I love to travel, long haul, short haul – Paris, Florence, Dallas or New York (and yes I do like it to be civilised) it’s the same…..give me an excuse and I’m off. As an inveterate traveller I have put together a collection of gadgets and essentials that I never leave home without and which, along with a smartphone and laptop, enable me to work anywhere, listen to music (loudly) anywhere, plug in (or not) switch on and have my home comforts wherever I am.
Portable Speakers: There are quite a few different brands of portable speakers available, the ones I would go for would be Bassboomz – I have to confess I love the colours, X Mini which are marvellous both in terms of sound and size and my latest addition Betron’s mini bluetooth speaker which is inexpensive and very good indeed. They’re all very easy to use, charge them up and then use them with or without the cable – they make a lot of sound for quite a long time and you can use them with your laptop, iPad or smartphone.
Headphones: When it comes to headphones I always travel with two pairs, one mini set to use in emergencies but which have good sound, and a larger noise cancelling set for long haul. The best out there from all the ones I’ve tried are by Bose and if you do a lot of travelling I wouldn’t hesitate in investing in these. I know that many will go for the Beats by Dr Dre headphones – partly because they look cool and partly because of all the hype but I would still choose the Bose at that price level. If you want to spend a bit less but get something that is still high quality try the JVC noise cancelling headphones. They’re comfortable to wear and although they aren’t at the level of the higher priced noise cancelling headphones they do a good job.
Portable Battery Chargers and Power Banks: There are some items in particular where I’ve done quite a bit of extra research – in particular with relation to the ‘my phone has run out of battery’ syndrome, as I’m one of those people obsessed with never running out of charge.
For charging on the go, and carrying something with you that doesn’t weigh a ton (note: better in a handbag or briefcase than a pocket) I wouldn’t buy just any old portable battery charger, it would have to have 10,000mAh or more – many websites won’t give you the details so you really need to know what you’re buying. The best selection is to be found, of course, at Amazon and these above are some you could try. Note that you have to charge them up first (obvious you’d think). For days out you could go for the lightweight and slim Easy Acc Portable Powerbank or the TeckNet reasonably priced 15,000mAh charger.
With these portable battery packs the weight will go up as the power does so make sure you compare both weight and power before choosing. If you’re off for a weekend and won’t have power all of the time you might like to invest in the Anker 2nd Generation 20,000mAh portable battery pack which should keep you going for a while.
Hot Drinks When Away: One of the things I always want available when I’m away is a hot drink, but somehow, as I’m not a light packer (never have been never will be), I don’t ever end up with enough room for my travel kettle. So the Design Go Cup Boiler seems to be an excellent addition to my travel kit. Having tried and tested it, and read the reviews, you need a sturdy squat mug to use it in and if you’re looking for the perfect travel mug to go with it I’d recommend the Thermocafe Desk Mug (by Thermos) which works perfectly with the cup boiler without the inclination to tilt.
Lockable Coloured Luggage Straps: Finally on to luggage, or the recognition thereof. I have no idea why most people go for plain black suitcases particularly if they’re flying. But they do. And when your bags are coming off the belt they can all look the same, particularly after a long flight. If you buy one luggage related essential this year make it a coloured, lockable luggage strap and you’ll never be searching for your bag again. Actually buy several, as all your family will be purloining them, never to be seen again, and then they’ll be coming after yours.