Summer is finally here, and after two years of disruption, many people will be getting on a plane, long-distance train or ferry for the first time in a long while.
A lot of us will inevitably be chucking a few gadgets and gizmos into our suitcases and hand luggage – from essentials such as travel adapters to the items that can make a journey more pleasant, such as headphones and portable handheld fans.
Here’s our guide to the best gadgets to pack on your holiday this summer.
Bose QuietComfort 45
RRP: £319.95 – deals from £289, refurbished from £160.
Take some of the stress out of traveling by canceling out the drone of engines or fellow passengers with a good set of headphones. The Bose QuietComfort 45 are the sequel to some of the best noise-cancelling headphones ever made, now with updated technology, including better battery life and sound, to give you a bit of peace and quiet.
Anker Soundcore Life Q30
RRP: £80 – refurbished from £66.
For those looking for something cheaper, Anker’s Soundcore Life Q30 offer Bluetooth 5, good noise reduction, reasonable sound quality and a 40-hour battery life that takes some beating, and cost as little as £66 refurbished. An updated model with higher-resolution Bluetooth support, the Life Q35, is also available with an official price of £130, although this week you could find them on Amazon for £90.
RRP: £159 – refurbished from £130.
If you want something better than the myriad of cheap, not-great Bluetooth speakers that are available to buy, the Sonos Roam is so good, you’ll want to use it in your home, too.
Use it on wifi when at home or on Bluetooth when on the road. It’s water-resistant and durable, the battery lasts up to 10 hours, and it can fill a room with music despite its diminutive water-bottle-like size. It costs £159 without microphones or £179 with voice control.
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2
RRP: £90 – deals from £70, refurbished from £55.
If you are looking to spend a little less money but want something that’s just as durable and boasts really decent sound, the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 is still one of the best Bluetooth speakers you can get. It can be picked up for about £55 onwards. The compact Bluetooth speaker is drop-proof, has 13 hours of battery life and water resistance.
Chargers and adapters
Go Travel Worldwide Adapter
RRP: £30 – deals from £26.
Juggling multiple power adapters when traveling can
Bringing your own laptop, tablet or phone along while traveling internationally makes everything a lot easier.
You can serve as your own travel agent; scoping out activities, curating restaurants, making bookings and reservations and navigating unfamiliar areas. Plus, with some companies maintaining remote-work flexibility into 2022, you can work a bit while traveling so you don’t have to use up all your allotted time off for one trip.
But packing your tech isn’t as simple as stuffing it into your suitcase. You also need to find a way to keep it charged, connected to the internet, safe and easily accessible. On top of that, different regions use different types of electrical plugs and voltages; if you haven’t brought along the right adapter or converter, your tech is rendered useless.
I encountered these challenges in early May when I traveled from the US to the UK, tagging along with my partner on a business trip. We incorporated both work and leisure into our travels — a practice becoming increasing common in the form of the digital nomad lifestyle. To keep our devices functional and secure, we relied on a number of tech accessories.
Here are the gadgets that enabled us to stay online during our international trip. For even more tips,from CNET contributor Geoffrey Morrison, a seasoned traveler.
Before I purchased this handy little case, I would store my small electronics and wires by simply cramming them into my backpack. I’d have to dig around and pray I’d pluck the one I needed from the heaps of tangled chargers without having to dump everything out.
No more of that. Outfitted with pockets and zip-up compartments, the Thule Subterra PowerShuttle is perfectly suited for organizing small tech-adjacent doodads: AirPods, adapters, a webcam, small charging cables, spare earbuds and dongles.
One particularly helpful feature is a hidden cutout in the exterior pocket that allows a cord to pass through: You can stick a phone in that pocket for easy access while you charge it up using a powerbank you’ve placed inside the case.
If you have a larger assortment of chargers and long cables, upsize to the Subterra PowerShutte Plus or this double-layer option from Amazon.
This portable charger saved my iPhone’s arse on numerous occasions, adding hours and hours to its battery life. Though the chunky 5.9-inch unit (which weighs just under a pound) bogged down my backpack a bit, it certainly pulled its weight, refueling my phone’s weary battery while eliminating the need to duck into a cafe in search of an outlet.
While traveling, I needed to recharge my phone much more often than I’d expected to. I put a real strain on my iPhone’s battery, mapping out public transit routes, cueing up boarding passes, snapping photos, researching nearby attractions and food, scanning QR codes and religiously refreshing the West End’s virtual ticket booth for dirt-cheap last-minute seats . I’d gulp each time the battery icon turned
Amazon Prime Day 2022 is almost here, which means you’ll soon be able to score deals on travel gear and other items on Amazon.
Amazon Prime Day 2022 is almost here, which means you’ll soon be able to score deals on travel gear and other items on Amazon. For this year’s event, Amazon is touting its “lowest prices ever,” with exclusive member deals already rolling out.
You’ll likely spot discounts at other stores such as Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Backcountry, too, all of which have offered their own version of Amazon Prime Day in the past (in some cases continuing their sales post-Prime Day).
Read on to learn about the biggest shopping event of summer.
What is Amazon Prime Day?
Amazon Prime Day is an annual two-day event when Amazon and its sellers offer deep discounts on items like home appliances, tech, toys and more. Like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s meant to stimulate spending and reward consumers (or in this case, Amazon Prime members).
Do you need to be an Amazon Prime member to take advantage of Prime Day deals?
Yes, the online shopping event is exclusive to Amazon Prime members. If you’re not a member, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial (if you haven’t been an Amazon Prime member in the last 12 months) to take advantage of the deals. Unless you cancel within 30 days, your membership will automatically be renewed for $14.99 a month (or $139 a year). Prime membership perks that are useful for travel and at home include:
— Free one- and two-day shipping
— Two-hour grocery delivery service
— Access to streaming services, such as Prime Video and Amazon Music
— Prime Gaming with free games and a Twitch channel subscription
— Kid-friendly books, educational apps and more via Amazon Kids+
— Amazon Photos for unlimited (vacation) photo storage and 5GB of video storage
When is Amazon Prime Day 2022?
Amazon Prime Day 2022 will take place on July 12 and 13, 2022, though deals have already begun to roll out. On June 21, the retailer will release pre-Prime Day offers on select Amazon devices, with up to 55% off the Kindle Paperwhite, the Amazon Fire 7 Tablet (2019 edition) and more.
Below are the best Amazon Prime Day deals available (so far) on items that are useful for travel. We will continue to update the list as new offers are announced.
The Best Amazon Prime Day Deals on Luggage
TravelPro Platinum Elite
Named the best soft-sided carry-on bag for 2022, the 21-inch TravelPro Platinum Elite is going for up to 32% off on Amazon in this pre-Prime Day deal. This expandable carry-on spinner features a USB port and power bank pocket (power bank sold separately) for staying connected on the go; accessory pockets including a removable wet bag for toiletries; and a built-in garment suite to keep clothing wrinkle-free. This carry-on bag also meets most airline carry-on luggage size restrictions, and according to previous purchasers, fits perfectly