25 best gadgets for your holiday travels
Nintendo 3DS XL
Nintendo‘s given its 3D gaming handheld a plus-sized refresh – and while it may not be as easy to fit into your pocket, that bigger screen really makes the 3D effects pop out. Get your game on – and check out our 3DS XL hands-on review.
PocketGuide crams the knowledge of a well-travelled tour guide into your smartphone – you can buy audio and augmented reality tours, or just use the free offline maps and alerts which let you know there’s something worth looking at near by. We’ll never be stuck in a sweaty throng of tourists ever again. Huzzah! Get it for iOS and Android.
Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G
“Not the newer Kindle Touch 3G?” we hear you cry. Nope – the earlier Kindle Keyboard has a little trick up its sleeve for travellers, in the form of free, unlimited 3G web browsing overseas. Sure, you have to fire up the clunky, glacially-slow experimental web browser – but if you’re find yourself urgently needing to check your e-mails, it can be a life-saver. Plus you can carry all your holiday reading and stock up on new titles overseas. Who could ask for more?
This pocket-sized gamepad turns your iPhone or Android smartphone into a full-fledged console, with proper physical controls – including two analogue sliders. Supported games are mostly casual and retro titles, though a bit of jiggery-pokery with a rooted Android phone and the Gamepad Enabler app will get it working on A-list titles like Shadowgun and GTA III.
For staying in touch with your friends and family back home, you can’t beat the ubiquitous VoIP app. Plus you can fire up the camera on your smartphone and show off your holiday destination to your nearest and dearest as they shiver through the unseasonal July rain. Get it for iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone 7.
Samsonite Micro Scooter Luggage
Want to get to your departure gate in style? This Samsonite luggage looks like an ordinary carry-on bag – but flip out the kickboard and it becomes a scooter, letting you glide past less mobile travellers as they gawp in amazement.
Okay, you’ll probably end up being tased by a security guard if you try scooting in the airport, but it’ll be worth it.
Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Rechargeable Toothbrush
Not only is the Sonicare DiamondClean make your teeth twinkle, its sleek USB travel case also charges it on the go, making it the perfect companion for your journeys (and justifying the hefty price tag). Surely the Jetsons’ choice of toothbrush.
PowerMonkey Extreme backup battery
Putting the power of the sun in the palm of your hand(set), the PowerMonkey solar charger holds its power for up to a year and can juice an iPhone up to 6 times from full capacity. Plus its velcro strap makes it easy to attach to rucksacks and belts.
V-Moda Crossfade M-80 Shadow On-Ear Headphones
These on-ear headphones don’t just look plenty sophisticated with their metallic design – they sound amazing and feel robust, while remaining lightweight. Most importantly, noise isolation is airtight thanks to their memory foam earpads – letting you silence those noisy take-offs.
Canon PowerShot ELPH 520HS
This 19mm thin snapper will give great 10MP snaps, 1080p video and all with a 12x zoom. Not bad for such a compact body – and perfect for the traveler’s back pocket. Although if you’re backpacking somewhere rough, you might want to pick a more subtle colour.
Zomm Wireless Leash
Ever left a restaurant only to realise your phone isn’t in your pocket? It’s bad enough when you’re on home turf – never mind when you’re on holiday. The Zomm Wireless Leash prevents such heart-stopping scenarios, kicking up a noisy racket if it’s parted from your smartphone.
Crosskase Solar 15 backpack
Functional and comfortable, the Crosskase rucksack stores energy via its front-facing 3 watt solar panel and comes with eight device charging adaptors. It’s also water repellent, an essential given its dedicated iPad and laptop storage spaces.
The Handy Cooler makes plastic handheld fans feel about as effective as the breath of a kitten. Essentially a mini air conditioner, it features a water-soaked cooling filter/fan combination to battle summer sweats and banish shiny foreheads to the ether.
Eye Scope telephoto lens
Is that a lens in your pocket or… oh wait, it is. This mini lens packs in a lot of optical grunt for its miniscule size and offers 8x the power of an standard iPhone lens by conveniently twisting and attaching onto the included case. Snap away.
What better way to record your first terrifying shark encounter than with this Panasonic camcorder? It’ll happily capture watery memories at depths of up to 3m for 60 mins at full HD resolution, and with 16MP stills, it’s not too shabby on the imaging front either.
This handy little app helps you stay on top of your flights and accommodation with little effort. Simply forward your confirmation emails to its magical server and TripIt will automatically create the ultimate tailored itinerary which you can also share with nosey family and friends. Get it for iOS and Android.
Sony PlayStation Vita
You want to play Angry Birds on the plane? Fine. Use your smartphone. But if you’ve got real gamer’s blood squirting from the place where your avatar’s head recently stood, you’ll want to pack a PS Vita. And a copy of Uncharted: Golden Abyss. Trust us, you won’t care what country you’re in.
Solar chargers and British summers go together like British skin and Mediterranean sunshine: badly. Slip a Joos Orange into your luggage before you jet off to the Med, though, and you’ll have week-long power without having to worry about leaving your £500 phone plugged into the dodgily-wired socket at a thief-magnet tourist hotel. Don’t forget your suncream.
Olympus Tough TG-1
You can come back from a holiday with lots of things you didn’t expect – a humourously-named product from the local supermarket, for instance, or a bout of food poisoning (possibly from sampling said product). Whatever it is, don’t come back with a smashed camera – take the Olympus Tough TG-1 and it’ll look after itself if you drop it (even in the pool) so you can carry on taking pictures once you get better.
Holidays and phones have a tricky relationship. On the one hand, they’re often essential for finding the way from the bar back to the hotel. On the other, they’re easy to break and expensive to use abroad. Pick up the hard-as-a-Greek-windsurfer JCB Pro-Smart and you’ll be able to drop a local SIM into it on arrival. Job done, as people with JCBs like to say.
You used to have to remember three things when you went on holiday: money, ticket and passport. Now you have to remember to call your bank and pack your phone, assemble a range of chargers and find some spare contact lenses. No wonder you usually realise you’ve left your earphones behind half way to the airport. Sennheiser’s CX680i’s are not only ace, but also retina-searingly yellow, so you’re less likely to forget them.
Sony Bloggie Live HD Camera
In an age of smartphones the Sony Bloggie Live stays ahead of the competition with 12.8MP snaps and full HD videos that can be streamed live over Wi-Fi. Or if you’re not the sharing type, it’ll stash all your videos and snaps on its 8GB internal storage to be viewed on the 3in touchscreen or transferred using the built-in USB arm.
If you’re planning on heading into the sweaty heat of an equatorial wonderland on your travels, make sure to pack this Ice Bandana. With its removable ice pack it’ll keep your temperature frosty. And if you’re on an extreme holiday, the Ice Bandana is pretty good for sorting a neck injury too.
GoPro HD Hero2
From US$440, gopro.com
The ultimate in extreme headcams. These HD cameras, as used by the BBC, not only shoots impeccable quality 1080p video and 11MP stills but also comes packed in a waterproof housing with mounts for specific sports. Just remember you’ll probably break before this does.
Veho 360 M4
Veho, the master of great sound in small packages, has done it again with the Veho 360 M4. This little powerhouse booms your music directly from microSD or streamed via Bluetooth from your mobile. Whatever the input you’ll get out of it a good five hours before a USB powered charge is needed – perfect for travelling.
About the Author
- You may also like
- Amazon Kindle
- Nintendo 3DS XL
- PlayStation Vita