Tech reviews

My favourite travel gadgets

I’m a self confessed gadget geek and being a professional travel blogger too this means I have no end of excuses to load myself up with as many tech tools and life-enhancing gizmos as I can get my hands on. I’ve even reviewed a whole bunch in our tech reviews section too. I was recently asked by IHG Business Advantage what my favourite business travel gadgets were as they’ve published a list of their top tech toys. Interestingly there’s a few on their list that I have on mine so here’s an ultimate list of the coolest travel tech you might want to get for your next big adventure!

Bluetooth speaker

Bluetooth portable speakersThese have really improved in price and quality in the last 12 months. I’ve always loved wireless technology but the quality of portable bluetooth speakers used to really suck unless you paid a small fortune. Thankfully as their popularity has grown their prices have come down and competition is now improving the quality too.

While smartphones and tablets do have speakers on them they’re really not meant for listening to music. These portable speakers give you high quality sound in a very small device, I’m really surprised how good the sound quality is considering their size. They typically last for about 4 hours on a single charge and re-charge within 60 minutes. I’ve found they’re also handy if you’ve hired a vehicle that doesn’t have an Auxiliary input.

Charger for Multiple Devices

Multi device chargerCharging bricks are all the rage these days and seem to be everywhere. I’m constantly being given them as part of brand promotions and campaigns. While they’re handy they do however have one down-side, they can only charge one device at a time. It might not sound like that big a deal but lets face it who among us only has one device that needs charging on a daily basis? If you’re like me then travelling involves charging multiple devices every day like my camera, GoPro, smartphone, tablet, etc.

The latest innovation in portable battery technology is smart batteries that can deliver charge to multiple devices at once. This cuts down on the need to carry so many charges and cables too as they come built with various cables and adapters to make sure you can charge you devices. Words cannot describe how easier this makes every day travel life!

Noise Cancelling Headphones

noise cancelling headphonesI love flying but I find planes to be a noisy place. Whether its the sound of air whooshing past the plane at 500 miles an hour or its the guy in 37B snoring his head off, the best way to get rid of all this excess noise is with a quality pair of headphones. There are two methods of cancelling noise, passive and active. Passive noise cancelling involves advanced materials that attempt to protect your ears from any external sounds, usually through foam padding in over-the-ear headphones.

Active headphones attempt to cancel out the noise via a battery powered device built in to the headphones that uses a microphone to listen to external sounds and output the exact opposite wave-forms in to your ears. I prefer this method as it works with in-ear head phones. Either way cancelling out the noise from outside is a great way to relax on the plane and drift in to your own little world for the duration of your flight. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference this can make!

Cheap Android Tablet

Asus tablet for kidsNow that we have a child one of the toughest parts of travel is keeping her entertained on long-haul flights and car journeys. One thing our daughter does love is cartoons and interactive games on tablet computers. I’m loathed to give her access to our expensive iPad but found the perfect alternative. ASUS make fantastic mini tablets for less than £100 which are just perfect for watching her favourite shows and playing great games like the CBeebies app.

The biggest issue most people have with these devices is that kids stop whatever was playing by just tapping the screen (which kids love to do!) Thankfully there’s a plugin for the MX Player app called “MX Player Kids Lock (plugin)” and adds a padlock icon that stops all the other features from working while your beloved child is watching a movie. Perfect!

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