The Best Travel Gear in 2018

Books, camera gadgets, umbrellas and more of our picks for what to pack for vacation.

Photo courtesy Getty Images

Translation Tools


Google Pixel Buds

These wireless earbuds come equipped with Google Translate, allowing for real-time, multi-language conversation. Compatible with Android or Google Pixel smartphones, the buds’ translation software can decipher 40 foreign languages. $219. Available at

Duolingo podcast

Launched in December 2017, the Duolingo Podcast shares engaging true-life travel stories in easy-to-understand Spanish—the second most spoken language in the world—with helpful English narration throughout. Listen to new 15-minute episodes every Thursday at

Coffee Makers and Mugs


Cafflano Klassic

This pour-over coffee maker and travel mug turns your beans into brew. The Cafflano Klassic combines a hand mill grinder, pouring cup, metal filter dripper and tumbler mug into a single portable package about the size of a standard travel mug. $120. Available at

Pascal Press

This combination pressure brewer and travel mug is used by combining grounds and water in an outer cup, then plunging down on a second cup to separate grounds from the coffee, which then travels up an interior tube and into the second cup. $44. Available at

Rain Gear


KAZbrella Umbrella

Developed to fix the problem of dripping umbrellas, the KAZbrella opens and closes in the opposite direction to traditional designs, with the rain-soaked canopy folding upward, thereby trapping the water and leaving only the dry underside exposed. £45. Available at

Craft Ride Rain Jacket

This waterproof jacket is lightweight with a relaxed bike fit, and its taped seams, elastic cuffs and water-repellent zippers help keep out the damp and cold. It also has laser-cut ventilation holes to keep you cool when the clouds part and the sun pokes through. US$140. Available at

Camera Gear


Peak Design’s Everyday Messenger Bag

Founded in 2011 with the mission of finding a better way to carry cameras, Peak Design raised more than US$14 million on various Kickstarter campaigns. Its stylishly simple Everyday Messenger bag—available in charcoal, ash and tan—fits everything a photographer needs for a day of exploring. From US$220. Available at

Manfrotto’s PIXI Mini Tripod

Whether you’re snapping long exposures or the night sky, tripods are crucial for capturing a great image. But they are notoriously cumbersome, especially when travelling. Weighing in at under 200 grams and measuring less than 20 centimetres long when closed, Manfrotto’s PIXI Mini Tripod excels on the road. $35. Available at



Winter read: The Wolves of Winter

In a world devastated by nuclear war and disease, a young woman’s spirit is tested as she fights for survival in the beautiful, but unforgiving, Yukon wilderness. The Wolves of Winter is a fast-paced first novel from Kelowna-based writer Tyrell Johnson. Available at


Beach read: The Woman in the Window

Agoraphobia keeps Anna Fox confined to her New York apartment, where she passes the time spying on her neighbours—until she sees something she shouldn’t. In his debut novel The Woman in the Window, New Yorker A. J. Finn reimagines a Hitchcock classic. Available at

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