Originally published on Shiny Shiny.
So, a trip’s on the cards. You might think that going travelling is about switching off your gadgets and switching into relaxation mode, but even the most minimalistic of travellers can benefit from these electronic essentials.
I’ve put together a list of some of the handiest travel gadgets around today. Not only is it good to be prepared, but these accessories will make your life on the road a lot easier. And if you haven’t got a trip planned, take a look at our list of 10 incredible travelling films for inspiration!
1. Compact USB charger
This brand new compact ChargeTech charger not only has two USB ports but refills an iPhone battery twice as fast as a regular charger. The universality of USB ports means that this will come in handy for pretty much any device, and it’s small enough to fit snugly in a busy backpack or suitcase. It’s currently being successfully crowdfunded on indiegogo so act fast to get your hands on one.
Available for $19 on indiegogo.
Main image via Joris Louwes at Flickr Creative Commons
2. Capsule speaker
I have used this speaker for years, and it’s brilliant. It clicks down, accordion-like, and the short wire coils up so it can be transported as a neat palm-sized capsule. Not only this, but it gives off really good sound for such a little thing – perfect for any impromptu parties you may want to have.
It’s rechargeable through a USB, really good value for money and plugs into almost any device, making this nifty speaker ideal for travelling.
Available for £8.49 from Amazon.
3. Proporta waterproof sleeve
We’ve previously written about the BeachBuoy sleeve, which is really useful for taking anywhere where water might cause you a problem – a beach, a pool, a river bank.
It’s the perfect size for mp3 players and phones, putting your mind at ease by keeping them safe and dry – it floats, too, and you can take a phone or iPod underwater and take photos through the clear screen. It’s a handy accessory that you won’t regret buying, knowing that your items are safe from water damage.
Available for £9.95 from Proporta
4. Slot Flops
These clever flip-flops eliminate the need for a bag by enabling you to store important items underfoot. The neat pocket is just the right size for some cash, ID, and keys, and the flip-flops are comfortable with decent arch support. These are great for a trip to the beach or the poolside, or even a night out.
Available for $24.95 from SlotFlops
5. Laptop lock
This security lock from Belkin is an affordable way of adding some extra peace of mind if you’re the kind of person who travels with a laptop. This lock is secure and would be very difficult to remove without damaging your machine, which will put off any would-be burglars. This lock set includes a padlock, two keys and nylon travel bag – as well as a lifetime warranty.
When you’re travelling, the last thing you want is to get your devices stolen – so it’s worth getting a rugged piece of equipment to try to prevent this. As one reviewer writes, ‘It’s not pretty but it’s a security lock: if it’s visible, it’s a deterrent to a potential thief.’
Available for £8.50 from Amazon
6. Iron-on flag
As you’ll see if you’ve watched A Map for Saturday, it’s common for frequent backpackers to sew a badge onto their luggage to enable others to identify their nationality/language.
A small patch like this also makes your own bag easier to find in a sea of hostel luggage – it’s iron-on for easy application, or if you’re handy with a needle and thread, it can be sewn on for extra security.
Available for £3.99 from Amazon
7. Digital luggage scale
It can be a source of great panic if you think your bulky luggage might nudge you over your airline’s weight limit (especially if you’re travelling on a shoestring à la RyanAir). But with this small, lightweight device, you’ll get an accurate digital reading (up to 40kg) in seconds, so you can decide in advance what to take out and cram into your pockets. Just be aware you’ll have to be strong enough to lift the bag in order to weigh it!
Available for £7.00 from Tesco
8. International plug converter
If anything on this list is truly essential, it’s this one. Without a plug converter you won’t be able to keep any of your gadgets charged – and this one is really easy to use, affordable, and keeps removable parts to a minimum.
Available for £9.99 on Amazon
9. Punc adventurer water bottle
Made from stainless steel, this cool water bottle is a great alternative to plastic ones. The mouth is wide enough for ice cubes to fit through, and it has a sip-top for easy drinking on the go. They are available in three sizes – 500ml, 750ml and 100ml – and a variety of colours, so choose one depending on the amount of activity you will be doing.
Available for £22.95 at Not on the High Street
10. Goldring Ns1000 noise-cancelling headphones
There’s little more daunting than a long-haul journey without in-flight entertainment, and these headphones by Goldring will ensure that your film, music or podcast is heard without the interruption of piercing baby cries two aisles down.
They’re a lot cheaper than better-known noise-cancelling headphones like Bose, but still do a really good job of blocking out background hum and distracting noises. If you do a lot of flying, these will become something you can’t live without.
Available for £69.95 from Amazon