The 5 Best Kindles for Travel of 2023 | by Travel + Leisure

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Nothing quite compares to cozying up on a sun-flooded lounge chair by a five-star hotel pool with a stack of books from your to-read pile next to you and a cocktail in hand. Reading on vacation or while traveling from point A to point B is one of life’s little luxuries, but deciding which books — and how many books — to pack can lead to analysis paralysis.

You want to make sure you have enough books to get you through your trip; ones that’ll suit your mood and fit into the theme of your vacation . . . but you don’t want to wind up with thirty pounds of hardcovers weighing down your checked luggage or carry-on bag. That’s exactly where the Kindle eReader comes in. The handy little device is barely bigger than a smartphone but can conveniently hold thousands of books in one lightweight little package. 

If you’re looking to invest in an eReader but you’re unsure about exactly what specs or features might be best for your specific reading style, you’ll want to read on. We’ve rounded up the best Kindles and exactly which ones work best for specific types of travel and habits.

Our Top PicksBest Budget:Amazon Kindle at AmazonJump to ReviewBest Waterproof:Amazon Kindle Paperwhite at Best BuyJump to ReviewBest Splurge:Amazon Kindle Oasis 2019 at AmazonJump to ReviewBest for Kids:Amazon Kindle Kids at AmazonJump to ReviewBest for Students:Amazon Kindle Scribe at AmazonJump to Review

Best Budget

Amazon Kindle

4.8

Amazon

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This lightweight eReader is small enough to slip into a handbag or pocket for easy transport.

What to Consider

The compact size might not be the best for those who prefer larger text.

This lightweight and compact eReader is our top pick when it comes to both convenience and budget-friendliness. The all-new Kindle measures just six by four inches, making it small enough to slip into your handbag or carry-on to read on the go. The six-inch display is just bigger than an iPhone which means you’ll have plenty of reading space, but if you prefer to set your text to a larger size, it might become annoying to have to flip pages more frequently than on one of the larger models. Still, the paper-like display makes it easy to read for long periods of time while the extended battery life means you’ll only have to charge your Kindle once every six weeks or so.

Price at time of publish: $100

The Details: 6.2 x 4.3 x 0.32 inches, 6-inch display | 5.56 ounces | 16 GB | Black, denim | Up to 10 weeks per charge

Best Waterproof

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon

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This new-and-improved Paperwhite features a surprisingly heavy-duty and waterproof design.

What to Consider

The backlit display can feel like reading on a smartphone rather than on paper.

There’s something about digging into a good read while lingering in the bath or hot tub — but bringing a paperback or a traditional eReader means you’ll always have to be wiping your hands off or reading precariously over the water. That’s where the newly updated Kindle Paperwhite comes in. This practical device is just slightly larger than the original Kindle but offers a laundry list of features that make it an interesting option for certain types of readers. Not only is the Paperwhite completely waterproof, but it also now offers a unique backlit design that makes it easy to read at night or in dim environments. This means you won’t have to worry about finding a light source if you want to read a few pages on evening flights or while your partner is asleep in bed next to you.

Price at time of publish: $140

The Details: 6.9 x 4.9 x 0.32 inches, 6.8-inch display | 7.23 ounces | 8 GB or 16 GB | Waterproof | Black | Up to 10 weeks per charge

Best Splurge

Amazon Kindle Oasis 2019

4.2

Amazon

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This versatile Kindle was built to withstand anything — and can hold a ton of books.

What to Consider

The price point is quite high compared to other models on the list.

The Kindle Oasis 32G might be on the pricey side, but it’s well-worth the splurge for bookworms who need an device that can withstand heavy duty use and store thousands of books without having to pick and choose which ones you download. The stunning eReader is dubbed the “most advanced Kindle ever” thanks partly to its customizable screen which can be adjusted from warm amber backlighting to more bright white colors to best suit the reader’s preferences and environment. The Kindle Oasis also features side navigation buttons, allowing you to easily flip the page using just one hand.

Price at time of publish: $250

The Details: 6.3 x 5.6 x 0.13-0.33 inches, 7-inch display | 6.6 ounces | 8 GB or 32 GB | Waterproof | Champagne gold, graphite | Up to 6 weeks per charge

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Best for Kids

Amazon All-new Kindle Kids

Amazon

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This option was purpose-built for kids to have access to books and literature at their appropriate reading level.

What to Consider

The Kindle is in black and white so picture books won’t translate well on screen.

This compact device doesn’t just make reading a fun treat but also allows kids access to thousands of age-appropriate books right at their fingertips. The all-new Kindle Kids comes with colorful built-in protective covers (think unicorns, whales, and ocean landscapes). This helps keep the eReader protected while in transit and out of harm’s way, and also comes with an included two-year warranty just in case anything does happen. The Kindle Kids also includes a one-year subscription to ​​Amazon Kids+, a library of thousands of kid-friendly reads like Harry Potter and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Price at time of publish: $120

The Details: 6.3 x 4.5 x 0.53 inches, 6-inch display | 9.03 ounces | 16 GB | Ocean explorer, space whale, and unicorn valley (colors) | Up to 6 weeks per charge

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Best for Students

Amazon Kindle Scribe (16 GB)

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This Kindle allows readers to read, take notes, and journal all in one device.

What to Consider

Writing on an eReader might feel weird or difficult to those with larger hands or big handwriting.

The rise of the eReader was a huge gift for serious readers and students who tend to spend hundreds of dollars each year on paperback and hardcover books and textbooks — but not being able to write notes in the margins or flag pages to physically come back to made it hard to use these devices the same way you would a textbook. The Kindle Scribe aims to do away with that apprehension by offering a unique and easy way to scribble down notes while reading thanks to its Paperwhite display and new Basic Pen stylus. The new concept also allows you to keep a journal or review and keep “sticky notes” on online documents from the comfort of your Kindle.

Price at time of publish: $340

The Details: 7.7 x 9.0 x .22 inches, 10.2-inch display | 15.3 ounces | 16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB | Black | Up to 12 weeks per charge

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Tips for Buying a Kindle

Consider where and when you’ll use it

Planning to use your Kindle before bed and keeping it exclusively on your nightstand? You’d probably do just fine with a basic Kindle model. That said, if you plan to travel with your Kindle or you tend to read in the bath or by the pool, it might be worth investing in a Paperwhite or Oasis for added peace of mind and resilience.

Know how the Kindle reading experience differs from a tablet or smartphone

Reading on a tablet or smartphone absolutely does not compare to reading on a Kindle — in our opinion, anyway. A Kindle is designed to be easy on the eyes and take away any and all distractions that can easily come with reading on a device you also use for social media or gaming, which allows you to concentrate for longer periods of time without eye strain.

Frequently Asked QuestionsHow do I get books on a Kindle?

Sure, ordering a physical copy of a book is pretty easy these days, but it’s actually quicker and easier to get books on a Kindle. There are two different ways you can purchase and download books onto your Kindle eReader. The first one is to go onto the Amazon website from your smartphone or browser and purchase the Kindle edition of the book you’re interested in. You’ll be prompted to send the book to your Kindle device and it will download immediately. The other way is to purchase books directly on your Kindle from the built-in Amazon store; this is a great alternative if you’re on the go and don’t want to toggle between devices before you start reading. Many libraries also have e-books compatible with this reader so you can borrow titles from the comfort of your home as well. 

Can I listen to audiobooks on a Kindle?

If you prefer listening to audiobooks over reading books, you’ll want to opt for the new Kindle Paperwhite. The Paperwhite is the only Kindle that currently supports audiobooks thanks to its Bluetooth connectivity. Note that the Kindle doesn’t have an audio jack so you’ll need Bluetooth-enabled headphones or speakers.

Can I adjust the lighting on a Kindle?

Yes, you can absolutely adjust the lighting on a Kindle. Depending on the specific model of Kindle, you can also change the style of lighting on display. The Kindle Oasis, for example, allows you to toggle between white or amber light depending on your environment or preferences.

What’s the difference between “ad-supported” and “without ads”?

The main difference between an “ad-supported” Kindle and a Kindle “without ads” is exactly what it sounds like: one will include the occasional advertisement (such as best-seller recommendations or new releases) on screen while the other is completely free from advertisements. The Kindle is ad-supported by default but you can purchase a no-ads-supported Kindle for an additional $20.

What is Kindle Unlimited?

Think of Kindle Unlimited like Netflix for e-books. The Amazon subscription service offers a massive library packed with thousands of books, ranging from bestselling classics to new and hot releases, that you have unlimited access to for a monthly fee of $9.99/month.

Should I get a cover for my Kindle?

A case or cover will protect your Kindle from possible scratches, cracks, or drops. Users who frequently travel or commute with their Kindle may especially want to invest in a durable and/or waterproof case to make sure their eReader remains safe on-the-go. Be sure you also select a cover or case that is made for your specific device for the best fit and protection.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this article, T+L contributor Kaitlyn McInnis used her experience as a travel writer, Kindle user, and former gear editor to curate the best options to suit most needs.

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Updated byTravel + Leisure where she tests, researches, and writes about travel products. Taylor holds a Master’s in Geography and has been a writer and editor for over seven years.” tabindex=”0″ data-inline-tooltip=”true”>Taylor Fox Taylor Fox Taylor Fox is a Commerce Updates Writer at Travel + Leisure where she tests, researches, and writes about travel products. Taylor holds a Master’s in Geography and has been a writer and editor for over seven years.learn more

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