Remember the good old days, when in-flight entertainment was limited to an airline magazine and the closest you got to noise-cancelling was two pieces of cotton wool?
No? Probably because those days were rubbish. Travel might be a tonic for the soul, but without the right tech it’s just a whole lot of moving around with bags.
Thankfully, we’ve trawled the tech aisles for 25 travel essentials to give your summer getaway the upgrade it deserves.
So, whether it’s entertaining your mates at the beach or keeping your valuables safe from naughty sorts in nightclubs, there should be something here for you. The sun cream’s up to you, mind.
The best travel tech for...packing
Walli Smart Wallet (£90)
You can lose a lot of things on holiday – sunglasses, flip flops, your dignity – but if your wallet goes wayward then you can wave goodbye to a good time. Whether it’s wads of cash or that napkin with the number of last night’s love interest, Walli will ensure you never leave your stash behind: paired via Bluetooth, it’ll ping your smartphone if you stray too far without it and show you its last known location. It works in reverse, too – so you’ll be able to track down your handset just by tapping.
PacSafe Travelsafe (from £55)
It’s a universal truth that you can crack a hotel safe in five minutes with nothing but a breadstick and a YouTube tutorial. Short of taking your own vault on holiday, PacSafe’s Travelsafe sacks are the answer for go-anywhere security: wrapped in a mesh of stainless steel wire, they’re secured with an in-built combination lock and there’s a useful loop for attaching them to nearby heavy objects. Available in 5L and 12L capacities, there’s now a limited edition 3L version – perfect for keeping your phone safe while you have a crack at kite-surfing.
Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack (£28)
There’s no overestimating the usefulness of a day pack: whether you’re strolling through a city or walking to a waterfall, the humble second sack is a must for hauling lightweight essentials. Pick up this Stuff Pack from Osprey and you’ll have durable utility in your pocket. Made from rugged ripstop nylon, the 18L backpack is surprisingly comfortable – courtesy of Airmesh shoulder straps – and offers such luxuries as a bottle pocket and an internal stash for your valuables. And it all packs down to the size of a pebble. Talk about innovation.
Time was, packing for a camping trip meant donning a khaki t-shirt, sharpening your favourite penknife and stashing a couple of nutrition bars in the front of your utility shorts. Alas, the world is now a more complex place – which is why we have Trip Tarp: a lightweight, rugged nylon sheet, this Kickstarter-funded friend is printed with eight categorised sections to take the pain out of packing. There’s a master list of 10 highlighted essentials, too, so you’ll won’t be caught short – and it even doubles up as a shelter in the wild.