There’s the usual ‘essentials’ (passport, mini restroomries, eye mask) and then there’s the things you probably could survive a trip without, but they’ll definitely make the whole experience of getting there a little more bearable. So we’ve hand-picked our top travel essentials that everyone should pack on their travels, from the latest gadgets to the slickest apps.
APP: JET SMARTER
Ordering yourself a luxury taxi at the tap of a button is one thing, but then along came Jet Smarter; the Uber of the private jet world. Request, pay and fly, all via your mobile; because yes, jumping on a private plane and jetting off around the world really IS that simple.
So obviously we’re not talking about a wallet friendly flight here, but if you’re downloading an app to flag a private jet like the masses flag a taxi, money is probably less of a concern. The app is free however, so even if you don’t plan on ordering yourself a private jet, you can at least pretend you will. Download it here.
GADGET: NOISE CANCELLING HEADPHONES, BOSE
Picture this: you’ve settled into your business/first class seat on that long haul flight. A baby across the way won’t stop crying. Apparently. You can’t hear said baby, because you’ve donned your Bose noise cancelling headphones and that Spotify playlist you so meticulously created especially for this flight is in full swing.
You look over at a noise cancelling headphone-less passenger and catch the look of disdain on their face. You quietly high-five yourself for your clever purchase. Life is good.
GADGET: LENSBABY LM-10 SWEET SPOT LENS FOR MOBILE
Don’t get us wrong, we love an SLR. What we’re not always a fan of, is their size/difficulty to pack. So for those less-pro, more-practical photography fans out there, let us introduce you to Lensbaby and their little magnetic lens for your mobile. Brought to you by a team renowned for creating no-nonsense professional lenses for said SLR cameras, the entire mechanism of this tiny-yet-genius contraption connects to a stainless steel ring which fastens right around the lens of your phone. Genius.
Your instagram photos have never looked so good.
Whether you’re drifting peacefully over Myanmar’s Bagan Temples (in a hot air balloon, obviously), island hopping from Hvar to Vis or watching the sunset over Rio (one for the bucket list, trust us) then we’d like to introduce you to Hyperlapse, the time lapse app from Instagram.
The possibilities are endless, with the ability to create high quality time lapse videos of absolutely anything (we’ll leave the creative direction up to you). Warning: it’s addictive.
GADGET: ARRIVÉ CAMDEN 4 WHEELED EXPANDABLE SUITCASE, TUMI
Aka the reason you’ll look particularly slick travelling through Heathrow/LAX/JFK. But not only is this the George Clooney of the suitcase world, this is a suitcase engineered meticulously with intelligent organization compartments for all your packing needs, thanks to luggage aficionados Tumi. It even has a suit compartment. We’ll say no more.
APP: GOOGLE TRANSLATE
Sure, it may sound like an obvious choice, but staring at a menu in downtown Moscow that’s entirely in Russian (a frequent dilemma) isn’t ideal, especially when you don’t speak Russian, and no one in the restaurant speaks English.
So it goes like this. Instead of pondering what ‘бефстроганов’ means, you calmly reach for your phone, and think to yourself ‘I’ve got this’.
As ever, Google saves the day. You point your smartphone camera at the menu and an instant English translation appears on-screen. You then order yourself a beef strogonoff safe in the knowledge that you will in fact receive beef strogonoff, and not something including the words ‘pickled’ and ‘fish’. Get the app here.
APP: WIFI FINDER
The name is fairly self-explanatory, yet this app is an absolute essential for the well-connected traveller, with the low down on the wifi spots in 650,000 locations in 144 countries worldwide. Using your location the app will find all the local wifi hot spots, or you can search for a specific location to find out where to go to get connected.
Sure, there are a few places where wifi will be a bit scarce, (that mountain top temple, that desert island) but nonetheless, it’s one you’ll be glad you downloaded. Get the app here.
GADGET: TAGGING SYSTEM, TILE
If you’ve ever had that moment of panic when your keys seem to have vanished off the face of the earth, for them to later reappear in the fridge (it happens, don’t judge) then we bet you’ve thought ‘if only I had a way of ringing them/tracking them/never losing them’.
Imagine a world where all the above IS possible. And it’s not just your keys, it’s anything you don’t ever want to lose, and if you do lose said item, you can hunt down its exact location. All with Tile, an innovative tagging system that communicates via Bluetooth to your phone using a plastic tag that can be attached to pretty much anything. Probably your dog. Definitely your keys.
If you love taking photos on your phone (who doesn’t) and you love Instagram (which you undoubtedly do) then you’ve probably already heard of VSCO – photo editor extraordinaire. It’s like photoshop for your phone, minus the technical mumbo jumbo of the graphic design world.
We’re seriously addicted to it – it’s perfect for prepping those travel shots for the world of twitter/facebook/instagram (especially instagram).
GADGET: DASHBON MASK
Imagine a world in which you don’t just listen through your headphones; you watch movies ON your headphones. We’ll explain.
Meet the new Dashbon Mask. These aren’t just a pair of slick, sci-fi-esq headphones. Oh no. They’re so much more than that. Akin to the likes of Google glasses, the top band that usually sits atop your head flips down in front of your face (eyes to be precise) and voila, you’ve been transported to your own personal cinema. Sort of.
Great for watching movies on your commute. Less so for street cred.