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10 Gadgets and Gift Ideas for the Traveling Dad

June 14, 2017
8 min read
Father and son standing by still lake
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Mother's Day might get a lot of fanfare, but dads are pretty amazing, too. Whether they're trick-or-treating on airplanes, bonding at national parks or dozing before takeoff, traveling dads everywhere deserve a little extra love this Father's Day, so why not get them one of these great travel-related gadgets?

1. SMARTPHONE TRIPOD MOUNT & STAND 

If your dad is like most of us, he probably uses his smartphone constantly while traveling — it's not just a phone, it's a computer and camera, too, after all. This adjustable tripod mount will allow him to attach his phone to any standard tripod, turning it into a more stable point-and-shoot camera for crisp, shake-proof photos. It also works as a small stand to help prop up his phone for an easier way to watch videos, read books or scan the news. From $30.

This mount connects your phone to a tripod, turning it into a shake-free point-and-shoot camera.

2. 3-IN-1 LENS CAMERA KIT FOR SMARTPHONES

This camera kit comes with three lenses — wide, macro and fish-eye — that can be mounted on the camera of most standard smartphones and tablets. The set is easy to use: just clip the mount onto the phone or tablet, screw on the lens and snap away. And while these won't exactly give you SLR-quality photos, they're a great tool for the amateur travel photographer interested in better capturing a scenic landscape or sending some funny, morphed selfies back home. And unlike an SLR, the lenses are light, extremely portable and dirt cheap.

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Amir 3 in 1 Lens for Smartphones
These lenses will give your smartphone camera a facelift.

3. Men's Bug-Free Long-Sleeve T-Shirt

For the avid outdoorsmen, this long-sleeve t-shirt will help protect against both bugs and sun. The lightweight fabric is treated with an odorless insect repellent that repels mosquitoes, flies and ticks and lasts for up to 70 washes. Not to mention, the intricate fabrication process also means it can better protect skin against harsh ultraviolet sun rays than standard clothing. Whether Dad is hiking in the Amazon, on a safari in Kenya or camping in Big Bend, you'll know he'll be protected. From $23.

This long-sleeve shirt is as functional as it is stylish. Image courtesy of White Sierra.

4. 360-DEGREE SPHERICAL PANORAMA CAMERA

While standard panoramic photos capture just a single line of view, this spherical panorama camera captures an entire space — great for breathtaking views and jaw-dropping hotels. It fits in the palm of your hand, can be mounted on a tripod and best of all, you can control it with your smartphone. With a 360-degree image or video, Dad will be able to share moments from all angles.

This 360-degree camera takes panoramic photos to a whole new level.

5. DIGITAL LUGGAGE SCALE

Some dads have a superhuman ability to estimate the weight of your luggage before heading to the airport. Others need a little more help. This digital scale can measure the weight of luggage up to 110 pounds, ensuring that Dad never has to pay extra fees for his overstuffed suitcase. And unlike a lot of other luggage scales, this one isn't bulky or awkward, but small enough to fit easily in the palm of your hand or front luggage pocket, making it easy to carry along on trips.

Camry 110 Lbs Luggage Scale
Keep Dad from paying extra fees with this handy digital luggage scale.

6. SOUND-ISOLATING EARPHONES

These sound-isolating earphones are a great gift for an audiophile dad on the go. The in-ear buds are soft and comfortable — even after wearing them for extended periods — and the cord is durable enough to withstand the frequent wrapping and unwrapping that accompanies travel. In addition to great sound quality, these earphones also block up to 37 decibels of ambient noise, making it a little easier to hear that podcast at 35,000 feet.

These earphones block out ambient noise while maintaining good quality sound. Image courtesy of Shure Incorporated.

7. MINI BLUETOOTH/GPS TRACKER

These small trackers are easy to use and handy for traveling dads. Simply attach one to an item like a suitcase or wallet, and if it gets lost, you can see on your phone where it was last detected or, if you're close by, it'll play a sound to help you find it. An "anti-lost" mode will also alert you when you're getting too far away from the item — an especially great feature if your dad is prone to leaving his keys or wallet behind. Bonus: Unlike other trackers, the battery is replaceable, meaning you don't have to buy a new one when the battery gets too low.

Apsung Mini Bluetooth GPS Key Tracker
These devices can help Dad keep track of his most important items while traveling.

8. PORTABLE CHARGER

This portable charger has enough juice to recharge multiple devices, multiple times — making it great for long-haul flights or multi-day trips with limited access to power. Best of all, it comes with two USB ports and an LED display that lets you see what percentage of the battery is left on the charger. While it's a little larger than some portable power banks, it still fits fine in a suit jacket or carry-on pocket.

Lumina 15000 mAh Ultra Compact Portable Charger 2-Port External Battery Power Bank
This portable power bank can charge two devices at the same time.

9. POCKET MULTI-TOOL 

This pocket multi-tool was made for dads who scoff at calling a handyman and believe no home is complete without a toolbox. Despite being the size of a standard house key, this tool can serve the purpose of 20 devices, including four different types of screwdrivers, a wire stripper and — of course — a bottle opener. Best of all, it is TSA approved, so Dad can take it with him anywhere he goes.

MSTR KEY (Master Key) 20-in-1 Key-Size Multi-Tool
This mini-tool is 20 devices in one and is only the size of a house key.

10. HIDDEN TRAVEL BELT WALLET

Let's face it, fanny packs aren't doing anyone any favors. But what do you do when Dad wants to keep sensitive things like passports and cash close while traveling? This hidden travel wallet clips to your belt and hides under your clothes to keep personal items safe and out of reach from pickpockets. Unlike a lot of travel wallets, it's made with soft, breathable fabric that is comfortable, even in hot weather. Its three distinct pockets are big enough to carry a passport, several credit cards and some cash, yet still easy to access when you need to. Bonus: The wallet is also equipped with RFID-blocking material, giving Dad some extra peace of mind.

Shacke Hidden Travel Belt Wallet w/ RFID Blocker
This travel wallet is a huge improvement over the fanny pack.

What travel-related gifts will you be giving Dad this year? Sound off, below.

Featured image by Getty Images/Hero Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees