When you travel, you should try to travel light. There is nothing worse than having to lug a 20kg backpack around because you thought that you had to take everything in your room with you to Portugal. The only problem is that the travel industry has boomed over the years and this has led to a vast array of travel gadgets that you can get. If you are like me and love anything gadget-like, you will need to know about the travel gadgets that you should not resist getting and taking with you.
A Clip-On Camera Lens
A lot of travelers swear by a digital camera, but good digital cameras can be big, bulky, heavy and a bit of a security risk. The less serious travelers will simply use the camera on their phone because the pixel rates are the same as some of the cheaper cameras on the market. If you do not want to spend hundreds on a camera for your trip, you should look at a clip-on camera lens.
There are a number of these products out there, but they all work in the same manner. You clip them over the camera lens on your phone for better zoom and resolution. I really like this little gadget because you can easily take it off and carry it around in your daypack for when you need it. It also allows me to cut down on the larger items that I have to carry.
When looking for a clip-on camera lens, you will need to find one that works with your phone. There are some of these lenses that only work on iPhones while others only work with Android. They also offer different optical zoom, image stabilization and pixel resolution so be sure to check everything before you buy.
A Pocket-Size Washing Machine
Your laundry is probably the last thing on your mind when you are thinking of traveling. Most people just take the right number of clothes to cover their trip, but this is an issue when you are traveling for more than a week or 2. Coming to the rescue at these times will be your pocket-size washing machine.
So the pocket-sized washing machine is not an electrical gadget as the name might make you think. This is actually a bag that you use to wash your clothing in as little as 3 minutes. I have one and find it ideal for those times when you are in accommodation that does not have a washing machine like camping or hotels.
All you need to use this gadget is some water and liquid laundry soap or travel washing sheets. Add your clothing into the bag with the water and soap then seal it and get to scrubbing. This does require a bit of elbow grease, but not as much as you would be expecting. These bags have little nodes inside them which massage the clothing and get the dirt out of them.
You can rinse the clothing in the bag or in the sink or shower, depending on where you are. The last thing you need to do is hang them out to dry. To dry your clothing, you should look at using a peg-less clothing line. These lines can be hooked up just about anywhere which is great when you are traveling around.
Vacuum Packing Cubes
Packing cubes are a travel gadget that you need to have, but you really need to consider getting vacuum packing cubes. These packing cubes help you save space and stay organized. The one thing that you need to look at when getting vacuum packing cubes is how they remove the air from the cube.
Some packing cubes will need an actual vacuum cleaner to remove the air which can be a problem when you travel. You generally will not have access to a vacuum when you travel which makes these packing cubes a bit redundant. Other cubes use a rolling system to remove the air and they are generally better.
Hi-Tech Foot Warmers
Visiting a cold country from a warm country comes with a number of challenges and footwear is one of them. The boots that you are able to get in your country may not be up to the task in a much colder climate. The sneakers I bought in Malta are not able to withstand the colder temperatures in Germany, but the boots I have from Canada can.
To overcome this issue, I know a lot of people who turn to foot warmers. Foot warmers are gadgets that you place in your shoes which emit heat and keep your feet warm. The only problem is that most foot warmers have a set amount of time that they work for and you cannot turn them off. I found this to be an issue because my feet got too hot when I was inside and out of the cold.
This is when I found high-tech foot warmers. These are like little electric blankets in the shape of shoe inserts. You will have a little remote that you can use to turn the warmers on, off and lower the temperature so your feet are always at the right temperature.
If you are going to be traveling outside of the cities, you need to look at a GPS watch. These watches will help you keep track of where you are and backtrack if you get a little lost. To be honest, these features are ideal in cities as well because everything looks different in the afternoon light compared to the morning.
There are a lot of GPS watches on the market and you need to look at all of the features when you choose one. Some of these watches only offer you the tracking features while others measure your heart rate and the number of steps you have taken. I have a basic GPS watch that also tracks my steps. My watch helps me keep up with my fitness and ensures that I do not get lost as I wonder through different towns.
Solar Powered Gadget Charger
Keeping all of the gadgets that you need charged can be a challenge if you are heading out of town. You will not find a convenient socket to quickly charge your phone or the one that you do find has a queue of people waiting to use it. To take the hassle out of charging everything, you should get a solar powered gadget charger.
This is not only eco-friendly, it is also super convenient to use. I have used mine on the train when going long distance and had a fully charged phone at the end of my trip. There are many different ones on the market and you need to be careful. Not all solar cells are created equal and you want to get some that will actually charge all of your gadgets.
Listening to music with your headphones is great when you are traveling, but when you are chilling in your accommodation you might want something different. A wireless speaker is a great solution and you can hook them up to just about any iPod, MP3 or phone. Most wireless speakers will work on Bluetooth, but they come with an AUX cable that you can use as well.
The cable is very helpful for people with older devices or no Bluetooth capability. I have an old iPod Classic which has a lot of space, but no Bluetooth. I can connect my speaker using the cable which saves me having to get a Bluetooth connection which needs to be charged and never seems to last very long.
If you are going to get a wireless speaker, I would suggest getting one that is water resistant. While you will not be using the speaker in the rain, you never know when it might get a bit damp when you travel. You should also avoid speakers which pop open because the locking mechanisms can be broken as you travel.
Portable Hard Drive
A portable hard drive might not seem like something that you should be taking with you, but they are really small now and very useful. I have a 2TB hard drive which fits into my pocket and I use it all the time. It is a great place to store all of the pictures I take and I never have to worry about being without vital documents.
If you are looking at a portable hard drive, you should choose one that is 2TB or less. These hard drives will be smaller and do not need their own power source. Larger external hard drives have to be plugged into a socket for them to power on and this can be an issue if you are camping or need the plug for your laptop.
No travel gadget list will be complete without the portable Wi-Fi device. This is truly a lifesaver and I am so glad that I have one. These little devices will connect to mobile internet and share it as a Wi-Fi signal allowing a number of devices to connect at one time. I find this easier to use than the internet USB stick that you can get because I am on my tablet a lot.
When looking at portable Wi-Fi, you need to be aware that some providers lock the device. This means that you will only be able to use their sim cards in the device. You can get around this by having the device unlocked or you could buy an unlocked portable Wi-Fi device. The best on the market is by Huawei and you can buy one online. There are a lot of different models and the newest ones will generally be better.
A Multi-Bag Stacker
I am not a fan of suitcases, but I know a lot of people who are. The problem with suitcases is that when you have more than one you struggle to juggle all of them. I have seen people at airports and train stations trying to keep all of their bags in check while walking and failing miserably.
If you like suitcases and generally have more than one, you need to look at a multi-bag stacker. This is an awesome gadget that will connect all of your suitcases together and allow you to pull them as one unit. This will make your suitcases easier to handle, but could increase the weight that you pull with one arm.
There are a lot of travel gadgets on the market and some will call to your soul. These irresistible travel gadgets can make everything easier for you and should really be considered before you travel.