Do you know that feeling, of planning a new trip?  The excitement, the dreams and… the anxiety. I’ve been there and done that, many times. But there’s one thing I can always rely on and you can too, that transcends the boundaries of time – the best watch for travel.

Picture yourself navigating through bustling markets in Marrakech, strolling along the serene beaches of Bali, or perhaps marveling at the historic wonders of Rome.

In these memorable experiences, a travel watch becomes more than just a timekeeping device; it becomes a storyteller, marking the chapters of our adventures. Unravel the world, one time zone at a time, with a trusty travel watch by your side. Here are some of the best in 2024.

⭐ I love and recommend this General Purpose Watch!

Wander Healthy
Best watch for travel

Best Watch for Travel

The best travel watch for you will depend on your own specific needs and preferences, as well as the types of activities you’re planning for your travels.

A great watch can provide accurate timekeeping, convenience, durability, and style, making it a vital accessory for every traveler. The best watch for travel is the one that fulfills all of these to some extent, and the one that works for you.

Best General Purpose Watch for Travel

The best choice for general purpose travel watches for men and for women are from the same manufacturer and are practical and affordable.

And they are everything most people need while traveling: accurate timekeeping, long battery life, weather-resistant and stylish enough to wear casually or when dressing up a bit.

1.Timex Women’s Expedition Metal Field Mini Watch

  • Alarm: no
  • Visibility: Indiglo light-up dial
  • Durability: rugged
  • Battery life: 8 years
  • GPS functionality: no
  • Time zone aware: no
  • Comfort factor: high
  • Waterproof: water resistant to 50 meters
  • Theft Risk: low
  • Price: $40

This classic and elegant watch is the most favored among my traveling friends and I, as it’s a versatile, reliable, and durable accessory for any outfit.  It has the highly desirable Indiglo light-up dial, which illuminates the time at the touch of a button and makes it very easy to read in dark spaces.

This is my favorite watch. I have a few, including the ones below, but this is the one I wear most of the time.

2. Timex Men’s Expedition Metal Field Watch

  • Alarm: no
  • Visibility: Indiglo light-up dial
  • Durability: rugged
  • Battery life: 8 years
  • GPS functionality: no
  • Time zone aware: no
  • Comfort factor: high
  • Waterproof: water resistant to 50 meters
  • Theft Risk: low
  • Price: $42.65

A solid watch for men who travel. It’s a step above casual and perfect for most kinds of travel. It’s also reliable, durable comfortable and classic, and affordable.

Best Fitness Tracker Watch for Travel

For the fitness minded, the best fitness tracker watch is the FitBit Charge 5, for both women and men. This watch allows you to monitor your daily activity and is compatible with both Android or iPhone users.

Keep in mind that while you do get an initial free trial of the Fitbit subscription, you will need to pay eventually for the subscription and the tracker is not worthwhile if you do not plan to buy a subscription.

3. Fitbit Charge 5 Advanced Healthy & Fitness Tracker with Built-in GPS

  • Alarm: yes
  • Visibility: bright color display
  • Durability: moderate
  • Battery life: 7 days
  • GPS functionality: yes
  • Time zone aware: yes
  • Comfort factor: moderate
  • Waterproof: water resistant to 50 meters
  • Theft Risk: moderate
  • Price: $129

The Fitbit 5, for men and women, features built-in GPS, stress management, sleep tracking and heart rate monitoring. This is a great fitness tracker, and doesn’t stand out as many others like it.

If fitness is your lifestyle when traveling, you need look no further than this one.

Best Smart Watch for Travel

Smart watches are designed to be synced with smartphones, allowing you to receive notifications, make calls, and access various apps. They’re also often equipped with GPS tracking, fitness tracking, and extensive health tracking.

Smartwatches are typically more expensive however, and require frequent charging.

4. Garmin Vivoactive 4, GPS Smartwatch

  • Alarm: yes, through smartphone
  • Visibility: high
  • Durability: moderate
  • Battery life: 7 days
  • GPS functionality: yes
  • Time zone aware: yes, when paired with phone
  • Comfort factor: moderate
  • Waterproof: no
  • Theft Risk: moderate-high
  • Price: $200

This watch, for both men and women, offers a huge range of features, which include GPS, music storage, and heart rate monitoring. It also has a long battery life (relatively) and is water-resistant, making it a great choice for active travelers.

While the face is rather large, for women particularly, you can choose from hundreds of digital watch faces. It pairs with a smartphone, iPhone or Android, with paid subscription.  

Fun Fact: The North Pole and South Pole do not have official time zones.

Best Stylish Watch for Travel

If you’re going for a simple style with basic timekeeping abilities, Citizen has long been a reliable and respected maker of beautiful watches.

5. Citizen Eco-Drive Casual Women’s Watch

  • Alarm: no
  • Visibility: moderate
  • Durability: moderate
  • Battery life: recharges continuously in any light
  • GPS functionality: no
  • Time zone aware: no
  • Comfort factor: moderate
  • Waterproof: water resistant
  • Theft Risk: moderate-high
  • Price: $201

This fantastic watch is sleek and stylish, with dual-tone gold and silver to match pretty much anything you might want to wear. It’s also eco-friendly, powered by light, has a date function and is water resistant.

6. Citizen Eco-drive Corso Men’s Watch

  • Alarm: no
  • Visibility: low
  • Durability: high
  • Battery life: recommended charging every day, by exposure to light
  • GPS functionality: no
  • Time zone aware: no
  • Comfort factor: moderate
  • Waterproof: water resistant to 100 meters
  • Theft Risk: high
  • Price: $319

A stylish men’s watch with time, date, tachymeter and chronograph. It has a low profile and looks wonderful for both casual and more formal situations. If you’re going for style at a relatively low price point, this one works well!

Best Cheap Travel Watch

Looking for a basic watch that’s reliable and inexpensive? This one has a classic look for a fantastic price!

7. Timex Unisex Weekender

  • Alarm: no
  • Visibility: Indiglo light up dial
  • Durability: high
  • Battery life: 3 years
  • GPS functionality: no
  • Time zone aware: no
  • Comfort factor: high
  • Waterproof: not suitable for swimming or bathing
  • Theft Risk: low
  • Price: $32

This watch is affordable and versatile for women or men, with a classic design that can be dressed up or down. It also has an Indiglo light-up dial for visibility in low-light conditions.

Watch For Vision Impaired

Watches designed specifically for people with visual impairments usually have larger numbers or Braille markings, audible or tactile features, or both.

8. Timex Women’s Easy Reader

  • Alarm: no
  • Visibility: Indiglo light up dial
  • Durability: high
  • Battery life: 10 years
  • GPS functionality: no
  • Time zone aware: no
  • Comfort factor: high
  • Waterproof: not suitable for swimming or bathing
  • Theft Risk: low
  • Price: $30

Inexpensive, stylish and comfortable. While this lovely watch doesn’t have the bells and whistles of digital or Smartwatches, it is designed for easy reading and comfort.

9.Timex Men’s Easy Reader

  • Alarm: no
  • Visibility: Indiglo light up dial
  • Durability: high
  • Battery life: 10 years
  • GPS functionality: no
  • Time zone aware: no
  • Comfort factor: high
  • Waterproof: not suitable for swimming or bathing
  • Theft Risk: low
  • Price: $33

Like the women’s version of the same watch, this one is designed for ease of reading. It has bold numbers and hands and a light-up dial, that suits its goal wonderfully. A great time keeping piece at a low cost.

What to Look for in a Travel Watch

The most important features in a travel watch can vary depending on your needs and preferences. Here a few things you should look for in a travel watch.

  • ✅ An alarm and timer can be useful for setting reminders or waking up in a new time zone, which can help you sleep better.
  • ✅ A travel watch should be durable and able to withstand the wear and tear of travel, such as bumps and scratches. The more active you are, the more durable your watch should be.
  • ✅ A watch with a long battery life can be convenient, as it reduces the need for frequent charging or battery replacement.
  • ✅ GPS functionality can help you navigate and explore new places, whether you’re hiking in the mountains or walking through an unfamiliar city.
  • ✅A travel watch with the ability to display multiple time zones can be extremely useful for international travel, as it allows you to keep track of the time at home and your destination without having to adjust your watch constantly.
  • ✅ A comfortable watch is important for travelers who plan to wear it for long periods of time, such as during a flight or a day of sightseeing.
  • ✅ A water-resistant watch can withstand exposure to water, which is useful for travelers who plan to spend time near bodies of water or engage in water-based activities.

What to Avoid in a Travel Watch

  • ❌ Watches made with expensive materials, such as gold or diamonds, can be more vulnerable to theft or damage when traveling.
  • ❌ A watch that is heavy or bulky can be uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time, which is not ideal for travel where you may be on the go for extended periods of time.
  • ❌ Watches with complex features and functions may be more difficult to use and navigate, which can be inconvenient when traveling.
  • ❌ A watch that requires a lot of maintenance, such as frequent battery changes or calibration, may not be the best choice for travel where you may not have easy access to watch repair services.

Travel Watch FAQs

Do you even need a travel watch if you have a smartphone?

A travel watch and a smartphone serve different purposes. While a smartphone offers many functions, a travel watch is more suitable for travel purposes with longer battery life, durability, and convenience.

Which watch is best for traveling?

The best watch for traveling depends on your personal taste, the lifestyle you lead and the kinds of activities you plan to do while traveling.

Should you travel with an expensive watch?

Generally speaking no. You shouldn’t travel with anything valuable, as it is more likely to be lost or stolen when away from your daily routine.

What watches never stop?

Automatic watches will not stop as long as they are wound periodically.

Final Thoughts: Best Travel Watches

There is no single “best” travel watch that suits everyone’s needs, as different people have different preferences, requirements and personalities. As they should.

I hope you find joy in at least one of these and may your travel watch continue to tick in harmony with your wanderlust. Safe travels, and may each tick remind you of the extraordinary moments you’ve lived.