We review 2 Analog Travel Alarm Clocks (under $10) from Casio and Peakeep, and a Digital Portable Clock from Ddida. For us, a travel clock has to be reliable, readable, easy to use and portable. We skip travel clocks with lots of extra features like temperature, weather, time zones, fancy snoozes and multiple alarm settings. The Casio, Peakeep and Ddida are great for giving you the time and getting you up with an alarm. When traveling, it’s best to keep it simple and enjoy the trip!
Casio TQ140 Travel Alarm Clock
This is not a “non-ticking” travel alarm clock, so if even a mild ticking can disturb you, move down to the next in our list. While many of us find the faint tick of the movement to be soothing, others prefer complete dead silence when they sleep.
The face is a good contrast green numbers on white background; The black hour and minute hands have semi-luminous inserts, which is good or bad depending on your preference. We find it has enough of a glow to be visible, but not so bright as to keep you from getting to sleep. Some people feel that it may be a little to soft and you may need an external light to see it in the dark.
You set the time by rotating the small wheel in the back; Pull it out and use the same wheel to set the alarm.
There is a basic slide at the top to engage the alarm. You shut off the alarm by pressing it back down. However, this is NOT a snooze button, it’s an OFF button. It is a simple, constant “Beep” alarm to wake you up.
At 3.2 ounces and measuring 2.2 x 2.2 x 1.3 inches, it’s great to take on any trip. The included “AA” battery is good for at least 8 months of active runtime.
Buy it on Amazon for $9.49 – Casio TQ140 Travel Alarm Clock
The clock face is a similar flat white as the Casio, with large easy to read black numbers. The hour and minute hands are also slightly illuminated thanks to the small phosphorescent green inserts.
There is a jaunty yellow sweep hand for the seconds, and a red hand for the alarm set time position.
If you need more illumination, there is a small white LED in the upper right corner. Press the snooze button at the top to light up the face for a few seconds.
On the back of the clock are two dials – one to set the time and the other to set the alarm time position. There is also a slider switch to turn the alarm on / off.
Other than the silent quality quartz movement and the light, the last difference in features from the Casio is the snooze button. Press the button at the top and the alarm is suspended for 5 minutes.
The alarm itself is a classic “Beep” sound, but designed to slowly wake you up without being startled. It has four stages of ascending urgency in the beep rate and volume. It starts with a slower, lower volume beep which gets more hurried and louder the longer it goes. The alarm will sound for about an hour until you either press the snooze button or turn it off.
It’s a little larger than the Casio, measuring 3.25 x 3.25 x 1.75 inches but still just as light weight (3.5 oz). You’ll need to supply your own “AA” battery, which should last a minimum of 6 months constant use.
Before your next trip, get this on Amazon for $8.99 – Peakeep Analog Travel Alarm Clock
Flip Alarm Travel Clock
When the “ON” is readable on the top of the clock, the alarm is on. To turn off the alarm, you flip the clock over so it now reads “OFF” on the top. That’s really cool, and you don’t have to wonder if the alarm is set or not.
Not to worry, the numbers re-orient themselves so they are always correct side up and easy to read. In the lower right corner is a smaller LCD display that shows when the alarm is set to beep.
The large LCD numbers are easy to read, and there is a back-light for night viewing. You can also select between 12-hour and 24-hour display. This is really great after a long flight, and you wake up in hotel room with the black-out curtains drawn. Choosing the 24-hour display, you’ll always know whether it’s AM or PM.
You can snooze the alarm for 5 minutes by pressing the top of the clock. You can also turn on the back-light by pressing the clock.
One other really neat feature is a night-light that is activate with a built-in light sensor. It saves on batteries by automatically switching off when the room gets light enough. You can also switch this off completely if you don’t want any light to disturb your sleep.
It’s a little longer than the analog clocks at 4.7 x 2.8 x 1.4 inches, but still an easily packable 2.08 ounces. This operates on 2 “AAA” batteries, which you’ll need to buy as they aren’t included with the clock. These should give you about 9 months of full usage.
Order one of these through Amazon for $16.79 – Flip Alarm Travel Clock
A final note on batteries – The Casio comes with a “AA”, and you’ll need to provide your own for the Peakeep (1x “AA”) and Ddida (2 x “AAA”). We recommend using standard Alkaline batteries, and here is our review / buyers guide to point you to the best deals: The Best Alkaline AA, AAA Batteries