Best travel alarm clocks

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Waking up in the morning is not everyone’s favorite, but we live in a world where this is essential. We need to get up for work, and business hours start early. While some people have great circadian rhythms to wake them up, others require an alarm clock. Plus, if your job has you on the road, you need the best travel alarm clock you can buy.

Travel Alarm Clocks Guide

Why is a travel alarm clock different than a regular alarm clock?

Some may say that it is the same thing. It is an alarm clock, after all. However, if that were true, manufacturers would not sell their products under the name of ‘travel alarm clock,’ and all clocks would fall under the same category. But there are some differences between the two types of alarm clocks, which makes them different products.

The primary difference between a regular alarm clock and a travel alarm clock is that the latter has a compact design. They are usually smaller so that they can fit in any bag without taking up too much space. Plus, travel alarm clocks are always powered by batteries. It would be a little bit inconvenient to have to plug in the alarm clock every time you check into a hotel.

Why use a travel alarm clock and not your phone?

A lot of people think that having a phone with an alarm clock, which all phones have, is better, and investing in a travel alarm clock is useless. Once again, that is not true. I suppose there are many of us out there who use our phones as a tool to wake us up in the morning, but it does not mean we are doing the right thing.

An alarm clock on your phone is way too easy to dismiss. I bet all of you do that for just ten more minutes of sleep. While that may be a common occurrence that is harmless most of the time, for some people, time management is of the utmost importance. A travel alarm clock does come with a snooze button, but the alarm is a lot more inconvenient to shut off, and that will wake you up for sure. 

Not to mention that if you put your phone on silent and do not check the settings, the alarm can end up being a simple vibration. There are two things wrong with that. The first one is that if you are a deep sleeper, you will not be able to feel it and oversleep. The second is that vibrations eat a lot of the phone’s battery. Especially since most phones will vibrate for one minute, take a break, and then vibrate again until you wake up and dismiss the alarm.

Another reason why you should use a travel alarm clock and not your phone as an alarm is that you can always tell time. You can tell time on your phone as well, but if you are the kind of person who has trouble sleeping, shoving a bright device in your face will not help you very much. Quite the contrary, actually, it may make the process of falling asleep even more difficult. A travel alarm clock with a backlit display is okay, but it will not emit as much light as your phone. As a result, it will not affect your process of falling asleep as much.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours. Do you want to use a travel alarm clock or your phone as an alarm? You can choose whichever, but keep in mind that there is a reason why alarm clocks are considered better than phones. Maybe you should try it too to see the difference. Who knows? Perhaps you will wake up easier in the morning.

What to consider when looking for the best travel alarm clock

There are a lot of travel alarm clocks you can find online. However, you should never just buy randomly. Check the specification in order to make sure that the product you purchase suits your needs. That is why you should consider the next factors:

  • Design – the design of the travel alarm clock you choose should be as compact and as lightweight as possible. After all, travel items are characterized by their small size. That way, the clock will fit in whatever bag you have without taking up too much valuable space. A travel alarm clock that is not compact cannot be truly called a travel alarm clock.
  • Foldability – I find that foldable alarm clocks are the most useful. They are small, of course, but they can also be stored in a safe manner. A foldable travel alarm clock that can be folded down will always have its display protected. Even if you put it in your suitcase along with other hard items, the screen will be kept away from any danger of breaking. There is no way it will get damaged during transport. At the same time, foldable travel clocks are designed in such a way that you can use the so-called cover as a stand so that the clock stays in a vertical position all on its own. You do not need to lean on anything.
  • Backlit screen – in the vast sea of travel alarm clocks you find online, some models do not come with a backlit display. My advice is to stay away from those because they can be inconvenient. For example, if you wake up in the middle of the night, you need to turn on your phone to see what time it is, and that cannot be good for your falling back asleep plan.
  • Power supply – to be blunt, any travel alarm clock that needs to be plugged in is not worth your time. You should always go for battery-powered travel alarm clocks. It saves you the effort and trouble of plugging it in, resetting the time, and looking for an outlet.
  • Additional features – as you can imagine, not all travel alarm clocks are created equal. Some models have more features than others, and you should go for the ones that you find useful. For example, some travel alarm clocks display the date and the weather, while others are programmed for several time zones. These things may come in handy, especially if you travel all around the continent. Of course, the more features a travel alarm clock has, the more expensive it will be. Even so, they are generally cheap products, so the difference is negligible.

Best travel alarm clock

Now that you know what you are looking for, you can go on shopping. Just make sure that you follow the guidelines mentioned above. Reading some travel alarm clock reviews online may also help because you can see other people’s opinions about a product you may want to buy. In the meantime, maybe you like one of the products below and save yourself all that trouble.

Travelwey Digital Travel Alarm Clock

The first product I came across and found to be more than suitable is the travel alarm clock from Travelwey. It is a more than satisfactory device if you are looking for one of the cheapest alternatives. While many models on the market display more information such as date and weather, this particular clock displays the time and that is it. It represents the most basic travel alarm clock you will find on the market. Even so, its quality is good enough for a product under $10.

The fact that this travel alarm clock does not have much information to display, it is effortless to operate. It has a simple design, and anybody can operate it. Even a child could manage to set the time and the alarm. It has a clear screen that is backlit. However, light is on demand. You need to push a button for more visibility. However, that can be a good thing since it saves battery power.

As for functions, the Travelway travel alarm clock has an alarm and a snooze function so that you get up on time. The item also has an on/off button that you can use when you are traveling. It will switch off the display, and the light switch will become inactive. However, the internal time is kept so that you do not have to set it again when you reach your destination. The clock has a foldable design, compact and lightweight, and it uses 2 AAA batteries.

Marathon CLO30023 Travel Alarm Clock with Calendar and Temperature

Another product that I found and loved is the one from Marathon. Unlike the previous product, this provides more features that I think you will find most useful when you are traveling. It has a built-in stand since the design is foldable. The clock face rotates 180 degrees so that you can protect the item while in your bag. When you want to use it, just turn the cover and use it as a stand. It is as simple as that.

The Marathon travel alarm clock has multiple useful functions. For one, it is an alarm, and it comes with a snooze function, as well as with a light feature. The alarm is loud enough so that you can hear it. The backlight is button-activated so that it does not empty the battery. At the same time, the light is not very bright. It is quite easy on your eyes. The display will provide light for 5 seconds before it gets to sleep again.

This travel alarm clock also features a temperature display of the room it is located in. It has a sensor that can show you the temperature in both Fahrenheit and Celsius. You can also enjoy the calendar that displays months, days, and years. The Marathon travel alarm clock is powered by an AAA battery which is included in the price.

Marathon CLO30036BK Atomic Travel Alarm Clock

Last but not least, this is a travel alarm clock manufactured by Marathon as well. However, the best thing about this device is that it is an atomic clock, which means that it is in sync with the US atomic clock. You never have to worry about accuracy. It also self-sets and self-adjusts, which I think is most useful. This is a foldable model as well, and you can use the clock face as a stand.

This model has a lightweight and compact design, which makes it ideal for traveling. It features multiple time zones, so if you travel across the country often, then this is the product you are looking for. It can also display the information you need in 5 different languages such as English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian.

While the backlight can be operated manually, the Marathon CLO30036BK has a built-in light sensor that detects if the clock has been placed in a dark environment. When the light comes out, the backlight will automatically turn off. I think that is a brilliant feature that will spare you the action of pushing the button when it is dark, and you want to see what time it is. The clock runs on a single battery, and it lasts for months.

My recommendation

While I believe that all three products will meet their purpose, my personal favorite is the Marathon CLO30036BK Atomic Travel Alarm Clock. The fact that you do not have to set anything spares you the trouble. Plus, the design is compact, it is lightweight, and you can use it wherever you go. I think it is one of the best travel alarm clocks you can find in this price range.


Before thinking that a phone can do whatever a travel alarm clock can, why do so many people believe that the clock itself is the better alternative? There has to be something about it that makes it so desired by people who travel, right? Why don’t you buy one of the products and find out? You have nothing to lose.

Updated on January 6, 2023