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Travel gadgets worth packing
Going on holiday used to be about getting away from it all, but in an increasingly wired world where we’re ‘always on’, more of us are choosing to take our devices with us.
The boss’s emails are left unanswered but we’re embracing travelling with technology to make our trip easier, safer and more enjoyable.
A recent Tripadvisor survey found travellers are taking up to 4 devices with them: smart phones, music players, games consoles, DVD players plus, for some travellers, the all-important hair straightener for that big girls’ night out!
But while you’re recharging your batteries in Bali, you’ll also need to the batteries of all those gadgets.
TID’s top travel gadgets
What about that sunset! How good was that meal? Look at the view! Being able to share your holiday with family and friends on social media is important (ok, maybe you’re just trying to make them jealous) which means you’re going to need to be able to stay connected easily without it costing an arm and a leg in phone charges.
Our Tripwise travel app has a section on Getting Connected in your destination, with details on the local carriers and the best SIM deals – you can try the app for free. But for some simple tips on how to avoid horrendous charges.
Apps for travel
Speaking of apps, here are what I think are the handiest must-have travel apps for a happy holiday:
- Tripwise: (of course I’d say that). From hospital locations, to vaccination guides, to tips on keeping out of trouble, Tripwise has it all. There’s also a free language guide, help on how to make a claim, you’ll always have your policy details with you and a one-touch button for emergency assistance. We think it’s the best travel app in Australia.
- Dropbox: Cloud storage for important documents and photos.
- Google maps: I’d be lost without this – literally. You can find bars, restaurants, spas and landmarks with this. The best thing is the function that orients the map in the direction you’re facing – no more turning map books upside down!
- FlightTrack: Zoomable maps, with detailed information on departure gates, delays and (heaven forbid) cancellations. FlightAware does the same thing online.
- WiFi Finder: Need I say more. Fire this baby up and get connected – for free!
You already have the Swiss Army knife of gadgets, your smart phone, but what about other travel gadgets?
- Noise cancelling headphones: Essential for a decent sleep on the plane and to hear the movies properly!
- Water-proof case for your device: You’re probably going to be hanging out at the beach, catching a ferry, or running the risk of being caught in a monsoonal downpour while sightseeing, so get your device some protection.
- Compact camera: Yes I know you have a camera on your phone, but sometimes you need a little more control over the type of shot you want to take. You’ll get a better image too.
- Powerbag: You may have seen these: a backpack or messenger bag with a built-in battery that can re-charge a phone as many as 4 times (or camera batteries, or whatever). Perfect for those trips where you’re really off the grid for a day or two.
- Twist ties (cable ties): Not very high-tech, but a simple way to keep your power cords under control and stop them strangling your undies in the suitcase!