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Travel Alarm Clock

Can anyone recommend a good travel alarm clock that either folds or doesn't take up a lot of space that also stays lit during the night?

Posted by Terri Lynn
Nashville, TN, USA
796 posts

Geneva Elgin makes such travel alarm clocks. You can see them and buy them very cheap at Wal-Mart supercenters.

Posted by George
Independence, KS, USA
982 posts

True enough, but make sure you try it out once you get it home. Some of them tick so loud my wife couldn't sleep. As Rick suggests, we've stayed at several hotels that did not wake us after leaving a wake-up request. Cell phones are nice but their batteries run down overnight sometimes. Get the el cheapo at Walmart and sleep worry free.

Posted by Colette
Home_Sweet_Home :-)
507 posts

My cell phone or Kindle Fire doubles as a clock/alarm clock. As long as the item is plugged in & charging I can see the current time. :-)

Posted by Pam
Troy, Idaho, USA
5335 posts

Yep, I use my cell phone too and keep it charging overnight. I also have a Timex watch with an alarm which is reliable. I cannot, however, really see the time on it at night without fumbling for my glasses.

Posted by Robert
Liberty, Missouri
243 posts

Rick sells a real nice one. I just got mine yesterday. It is about two inches square and folds up. Go shopping by clicking on the Shop Online tab.

Posted by doric8
806 posts

I use my cell phone....and even tho this was not yr question.......a couple of years ago I did the new England / Canada cruise with my mom.....each night we went just far enuf out to sea that my phone knew we were in a different time kept refusing to wake me in time for breakfast.............

Posted by Priscilla
3734 posts


I found an inexpensive one at Target but you can also find one at Radio Shack or REI.

I ask the front desk to give me a wake up call especially on the morning I need to get to the airport.

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
11613 posts

I use my cell phone and my iPad as a backup on the mornings I have to get to the airport or catch an early train. As soon as I touch the screen it lights up, even if it's not charging. I've never had this system fail. I am relentless in eliminating anything that takes up room - even a 2-inch alarm clock - if some other device will do the same thing.

Posted by Diane
155 posts

I use an alarm clock from LLBean which lights up when you touch it. What I like about it is the fact that it shows the room temperature. This is important to me as I have a medication that needs to be kept under a certain temperature.

Posted by Sarah
St. Louis, MO USA
1972 posts

I've used a plastic fold-up Timex travel clock for years. It's digital so it doesn't tick, and it doesn't stay lit but you press a button and a light illuminates the screen.

Posted by phred
Los Angeles
1385 posts

they are everywhere and quite cheap. Try Amazon if you can't get to a store, or Travelsmith.

Also, remember upon entering each hotel room to check the clock radio! Because most travellers have to get up at zero dark thirty to catch a train or plane and often the alarm is still set! Care to ask me how I know? I was the guy running around a dark Zurich hotel room after my transatlantic flight.

Posted by Debbie
Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA
166 posts

Bought one at the store, didn't work well at all. Then bought Rick Steves clock and have used it for 2 years.

Posted by Jenn
Rick Steves' Europe
295 posts

We sell a great one at Rick Steves'. We hardly ever get any returns and they last forever. It folds up so it doesn't take up much room. Good display that's easy to read. It's also easy to set and has a day glow light for reading in the dark. Plus, it has a snooze. Requires a battery but its not a fancy button style but a AAA. We sell it for $15.99. I have had mine for years and I bring it every time even with an iphone that has an alarm.

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1811 posts

One of our travel group said her phone being used as an alarm clock malfunctioned in England and her and her husband missed their plane back to U.S. She had used it in several countries previously.

This makes me think that a separate alarm clock would be a good idea and it should be well tested before something critical occurs. My wife has a tiny Seiko travel clock that I gave her many years ago which runs on a button battery. We have taken it on all our trips and it has never failed. A spare battery goes with it, just in case. Its dimensions are 2" long, 1 1/2" wide, and a quarter of an inch thick.

Posted by Gretchen
Seattle, WA, US
140 posts

I used the RS travel clock. It folds up flat. I found that in a couple of hotels in Italy the outlet wasn't next to the bed so using my phone for an alarm would have resulted in me oversleeping zzzzzzz

Posted by Chris F
Basel, Switzerland
6551 posts

One problem with alarm clocks on phones is time zones. Sometimes my phone will change time automatically when I travel from France to England (or vice versa), sometimes it doesn't, and sometimes it changes 24 hours later. It picks up the time from the network it is connected to.
When using it as an alarm clock, check the time is correct.

Posted by babysteps
rural NY state
7 posts

FYI most cell phones have an option to "automatically" find the time zone (from the network) or to set the time zone independently and ignore the network time (which avoids the 'my cell phone changed my time zone' problem). Many have the option to show 'home' and 'travel' time zones simultaneously.

Sometimes setting a calendar item with a reminder notification works better. If your calendar supports multiple time zones, you can tag something as 6am GST and even if your phone updates to GST -1, the calendar reminder will still go off at 6am GST.

Finally, a stopwatch app can help, just set it for 7hrs (or however long) and you know it will go off in 7 hrs no matter the time zone.

Ask me about the time I used the in-room clock radio in Brussels as an alarm - it didn't have a "tone" option (only wake to radio) and I did double check the radio station and volume before setting the alarm. It wasn't a 24 hr a day radio station!! No harm, was meeting up with a group and only missed a little bit...

Posted by Lulu
524 posts

Does the RS clock take just one AAA battery? I'm not too keen on paying $6 on shipping a $16 product. However, if it's ultra light I will. Many of the ones I see online or at the store take 3 batteries, which ups the weight.

Posted by Lulu
524 posts

Does the RS clock take just one AAA battery? I'm not too keen on paying $6 on shipping a $16 product. However, if it's ultra light I will. Many of the ones I see online or at the store take 3 batteries, which ups the weight.

Posted by Debra
523 posts

I found a really good cheap one, years ago at Tuesday Morning, Timex brand. I believe the battery has been changed once. It uses the flat disk kind of battery. My husband also has a Timex watch, for backup. The battery died while we were on vacation. To replace the battery, we had to get a magnifying lens and a small screwdriver set, drat these old eyes!! If you do bring an electronic gadget, just leave it charging like previous posters suggested.

Posted by Lulu
524 posts

Is anybody else having problems posting? sometimes mine go through and other times it says there is error?

Posted by Frank II
6965 posts

The RS alarm clock takes just one battery.

I have it and am disappointed. It keeps the time but the battery cover keeps popping off. Sometimes when I open and close it and others times when it gets jolted a little. When the battery cover pops off, the battery comes out and the clock has to be reset.

Check the big box stores and even Radio Shack, if there are any left near you, and they should have small battery operated travel alarm clocks that offer more than just the time.

Posted by Lulu
524 posts

I actually found one at a nice luggage/travel store in my city. I have a $27 credit there and the clock is small and extremely lightweight, but take 3s AAA batteries. I don't think that is too bad really. It costs $20, so I think will just get that.

Posted by phred
Los Angeles
1385 posts

Small portable clocks are available almost everywhere. Walgreens, CVS, Amazon, Travelsmith.

Just look for one with a simple, standard size, easy to access battery like a AAA.

Posted by Rachel
701 posts

I've owned one of the LL Bean flat alarm clocks for years. The cover has since broken off, but it still works. The older model I have looks different, but they now call it the widescreen alarm clock.
Shows the temperature as well.

Posted by Jean
Mill Creek, Washington
2221 posts

I want to pack the lightest & smallest possible, so I just use my cell phone. Yes, it did have an issue in Australia last week, not changing to the current time zone. But, it's just a check each time you land to see if it updates, and I changed it manually. I much prefer the phone cute ring I set up for the alarm clock than a buzz from regular travel clocks, and I plug it in across the room to make sure I get up. I've even saved the alarm set-up as "Hello Paris" on my phone. : )

Posted by cbrochu30
258 posts

what about an old-fashioned wind up travel alarm? I can t seem to find any. Suggestions?