Most frequent travellers know, unless it can’t be avoided, it’s better to travel light. The upsides are endless: avoiding the lines at check-in, minimal baggage charges and manoeuvring large busy airports quickly. Still, as lightly as you pack, some gadgets are downright essential to improving your travel experience.
Nowadays, some gadgets are becoming so important that they are bound to be on every packing checklist regardless of the author. We have scoured through the internet and these are the absolute must-have travel gadgets that you cannot afford to leave at home.
The ultimate gadget is your smartphone, I think everyone would agree with that. It does almost everything now. For a start, it is your go-to HD camera, video recorder, flashlight, music player, map, navigator, computer, office, document bag, wallet and in some cases, your last-resort boredom killer.
Having a good smartphone saves you from carrying around a heap of other devices which reduces your luggage. The advantage of buying a high-end smartphone like the iPhone 7 is that you get a premium camera that shoots as good as the average DSLR camera and is less than 4 times the weight. Music quality is top notch with access to iTunes and over 40 million songs at your disposal. Travel tip: Download your favourite playlists before leaving home to avoid data roaming charges. The big screen also gives you access to a large display for videos and internet surfing. You cannot travel without a phone. Period.
Universal Plug Adapter
It’s no longer necessary to own an adapter plug for each continent in the world. Now, these versatile plug adapters are built to fit everything you can possibly plug them into no matter where you are. Take care when buying a universal plug adapter before you travel; there are many substandard adapters on the market.
Check online for the best-reviewed options for international travel adapters and purchase one before your next trip. A quality one should last you for many years. A lot of them now come with USB ports, surge protection and compact form factors.
Getting yourself one of these is very useful during long flights or transit times. They are especially useful because they allow you sleep better in transit and drown out the unrelenting noise from the plane and its on-board activities.
You don’t need to spend a lot to get yourself a pair of good noise-cancelling headphones but if you are a true audiophile and you don’t want to settle for anything less than the best, Bose, Sony and Plantronics have some options that will provide you with premium sound quality and excellent noise isolation while travelling.
Protective Phone Casing
The sure-fire way to ensuring that your phone survives the elements, drop on the ground or water is to buy a protective phone case that is also waterproof. We recommend LifeProof cases because they are most trusted by adventurous travellers and they are quite affordable compared to the protection to provide for your cellular device.
If your phone is waterproof already, we recommend cases from Speck, Spigen and Urban Armor to give your smartphone protection from falls from up to 20 ft. Some are also waterproof so you get best of both worlds.
Portable Battery Pack and WiFi router combo
This is one for the ages and a recent development in travel tech. The only thing worse than no access to WiFi is slow WiFi. This portable device doubles as an external battery pack for charging your phone when you’re outdoors and as a WiFi router for boosting poor signals. One of the most popular models is the HooToo Wireless Travel Router. Besides improving your internet connection, it also charges your phone and acts as a media storage and transfer device.
If you had to pick just one hi-tech gadget to complement your smartphone, this is the Swiss Army knife of travel gadgets and one of my personal favourites when travelling.