So, you have chosen your destination, booked a budget airline ticket, planned your itinerary and you are ready to head off on the trip of your dreams. You have your lightweight laptop, smartphone and your tablet ready , but what else will you need? Here are 7 must-have gadgets will keep you safe and well-prepared for whatever your journey throws at you.
1. Solar chargers
If the electricity supply is limited, the last thing you need is a dead laptop battery just when you want to upload your incredible photos to make your friends and family jealous! Nowadays it’s possible to get solar chargers for all your gadgets, which are usually sold with a variety of tips. Some have solar panels designed to be threaded through your rucksack strap so you can charge gadgets on-the-go.
When travelling light, you don’t want to be hauling vast numbers of books around. An e-reader will let you carry your entire book collection with you – especially useful if you are half way through ‘War and Peace’ when you set off! Don’t forget to take a small clip-light so you can read in the dark if there is no electricity available.
3. Door alarm
If you stay in a hotel or hostel, a door alarm might help you to sleep more easily at night. Some fix directly to the door, using cabling ‘wedged’ in the door to act as an alarm if disturbed. Others, which are shaped like a door stop, have the added advantage of making it more difficult for an intruder to open the door, as well as alerting you that someone is breaking in. Most are priced between £5 and £10 – a small price to pay for peace of mind.
4. Portable speakers
Headphones may be great if you are listening to your favourite tracks yourself, but to share your collection with others, portable speakers may be useful. Small battery-operated speakers will fit easily into your rucksack. However, if you are looking for something more up-market and versatile, speakers such as the Jambox range operate wirelessly and can double up as a speaker-phone or VOIP speaker, although at around £200 the price might make your eyes water a little!
5. USB plug charger
Setting up your laptop to charge gadgets via a USB is not always convenient. One solution is to pack a USB plug charger. If space is at a premium, choose one which allows the pins to be folded, making it 70% smaller than the average plug.
6. Digital luggage scales
No doubt you will be collecting souvenirs on your travels, but avoid unexpected excess baggage charges on your return flight by packing digital luggage scales. A digital display means you will no longer have to perform all kinds of contortions to see the reading whilst holding up your bag!
7. Ultraviolet water purifiers
If you are going off the beaten track, avoid the hassle of purification tablets by packing a portable ultraviolet water purifier. These work by irradiating the water making it drinkable in a couple of minutes. Most require batteries, but a ‘wind-up’ version can also be bought if you prefer.
These 7 gadgets will help you to get best use of your technology, and to be ready for every eventuality, wherever you may be travelling.