Winter’s almost here and some of us are thinking of going on a vacation. For some, the perfect location is somewhere warm and sunny, or skying in the mountains. But regardless where you choose to spend your Christmas holidays, there are some things that should not miss. Every self respecting geek should pack some gadgets with him for this period away from home (or more specifically, away from your computer).
I can honestly relate to all you lost souls that have to leave your computers behind, but fear not! We’ll look at some neat gadgets that will make your holidays perfect, allowing you to take all the wonderful technology with you and enjoy it throughout your vacation. It’s pretty impossible to list the best gadgets in a single post (since they keep piling up), so feel free to inform us of others!
9 helpful travel gadgets
I won’t even bother listing tablets and smartphones in this top, because I know you are not leaving them behind, but I will feature some gadgets that will make them more usable in certain areas where otherwise they would become useless. You should check out one special gadget that we’ve recently talked about: Phorce, a smart bag that will charge your mobile devices.
When you begin your vacation, you will be most likely traveling… a lot!. And anyone who has been traveling can attest to one thing: sleeping is quite hard under some conditions. For those who are looking at a long flight or a long drive, a comfortable pillow would seem a blessing. If you are the one to sacrifice looks for comfort, then the Ostrich Pillow is perfect.
I admit it looks kind of ridiculous, but it can keep your head and arms warm, muffle sounds and provide a soft cushion. It’s outer lining is made out of soft material and it’s filled with microballs, which give it a very nice feel and added comfort.
After waiting for your flight or when in the car, you will probably get bored. If so, a pair of good headphones will do the trick. The ceramic X7i headphones are just the gadget you need for listening to music in noisy areas, but without the issues that over-ear headphones have: they are very easily stored, low profile and provide very good noise cancellation.
You can use these headphones with the pillow featured above to create your very own cocoon, warm and with your favorite tunes. The design of the headphones ensures maximum comfort and overall great music quality.
But listening to music on your X7i headphones will surely take a toll on your smartphone, especially on long flights. And because of this, you will need a charging cable. But as any self respecting geek, you will have more than one device, and thus, more than one cable, and when push comes to shove, you will most likely take one or two cables with you. But what if you could get all your necessary cables in one?
This is where the 3-in-1 USB cable comes in. It provides users with a Micro-USB, Mini-USB and 30-Pin Apple connector into one cable (for those who have Lightning connector, you will need the Apple converter) that has an awesome design and a very interesting system to switch between them.
With your device charged, you can get back to listening music, but when you are traveling, you usually don’t go alone, and so, you can’t let your partners stare at you. This is why a headphone/speaker splitter is something handy to have. Belkin provides such a device that splits the single 3.5mm jack coming from your smartphone to 5 others, so all your group can listen to music on the same device, at all times.
Also, if you have portable speakers, you can hook them up to your smartphone and create a powerful sound system. Also, you can connect more players to mix the music and create your own custom tunes.
And speaking of portable speakers, this Bluetooth speaker can really get a party going. Because it connects wireless to your devices, you will not have to deal with too many cables, but if your music player does not have wireless capabilities, you can still attach a 3.5 mm jack (cable included in the package). The speaker has an integrated battery that can keep it going for about 10 hours, this covers pretty much any trip or camping vacation.
Just imagine hooking up 5 of these bad boys with the splitter featured earlier! You could make a proper party, especially because each speaker puts out 85 decibels of sound.
But creating the perfect party (or a movie night) requires you to have stored lots of digital media. Music files, videos and so on occupy a lot of space. If your device does not have the needed amount of storage, what will you do? Well, get a flash memory of course (if you do not know how to hook up an external memory to a smartphone or tablet, check out our tutorial)!
This jack of all trades offers you ample space to keep your media files, but it also doubles as the primary tool for every outdoor explorer: a swiss knife. Now with your media collection safe and some extra tools for any situation, you are all set to face the wild outdoors.
One big issue with all the gadgets that we currently own is that they come with different charging cables, with their own versions. Apple, for example, is a master at being different than the rest of the world. And imagine that you’re traveling in Europe with your American gadgets – another issue. That’s why you’ll need an universal adaptor. The universal adaptor kit Tumi contains the following: ten adapter ports, a compatibility chart, retractable cable, AC wall socket input plug and even an automobile/air connector cable. But it doesn’t come in cheap – $195.
If you’re outdoor and you want to capture all the stunning panoramas around you, then I can’t think of a better gadget than GoPro Hero HD2, one device that is used by professionals and regular users alike. With a powerful, 11 MP sensor, GoProHero HD 2 captures everything in HD. But what’s so special about this gadget is that it’s very small, thus, very suitable for travel and even more advanced techniques, as hiking and climbing, for example. This is a must-have in your list
All these devices are useless if you don’t have the means to carry them around. Of course, you could get a normal backpack, but what would be interesting about that? That’s for regular people, but for us, geeks, a smart backpack is more like it. By now you are wondering what a smart backpack is. Well, it does not connect to the Internet if that’s what you are thinking, but it does have integrated batteries to keep your devices charged as you are making your way through the woods, or for when you are traveling.
There are many such backpacks, and I leave it for you to choose which one is the best. Some have integrated solar panels or other interesting tech, but prices also vary with the features they provide, so the choice is up to you. In geek terms, you are now “armed to the teeth” and ready for a vacation where you won’t have to suffer from “technological starvation”. Check out these awesome vacation gadgets and tell us if you know of others that have to be added to the tech savvy outdoor survival kit.
Radu Tyrsina contributed to this post