It's the new year and boy is there some travelling to be done between now and 2020. With it being nearly the end of the second decade of the new millennium, the future of travel is here and it's time to get smart with travel. Technology and gadgets can add that extra layer of assurance, security and luxury whether you're on the move or are winding done in your hotel room. So with that in mind, we've come up with our non-exhaustive list of the must-have travel items to make your time away as comfortable and as entertaining as it can be. Let's hit the road!
With airlines looking to squeeze more out of their passengers than ever before, avoiding extra charges becomes a challenge in itself. One of the sneakiest ways that airlines do this is charging as much as they can on extra baggage, often by reducing the size allowance or number of bags available. A luggage scale is the best way to combat these charges, and should be an integral part to any traveller's kit, not just the thrifty budgeteers. This little item hooks through the handle of your bag, and when the bag is lifted up, the scales will tell you the weight of your bag. Simple enough, and a sure-fire way to get away from those slimy baggage charges.
The world is getting more digital, more dependent on technology than ever before. Even the hardiest of anti-tech hold-outs have a phone these days, and unsurprisingly, travellers use technology more than ever before on their adventures. Whether it's the QR code for your airline ticket, the maps app on your phone or your emails on the go, bringing a phone or a tablet is an integral part of travel for many people. So one of the most annoying things that can happen when you're out and about is that your phone or tablet gives up the ghost just when you need it the most. The best way to combat this inconvenience is by bringing along a power bank or an external battery. Charge these up before you leave home and when your phone battery runs out, you'll have the power bank to save the day.
The rise of social media and the availability of excellent phone and digital cameras means that many of us have dived into the wonderful world of amateur photography. Selfies, nature shots, filtered Instagram posts have all become a part of the holiday experience, almost as much as sharing your snaps with the world. With all that in mind, there are a host of camera accessories to help you get that perfect picture of the sunrise over Hoover Dam or the cherry blossom in Japan - for this list, we've picked the humble phone tripod. Excellent for timed pictures to get everyone in or for getting tough angles nailed to a tee, tripods grant extra stability and flexibility in your time of need. There are certain brands which offer tentacle legs, which can fold up and curl as per your specifications, making them easy to pack and handy to manipulate.
Noise cancelling headphones
An obvious tool in the traveller's arsenal is the reliable and trustworthy set of earphones, primed and ready to entertain on long journeys with movies, music and more. But we're here to tell you to go one step further and invest in a pair of good, noise cancelling headphones - you'll not regret it. While decent earphones do well in other environments like working at home or out on a run, travelling often sees you sitting alongside other passengers from all walks of life, who may not necessarily have your music choices in mind as they go. This is where purchasing a noise cancelling pair of headphones is your ideal solution to the sonic pollution. As the cacophony of boisterous hen parties, squealing children and awful on-board plane muzak rises to engulf the precious silence, sit back and flick on the noise-cancelling function to send that unholy commotion to oblivion.
This is a relatively new gadget for the travel world but consider this, if you haven't heard of it before, your introduction to the travel vacuum. Pop this little portable magician into your air-tight case, and upon activation it will suck all of the oxygen out of your luggage, providing extra space for you to fit in that holiday shopping or that extra towel. Currently, there is only one version of what is concisely named the Portable Vacuum Compressor Space Saver sold by a company known as VAGO (which is also another name for it, helpfully). Whether it will end up a success or not, the fact that anyone came up with this idea deserve credit itself.