Quintessential Travel Companions

Coursework is looming, the sun is creeping out and we are all stuck in bloody Nottingham! Not that we hate it here, but who isn’t dying for a holiday right now? Well, take five from your studies and have a read up on the gadgets to keep in mind for that well-earned getaway! Gadgets? No, they don’t get in the way of holidays! They can actually make your adventures far more fulfilling and less stressful, read on to see our picks:

  1. Power Packing

How many times have you been wondering around in the extremities of non-British weather, sweating or shivering and thinking to yourself “why is my battery so shit, I need maps”? Us too. Fortunately, Macally’s MEGAPOWER130 is a ‘mega’ asset and essential for travelling. It carries a somewhat hefty price tag (£50), but is compact and carries enough power to charge an iPhone 6 five times.

If you’re looking for an even more compact charger, PlusUs have a Life Card which is as slim as a debit card. It’s also very sleek in design and holds a decent amount of charge, but is a bit more expensive (£31).

On a budget? Try Juice Squash Powerbank Portable Phone Charger, £15.95.

  1. Heavy Lifting

Travelling with the intention of bringing back more than you left with is always exciting. But it means you have to keep an eye on your luggage weight, unless you want to be hit by baggage fees! (Why are baggage fees even a thing?! Ugh). Fortunately Samsonite digital luggage scales (£30) offer a compact way of tracking your luggage weight on the go. A Swiss army knife of scales, it also includes a tape measure and torch, for luggage size and general handiness!

Alternatively, keep it thrifty with this steal from eBay, £3.75.

  1. Keeping Connected

Is Wi-Fi a holiday essential? Probably! Let’s face it, whether you’re googling places to eat, keeping in contact with friends and family or keeping up with emails (seriously, do not neglect your emails whilst away, opportunities won’t wait for you to come back home!) Wi-Fi is useful, and probably a cheaper alternative than data roaming – not to mention more consistent.

TP-link m7350 (£64) is probably the best pick as all you have to do is buy a SIM card and it acts as a router/hotspot; it’s unlocked also, meaning any SIM card can be used – UK or beyond, which is handy as Pay-as-you-go SIMs can save you plenty of money in the long run!  It also has a microSD slot, which lets you share up to 32GB of storage across networked devices.

Short-term travelers try ZTE MF730M from Three, £17 per month.

  1. Travel Soundtrack

We all love some tunes on the go; when at the hotel freshening up for a day out and about, or to accompany a few drinks on the beach. But who has the space for a bulky speaker in their case? Introducing the UE Roll 2  (£80) – it’s a tiny, streamlined and quirky looking Bluetooth speaker which boasts great sound quality at a modest price. It’s perfect for travel as it’s waterproof (up to 1m for 30 minutes), and has a bungee cord attached to it, which enables you to hang the speaker from things such as a bag, coat hanger or belt buckle – there’s even videos of people cliff diving with it!

For the budget conscious, don’t miss out with Jam Classic 2.0 Bluetooth Speaker, £19.99.

If you’re more inclined to listen to your music personally, or on public transport, then these will be more up your street: Optoma NuForce BE6i (£99.99). There are cheaper wireless earphones on the market, but these are a good middle ground between high-end sound quality and student budget.

The reason I’m only regarding wireless is that frankly, they’re far more convenient. Only too often do headphones break on long trips, as a result of being stuffed in and dragged out of a bag. Additionally, imagine the luxury of being able to put your phone in your hand luggage and still listen to those bangers?! Wireless is the way forward – this set lasts hours and come with a load of spare buds for when you inevitably lose yours!

That once in a life-time trip got you broke? Keep your gadgets updated with, PHILIPS SHB3060BK Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, £39.99.

  1. Smart Suits

If you are in need of a new suitcase (and have many pennies to spare), maybe consider the Bluesmart One (£399). This technical suitcase is probably the future of suitcases. As well as being a handy suitcase with thoughtfully planned storage spaces and laptop sleeve, it also includes location tracking, auto-locking, locking via smart phone, digital scales and a power bank that will charge your phone half a dozen times! What more could you want?
So there you go, a round of all the gadgets you need to make your spring and summer breaks that bit more amazing!

Rhys Thomas

Featured image courtesy of ‘Moyan Brenn’ via Flickr. License here.

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