It’s very difficult to go about your normal everyday life without using any form of technology. From mobile phones to satnavs, even going to the gym can leave you feeling like you stepped out of some futuristic blade runner style life. As a result many people will go on holiday to abandon their technology dependant lifestyle for a while, however, if embraced it can help make your time away from home more enjoyable, better documented and can really help you in a sticky spot. Here is our definitive guide to some really cool travel tech.
A camera or camcorder is an absolute must for travelling, how else can you record the sights and scenic locations you visit? Nowadays there are many nifty gadgets on hand that will give you a professional style quality end product without costing an arm and a leg.
Small but incredibly mighty, the Hero3 provides videos in 4k (ultra-high def) and takes pictures with its 12 megapixel camera. The best thing about the GoPro range is that they are designed to be used in extreme conditions from skiing or quad biking to even being attached to animals, for example, you can attach it to your dog’s collar. Better yet the footage and images will upload to your phone or the web effortlessly via Wi-Fi.
Although if you want something a little cheaper, why not try a compact system camera? Such as the Sony for instance. Compact system cameras are designed to bridge the gap between the professional qualities of an SLR Camera (the one that takes a big lens) with the ease of use and convenient size of a compact camera (standard point and shoot camera). Thereby you can take amazing photographs and occasionally video without carrying around a full bag of kit. They also allow you to take photos as creatively as you would like or to just use an auto function, which is great for those who aren’t all that familiar with the technical ins and outs of photography.
Many compact system cameras will also take HD video; some even have a specific setting for taking vine videos. For any died-in-the-wool camera lovers, don’t be put off by the optical lens on the Sony as there are many different compact system cameras that also come with a variety of different lenses, such as the Nikon 1 series.
Tablets & mobiles
Undoubtedly most people already have a mobile phone and/or a tablet. Instead of leaving it at home why not take it with you? Some assume that as you don’t have a native sim card that this type of tech is useless. However, many hotels, resorts and cities now have public Wi-Fi available meaning that you can use your phone or tablet to upload any snaps whilst on holiday, contact family and let them know how you’re getting on, or to use the variety of apps available to plan the rest of your holiday. One useful app while away is the Tripadvisor app, which can use your location to let you know of excellent restaurants or attractions nearby, or the numerous translation apps at your disposal. Not to mention they can double up as an ebook.
If the thought of using public Wi-Fi worries you, why not invest in a data only sim? There are many different varieties available through companies such as GiffGaff or O2. There are some networks like Three, for instance, that allow you to use your normal allowance in a list of 16 different countries at no extra charge. Amongst which include Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, France and the US.
If you already take your mobile phone or tablet on holiday, make sure you take a sturdy case to protect it from mishaps such as the Lifeproof case, they will protect your tech from anything (water, dirt, shock and snow) whilst giving you a 1 year warranty. It is also worth looking at external power supplies whilst you’re out and about. These can come in a variety of different types and sizes from the Anker Astro mini, which is compact sized, slightly larger than a tube of mascara, and provides at least one full charge for your mobile. For something more heavy duty try the Mophie Powerstation Pro (http://www.mophie.com/shop/universal-batteries/powerstation-pro-smartphones-tablets), it is dust and splash resistant whilst providing at least two full charges. There are even some chargers that recharge themselves via solar panels. Handy for when you’re on the move!
Music to your ears
Music is the best way to help you relax in a different environment, not to mention whiling away the long journey times. To prevent getting tangled in wires why not invest in a pair of wireless headphones? There was a time when a set of these could set you back a fair amount, however, now the average price is approximately £40. Such as the Philips SHB7000/10 Bluetooth Stereo Headset, which will work with the majority of mobile phones or any devices with Bluetooth capabilities. Better yet they have noise cancellation, which comes in handy if you’re sat next to a disgruntled infant on a 12 hr flight.
To help give you piece of mind there are many security based gadgets to help protect your valuables on the move. Such as the StickNFind (https://www.sticknfind.com/), which consists of 2 small Bluetooth finder stickers that you can attach to your bags, keys or wallet. When combined with the free app they allow you to locate the stickers and can also alert you when they move out of your range.
For the security conscious beach goer, invest in some slotflop flip flops (http://slotflops.com/). Whilst looking like a normal pair of flip flops they actually contain a secret compartment that allows you to store a small amount of cash and cards for when you’re out and about on the beach, ensuring you have peace of mind when going into the sea.