Heading off on a luxury cruise around the remote Galapagos Islands, hiking the Inca Trail or exploring the mighty Amazon? Don’t forget to pick up a few of these must-have travel gadgets before you go – from never losing your luggage to having perfect photos every time, they’ll help ensure your trip is one to remember for all the right reasons.
♦ Sony DEV-50 Digital Recording Binoculars
If you’re going wildlife spotting, a good pair of binoculars is a must. The Sony DEV-50 ticks all of the usual boxes when it comes to high-end binoculars – up to 25x optical zoom, water and dust resistance and low-light boost. Where it really comes into its own, however, is with the ability to shoot high-resolution photo and video of whatever you’re looking at.
Just tap the button and start recording HD video, 20-megapixel still shots or even (believe it or not) shoot in 3D thanks to the twin lenses. If you’re looking for great wildlife shots without having to carry around a heavy camera and zoom lens, these binoculars provide an ideal way to do it.
♦ Lytro Camera
How many times have you taken that one-of-a-kind trip photo – only to discover later that it’s blurry and unusable, and there’s no way to go back and take another? The Lytro range of cameras eliminates that problem, using advanced light field technology to take a completely different kind of image. Change the zoom, focus, depth of field and perspective after you’ve taken the shot, using software on your computer or the camera itself.
It sounds a bit like magic – but it’s real, and it’s something we’ll see a lot more of in cameras in years to come. Pick up the original Lytro camera now, or pre-order the latest model for delivery later this year.
♦ Shure SE-535 Noise Isolating Earphones
If you’ve ever shared a plane cabin with a screaming baby or group of loud friends for hours, you’ll already know the benefits of being able to block them out. While a pair of earplugs will do the job, a set of quality noise isolating earphones is a much better option.
Far more compact than headphones, the top-of-the-line Shure SE-535 earphones block a remarkable amount of unwanted noise. At even low volume levels, your music completely replaces whatever is going on around you, while the combination of three microdrivers (speakers) mean near-perfect sound reproduction. Replaceable cables mean that even if they do get damaged in transit, it’s a simple matter to fix them rather than having to buy an entirely new pair of earphones.
If you pick up the limited edition SE-535LTD version, you’ll also get an inbuilt microphone and remote for your iPhone or other Apple devices.
♦ Taktik Extreme iPhone Case
Even on a luxury trip, your gear can get a hard time – especially your phone. It’s all too easy to drop it on the rocks when you’re taking a photo, have it fall from your pocket as you jump over a stream or smash the screen by, well, almost any method imaginable. The Taktik range of cases from Lunatik helps avoid those problems, particularly the Extreme model that boasts dust and water resistance as well as the usual impact protection. With over half an inch of molded rubber between your phone and the ground, even a drop from head height is unlikely to cause any damage.
♦ Trakdot Luggage Tag
Finally, the last thing you need when starting a trip is to arrive at your destination without any luggage. Lost bags are all too common, and up until recently there has been little that you can do except notify airline staff and glare frustratedly at the phone in your hotel room as you wait for it to ring. Glare no longer with the Trakdot luggage system, a small device that sits in your suitcase and sends an SMS or email to let you know that it’s arrived safely.
The message includes its current location (in case your luggage is on the wrong plane), and the device can be tracked at any time so that even if your airline doesn’t know where your bag is, you do. It’s a smart use of technology, and will be worth its weight in gold the first time a suitcase goes missing.
♦ What are some of your favorite travel gadgets?