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Aug 26, 2011

Top 10 Best Travel Gadgets

Think back with us for a moment and consider the options for travel gadgetry that were available just one generation ago. 

The “modern” traveller at the start of the 1980s could consider themselves to be well kitted out if they were sporting a Polaroid camera for “instant” image processing, a map and compass, a language phrasebook and a possibly a Game & Watch 
unit from Nintendo to play the latest video games.

That really was just one generation ago and today the world has changed beyond recognition; every aspect of traveling paraphernalia has evolved into a digital offering in one form or 
another and consumers have been keen to adopt almost all of it.
Our cameras are now digital of course, with some units now being not much larger than the size of a credit card. Our maps are digitised and we read them on GPS-enabled handheld smartphones and tablet PCs that can give us a YOU ARE HERE reference point in seconds. Pocket language translators are not much more than the price of a hamburger… and as for video games, well – let’s just say we’ve moved on from LCD screens and Space Invaders shall we?

AVG’s list of the best travel gadgets around is not brand-specific and you can get these items from a number of manufacturers. So we have tried to do the impossible and make this list relevant today and tomorrow and well into next year and the year after.

  1. Skype Headset – Skype offers free chat and voice and video calls around the world, so why shout at your laptop, smartphone or tablet? Get a compact earphone and microphone headset and connect in comfort.
  2. Worldwide Electricity Plug Adapter – An obvious choice, but so very essential.

  3. Body Wallet – A body wallet or money belt is always a good idea whether you happen to be traveling to Outer Mongolia, the Outer Hebrides or North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

  4. Head Torch – These strap on light units might be standard issue for the Army, but they are also amazingly useful when you are on the road. Whether you are in a tent or a fancy hotel room, if the nearest light is on your head then you’ll be well equipped.

  5. Swiss Army Knife – As long as you can ‘stow’ your baggage in the hold when you fly, a Swiss Army knife is just about the most useful piece of travel kit you can pack. How else did you plan on opening that beer bottle, cutting that piece of cheese or uncorking that bottle of wine?

  6. Waterproof iPod/MP3-player case – We as consumers are spending a lot of money on our portable music players these days, why not protect them while you are on the road, or the beach!

  7. Multi-Joint ‘Gorilla Grip’ Camera Tripod  The new breed of multi-joint camera trips clamp onto anything and pack down to a manageable small size too. Google our heading title here and you’ll get a direct link.

  8. USB Power Pack – Extra power for your smartphones and other gadgets, the newest USB charged external power packs comes with a wide range of adapters to pump an extra power boost to most of your electronic kit.

  9. GPS Unit – With prices these days becoming just so much more affordable, a city map is always a great idea but who can resist the option to have a map of the entire planet in your back pocket?
  10. The Kindle – OK so this is a branded recommendation, but any eReader will do. The environmental cost of not chopping down trees to print books will ultimately mean that these units continue to rise in popularity.
Lastly, we also urge you to take some common sense with you. Whether it is in the form of a pen and notebook, a first aid kit, a universal bathplug or a smile. AVG’s SMB team are a well travelled bunch and when polled for one good piece of travel advice, the group said that learning the words for “hello” and “thank you” in the local dialect of wherever you travel to should be as essential as printing your boarding pass. So take some or all of our advice with you and stay safe on the streets and online too…please.

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