Christmas tech: gifts for the travel enthusiast
From practical packing to staying in touch
Bitten by the travel bug? here are some gadgets to help smooth your New Year journeys.
V-bag by Vodafone is intended to keep track of your bags – laptop bag, handbag, luggage, whatever – using a combination of a small Alcatel Move Tracker, a holder that attaches to your bag and a Vodafone V Sim, which is intended for use in IoT devices. It costs €2.99 per month to get the data plan activated, which means for about the price of a coffee (in a Dublin-based chain, let’s not get too carried away here) you can track your bag across the world. Or at least in areas where Vodafone’s V-sim plans work.
Noise cancelling headphones are a must when you are travelling. Blocking out the sound of the plane, train or bus is a luxury you shouldn’t underestimate. Ear buds are great, but they have a battery life of about five hours before they have to be popped back in the box. So instead, go for over-ear versions, which will not only last longer but can also be used with a cable (with noise isolation rather than noise cancelling) when the battery runs out. Sony’s WH1000XM3 offer good active noise cancelling in a comfortable package. Adaptive sound control adjusts the ambient sound settings to your environment, and you’ve got touch controls on the ear cupto increase and decrease volume, play and pause your music, and skip tracks. They’re not as small as the ear buds, in their handy little package, but they will fold up a bit to save space.
Pacum is a portable multifunctional vacuum that is designed to create space in your bag. The handheld device comes with its own storage bag and a couple of add-ons that ensure it will be compatible with a range of bags and items. Vacuum packing your clothes? Need storage bags for food? Covered. There are three buttons: one to inflate objects, an eco mode for vacuum packing your items, and a super mode that will automatically stop when the vacuuming is complete. The bonus? You can use it to inflate or deflate the various armbands, floating rings and giant inflatable unicorns you bring to the pool on holiday, with little or no effort from you.
Juku AirLume 10000 Power Bank
Smartphones: they are both a help and a hindrance in our daily lives. On one hand, we have an array of infromation at our fingertips; on the other we have a fast dwindling battery. When you travel, that’s not a great combo. So a portable power pack is the best way to go. The Juku AirLume 10000 Power Bank has a couple of benefits. First, it’s large enough (in power capacity terms) to charge your smartphone and potentially a tablet more than once. Secondly, it will charge three devices at once. And thirdly, it has wireless capacity, so you can charge without cables.
Lumzag Prime Smart Backpack
Imagine a bag that not only held all the essentials but also had some extra features such as a light to help you find what you need, make it easy for you to track it down should you misplace it, or give you a heads-up if someone else tries to open it without your knowledge. Say hello to Lumzag’s Prime Smart Backpack. There are several features frequent travellers may like: a wireless charger with built-in powerbank, an inside light, an alert if the bag is opened, a remote anti-theft alarm, real-time GPS tracking, back-view camera and global Wi-Fi hotspot. It comes in two finishes: Italian leather or a faux leather plus carbon fibre. And it’s ergonomically designed.