Ahh the modern age, where gadgets are abundant and the world is small, so travelling is easier than ever. But we're all about more convenience in this day and age, so how can we make this whole travelling business even easier? Here are a few of our absolute favourite gadgets to take with you as you see the world.
This is, in my humble opinion, the most important gadget on the list. Many a time have I been mocked for having a portable charger as a constant in my bag or suitcase, and many a time have my friends and family sheepishly approached me later asking to borrow it. Portable chargers nowadays are incredibly safe and very easy to use, and most come with a USB port so you can plug whatever charging cable you need into it. The one drawback to this is it does require charging itself and it could take a while, but a good one, when fully juiced up, can provide enough power to boost your gadget a few times.
Personally, I use the Anker Astro E1, which you can find on Amazon.com from £11.99. After having it serve me faithfully for the past 4 years, I can confirm its excellence.
Sandless beach mat
Who says gadgets have to be electric? This sandless beach mat does exactly what it says on the tin - it's an easily cleanable, delightfully useful mat that you can use when out for your picnics. Too long have our sandwiches been infused with the salty, gritty taste of a cold beach in Britain. Too many times have we stood up after a long day of relaxing in the sun only to find ourselves covered in natures more irritating version of glitter. Too familiar is the sensation of reaching into a bag and discovering, years later, that remnants of your last day trip to the beach remain because your towel has absorbed sand like a sponge. No more, I say!
The particular beach mat I recommend is one that was actually developed for use in the American army, so you can hope it works. This is the Sand-Free Multimat, which can be a bit dear at prices starting at £46 on Amazon, but it is a lasting investment.
Mini Travel Iron
We've all been there. We've crammed as much clothing and shoes and toiletries into our bags as we possibly can - yes, including that outfit that you're bringing just in case you come across the Queen and she simply must invite you for tea - and now all of your clothes are hopelessly wrinkled. Oh, and there's no iron in the hotel room. Enter the travel iron. Superlight and super convenient, this iron will ensure that your clothes are looking like you've just taken them out of the wardrobe at home. The issue with the iron is that you will require a flat surface on which to iron, and it is a tad small so de-creasing your clothes might take a wee bit of time, but for those with fancy frocks, it's perfect.
This is another Amazon find, and the Duronic Si2 Mini Iron is available from £19.99.
Digital Luggage Scale
An old but gold and something inexpensive that could potentially save you a lot of money if you're flying. Gone are the days where we have to weigh ourselves, then weigh ourselves holding the bag, and do some intense maths to figure out the weight of the bag (or at least, I did, I wasn't allowed to just put my bag straight on the scale). Now there are an actual plethora of digital doodads that will do this for us - and more accurately as well. Simply attach the handle of the scale to the handle of your luggage, then lift the luggage using the scale. Don't be scared, it won't break! If it does, your bag is probably too heavy.
These gadgets can be found pretty much everywhere, including Boots and can vary in price to very cheap to very expensive (though I don't see why you'd get very expensive)
A really decent travel pillow
Yes, these have been around for a while, but there's a marked difference in the travel pillow you'd buy in a panic from a shady airport shop, and a travel pillow you've specifically picked out. After all, you wouldn't buy a shoddy mattress, and this travel pillow could be the only thing between you and comfort for however long you're travelling. As someone who has been once bitten, twice shy on inflatable travel pillows after an unfortunate incident where I overinflated it, I'm a strong believer in the traditional stuffed range, however a new contender has entered the arena. Looking like an essentially unfinished elephant soft toy, the J-pillow travel pillow (£24.95 from, you guessed it, Amazon), has been reaping the favourable reviews since it came about. Perfect for a myriad of sleeping positions, this bad boy is destined to make your journey comfortable.
Have I missed out any gadgets? What are your favourites? Comment below!