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Gone are the days of lugging around a suitcase full of camera film, vacation reading and an English to French dictionary. Today’s travelers are hitting the road more efficiently than ever.  Here are five essentials for the contemporary traveler.

An E-Reader

While there’s pushback from readers who find flipping the actual pages of a book a necessity, e-readers and e-reading apps are ideal for travel. Take as many books as you want and use up significantly less suitcase space than a single hardcover.

Language Apps

Language apps make it easy to practice the language of your destination on the airplane, in the car or in your hotel room. Even if you’re traveling domestic, try out some Spanish in Miami or Italian in Philadelphia. Duolingo is a free and reliable app, but Babel and Rosetta Stone are also sound choices for the serious learners.


In addition to offering breakdowns of the best travel deals among all airlines (like most Online Travel Agencies) Skyscanner also lets you search prices beyond specific dates. For example, if you know you want to go to Santa Barbara, but don’t have a specific time in mind, Skyscanner will show you the cheapest flights from your home to SB for as far as a year ahead of time.

Portable Charger & Hotspot

You’ll likely go through a lot of your phone battery while traveling around, so purchasing in a portable cell phone charger (and mini wireless router, if you travel to rural or international destinations) are good investments, and more reliable than the café wifi and airport wall outlets.

A Camera and Instagram Account

Whether it’s of all the clothes and nic nacs you’re laying out for your suitcase, the destination itself or a meal, contemporary travelers snap and record every step of their trips on Instagram. Here are some examples of how to do it best.

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