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Traveling this weekend? Don't forget to pack these gadgets in your carry on

Traveling for Memorial Day weekend? Bring these essential travel gadgets on your next flight -- and thank me later.
Written by Kerry Wan, Senior Reviews Editor
Reviewed by Nina Raemont
DJI Osmo Pocket 3
DJI Osmo Pocket Go 3
DJI Osmo Pocket 3
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Lenovo Go Wireless Power Bank 10,000mAh
Lenovo Go Wireless Charger
Lenovo Go Wireless Power Bank 10,000mAh
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Ayaneo Flip
Ayaneo Flip DS
Ayaneo Flip
View now View at Indiegogo
Meta Ray-Ban Smart Glasses
Meta Ray-Ban Smart Glasses
Meta Ray-Ban Smart Glasses
View now View at Best Buy
Nomad 130W Power Adapter
Nomad 130W Charging Brick
Nomad 130W Power Adapter
View now View at Nomad Goods

As a tech journalist, I often travel across the US -- and sometimes out of it -- to attend product launch events, trade shows, and other briefings for news that readers care about. It certainly helps to be based in New York City, where most of the gadgetry madness tends to occur, but when I am out and about (for work or play), there's a bag full of tech that I always have with me.

Also: The best Memorial Day deals 

My treasure trove of electronics has evolved over recent years, transitioning to newer GaN chargers and more capable yet still portable camera systems. The five picks below are among my current arsenal of travel tech, and if you're traveling for a family vacation this summer or for a quick Memorial Day Weekend getaway, I highly encourage packing a few of these items into your carry on. I'll make this a little more exciting for you by stating the obvious: My phone and a reliable Bluetooth tracker are always with me, so I've opted not to put them on this list. Instead, you'll find products I've personally tested that are useful enough for you to consider for your next adventure.

Also: The best travel gadgets of 2024 

DJI Osmo Pocket Go 3
Kerry Wan/ZDNET

While smartphone cameras have become very capable at capturing life's moments, I still prefer the enhanced stabilization and portability of a dedicated pocket camera, especially when I'm recording smooth-panning videos of product demos and scenery. The camera I've most recently settled on is the DJI Osmo Pocket 3, famous for its ability to record up to 4K resolution through a one-inch CMOS sensor. The output I've gotten has been reliable and impressive, both for vertical and horizontal footage, which can be set by physically swiveling the touchscreen viewfinder.

Does carrying an additional camera feel unnecessary? Not when the quality is noticeably better and it greatly reduces the battery consumption you'd otherwise put on your phone when recording videos. Reddit users who have used the Osmo Pocket 3 seem to agree, with the added benefits being better audio recording, improved video stabilization, and a larger sensor for more dramatic shots.

Also: The best vlogging cameras of 2024

Lenovo's power bank may look unassuming, but trust me when I say there's more to it than what meets the eye. Besides having a 10,000mAh capacity, meaning there's enough juice to power a phone (and other accessories like earbuds) two to three times, a fairly long USB-C cable is built into the battery pack, saving you the hassle of carrying a separate one. 

Here's the second trick: the Lenovo Go can wirelessly charge Qi-supported devices when you place them on top of the accessory, allowing you to charge two devices at once (via wired and wireless) if you're feeling adventurous.

While the charge output is capped at 30W, many customers on Lenovo's website have found the power bank adequate for powering phones, tablets, and earbuds, and have been particularly satisfied with the built-in charging cable.

Also: The best power banks of 2024: Expert tested

Ayaneo Flip DS
Kerry Wan/ZDNET

I don't consider myself a hardcore gamer, but I've found traveling, especially when on long flights, to be the perfect opportunity to get my NBA 2K and Rocket League fix. Lately, my vehicle of choice for gaming has been the Ayaneo Flip, a Windows-powered handheld with Nintendo DS written all over it, from the dual touchscreen displays to the ergonomic shoulder triggers. Thanks to the OS and a capable AMD Ryzen 7 processor, I've been able to play Steam and Epic Games titles right on the device at medium to high graphic settings.

The big question mark with the Ayaneo Flip is its price point and availability, according to several interested Reddit users. With a starting price of $699, the Flip can best be justified by those who want a competent, on-the-go gaming handheld that can also be used for standard PC tasks like web browsing, streaming videos, and emailing. One of the Flip's most underrated features is the ability to output to a monitor or TV screen for a gaming experience more similar to standard consoles.

Also: Everything you need to create the ultimate gaming setup

While the Meta Ray-Ban smart glasses are fantastic for recording hands-free videos, I've found them more practical as a wearable tour guide. Thanks to recent Meta AI updates, the glasses can pull context from what's in front of you, whether it's a monument, statue, or restaurant storefront, and answer your most burning questions. I've used the smart glasses to identify unfamiliar landmarks, tell me the most popular food items at a local restaurant, play music from artists from the city that I've traveled to, and more.

The general sentiment toward the Meta Ray-Bans has been mostly positive, with Reddit users favoring the ease of use, comfort, and various capabilities. The price point of the glasses, starting at $299, is fairly competitive as well. 

Review: Meta Ray-Ban Smart Glasses: The best AI-powered AR glasses to buy right now

Besides carrying a portable battery pack, I also travel with Nomad's 130W Power Adapter, which fields multiple USB-C ports to charge up to three devices at once and a build quality that's shielded the rigors of my gadget-filled backpack. I'll admit: the charging brick is not light at 332 grams. However, at a similar size as Apple's MacBook charger, while being much more functional, the Nomad option has become a mainstay in my travel essentials.

Customers, including ZDNET's Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, have expressed satisfaction with Nomad's 130W Power Adapter, appreciating the speedy power delivery and support for three USB-C inputs. I especially recommend this charging adapter for users with larger, more energy-hungry laptops like the MacBook Pro or Dell XPS. For smaller devices like the MacBook Air, which only requires a 65W charge, I'd advise picking up one of Nomad's slimmer adapters for less money.

Also: Nomad's 130W charger has one unique feature that's game-changing for me

Why should you trust me?

When I'm not writing about technology, I'm probably working overtime as my family's IT support guy. And when I'm not working at all, I'm likely watching, reading, or consuming some form of content about technology. So when I make product recommendations, I suggest gadgets I've personally tested and have proven to deliver the value (if not more value) that manufacturers promise.

My main expertise is mobile, from phones to wearables to accessories, which plays hand-in-hand with the topic of this story. I also travel about 10 times throughout the year, including from New York to California, so I've developed an understanding of which gadgets are essential and which are optional.

How do you pack electronics for traveling?

When traveling, storing any devices with lithium-ion batteries, such as laptops, tablets, and power banks, in your carry-on baggage is best. If my gadgets aren't already stored in a tech pouch or cushioned bag, I'll surround them with clothing to prevent any damage during travel.

Other travel-friendly tech we think you'd love 

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