Keep up-to-date with the latest and best travel gadgets as we pick out some of our favourites below.
Floppy discs, cassette players and Analog telephones; the kids of today will never know the struggle. Every generation sees advancements in technology beyond their imagination but today, we stand in a society obsessed with the latest gadgets, in a world where owning the latest iPhone or the best watch has become a necessity.
There’s always something we want when it comes to the latest technology; it’s just, most of the time, a question of being able to afford it.
From innovative devices to inventive ideas, we round up some of our favourite travel gadgets and accessories.
1. Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens
For most people who travel, carrying your phone at all times is a must, so you can (among many other things) take pictures. And while we’d all love to carry a camera to get a better shot of the beach, ourselves or whatever else it may be, a decent one can be rather pricey and means another responsibility. That’s where the Olloclip 4-in-1 Lens comes in, which you easily clip onto your iPhone, enhancing your field-of-view beyond the built-in camera. The versatile quick-change lenses – fisheye, wide-angle, 10x and 15x – give you extra creativity when capturing a moment and the device works for both the front and rear camera (just in case you were wondering if you could use it for all those selfies you take).
2. Bluesmart Suitcase
Although you might get lost on your next adventure, your Bluesmart case won’t. It has built-in GPS that allows you to track it all over the world using a mobile app. Plus, the case gives you peace of mind when worrying about other airport issues too. You can easily use the app to measure its weight and to control the digital lock which will automatically activate if the case leaves your side. Running low on battery? There’s no need for a portable battery charger if you have a Bluesmart case; a built-in power bank lets you charge your devices up to six times during any leg of your journey. Granted, it’s fairly pricey but you should get many years out of it.
3. Master Lock Bluetooth Smart Padlock
Like the Bluesmart case’s security feature but haven’t got the money to purchase the whole thing? You could opt for a Master Lock Bluetooth Smart Padlock which gives you complete control of your belongings in the palm of your hand. An easy-to-use app allows you to lock, share access with guests and monitor activity using your phone. If you have your phone on you, you’ll just need to simply touch any of the lock’s buttons to open it. And if you haven’t got your phone handy, just enter the directional code on your lock keypad. It even has a tamper alert system which notifies your phone if thieves try to break into your case or locker - particularly useful if you’re planning to stay in a lot of hostels.
Price: $70 (Indoor padlock)
4. Xiaomi Mi Band 1S
Today, emphasis on fitness is bigger than ever. With a surge of celebrity fitness socialites and media-driven keep-fit propaganda in recent years, it’s no surprise that activity trackers have really taken off. More and more people look to keep in shape while overseas, whether it’s a run along the beach or a jog around a new city. Some of us when we exercise don’t like the idea of taking our phone, so an activity tracker is regarded as far more practical. There are dozens on the market at varying prices but if you daren’t take an expensive one abroad, the Xiaomi Mi Band 1S (also known as the Mi Band Pulse) is arguably the best cheap option around. As well as being able to track your steps and monitor your fitness regime as with any other device, it’s extremely light, waterproof, sustainable and has a 30-day battery life before it needs charging. It also has a new heart-rate sensor and its features include incoming calls and app notifications, a gentle vibration alarm and the ability to monitor your sleep patterns.
5. Overboard Waterproof Cases
Water damage to our phones or tablets is a far too common problem. When you’re travelling or on holiday, you’re never too far from the beach, hotel swimming pool or a water-related activity. Step forward Overboard’s waterproof cases; one of these gives you complete peace of mind when you’re around water. You can use your device as you normally would except it’s sealed in a waterproof case. Take some snaps in the sea or talk to your friends while in the pool without damaging your phone. It’s as simple as that.
Price: £18.75 (iPhone Case)
6. The Solstice Power Bank
Phone batteries today seem to last no longer than a bottle of wine on a Friday evening. A portable charger is one of the most useful appliances you can take when going abroad, especially if you are spending a lot of time in airports and are hopping from country to country. Yet, the problem with a portable charger is that it too needs charging after a while. However, if you’re planning on seeing a lot of sun, how about opting for The Solstice Power Bank which charges via its solar panel. It’s extremely durable, waterproof and can fit in your pocket, plus there’s two USB ports so you can charge two devices at once. It will even let you know when solar input is detected and how much energy you have remaining. If you’re off travelling the world, this is one of the best things you’ll buy.
7. Outdoor Tech Buckshot Pro
This 3-in-1 device is great if you’re a keen hiker or camper. It triples up as a wireless speaker, a light (which can act as a torch or lamp) and a power bank to charge your devices. Plus, the Buckshot Pro is both shock and water resistant and has an impressive ten hours rechargeable play and talk time. Attach this gadget to your rucksack and let the bass port provide big sound for the whole group. Or if you’re on bike, you can fasten it via the bicycle handlebar it comes with.
8. Raymio UV Band
We’re all guilty of forgetting to top up our sunscreen, or even refusing to put it on in the first place. Skin cancer is a serious condition and with holidaymakers constantly seeking high temperatures abroad, protecting your skin should be a priority (and let’s face it, beetroot red is never a good look on a night out). The Raymio wearable UV band has a sensor that will keep you safe. It works through an app and tells you the UV forecast, when the UV index is dangerously high, flashes red when you need to re-apply sunscreen and tracks the amount of UV exposure you are getting daily. Its 360° directional sensors monitor the UV levels all day and its super-accurate readings have tipped the product to be the best UV wearing device on the market when it's released later this summer.
Price: £38 (anticipated)
9. Ili Wearable Translator
Recently we brought you ‘What’s Next for Travel Tech?’ which also mentioned this innovative product, and we think it deserves even more recognition among our travel gadgets. Regarded to be a game-changer in the travel industry, Ili is set to be the first wearable translator in the world and is due for release this summer. You simply press the button, speak into the device and let it instantly translate into your chosen language through its speaker. The device is small and stylish, yet the best thing about it is you don’t need any internet connection. Ili’s first model supports English, Japanese and Chinese with plans already underway to add additional languages like French, Thai and Korean in the near future. If the price of the device is affordable, this unique gadget could be a huge success and extremely popular among travellers. Watch this space.