graduates, and as a parent, you probably want to make sure your child has a great time exploring the world. Visiting a new place can be a bit overwhelming, but a few gadgets can help make the experience easier and more enjoyable for your new grad. These are some of the best travel accessories that always find a place in our bag when we head out on a new adventure.

Red Heart

If your graduate already owns a decent set of Bluetooth headphones, you can gift them instead AirFly Duo. It’s a device that will allow them to use their wireless headphones with the plane’s in-flight entertainment system. All they need to do is pair the AirFly Duo with Bluetooth headphones and plug it into the headphone jack of their seat. If they’re flying with friends or partners, they can even use the AirFly Duo to stream movie audio to two pairs of headphones. – Igor Bonifacic, Contributing Reporter

$45 on HSN

Photo: Billy Steele / Engadget

Crying babies, confusion and rude passengers – there are many sounds that can make an already trying travel experience even more tiring. Speaking from experience, comfortable and capable noise-canceling headphones can go a long way to making a flight more peaceful. Thankfully, you don’t have to look far to find the best option in this area: Sony’s flagship WH-1000XM5.

In addition to masterful noise cancellation that you can customize, the XM5 has a feature that makes it especially travel-friendly: You can get up to 30 hours of playtime on a single charge, and another three hours after just three minutes of charging. In other words, they will easily get your diploma through a marathon of flights, flights and international travel excursions. If the $398 boxes are out of your budget, you can still find stock of their excellent predecessor. WH-1000XM4at some retailers. – PU

$328 on Amazon


If you have a gift recipient who lives in the Apple ecosystem and travels constantly, take it MagGo 3-in-1 Charging Station from Anker. Its appearance is deceiving: it’s about the size of a deck of cards, but it turns into a base station that can power three devices at once: an iPhone, an Apple Watch and a pair of AirPods. It delivers up to 15W of power and can quickly charge both your iPhone and Watch, plus it supports iOS Standby when you charge your iPhone in landscape orientation. Like other Anker MagSafe accessories, the magnets are strong on this one, and the built-in, flip-up Apple Watch charger is very convenient (many others multi-device chargers requires connecting your own Apple Watch pad). Above all, this power bank comes with the charging cable and 40W adapter needed for charging. — Valentina Palladino, Associate Editor, Buying Advice

$110 on Amazon


If there’s one thing everyone needs when traveling internationally, it’s a plug adapter. If your graduate doesn’t have one of these on hand, they might forget to charge their phone, laptop, or something else. Besho’s dual pack it’s good value not only for its affordable price, but also because each plug has three outputs, two USB-C ports and one USB-A connector. That means they’ll have extra space for plugging in the usual items, as well as three USB options for tech like a smartwatch, game console, and more. Although the rods don’t flip down, each adapter is quite compact, and Beshon offers them in a variety of country options – Europe, China, South America and Australia are all covered. – VP

$16 on Amazon


You don’t need us to tell you that packing cubes is essential for any trip, so gifting your new grad a set will help them on all their business trips, vacations, and weekend getaways in the long run. Bagsmart makes some of our favorite travel accessories and their sets six compression packing cubes great value. While standard packing cubes are great for organization, compression cubes go the extra mile by allowing you to make these bags as small as possible, giving you a little more room to work with in your suitcase. They will receive one large, two medium and two small cubes, as well as a special shoe bag. After stuffing their clothes and belongings inside, a special zipper on the outside of each cube will allow them to compress all their belongings as much as possible before packing them into their bags. If they’re truly Type A, they’ll also appreciate the tag slot on each bag, which will allow them to identify which cube has T-shirts, jeans, pajamas and more. – VP

$40 on Amazon


If your grad has a relatively new phone like an iPhone 14 or Samsung Galaxy S23, they don’t need a dedicated camera to capture great-looking video while on the road. But what can elevate their images is a smartphone gimbal Osmo Mobile 6 From DJI. The company makes some of the best drones you can buy, so it knows a thing or two about camera stabilization. Osmo Mobile 6 will help you shoot smooth and cinematic videos for your high-end movies on the go. The company’s latest gimbal has a built-in extension stick that makes it easy to take the perfect selfie. Plus, it weighs just 309 grams, so it’s a lightweight addition to almost any travel kit. – PU

$149 on Amazon

Photo by James Trew / Engadget

Each trip is associated with certain breaks. Between long flights and train journeys, as well as long-haul flights, there are plenty of opportunities for some reading. As an e-reader for this reason Amazon Kindle makes the perfect travel companion.

A previous version of this gift guide recommended the Paperwhite, but with all the upgrades, Amazon 2022 Added to Kindle, there’s little reason to stretch your budget for a more expensive model. Ours lovely budget e-reader, standard Kindle, comes with a 300ppi display, 16GB of storage, and USB-C power. Best of all, with a battery that can last up to six weeks on a single charge, there’s a little cable and charger your graduate can carry on their next trip. – PU

$100 at Kohl’s


If your graduate has dreams of becoming a social media star or prefers to capture their travel memories with something a little better than their smartphone, Sony ZV-1 II It will be a big step for them. This is an improved model one of our favorite vlog cameras, and it comes with a wider f/1.8-4 lens that will make vlogging at arm’s length easier. In addition to this, the camera has a lightweight body, a built-in microphone and a pop-up display. It also has excellent autofocus and image quality, plus vlogging-specific features like background blur and ‘product showcase’. Combine all of this in one compact camera and you get solid value that will be a marked improvement over their smartphones. – VP

$898 on Amazon

Manta dream

A full night’s rest can be difficult between long-haul flights and those last jet flights that arise after traveling across countries and continents. there a sleep mask can help, and the best one I’ve found is made by a company called Manta, which makes neck pillows, earplugs, and other travel items. At this point, many different eye mask models do, so take a look at them website To find the best fit for your child. That is, the original Sleep model is a good universal choice for frequent travelers. What makes it different is that the memory foam eyelids are not sewn into the mask. Instead, they are attached using velcro, which allows them to be repositioned to make the mask as comfortable as possible. The company also says they are 100 percent effective at blocking out any light, a claim I found to be true. – PU

$35 on Amazon

Peak Design

Peak Design is known for making the most practical camera bags and accessories you can buy. But over the past few years, it has also made a name for itself in the travel bag space. If you want to help your graduate organize all their cables and gadgets before their next trip, the company Technical bag. External handles make it easy to open and store the bag, even on a turbulent plane. Inside you’ll find loops and Peak’s signature origami dividers that make it easy to organize things like pens, SD cards and batteries. Another useful detail is the cable link that allows you to keep the power bank inside and connect it to your phone in the front pocket. Plus, the nylon exterior is waterproof, so your graduate can rest easy knowing that all of their electronics are protected from accidental water damage. – PU

$60 at Peak Design


At some point during your trip, your graduate phone battery will likely run out or even die at a critical moment. This can add to an already stressful situation (especially if they don’t speak the language of the country) when trying to navigate the complex subway system. Help avoid such situations with a power bank. There are plenty of portable chargers out there, but we like the ones from Otterbox. Browse for an affordable option 10,000 mAh model there is this Engadget’s list of the best power banks. It offers 18W multi-device fast charging, enough capacity to fully charge a smartphone more than once, and a set of both USB-A and USB-C ports. Best of all, it’s under $50. – PU

$35 at Otterbox


Whether they’re traveling for business or pleasure, your graduate should get into the habit of using a VPN to keep their browsing private and secure. ExpressVPN does our top choice for frequent travelers because it has thousands of servers in 105 countries, solid upload and download speeds according to our tests, and allows up to eight simultaneous device connections. Plus, it works on all major platforms, including iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, and more, so every device they use should be covered. The subscription also includes access to the company’s password manager, which will help them access their accounts more quickly on the go. – VP

$8.32 per month on ExpressVPN

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