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Woman using her phone at outdoor market
Peera | Adobe Stock

5 Smartphone Essentials You Should Never Travel Without

Smartphones are the ultimate travel essential: we use them for research, map guidance, communication, social sharing, to catch a ride, and take photos and video. On average, you spend nearly five hours per day on your phone and you aren’t fooling anyone by “going off the grid” on your vacation. According to our Twitter poll, SmarterTravel followers would rather travel without a toothbrush or change of clothes instead of their phone.

These five smartphone essentials will protect and improve how you use your precious phone on the road so you’ll never lose it, break it, or run out of battery life again. Here’s what I always travel with.

Smartphone Essential # 1: Phone Lanyard

Woman talking on phone at cafe with laptop and cup of coffee
Kostiantyn | Adobe Stock

I recently invested in a phone lanyard and it has been one of my favorite travel-accessory purchases to date. Amazon offers a large selection, with most costing under $10. Not only does the phone lanyard help protect your phone from theft or accidental drops, but it also keeps your phone handy so you’ll never miss the perfect photo opp. Note, this is especially helpful on active or adventure trips.

Smartphone Essential # 2: Backup Battery

Close up of person plugging phone into portable battery pack
M-Production | Adobe Stock

Unless you keep your phone in Airplane mode all day, your phone battery will most likely be dead from usage at the end of your vacation day. That’s why I like to travel with a phone case that comes with an internal battery, so I don’t have to worry about extra items to carry around. CASELY offers their powerful charging cases in a variety of popular designs starting at just $37.

If you’re looking for a portable charger that isn’t a case, I recommend the Ventev Powercell or one of these tiny-sized options.

Smartphone Essential # 3: Protective Shield Glass

Close up of screen protecting glass being laid on phone (left) and phone in red backpack (right)
Zagg

There’s nothing worse than a shattered screen. A scratch-resistant, tempered glass screen protector is a traveler’s best friend. I use InvisibleShield for my phone and it comes with a lifetime limited warranty.

Smartphone Essential # 4: Phone Grip or Stand

Smartphone tripod and phone grip
Amazon

Whether it’s a PopSocket, LoveHandle, LoopyCase, or something else, a phone grip helps steady your hand when taking photos and video on vacation. There are many options on the market; I like the CLCKR phone stand and grip.

If you don’t want to attach an adhesive grip to your phone case, but still want to shoot steady photos and video, I recommend traveling with the Ubeesize smartphone tripod.

Smartphone Essential # 5: Extra Memory Storage

Smartphone storage graphic
Tierney | Adobe Stock

How many times have you needed to delete old photos or apps to make room for new photos on your device? Probably plenty. Invest in an inexpensive phone storage plan (I use iCloud’s $3 per month storage plan) so you never have to waste time deleting photos again.

Alternative storage options include Amazon (free for Prime members!), Dropbox, Google Drive, or a good old-fashioned external hard drive.

All of the products featured in this story were hand-selected by our travel editors. Some of the links featured in this story are affiliate links, and SmarterTravel may collect a commission (at no cost to you) if you shop through them.

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