Travelling can be fun, but it’s always a little stressful. Arrive at the hotel of your dreams to find out that although the room may be reasonable, a cup of coffee will set you back a small fortune, or take a road trip in a hired car and want to listen to your favourite music?
Here are 9 gadgets and essentials I would recommend you take with you everywhere that’ll solve those problems and more.
Contigo Autoseal Travel Mug - I’ve written about this before, but having recently used mine on a long trip away I can’t recommend it highly enough. Fill it and it keeps hot for hours. Schlep it in your handbag and it won’t drip or leak and when you’re passing a coffee shop on the way back to your hotel you can get it filled up so that you don’t even have to consider ordering that ridiculously expensive room service.
And when used with my next favourite gadget you don’t even have to go out to get your coffee or tea.
Go Travel Cup Boiler – This little gadget (really a mini immersion heater) will bring a mug of coffee to boiling point in a minute or so. Make sure when you use it that you don’t immerse it completely, and don’t leave it alone, it’s faster than you think.
If you have two travel mugs you can do what I do and heat water in both so that you can fill it up. But it’s not essential. And don’t forget if you’re travelling abroad that you’ll need an adapter.
And finally in the hot drinks making stakes you can’t make your drink without the coffee (or tea bags) so I always travel with a mini Lock and Lock container full of instant coffee. Then you’re all set to have coffee on tap whenever and wherever you are.
These are the best containers by far I’ve found, which lock down tightly and don’t leak and they come in lots of different sizes.
Then we come to playing music wherever you are from your own device, in car or hotel room.
My favourite gadget to help with this is a portable bluetooth speaker which provides excellent sound in every direction. Use it to listen in the car, or watch your favourite tv show in your room, either way this is an indispensable addition to whatever device you’re watching/listening on.
If you want something even smaller, you could buy a pair of X Mini Max portable speakers. These are smaller and lighter, and clip together. they’re not Bluetooth so you will have the wires. but they’re excellent for sound and quality, and I’m still using a pair of these I bought many years ago…..
Use both of these with laptop, tablet or phone and you’ll be amazed at the amount and quality of sound.
We all travel with personal headphones, but what happens when you’re on a train or plane, watching something on your iPad or laptop and your child or partner says ‘can I watch too?’. Well rather than sharing headphones, which is annoying at the best of times, you need a headphone splitter, something again I never travel without, and allowing everyone to watch, using headphones, at the same time.
If you want a splitter that will allow more people to watch or listen at the same time then take a look at the Belkin Rockstar Headphone Splitter which has five ports.
And finally the one thing I never ever go away without – a multi USB charger. This one by Portapow is really excellent, it has four USB ports so you can charge different devices from speakers to phone at the same time, and interchangeable plugs so you can use it anywhere.
But what about those times when you’re in the car and you’re running out of battery on your phone or iPad. I never (again) leave home without a charged up portable charger. Over organised you may say. But when you’re sitting opposite me on the train, your phone’s running out of juice and mine’s sitting charging happily, don’t look hopefully at my charger – go and get your own………
This EasyAcc Power Bank charger has dual USB ports and is great if you want to have a really good charge – it carries a 10,000 mAh battery and will charge anything from phone to tablet.
If you just want to charge your phone on a day out and you’re not going to be running it down too fast then you might want to go for the Anker PowerCore mini charger which is slightly larger than lipstick sized and weighs less than the larger version.
I’ve used all of these gadgets and essentials and can only say that I wouldn’t go anywhere without them. Over to you………