5 Money Saving Travel Gadgets

There are countless gadgets out there that can help you travel safer, easier, and more efficiently, but there are only a few that can really save you a lot of money while on the road. Here is a list of my favorite travel gadgets. Many of them can actually pay themselves off in no time at all!

1. Handpresso

This portable espresso maker probably paid itself off in the first month that I traveled with it. You can pick one up on Amazon for around $140, and basically all you need to pour a perfect cup of espresso coffee is hot water and about 30–35 compressions of the built-in pump.

I picked up the Handpresso for my travels through Europe, where small cups of espresso can cost as much as €2 each. Instead of spending that much at a cafe, I buy a 250 gram bag of Lavazza coffee for €2 and it's good for around 35 cups of coffee.

That means that after going through one bag (which usually takes about two weeks), I've saved myself over €68 ($75). If you prefer lattes, you'll save even more money because you can buy milk for cheap at the supermarket and make a latte at home for about 25 cents, but in an Italian cafe a latte will probably cost you around €4!

Bonus Gadget: If you're worried about not having a kettle in your hotel room for boiling water, consider traveling with a portable coil water heater as well.

2. Luggage Scale

Baggage fees are getting more and more ridiculous on airlines around the world. The idea of having one free checked bag is slowly fading into distant memory, especially with North American carriers.

This means that every pound you put under the plane counts. Instead of walking up to the check-in counter with that dreaded feeling of not knowing if your bags are overweight, pick up a luggage scale on Amazon for under $15.

It only takes one flight to pay this thing off. Usually if you're over by just two pounds you'll have to pay $15 extra, so by weighing your suitcase before arriving at the airport, you can take out that heavy sweater and wear it on the plane instead of paying a surcharge for overweight checked luggage.

3. Luggage GPS

As someone who has recently had his luggage lost by an airline, I can't recommend this gadget enough. Usually if an airline misplaces your baggage, they'll locate it eventually, but it can take days. When Turkish lost my bags earlier this year, I had to buy a whole new wardrobe in order to survive the cold Istanbul winter.

Had I tagged my bag with a luggage GPS, I could have used the app to tell Turkish that it was sitting in New York, given them the exact coordinates and I probably would have had my bag back in a day, rather than a week.

You can also tag your purse, golf clubs, and even your children with a tracker. Never lose something that's important to you again.

4. Steripen

You may not know how expensive bottled water can be until you travel to a place where it's not safe to drink tap water. On a hot day in Europe for example, you may find that you drink over 50 ounces of water. This can cost over €5 per day.

A Steripen uses Ultraviolet rays to purify 33 ounces of water in 90 seconds. All you have to do is submerge the pen and press a button. This simple, handheld tool can save money and a ton of plastic by not disposing of all those bottles..

One thing to note is that the Steripen removes bacteria and contaminants from the water but doesn't really help the taste. To combat funky flavored H2O, consider packing some flavoring packets or better yet, electrolyte powder.

5. Wi-Fi Range Extender

I have to say that this gadget has saved me a ton of hassle and has probably paid itself off as well. All you have to do is plug it into the wall, press a button to hook it up to the router, and the range extender can get rid of dead spots in your hotel, at the airport, or at the train station.

No more having to go to a cafe and buy a coffee just to get a decent Wi-Fi connection. This thing should give enough of a signal boost to give you full bars, even if the router isn't nearby.

What's Your Favorite Travel Gadget?

My favorite money-saving gadget that I picked up this year has to be the Handpresso pump, but I love all of the items on this list. As a full-time traveler, I'm always looking for new tools to save money and make travel easier. What's your favorite travel gadget? Does it save you money? Tell me about it in the comments below.

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