All of the Best New Tech for Travel

With these devices and accessories, you'll be the most comfortable, most connected person on any trip

Vacationing no longer means getting away from it all—in fact, it more likely means bringing it all with you. No one's leaving their devices behind as they head to the beach, or the opposite-coast conference, or whatever makes you pack up your world and head to the airport. Luckily, the technology that we don't want to leave behind is being used by clever companies to make it easier to carry it with us. Here is all of the tech you need for stress-free, well-connected traveling.

Luggage

Away

Away luggage, headed by two of the people behind Warby Parker, has perfected the hard-shell smart suitcase without charging more than your laptop for it. Away luggage comes in carry-on and checked sizes and includes a battery that's large enough to charge phones or other USB devices several times. The luggage also includes smart packing pockets, a laundry compartment, a TSA-approved lock and four wheels that roll smoothly behind or in front of you.

Backpack

Nomatic

The best travel backpack comes from NOMATIC. It's built for weekend or short-week trips, combining comfortable, sturdy straps, a TSA-ready electronics pocket, waterproof design, and 40 liters of space for clothes, shoes, and everything else you've laid out on your bed. It also has an RFID pocket, a removable laundry bag and a cord organizer within. If you're not bringing Away's charging luggage, Tylt's charging backpack can recharge up to three USB or USB-C devices at once.

Sound Machine

Dohm

Many people count on a white noise machine to block out the sounds of a strange environment and help them relax after a long day of jet-lagged meetings or lounging on the beach. The Dohm-DS White Noise Machine is the simplest, most effective sound machine you can buy. Adjust the sound's pitch and volume easily by opening or closing the holes in the top and sides. If you don't want to spend $50 for a few nights in a hotel, Jonathan Julian's Sound Machine iOS app is the perfect alternative. It does nothing but play exactly the white noise you're looking for on low or high. And it does it without a hitch.

Camera

Sony

The Sony WX500 Compact Camera is the best and most versatile compact camera available. With plenty of quick-shoot settings but options for manual exposure and other features (including a screen that flips forward for selfies and 30x optical zoom), this small camera will work for photographers of every level. It's small enough to be the "one you have with you" and has a battery ready for 400 pictures or over an hour of video.

Accessories for Your Devices

RAVPower

Even with charging suitcases and backpacks, certain trips will require extra juice. RAVPower's Wireless Portable Charger steps past other portable batteries by doubling as a Qi wireless charger. So you can plug in your USB device or simply place your Qi-enabled phone on top of the built-in charging pad with no wires to worry about. However, since wires are inevitable, BUBM's Electronics Organizer is ready to rescue your backpack from cable mayhem. The two-layer organizer can handle more cables than any respectable person should have, but you can use that extra room for hard drives, batteries and more. Plus, there's a tablet sleeve built in.

Music

Fugoo

For a sturdy, waterproof, travel-sized Bluetooth speaker, the Fugoo Go can't be beat. $70 gets you 360º audio and 10 hours of weatherproof music. Yet, there are those who claim they can discern minute differences in sound quality, even from Bluetooth audio, and for them there is Bose's SoundLink Color II - a small, colorful rectangle that produces shockingly good sound and deep bass. It's wrapped in a gorgeous silicon body and hides a microphone within its water-resistant shell so that you can answer calls from the pool or shower.

During your travel, nothing drowns out the people around you like noise-canceling headphones. Nura's brand new G2 over-the-ear headphones use active noise-canceling technology so they can mute every external sound. However, by tapping on the side, you can activate Social Mode, which passes outside audio through your headphones to hear what's going on around you without even taking them off. They're good for calls, too. And valves in the over-ear cups vent hot air out and cool air in so that you stay comfortable.

Entertainment

Nintendo

A long-neglected part of travel that has become infinitely better in recent years, on-the-go entertainment is now almost an afterthought to any smartphone or laptop owner. But there are devices available that make it better. Leave the tablet for the plane and plug a Roku Streaming Stick (or, if you're a Prime member, a Fire TV stick) into your hotel's TV to feel like you're on your own couch. Don't forget: hotels once sold on-demand movies, one at a time. I know, right?

Nintendo has once again thought way outside the console box with its Switch, which might have single-handedly made the Wii and the DS obsolete by combining them into one portable console. It's a fantastic gaming platform and makes the perfect console for travel. Of course, reading has only gotten better with each year's new tech, too. The Kindle Paperwhite is the closest e-ink has ever been to book-quality, while also solving the trickiest reading problem of all time: light. The Paperwhite's backlit, 300ppi display is glare-free and its battery can last weeks between charges. Reading will never be the same.

You can't solve all of the problems of travel with tech (the people, for example) but you can make yourself the most comfortable, most organized, most connected person on the trip with these devices and accessories. Wherever you go in the world, take your world with you.


Tom Twardzik is a travel writer for the Journiest. He also covers music, film, TV and gaming for Popdust, social issues and current events for The Liberty Project and personal finance for Paypath. Read more on his page and follow him on Twitter.

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Distillery tours went on hiatus in 2020, but there are high hopes for 2021. While bourbon leaps immediately to mind when thoughts turn to distillery tours, interest in other spirits and how they're made is increasing. Here are a few of the best tours to thrill tequila lovers.

Tequila Herradura

Ride in style on the Herradura Express, a distillery sponsored train ride that runs from Guadalajara to the town of Amatitán for a distillery tour and tastings, followed by lunch featuring live entertainment. The train then takes visitors back to Guadalajara by evening. Herradura is housed in the last tequila-producing Hacienda in the world, Hacienda San Jose del Refugio. Casa Herradura will be closed for visits and tours until Mexican health officials declare the coronavirus emergency over.

La Rojeña

Producer of Jose Cuervo, La Rojeña has a train of its own called the Jose Cuervo Express (currently on hiatus due to COVID-19) to bring visitors to the oldest distillery in the town of Tequila. Jose Cuervo offers distillery tours, tastings, and tours of the agave fields. Mundo Cuervo (Cuervo world) also has its own hotel, Solar de las Animas. Check for COVID-19 hours and restrictions before booking.

Casa Sauza

Founded in 1873, Casa Sauza offers four levels of tours including a visit to the La Perseverancia distillery, a visit to the Quinta Sauza estate, and for those willing to spend more, barrel tastings and a barbeque or a three-course meal. Casa Sauza is on hiatus until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, but should go on the distillery tour bucket list.

La Cofradia

The only tequila distillery with a hotel inside, La Cofradia offers many experiences in addition to distillery tours. Choose a hike through natural trails, biking, or horseback riding through the agave fields. Rooms made of giant tequila barrels sit among the agave plants for a unique stay. Visiting La Cofradia is sure to be a tour that thrills tequila lovers. Contact the hotel directly for information about lockdown closures.

A distillery tour offers education about tequila's history and manufacture. Bone up on your tequila terms and tips for choosing quality tequila before you go, so you'll understand what you're tasting.

We don't know how to feel about winter this year. Sure, nobody likes the cold and dreary months, but there's something special about the Holiday season that just seems to be missing. Maybe the thought of staying inside and cozying up to a nice book isn't very enticing given the last few months. The joyful winter wonderland that we usually associate with winter seems to be missing.

That's why our editors decided to take it upon themselves and spread some delight with seasonal meals, courtesy of HelloFresh. For those who don't know what HelloFresh is, it's a meal-kit delivery service with dozens of easy-to-prepare recipes to choose from. Simply select which meals you want as well as how many servings and a neatly organized cardboard box will arrive at your doorstep within the week. Nobody wants to go out in the Winter anyway, and with HelloFresh, you don't have to!

To celebrate the arrival of the coldest season, we decided to highlight some of our favorite (and heartiest) recipes from HelloFresh that are perfect for the Holiday season. Here are five wholesome and balanced meals that will warm you up in no time.

Veggie Loaded Kale & Risoni Soup

A hearty and warm soup is a Winter staple and this veggie loaded kale and risoni soup from HelloFresh absolutely hits it out of the park. All anybody wants during the colder months is to feel cozy and nurtured--just like the flavorful bowl of nutrients. Warm and creamy risoni compliments the seasonal veggies perfectly and the side of garlic bread is a sure-fire cure for any winter blues. With 22 meals to pick from each week, this one is sure to be a household favorite.

Cheesy Red Pesto Chicken Melts

Everyone is familiar with classic green pesto, but have you ever tried red pesto? Red pesto offers way more complexity and oomph than its green counterpart. It is incredibly bright with rich notes of umami, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh basil and garlic. This rendition also features hits of chargrilled capsicum for a little extra zest. You get the exact amount of each ingredient and seasoning, as well as super detailed recipe cards, that make meal prep a breeze. Spread it over a glistening chicken bread and sprinkle with cheese for delectable chicken melts.

Winter Risotto

Risotto is a great winter warmer. It's packed full of veggies so your body will light up like fire, but it's also silky, sumptuous and a real crowd pleaser. HelloFresh's Winter Risotto features a heart helping of kale that pairs perfectly with nutty Parmesan and crunchy walnuts for a robust taste. Did we mention that it also comes with fennel seeds sprinkled throughout? This unique seasoning adds a distinctive, yet delicious flavor to this classic winter staple. We know these meals are pretty hardy, which is why we love having the option to pause our subscription or cancel a week when need be.

Cheat's Italian Pork & Veggie Bolognese

A bolognese that only takes 30 minutes to make? Sign us up! This one is chock full of all the rich flavors of a classic Italian sauce. In fact, we're getting some serious Italian grandmother vibes with this recipe. Silky baby Spanish and grated carrots melt into a hearty meat sauce, offering a mouth-watering meal for anyone looking for a little zest. It's delivery quality, but much more affordable, plus you get to cook it yourself!

Smokey Mild Chorizo & Bean Chilli

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Gone are the days of trekking through the frigid cold just for a few groceries. Sign-up for HelloFresh today and get your ingredients delivered right to your doorstep. Time to start cozying up the right way, with a delicious meal and a nice cup of hot cocoa.

Update: Our friends at HelloFresh are extending a special Black Friday offer to our readers. Follow this link to get $90 off across 4 boxes including free shipping!

Travel Tips

8 of the Best Donut Spots In the United States

Celebrate National Donut Day with our favorite treats across the country.

November 5th marks one of 2020's two National Donut Days.

Occurring in both June and November, National Donut Day allows fans of those delectable yeasty treats to embrace their sweet tooth. But like any niche food group, people often take their donuts very, very seriously, and there are countless places to get your fix.


Below, we've rounded up some of the best donut spots across the country. From coast to coast, these bakeries are sure to impress even the pickiest donut-heads.

Mr. T.'s Delicate Donut Shop – Modesto, CA

Mr. T.'s Delicate Donut Shop

If you ever find yourself in the San Francisco Bay Area, it's worth taking a short trek out east towards Modesto for some of California's best donuts. Mr. T.'s Delicate Donut Shop has remained family owned since its opening over 30 years ago, providing both tried-and-true classic donuts as well as experimental flavors and holiday specials. Even their 24-hour service doesn't diminish the line that trails out the door most mornings.

Dough — New York, NY

Dough \u2014 New York, NY

Donuts might not be the first circular, doughy treat you think of when it comes to New York City. If you've had your fair share of bagels, the Big Apple also boasts some spectacular donuts at Dough, a go-to spot for both tourists and locals alike. Here, you'll find a host of Latin American-inspired flavors that are hard to come by anywhere else; their Dulce de Leche flavor is a customer favorite, while the tangy Hibiscus donut is just as good for Instagramming as it is for eating.

Blackbird Doughnuts — Boston, MA

Blackbird Doughnuts \u2014 Boston, MA

Boston's Blackbird Doughnuts is a no-frills donut spot specializing in both brioche "raised" donuts and old-fashioned cake donuts. With a small menu of year-round donuts and a rotating cast of seasonal flavors, Blackbird keeps it simple and classic. Why mess around?

Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop — Brooklyn, NY

Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop \u2014 Brooklyn, NY

For over 60 years, Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop has been calling the quaint Brooklyn neighborhood of Greenpoint home. Since then, the bakery has remained a popular spot for both regulars and new visitors passing through the area. Here, you won't find uber-trendy decor or gimmicky recipes, just damn good donuts that prove the power of long-standing local businesses.

Pip’s Original — Portland, OR

Pip\u2019s Original \u2014 Portland, OR

In both their mobile catering van and brick-and-mortar locations, Pip's Original is a staple for small, sweet treats in Portland. They're known for their tiny donuts that come in inventive seasonal flavors like marionberry-lavender and mango ghost pepper. But even if you opt for one of the more traditional flavors, Pip's Original proves good things can come in small packages.

Round Rock Donuts — Round Rock, TX

Round Rock Donuts \u2014 Round Rock, TX

Founded in 1926, Round Rock Donuts—located just north of Austin—are impossible to miss. These donuts' distinct yellow-orange color, caused by fresh eggs in the original recipe, make them stand out among the crowd. While this classic outpost can easily churn out hundreds of dozens of donuts a day, they also offer Texas-Sized Donuts, which are just as ginormous as you'd imagine. Round Rock Donuts are not only delicious and easily recognizable, but they're a slice of Lone Star history.

The Holy Donut — Portland, ME

The Holy Donut \u2014 Portland, ME

In Maine's Portland, you might not find tiny donuts or a decked-out catering van, but you will find a slightly healthier alternative. The Holy Donut was founded on the premise of creating tasty donuts that used all-natural ingredients to make a treat you could feel good about eating. The secret ingredient is fresh, mashed Maine potatoes, which make these donuts delectably moist without sacrificing flavor.

Donut Friend — Los Angeles, CA

Donut Friend \u2014 Los Angeles, CA

As expected of a city so focused on entertainment, Los Angeles' Donut Friend puts an edgy spin on their inventive donut flavors. Their year-round menu features donut flavors with names like Green Teagan and Sara, Fudgegazi, and Bacon-182 that are sure to delight the rock music nerds. For everyone else, the delicious donuts speak for themselves.