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Banned Travel Gadgets

Here at HYPE, we love nothing more than travelling in comfort and style – which, for many of us means kitting ourselves out with some essential travel gadgets.

Sadly, your seemingly innocent gadgets can land you in trouble if you take them to the wrong places—so let’s take a look at some of the top travel tech you need to take care with on your whirls around the world.

The Knee Defender

Airliners around the world are famously stingy when it comes to leg room and, unless you fly business class (or are enviably petite), your knees can be a major casualty. It gets even better when the person in front of you shoves their seat back, just enough to guarantee you won’t get a moment’s comfort on this flight. It’s going to be a long journey.

However, last year a saviour was born: the Knee Defender, a simple clip that attaches to your flight tray and stops the seat in front from reclining. Problem solved (or so we thought) until a fight broke out during a United Airlines flight, over the use of a Knee Defender. The flight had to divert due to the row, and airlines are increasingly banning the accessory from flights.

Selfie sticks

Not long ago we reported that selfie sticks have been banned by a number of museums in the US. The story doesn’t end there though, because tourist attractions around the world have started to ban the camera gadget as well – including the National Gallery in London and the Palace of Versailles, near Paris.

‘Dead’ devices

Following advice from the US, certain flights from the UK are about to refuse electronic devices that hold no charge. That means phones, tablets, laptops and other devices with a dead battery could be turned away, if you can’t turn them on to prove they are fully working (and, you know, not explosive). So, while we think your favourite portable device is the perfect way to kill time in the air, make sure you charge up before you leave!

Time travel

Yes, that’s right, the ultimate achievement in travel technology—so advanced it hasn’t even been invented yet—has already been banned in China. More specifically, media censors have cracked down on the use of time travel in film and television, accusing producers of portraying history without the “accuracy and respect it deserves”.

Okay, so this one won’t put a stop to your next travel adventure, but it was so quirky we couldn’t resist putting it on this list…


A gadget that has been cropping up all over the world in recent years is the e-cigarette. While the devices were originally marketed as a tool to help people quit smoking, the health risks associated with them are still unclear. It didn’t take long for airliners to ban people using them during flights and a number of cities in the US are attempting to ban their use in public altogether. That said, we’ve spoken about the success of smoking bans in US cities before – and we’ll leave it to you to decide whether that’s a good thing or not.