Technology can help you to get more out of your holiday or trip, whether it’s capturing memories or something to while away hours of tedium on the journey. We’ve looked at the best technology to take with you on your travels.
If you’re travelling with a lot of valuable items, do make sure you have travel insurance covering you for loss or theft. Don’t leave your possessions unattended while you go in the pool or the sea, make use of safety deposit boxes, and think about your surroundings before you whip out that £2000 camera!
If you’re not that experienced with cameras, it can be overwhelming trying to choose a good one. Digital SLRs are very popular these days for their picture quality, high level of customisability and prices to suit all budgets.
If you’re looking for endless settings and ultra-professional looking shots, the Canon 1D and Nikon D4S will give you amazing performance, but you’re looking at spending over £4500! For those with a more modest budget who still want professional-looking shots, there are some great options for under £300, including the Fujifilm HS30EXR. If you’re just getting to grips with photography, it’s a great idea to go for something like this initially. If you just want something to take good pictures that you can easily point and shoot, and carry all day, you’ll want a compact digital camera – the Panasonic Lumix TZ40 is a great camera that isn’t too expensive.
If you’re going on an active holiday and you need something rugged, it is worth looking into getting a GoPro or Hero3. These cameras shoot super HD-quality video, take still photos and are incredibly durable and waterproof – perfect for your sailing or skiing holiday!
If you’re less concerned about the quality of your photos, and if sharing of your photos is more of a priority, you might want to just use your smartphone. It’s easy, and you can edit and share photos on the device. Storage and syncing of data is easy as well with options such as Apple’s photo stream or Dropbox. With the right case, your phone can be well protected too – the Atlas iPhone case will allow you to take pictures in the pool or sea without worrying, up to almost 2m below the surface!
Your smartphone also serves many other valuable purposes when travelling. Great apps such as Spotify and Deezer allow you unlimited access to streaming music and have a subscription service that allows you to save playlists to a mobile device for use offline – vital for flights and when you don’t want to use your data abroad (just don’t forget to turn on the ‘airplane mode’!). If you want to use your phone to listen to music, it is worth investing in some noise-cancelling headphones such as the Bose QuietComfort 15 headphones – great for when there is a lot of ambient noise. You can even install the SleepPhones app and listen to a variety of calming sounds to help you sleep on your flight while your headphones cut out all the background noise.
With all that phone use, it might be necessary to carry an extra battery. If you’re using an iPhone, there are various cases that provide extra power, such as the Mophie Juicepack, or external batteries you can recharge your iPhone from. Chargecard is the size of a credit card and fits in your wallet to provide you with portable power. MyCharge Peak is a portable battery pack that holds enough power to charge your phone three to four times.
There are several e-reader apps, such as iBooks, that allow you to buy and read books in digital format. If you spend a lot of time reading books, it is worth investing in an e-reader such as Amazon’s Kindle – instead of cramming four books into your bag, you can fit hundreds of them in less space than one paperback would take up, whilst adding only 200g of weight to your luggage. The screen is also vastly superior for reading than a phone or tablet screen thanks to the e-ink display. There’s no need to worry about batteries either, as one charge can give weeks of use.
Tablets and laptops
For long flights and lazy days by the pool or on the beach, a tablet such as the iPad or Nexus can be invaluable. With thousands of apps and games, it will keep the kids occupied too, but if you don’t want them just playing games and watching movies, the LeapPad and VTech InnoTab are fantastic educational devices with vast libraries of activities and educational games that can be downloaded. You can even work using your Tablet, using Office and other word-processing apps, and depending on your office’s IT setup, you may be able to remotely access all of your files and applications with a tablet. There’s a variety of keyboard attachments if you need to do some sustained typing.
If you’re planning on working a lot while you’re away a portable ultrabook such as the Lenovo X1 Carbon is a great option. If you prefer Apple, the MacBook Air is another great choice. These small and light laptops pack in a tremendous amount of power and performance, so they’re perfect for working trips.
GPS and navigation apps
A GPS device can be really handy to prevent you from getting lost. Some even have a feature that records the route you travelled, which can then be uploaded into Google Earth so you can track where you travelled. Navigation apps for smartphones, such as City Maps 2Go, allow you to explore detailed maps of all cities around the world but do download these in advance so they’re accessible offline when you have no connection. Another app, called Rove, tracks your movements, estimates your method of travel and inserts pictures, maps and locations into a timeline to create in a stunning visual travel diary. You can share your trips from the app to email a link to your friends so they can view your trip.
It’s not unusual to be advised not to drink the local tap water when you travel abroad. LifeStraw Go is a water bottle with filtration technology built in, to reduce the risk from bacterial and parasitic water-borne diseases. Water must travel through fibres that only allow the clean water to pass through, leaving contaminants behind.
With all these high-tech electrical gadgets, you’re going to need to make sure you can charge all of them. The Belkin SurgePlus USB Swivel Charger offers you multiple AC plugs and USB output points for phones and tablets. The plug swivels so it can be hung at any angle and doesn’t block other sockets. Just don’t forget an adapter for the country you are visiting!
Read more about sun and ski holidays with Mark Warner.
Guest post written by Netstar IT Support.