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Woman using her phone at outdoor market
Peera | Adobe Stock

5 Smartphone Essentials You Should Never Travel Without


Smartphones are the ultimate travel essential: we use them for research, map guidance, communication, social sharing, to catch a ride, and take photos and video. On average, you use your phone for almost half of your workday (three hours and 4 minutes) and you aren’t fooling anyone by “going off the grid” on your vacation. According to our Twitter poll, SmarterTravel followers would rather travel without a toothbrush or change of clothes instead of their phone.

These five smartphone essentials will protect and improve how you use your precious phone on the road so you’ll never lose it, break it, or run out of battery life again. Here’s what I always travel with.

Smartphone Essential # 1: Phone Lanyard

cell phone accessory lanyard

I recently invested in a phone lanyard and it has been one of my favorite travel-accessory purchases to date. Amazon offers a large selection, with most costing under $10. Not only does the phone lanyard help protect your phone from theft or accidental drops, but it also keeps your phone handy so you’ll never miss the perfect photo opp. Note, this is especially helpful on active or adventure trips.

Smartphone Essential # 2: Backup Battery

Backup phone charger case

Unless you keep your phone in Airplane mode all day, your phone battery will most likely be dead from usage at the end of your vacation day. That’s why I like to travel with a phone case that comes with an internal battery, so I don’t have to worry about extra items to carry around. Mophie carries a line of battery phone cases for all different phone styles and sizes. I personally like the Juice Pack Air since it’s lightweight and doesn’t add too much bulk.

If you’re looking for a portable charger that isn’t a case, I recommend the Ventev Powercell or one of these tiny-sized options.

Smartphone Essential # 3: Protective Shield Glass

phone glass screen protector
Invisible Shield Glass

There’s nothing worse than a shattered screen. A scratch-resistant, tempered glass screen protector is a traveler’s best friend. I use InvisibleShield for my phone and it comes with a lifetime limited warranty.

Smartphone Essential # 4: Phone Grip or Stand

Smartphone tripod and phone grip

Whether it’s a PopSocket, LoveHandle, LoopyCase, or something else, a phone grip helps steady your hand when taking photos and video on vacation. There are many options on the market; I like the CLCKR phone stand and grip.

If you don’t want to attach an adhesive grip to your phone case, but still want to shoot steady photos and video, I recommend traveling with the Ubeesize smartphone tripod.

Smartphone Essential # 5: Extra Memory Storage

Smartphone storage graphic
Tierney | Adobe Stock

How many times have you needed to delete old photos or apps to make room for new photos on your device? Probably plenty. Invest in an inexpensive phone storage plan (I use iCloud’s $3 per month storage plan) so you never have to waste time deleting photos again.

Alternative storage options include Amazon (free for Prime members!), Dropbox, Google Drive, or a good old-fashioned external hard drive.

Ashley Rossi is always ready for her next trip. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for travel tips, destination ideas, and off the beaten path spots.

Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.

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