30 September 2016

Essential Travel Tools: Top Gadgets for the Modern Explorer

Getting the most out of travelling means being prepared. When you’re exploring new countries, meeting new people and seeing incredible scenery, you want to be able to make the most out of each moment. And you can’t just nip home if you’ve forgotten something! If you’re planning on living out of a backpack soon, make sure you pack these handy gadgets. You should!

Travelling in comfort is of paramount importance to me, pay attention to the following godsends. The first part of the adventure is the journey. While baggy trousers and slip-off shoes are great for any long flight, if you want to jump straight from the plane, boat, car, tuk tuk or rickshaw and into action, you want clothes that are more multipurpose than loungewear. With the advances in textile technology and people’s demands, there is now a growing range of stylish but technical travel clothing, covering wardrobe staples like high-stretch jeans with security pockets, gilet tops with over 40 pockets, or snuggly cardigans with hidden pockets and hoods that double as blindfolds for when you’re sleeping on the go. If power napping is essential to your travels, always pack a decent set of earplugs. You don’t need to commit to anything high-tech or high-end here: a standard silicone multi-pack will be grand.

Although brands like Flitemate and Earplanes will also help with pain caused by in-flight pressure changes. Staying comfy during long-haul flights is a must, I for one like to look good at the same time! Yes, fashion can definitely be a travel tool! On recent trip within China I accidentally broke my Beats by Dr. Dre headphones that I had purchased from the Beats store in New York City, I had had them for over five years but until my own error I had not had one single problem with them. I try to travel as much as possible and like the next person I find that having earphones or headphones that are of an optimum quality helps to drown out the woes of the world, especially if there's baby crying or a unnecessarily loud person speaking close to me. Aside from that calamity it's clear see that from my experience we can get pretty hing up on brands, I maintain that I will be getting some Beats by Dr. Dre ear buds before my next holiday as it will involve three long train journeys. Life made easier!

After your versatile clothing, you’ll crave that functionality in anything. Once you’ve sprung into don’t forget the classic tool the Swiss army knife. There is no end of daily mini-trials that can’t be solved with one of these beauties and the range has only evolved over the years to accommodate the modern traveller, with integrated USB sticks, LED torches, screwdriver sets and more. If you’re going a touch more survivalist, invest in a portable multi-tool. Leatherman are one of the most respected brands in this space and their OHT is a cracker. And if you’re a not a traveller yourself, any of these would make Christmas gift ideas for any explorers you know, even if you think they’re more beach bum than Bear Grylls. Yes, it all makes sense!

A good small torch will also help you whether you’re exploring the countryside or drunkenly weaving home through unlit and unfamiliar streets. If you’re going to be more outdoorsy or staying somewhere with limited power, a head torch is a lifesaver as it keeps your hands free. Anything upwards of 100 lumens will provide enough light to be all-round useful but, sadly, there is no such thing as a stylish head torch. Another torch I would recommend a maglite, they are compact for those outdoor pursuits and truthfully they are of a great quality.  Delving into the realms of travel and what gadgets make being on the road that much easier has opened my eyes to a whole new world, it's amazing to see what gizmos could act as a useful gift for us any traveler. Let's embrace these goodies!

Go anywhere tech whether it’s photography, communication, research or entertainment, our phones and cameras are devices we just can’t travel without. To avoid the dreaded dead battery, pack a long life power bank before you hit the road. As with army knives, the range here is huge and you can easily buy waterproof chargers, chargers for multiple devices or extra small chargers. For maximum charge, I wouldn’t look at a power bank with less 10,000mAh. Another great trick is a power sharing cable essentially a modified USB cable that lets you syphon power from one USB device to another. To keep your phone close at all time, a waterproof case is perfect for when you’re going to new beaches by yourself and don’t want to risk your valuables to the elements or passers-by by leaving them on land. Also, a Wi-Fi SD card is a great innovation if you’re really serious about photography. The key is to capture every single moment!

Pop one of these guys into your DSLR and it’ll set up a local Wi-Fi field so you can share photos with your other devices, as these are perfect for backing up your best snaps on getting them online without a full computer to work with. Having connectivity with such a DSLR sounds good to me, I like to upload photos quickly during trips without hassle. Of course I mentioned before, portable chargers are the way forward, I have seen some great portable charges in China for pennies. To be the modern traveller its imperative that we are aware of those en-trend gadgets and accessories that will be sure to make a trip, flight or anything travel related stress free! From in-flight fashion to state of the art earphones there's a whole world of tools that are going to continue to help! Time and again, these little gadgets and ideas have helped me have the best experience on long journeys and across new lands. If you’re getting ready for your next trip, so I hope these tips help you out!

Essentials, Essentials, Essentials!

Joseph Harrison

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