Sunday, 12 November 2017

12 of the Top Tech Gadgets and Essentials for Travel Addicts - Updated

Knowing which of your favourite tech gadgets to take with you when you're travelling can be tricky.  As we do more and more online we want to have everything with us, at least I do.  So I've tried to narrow it down to the items I always use wherever I travel to. 

Firstly when it comes to reading news, watching a TV show or looking at emails when you want something larger than your smartphone I don't think there's anything better than an iPad.  I am both and Apple and a Windows user as you'll see lower down and believe that I have the best of all worlds with an iPad and Windows Surface, which is what I'm using right now.   You don't have, of course, to have an independent keyboard for your iPad and I frequently don't take one with me, but to have a keyboard that also acts as a cover/case seems to me to be offering the best of all worlds.

As I'm one of those people who hates to have anything below a 50% charge on any device I take with me I'm always the one with the chargers, not to mention the ability to charge absolutely anything, anywhere be it plane, train, hotel room or Starbucks.  New on my list is the universal charger that'll charge any device from one small hub.  I find it particularly useful plugged into a single USB port and not so good when you want to charge more than one device at the same time but it will charge them all. 

One issue with the Microsoft Surface Pro is that it only has one USB port on the tablet itself and one in the charging block.  I use an Anker Data Hub with my surface which works perfectly well if you don’t overload it and has four USB ports.  Purists will way this won’t be powerful enough to do everything but I use it for my keyboard and mouse, speakers and to charge my iPhone all at the same time and it’s definitely good enough for those.

I also never travel without a headphone splitter - it'll keep kids quiet so they can watch the same thing without having to fight over the iPad/laptop or the headphones and of course you can share what you're listening to....should you want to. USB Mains Charger
On to supremely portable laptops/tablets.  My No 1 here is Microsoft Surface.  I have the 3 version.  The Surface is beautifully portable if you're moving about and very fast.  Personally I don't like the keyboard smart cover that you can buy with it.  It looks good, but make sure you get a UK keyboard if that's what you're looking for, there are many with a US keyboard.

I found that the Joyaccess compact full function keyboard and mouse works excellently, it’s particularly good of you’re picky about your keyboards, as I am.  Then on to a lightweight sleeve to hold everything.  I like one with a handle, so many come without. 

Microsoft Surface Pro

USB Data HubSurface pro Sleeve with Handle

Finally some tech accessories I wouldn't be without, my trusty portable charger which I charge up each night and drop into my bag each day so that no matter how long I'm out for I never run out of charge (and nor do my fellow travellers), and a mini speaker so you can play your music wherever you are.

TP Link Portable Power Bank

Philips Wireless Lightweight Portable SpeakerMarpac Portable White Noise Machine

Finally I’ve added to my list of travel tech essentials Marpac’s mini white noise machine.  It’s tiny, weighs practically nothing and will drown out any noise in the next door room or corridor.  I love listening to my own music, but not to someone else’s.  This is also a bonus when your kids are having a party at home and you want to sleep.  Trust me on this.