Thursday, 15 March 2018

10 of the Best Tech Gadgets and Essentials for Travellers

Because we all take our tech with us everywhere, and want to be charged up, listening to music, watching a movie on the train, find directions at any given moment here is my list of tech gadgets and essentials you’re never going to want to be without particularly when you’re on the move.

Lenovo Ideapad Laptop

Lightweight Laptop
The latest laptops are lighter than ever thanks to improved design and SSD - even if you don’t want to fork out for a Surface Pro or MacBook Air.  If you’re looking around choose something like Lenovo’s Ideapad which is very fast, light and slim and extremely easy to take around with you.

I like a laptop that’s ultra portable without having a ridiculously small screen.  I also like the way this one looks.

Belkin Portable Charger

Portable Phone or Charger
I know, I go on and on about these, but no one should travel without one, glamorous or otherwise.  My most useful and also lightweight battery charger is Belkin’s Pocket Power Portable Charger.  It comes in silver, rose gold and black and has enough oomph to keep you charged up all day.

Michael Kors Bracelet Smartwatch
Michael Michael Kors Bracelet Smartwatch
If you’re a smartwatch kind of girl but also like the look of your ‘watch as jewellery’ then a smartwatch by Michael Michael Kors is probably going to be your answer for the moment.  Powered by Michael Kors’ Access app, this is designed to work with both Android and iPhone and being battery powered it doesn’t need charging.  It has a built in activity tracker, can call your phone for you, take photos and more. 

This is a Hybrid watch which doesn’t look at all like a smart watch and doesn’t have all the functionality you might want – if you want another choice that still looks like a watch but has more of the tech functionality you might want then check out Michael Michael Kors Sophie Bracelet Smartwatch

Fitbit Alta HR Fitness Tracker

Fitness Tracker
If you don’t want to go down the whole smartwatch route but want to continue wearing your favourite watch (or watches) then Fitbit Alta HR Fitness Tracker is one you should consider, and the one I’ll be moving to when my Fitbit One gives up.

I quite like knowing what my hear rate is when in the gym or on a hill walk, but it’s not essential, and there is a version of this sleek fitness tracker without.  I also like knowing how many ‘floors’ I’ve climbed when walking up a hill, because far more useful than just steps, it’s a picture of how much cardio you’ve really done, rather than just walking around the stores at a leisurely pace and thinking you’re getting the activity benefit.  You are, but in a much smaller way.

Bose Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Bose Wireless Headphones
Having bought these Bose Noise Cancelling headphones a few years back (the wired version) I can only say that I wouldn’t go on any long trip without them.  They’re an investment, but when you think of the number of pairs of inferior headphones you’ve bought and got fed up with these are worth every penny.

They’re brilliant for cutting out noise everywhere, and they come with a really good hard slim case and two charging cables, one to charge them up, and the other to use them wired when you’re in flight.  Once you’ve tried these you won’t want anything else.

Mayhem Mighty Mini Bluetooth Speaker
Mini Bluetooth Speaker
There are lots of mini bluetooth speakers on the market but these by Mayhem not only look good but they’ll make a lot of sound, when you want to share what you’re listening for so pop one in your bag and everyone can listen.  Just keep them charged using the micro USB cable and you’ll get hours of sound.
Lipault Travel Tote with a Luggage Sleeve

Lightweight Travel Tote with Suitcase Handle Sleeve
Whether you’re travelling by train or plane this bag becomes indispensable as soon as you start to use it.  I use mine wherever I go, to put my tablet in, mini handbag in and anything else I want to be instantly accessible when I’m travelling and my carry-on is stuffed in an overhead bin or Eurostar luggage rack.

The best thing about these bags, is not just that they’re light and elegant, but that all important luggage sleeve slips over the handles of your wheelie when you’re moving around.  My favourite brand is without a doubt Lipault Paris, which you can now happily find at House of Fraser, online at least.  You can also find Lipault at Selfridges.

Horizon Studios Smart Carry On Suitcase

Smart Carry-on Suitcase
This smart carry on suitcase by Horizon Studios really is smart, as it has a removable 10,000 mAh charger accessible from the case itself or removed for portable travel.  Most suitcases now have a TSA lock, but it’s the charger and the built in USB ports which make it unique.  Watch out for more ‘smart’ luggage, but for now this sets the standard, and it’s less expensive than other premium hard sided carry on bags.

Dynotag Smart Luggage Recovery Tag
Smart Luggage Tag
This is another travel tech area that is going to be developed much further, but for the moment, from some smart suitcases having built in GPS to the much cheaper option of the smart GPS enabled luggage tag this is your best bet.

Dynotag do two versions, an aluminium smart bag recovery tag for your hand luggage such as carry-on bags and wheelies, and the steel smart recovery tag above, which is designed for your check-in bag. 

Digital Luggage Scale

Digital Luggage Scale
Having turned up at Albuquerque a few years back with a bag just slightly overweight and had to fork out about $100 I never travel anywhere without these digital luggage scales.  Not glamorous? maybe, Essential?  Definitely