Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Essential Travel Gadgets for Train or Plane

We’re so used to using our smartphones and tablets for anything from fitness tracking to maps to booking restaurants to actually communicating with people that running out of juice is unthinkable.  Until you do, on trains, planes or automobiles or just a day out walking in the country.

On long journeys the situation becomes even harder, unless you pack cleverly and never leave home without simple but essential gadgets and gizmos that mean you never have to worry about losing battery power altogether.  As one of those people who likes to be at least 70% charged all of the time and uses her iPhone all the time I’ve done the research, and these are what I take with me everywhere.

Portable Chargers:  Bear in mind that with portable chargers the more charge they hold the more they’ll weigh so it’s best to have two or three.  One for a day out, one for longer trips and one that’ll give you enough charge (depending on what you’re charging, of course) for a weekend.  Anything below 3000mAh won’t give you much more than one full iPhone charge so make sure you read the small print and know what you’re buying.  And don’t forget to charge these up fully before you go…….

RAVPower Lipstick Charger - other coloursBelkin Mixit Portable PowerbankAnker Powercore 20000mAh portable charger
Headphones:  If you’re going by plane or train and you want the best noise cancellation available my recommendation is to go with Bose Quiet Comfort headphones.  Having bought a couple of pricey but not top class sets of over-ear headphones in the past and then in the end invested in these I can tell you they have consistently high reviews for a reason.

You can also buy Bose in ear noise cancelling headphones but I find the over ear version more comfortable.  Your choice.  I have the wired version of the Bose headphones.  The wireless version below also comes with a cable so that you can use it to watch in flight movies.

I confess that I always take at least one (and maybe two) pairs of good quality but inexpensive earphones with me as well as the Bose, so that I can use them for take-off and landing having packed up the others, and also share music and movies on my iPad or iPhone if I so choose.

Favourite earphones in terms of comfort and decent sound – nothing magical here – are Betron’s noise isolating ear canal headphones which come in lots of colours, and Creative Noise Isolating earphones.  Having tried quite a few I find these are not only ok sound-wise, but they’re also comfortable for longish periods.  These need to be wired if you’re going to use them in flight.

Bose Bluetooth Quiet Comfort HeadphonesBetron EarphonesCreative EarphonesFisual Headphone Splitter
You may or may not want to share what you’re listening to or watching on your tablet or smartphone – or laptop – on plane or train.  But having recently travelled from Provence to London watching House of Cards with a friend, and having shared movies on several other journeys, I can tell you that a splitter is an invaluable little piece of tech.  So much better than having one ear each on a single set of earphones.  And after all….you never know who you’re going to be travelling next to.