Whether you’ve found a cheap holiday deal or are heading off on an important business trip, packing a few handy gadgets can help make your trip run much more smoothly. From waterproof cameras for underwater scuba shots to practical luggage organisers for on-the-go essentials, check out our guide to the best gadgets on the market.
Business travel gadgets
1. KNOMO Amesbury travel bag
Best for: Business travellers
KNOMO’s range of travel accessories are practical and super professional looking. Our pick is the Amesbury, a spectacularly tough 15” top zip laptop bag-cum-briefcase made from full-grain leather and available in black and brown. The spacious main compartment has a shockproof rear-section to protect your laptop from pretty much anything you can throw at it. Turbulence, do your worst.
2. Aukey Power Bank
Best for: Smartphone addicts
This light rechargeable battery pack has a whopping 10000 mAh capacity, so it’ll keep your phone topped up multiple times during your journey – perfect if you’re always snapping videos for your Instagram stories. The built-in safeguards protect your phone from overheating and overcharging, while the tough scratch-proof case can stand up to being chucked in your hand luggage. It has two charging ports, so your travel buddy can give their gadget some juice too.
3. PlusUs: LifeCard
Best for: Flashpackers
The most compact portable charger around, the LifeCard is nearly as thin as a credit card. It’ll fit comfortably into a wallet or purse, ideal for emergencies when you’ve drained your main battery pack – the standard LifeCard has a capacity of 1500 mAh. We bet you won’t find a better looking battery pack, either. The brushed stainless steel and laser welding give it a premium look and feel. It’s also available in brushed copper, mirror polish stainless steel and a (very flashy) gold sheen.
Best travel gadgets for aspiring travel photographers
4. Joby GorillaPod for Smartphones
Best for: Selfie lovers
Standard tripods are big, bulky and hard to travel with which is why we love the GorillaPod. It’s light, foldable, great value for money and well-designed. The tentacle legs provide stability on rocky, uneven ground, and can even be wrapped around trees and fences. This mini tripod is a solid solution for capturing incredible sunrises and sunsets, as well as hands-free selfies of you and your travel buddies. Because it folds up small, it’s an ideal gadget for travelling and is super easy to squirrel away in your hand luggage.
5. Khyanna Mini Drone
Best for: Next-level selfie takers
Beautiful aerial shots from around the world are becoming a popular sight on Instagram, and you can join the trend by snapping up your very own drone. Taking these own breathtaking shots doesn’t have to be expensive – the Khyanna Mini Drone costs less than £30. It’s light, travel-friendly and can be used for some seriously fun selfies.
Don’t forget to check the local drone laws where you are travelling – Nicaragua has a complete ban on flying drones, unless you have a permit.
6. Polarizing Filters
Best for: DSLR owners
Few things are more frustrating than having your perfectly set-up photo shoot ruined by over exposure, so keep some polarising lens filters in your camera bag to avoid glare. They work in the same way as polarised sunglasses, minimising lens flares, darkening skies and keeping the exposure from becoming too light.
Our tip: Check the dimensions of your DSLR lens to make sure the filter fits.
7. GoPro Hero5
Best for: Adrenaline addicts
If you’re a keen rapids rider, mountain climber or deep sea diver this tough little action camera will turn your memories into crisp 4K photos and video. The GoPro Hero5 is waterproof up to 10m without a special case, perfect for beach and waterfall days, and has a voice control camera for the ultimate in hands-free technology. It also automatically transfers imagery wirelessly onto your phone, so your adventures can go straight on social media.
Beach travel accessories
Ready to hit the beach with your waterproof travel gear? Check out the UK’s best beaches to start planning.
8. Polarised Lens Sunglasses
Best for: Sun-seeking adventurers
Sunglasses with polarised lenses dramatically reduce the glare caused by light reflecting off of water – perfect whether you’re planning an active holiday cycling around Alpine lakes or simply lazing around on a bright sunny beach in the Canaries. They come in all different shapes and styles: look for ones with a 100% protection guarantee against harmful UVA/UVB rays.
9. Swimsuit by Cynthia Rowley
Best for: Surfer chicks
Cynthia Rowley’s stylish range of surf wear is probably the coolest way to protect your skin from the sun – and the ravages of leaning your forearms on a body-board. It’s made of Nylon/Spandex for a close and comfortable fit, giving you full range of movement. It has an SPF 50+ for sun protection and comes in a variety of colourful prints. It’s a great alternative to a wetsuit when you’re surfing in the warm waters of dream destinations like Gold Coast, Australia.
10. Karrimor Dry Bag
Best for: Sailing trips and beach days
While we feel great after a refreshing dip in the sea, our phones (and spending money) unfortunately don’t. Packing your non-waterproof essentials on a dry bag can help to make that bucket-list boat trip more enjoyable, as you won’t need to worry about any splashes. This simple piece of kit doesn’t cost much, and it packs up small – perfect as a day bag.
Next stop, island hopping through the Canaries!
Road trip travel gear
11. Besteck power Inverter
Best for: Tech-heavy travellers
If you’re heading on one of road trip destinations this summer, you’ll want to keep your electronics charged. We recommend swapping your external battery pack for a charger that plugs straight into the car’s 12V electric system. The Bestek 300W MRI3011J2 Power Inverter has a UK plug outlet and two USB charging ports, perfect for keeping your laptop and smartphones fully charged throughout your trip.
12. Rii Himbox HB01 Bluetooth kit
Best for: Music fans with old cars
If your current set of wheels lacks Bluetooth support, and you don’t fancy shelling out for a whole new stereo, pick up a Bluetooth kit. Rii’s Himbox HB01 offers top-notch incoming and outgoing sound quality, has easy-to-use controls and can draw its power from any USB power source – this means you can use your 12V port for something else.
13. UV Window Shade
Best for: Family road trips
If you’re so fair-skinned you catch yourself turning red at the slightest hint of sun, even inside your car, the Britax EZ-Cling Window Shade will make summer drives less painful. It’s easy to stick to your car windows, and provides great sun protection for passengers – especially kids with sensitive skin. There are lots of shade models to choose from and it’s made from super durable material to keep those embarrassing car tans at bay.
Best travel gadgets for backpacking
14. Etekcity digital luggage scales
Best for: People who simply can’t travel light
These are especially handy on longer trips, when you accumulate a few souvenirs along the way. Widely regarded as the best luggage scale on the market, these help you keep track of your added weight and reduce the chances of those unexpected baggage fees. It’s a practical and well designed tool that comes with useful extras – such as the ability to switch between pounds and kilos for those transatlantic trips. Maximum capacity: 50kg. Impulse shopping spree in New York, anyone?
Really can’t deal with packing light? Maybe it’s time to check out this wearable luggage.
15. JBL Flip 4 Portable Speaker
Best for: Music lovers
Bluetooth speakers are an essential piece of travel kit: whether you’re singing in the hostel shower or chilling by the pool in your private luxury villa. The JBL Flip 4 is especially handy for holidays. It’s waterproof, so you can bring your own soundtrack to Bangkok’s Songkran water festival. Sound quality is terrific as it has a built-in noise and echo cancelling speakerphone – perfect for beachside conference calls. The rechargeable battery offers up to 12 hours of play time – so you really can bring the party everywhere.