Best travel gadgets 2014

It’s time to pack your suitcase and prepare for a summer of fun on foreign shores with the help of APH.com’s guide to the best travel gadgets of 2014.

Check out our spring collection of essential kit here on APH.com.

GPS Pet Tracking

Research reveals Brits are barking mad when it comes to leaving their pets behind as they head off on their hols – with one in 10 taking a pic of their four-legged friend with them. However, pet fans can relax with a GPS tracker from Pawtrax.co.uk. Simply fit a lightweight collar to your pet and enjoy live tracking sent straight to your mobile phone or tablet wherever you are in the world. You can even set up zones, where automatic alerts are sent should your home-alone pet step beyond its limits – allowing you to alert your pet-sitter. Updates are sent via a sim card with a pay-as-you-go GiffGaff option costing around 5p for 1000 messages.

How much: From £125 (for a cat)
Find out more: Go animal trackers at www.pawtrax.co.uk/

cat

GPS collar keeps tabs on kitty (other domestic pets are available) – while you relax on the beach

Luggage Scooters

It’s the suitcase that does the work for you. Yes, despite your flight departing from a gate that’s closer to your destination airport than the one you’re flying from, this scooter suitcase will have you speeding through the departure lounge and ready to board as the hordes are still dragging their bags past Gate 499. You might get a few strange looks, but you certainly won’t be getting blisters. A must-have baggage gadget for 2014. See the Luggage Scooter in action here…

How much: £249.95
Find out more: scooters.co.uk

Motor Bike Suitcase

We could be promoting a mods and rockers-type showdown in the departure lounge here. If the scooter case is a little underpowered for you, then why not choose to up the octane stakes with this Motor Bike Suitcase? It’s an electric-powered, all-terrain motorbike-like suitcase that packs more than your pants and socks. It’s fully functional and can be driven on all types of surfaces – either interior or exterior. Please observe local traffic regulations and always wear a crash helmet while riding your suitcase. See it in action here.

How much: £2,500
Find out more: www.Boxxcorp.com

Bluetrack GPS luggage trackers

Losing your luggage is never going to get your hols off to the best start, but having the ability to instantly locate your errant underwear etc will help ease the pain. This is where Bluetrack’s GPS tracker steps up to the plate. Simply pop the device – the world’s smallest unit, according to the manufacturer – into your luggage and track it in (almost) real-time pretty much anywhere in the world. It can be operated from your smartphone, too, so you can locate your bags direct from the empty luggage carousel at your destination airport. It’s one of the most user-friendly devices on the market with no fiddly set-up required. The battery can last up to 220 hours. Buy tracking packages of 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, or 12 months from as little as £35.

How much: From £125 for the tracker unit.
Find out more: www.bluetrackgpstrackers.co.uk

Luggage Tracker

GPS luggage tracker

The Panono Panorama Camera ball

Forget cheap smartphone apps, if you’re serious about your holiday snaps, then the Panono camera ball is all you need. Simply toss the ball into the air, where clever tech will calculate the highest point where it’s barely moving before triggering its 36 internal cameras to produce a stunning 360-degree panorama. You can then preview it on your smartphone before sharing it on social media sites or embedding it on a blog page. Just look at this example taken below the Eifel Tower in Paris.

 

How much: Pre-order now for £450
Find out more: www.panono.com

Lumo Back Monitor

Poor posture on a long-haul flight can leave you seriously stiff and unable to enjoy the first few days of your trip – which is where the Lumo Back Monitor can help. Simply wear the belt beneath your clothes and it’ll buzz when you’re slouching. You can then sync it to your smartphone and get a full report on your posture, time spent sitting, steps taken, calories burned and even your sleep habits. All this can help improve your health and leave you better prepared to enjoy healthy holiday activities such as over eating and drinking more than you should.

How much: £178

Find out more: www.lumobodytech.com

Lumo

Monitor your health as you travel

Portable door alarm

Whether staying alone in a hotel room or wanting to ensure your kids don’t go walkabout while you sleep, this portable door alarm makes the perfect solution. Simply jam it under any door – and be alerted by an ear-splitting alarm should it be opened.

How much: £14.99
Find out more: Get more details here

Door Wedge

Alarm will sound if door is opened

June Sun Bracelet

An elegant bracelet that could also be a lifesaver for dedicated sunseekers. With the bracelet on your wrist, you can measure real-time sun intensity and monitor your daily exposure to the bright stuff. The accompanying phone app will then help tell you when to cover up and provide data to prevent skin damage, premature skin ageing and reduce the risk of related cancers. The app will give advice tailored to your sunbathing habits, skin type and tell you when to apply lotion, or put on a hat and sunglasses. June can be worn as a broach or bracelet. Use the website below to register for updates on a launch date.

How much: TBA

Find out more: www.netatmo.com

June Sun Bracelet

Bracelet advises you when you need to apply lotion or cover up in the sun

Mobile phone/gadget charge key

Never again suffer the crushing pain of opening your suitcase only to discover you’ve left your mobile phone charger at home. The flexible charge key has no cables and can be attached to your keyring – ensuring you never again have to suffer the humiliation of using a public payphone or internet café again. Keys are available for Apple and most other devices.

How much: from £22

Find out more: www.amazon.co.uk

Mobile phone/gadget charge key

Charge key fits on your keyfob

Portable humidifier

Screw this tiny device onto just about any water bottle, plug it in to a USB outlet and you have your very own portable humidifier. Dry, flaky holiday skin will be banished forever. It can also be used to emit a fine mist of water to cool you off.

How much: £17

Find out more: www.satechi.net

Portable humidifier

No more dry flaky skin or sore throats while in hotter climes

Solar phone case charger

Smart travellers heading to sunny shores shouldn’t leave home without this must-have gadget. The EnerPlex Surfr smartphone is a battery pack case that can be topped up through its solar cells – keep your phone’s motor running whenever you need it. Available for iPhone or Samsung Galaxy phones.
How much: from £55

Find out more: www.enerplex.biz

Solar phone case charger

Phone battery packs powered by solar energy

NapAnywhere travel pillow

Moving on from the traditional do-nut-round-the-neck-style travel pillow, the NapAnywhere device is a portable head-support that’s designed specifically for use in planes, trains, buses and cars. Created by a doctor, it’s said to work in perfect harmony with the human anatomy.

How much: £35 approx

Find out more: www.napanywhere.net

NapAnywhere travel pillow

A new design in travel pillows

Digital Camera Diving Mask

Forget spending hundreds on a cumbersome waterproof camera, this unique diving mask comes with a camera that can take 8 megapixel images and 30fps video footage. It is waterproof to a depth of 5m, has a battery that’s good for 2.5 hours use, with downloads through a USB connection. Supports Win XP/Vista/7/8 and Mac OS.

How much: £79.95
Find out more:
www.wexphotographic.com

Digital Camera Diving Mask - Diving Goggles

Take underwater pics with this goggle cam

SpareOne Plus Emergency phone

A single AA battery powered, fully functioning emergency mobile phone with a 15 year shelf life and up to 10 hours of talk time. It comes with a 24-hour torch with a flashing SOS mode, panic siren, audible feedback, a one-touch emergency call button, customisable speed dial numbers, and a Location and Alert Services upgrade option. It also comes in a waterproof bag that floats. A must-have gadget for the more extreme traveller.

How much: £35 approx

Find out more: www.spareone.com

SpareOne Plus Emergency phone

Emergency phone that’s always ready


Then and now…

We’ve never had it so good with holiday-related gadgets, but how did the travel-savvy techno-head survive in the dim, distant past of the pre-digital world? Why not take a trip back in time with some of the top travel tech from days gone by….

The cassette tape

Yes, the chosen medium for holiday soundtracks before iTunes was even a twinkle in Steve Jobs’ eye. Up to 90 minutes on each tape recorded in real-time from the radio.

How much: £3.59 for 10

Buy now:www.amazon.co.uk

The cassette tape

iTunes’ grandad – the cassette tape

Sony Walkman

Now you just need something to play your tapes on. Let us present the iPod’s grandpa – the Sony Walkman.

How much: £14.99

Buy now: www.ebay.co.uk

Sony Walkman

Before iPod there was the Sony Walkman

Polaroid camera

In the days before digital cameras, it was either wait three weeks to get your holiday snaps developed – only to realise you’d left the lens cap on – or buy a state-of-the-art Polaroid camera for instant photographic gratification.

How much: from £20
Buy now: www.ebay.co.uk

Polaroid camera

Before digital cameras we had Polaroid

Cine camera

In a pre-digital world (and even before video tape) the technologically advanced holidaymaker was creating a moving record of worldly travel using Super 8 Cine cameras. The camera’s equivalent to a modern-day hard drive was a cassette of film that allowed continuous filming for the grand total of 3 minutes 20 seconds. Buying such a film cassette now costs around £20.
How much: from £10
Buy one now: www.ebay.co.uk

Cine camera and its 3 mins 20 seconds-worth of continuous filming

Cine camera and its 3 mins 20 seconds-worth of continuous filming

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2 comments for “Best travel gadgets 2014

  1. Pete Barden
    April 30, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Glad it was of use. Let us know if you spot any great gadgets that you’d like to share.

  2. Robert
    April 29, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Excellent and I am going to order a scooter suitcase. Very enjoyable guide. I also remember the days of sony walkmans ;)

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