My list of must have holiday gadgets…
Each time I pack my bag I end up spending time figuring out what tech I need to take, how its going to fit into the bag and what, if anything I should leave at home! This list varies slightly depending on where and how long but there are some key things.
Mains charger – I used to take the individual chargers for each device and the corresponding cable, this then changed to a Belkin 2 port USB and cables but meant swapping over devices once they had charged. Now its a Poao 10 port mains charger and the cables, this allows me to charge all my devices at the same time! For £17 on Amazon you can’t go wrong, especially as that’s less than the price on an official Apple charger which can only charge one device!
Portable Power bank – I take 2 of these with me, the smaller capacity and small sized Anker E1 Astro and the larger capacity Vivis powerbanks. These provide more than enough power for charging my iPhone/iPad/Action Camera during the days of high use. The Anker sells for around £13 (5,200mAh in black) and the Vivis is around £25 (20,000mAh in black and gold).
Apple iPad – At one time I was just taking my Kindle thinking I could do without the internet and the joys of random browsing but no, I like the browsing, the games and the ability to escape away into a book on the Kindle app. The official Apple price for the 32GB 2017 model I have is £339 but you can often find deals on eBuyer which drop this down, not much but £10-£15 is still a saving or money to buy other gadgets. Yes its a lot more than a £60 Kindle, but gives you more functionality, but if you just want books then I’d recommend the Kindle as its still my choice for book reading.
Action Camera – Yes I take most of my photos on my iPhone but I own a 16GB model so space is at a premium, video footage takes this space up very quickly – a prime example was our visit to the Lodge at Bristol Zoo and a very intense after dinner game of Jenga where we more than doubled the original height before it finally came crashing down, each round was filmed as we expected it fall – I ran out of space several rounds before this happened. The action camera can film in 1080p, has many clips and holders, 2 X batteries and 3 X 32GB microSD cards. Cameras vary in price depending on what you want but expect to pay £50 for a Go Pro Clone and up to £400 for an all singing all dancing Go Pro.
Memory cards – take my tip and buy only branded from decent retailers (if you use Amazon make sure its sold and fulfilled by Amazon) – there are lots of clone cards out there, these are under stated capacity and will cause you nothing but problems and will fail very quickly. A decent class 10 32GB microSD card from Sandisk or Samsung is around £20 – if its less than £10 do not buy it!
Apple iWatch – It tells the time, but also tracks how active (or lazy I am) with very accurate step counts. I really should move around more and get those extra calories burnt off! At £299 (mine is the 1st Gen) it sits at the top end of Smartwatches but I’d be lost without it for notifications, telling me to move telling me I have moved and just being a good looking watch!
Gerber Sports Multitool – Odd but true, after watching Lost I thought this was that tool they all wished they had but hadn’t thought of packing so I started packing it, its actually a very useful thing to carry around and surprising how often its used – mainly for the scissors/knife or the bottle opener. Mine is the old 400 series Compact sport (my second one as I broke the first whilst using it to remove a car stereo, no I wasn’t stealing it!) it was around £75 many moons ago but Gerber multitools are reliable and last.
Cable tidy – Not technically a gadget but more a holder of gadget cables, keeps them all in one location and helps me keep track of what cables I need to take. Sounds pointless until you use one and see how tidy things become. (*Yoda Voice* Some IT OCD I have, yes). These are on Amazon for less than £10.
Tactical Gadget Bag – Not something usually said but often needed, all these gadgets need to be kept somewhere when out and about so why not in a tactical rucksack? Why a tactical rucksack and not any other bag, well this is the Airsoft side in me coming out and my fascination of various military style everyday carry gadgets. I do miss airsoft, but major injuries do prevent all that running around like a loon! Mine even has a pistol holder, probably not something I need to use though!
Bluetooth Speaker – Last but certainly not least the ability to listen to my music with some decent quality sound not coming from a tiny little speaker or having to wear headphones (which can be awkward when you need to wear a hearing aid!). Now the choice of speaker depends on the location, I have cheaper low end very portable expanding speakers which are OK for a quite hotel room or if you don’t mind they getting covered in sand or lost, I have the mid range CSL Wavebeat speaker which packs a huge punch for its size or the larger, hugely popular Sharkk Commando+ speaker and powerbank which will blow you away with it’s sound quality.
Do you have tech or gadget that you always take on your travels or just carry around every day? Comments are always welcome.