Bluesmart Luggage

Bluesmart Luggage

An essential travel gadget for business or tourism, this is the suitcase that does it all. Literally, all.

While you might get lost abroad, the Bluesmart Smart Suitcase won't. It has built-in GPS that lets you track it anywhere in the world, so no more worries about your luggage going missing. (Psst! If you haven't booked your holiday yet, be sure to check out our articles How to book a cheap holiday online and How to book a cheap flight online).

The Bluesmart can be controlled by a mobile app, which is great so long as your phone doesn't run out of juice. Which it won't, since this smart suitcase also contains a built-in power bank that'll charge your phone up to six times (depending on its battery capacity).

There's a built-in scale to make sure you don't pack too much and get pulled up at the airport, plus a digital lock that keeps out thieves.

Better yet, it makes a decent suitcase for carrying your stuff, with easy access to all your belongings including a slot that's ideal for your laptop.

US shoppers can find this suitcase on Amazon, but from 3rd party sellers though. 

Master Lock Connected Padlock

Master Lock Connected Padlock

That smart suitcase from Bluesmart looks awesome, but at £300 it could cost more than your holiday. If you'd rather buy a £10 case from eBay, you can still tech it up with smart Bluetooth padlocks from Noke or Master Lock that let you unlock your belongings using an app on your phone. It's an awesome travel accessory, with no keys to lose or codes to forget.

Solar chargers, car chargers & power banks

Here are some essential travel tech, especially if you're backpacking. The one gadget we know you won't be going anywhere without is your smartphone. Keeping it powered up on long journeys can be an issue, though, and for that you'll need either a car charger or a power bank.

We've rounded up 20 of the best power banks on the market in our best power banks group test, and our current favourite is the Zendure A2. It's a 6700mAh power bank that holds its charge incredibly well.

 Zendure A2 Powerbank

It's also extremely portable, tough enough to drive over in a car, and has enough power to charge up your phone two- to three times (depending on its battery capacity).

But the problem with power banks is that eventually they will run dry, and then you'll still need a mains port to recharge them. Well, not if you have a solar charger (see our round up of the best solar chargers here).

Aukey Solar Power Bank

The Aukey Solar Power Bank is a great option if you're on a budget and it's available on Amazon UK for £12.99 or Amazon US for $19.99. If you're going to a hot country then a solar charger could mean you never need to pay to charge your phone again (how much does that cost anyway?). It can also be an extra handy solution if you've forgotten to take along a travel adaptor.

If you'll be driving a lot on your journey, also consider a car charger that plugs into the cigarette lighter port (just be careful not to leave it in with the engine switched off for long periods - been there, done that).

The RAVPower Dual USB Car Adaptor (£6.99 on Amazon) is one great option in the UK. US shoppers can make use of this excellent alternative from Maxboost ($9.99)

We've also rounded up the fastest car chargers you can buy in our Quick Charge 3.0 article.

Bluetooth speakers & headphones

We wouldn't advise taking an expensive pair of headphones on holiday with you. It's all too easy to lose them when you drunk drop them in the pool. We've reviewed a number of sub-£50 earphones in our best budget headphones group test, and a recent standout are the Rock Jaw V2.

Rock Jaw V2 Alfa Genus

The Rock Jaw is another essential travel accessory for backpackers, business travelers and family tourists alike. The earphones look expensive (they're not, at just £40 from Amazon), but more importantly they sound great for a pair of cheapies. 

For when you're less likely to annoy other travellers - and, in fact, are wanting to share your tunes - a Bluetooth speaker will be more useful. Something like the Denon Envaya Mini (£79.99/$184.98). There are some cheaper options in our best Bluetooth speakers group test, too.

Sitpack Portable Seat

Sitpack Portable Seat

Okay, so it might not be as techy as the rest of our roundup, but the Sitpack is a must-have gadget for those that do a lot of walking when travelling. Designed to be the same shape as a 500ml can, it's portable and can be used almost anywhere to give you a quick break, whether waiting for a train or on a hike in the forest.

The real magic happens when you unfold it: the outer layer of the 'can' becomes a 13.5in polycarbonate seat, while the 34in telescopic leg is extended in seconds. While it may seem a little bit awkward at first, you get used to it within minutes and relax fairly quickly.

While admittedly it isn't as comfortable as sitting down in a soft chair, Sitpack claims that "it embodies the positive outcomes of resting with the right posture" by increasing blood circulation and encouraging a natural upper body posture, amongst other things.

The Sitpack is available in five colours at the Sitpack website

E-readers & tablets

We all love a good break from everyday life, but we don't half miss the big screen in our living room. Tablets are the next best thing: not only can you catch up on all the great TV you're missing back home (you might need a VPN to check in with UK services such as iPlayer), but you've also got all of the internet, social networks and games at your fingertips. 

If you'd rather be looking up tourist spots, restaurants and nightlife though, check out round up of the best travel apps for Android and iOS.

iPad 9.7 (2018)

The iPad is almost synonymous with "tablet", and with the release of the new iPad 9.7 you can get it for less (see the full review on our sister site, Macworld UK). There are many more options in our best tablets group test.

Amazon Kindle Voyage

For some people an e-reader will be all they need, and they can think of nothing better than lying in the sun with a good book. The Amazon Kindle Voyage is one of the best e-book readers you'll find in the UK, sold directly from Amazon for £169.99/$219. You can also find a refurbished model at a better price on Amazon as well (£144 in the UK, and $149.99 if you're buying from the US).

See more e-reader options here.

Mobile Wi-Fi

Data roaming can be expensive, so the last thing you need is to have to pay out for internet on your phone, tablet and all the kids devices, nor do you want to pay expensive hotel Wi-Fi charges. MiFi lets you share a mobile connection from a single SIM with up to 10 devices, meaning you pay only once.

TP-Link M7350

We love the TP-Link M7350, which has a built-in LCD screen that shows you how much battery remains, how strong is the signal, how much data has been used, how many devices are connected and so on. It also has a microSD slot, which lets you share up to 32GB of storage across networked devices.

The beauty of the TP-Link is that it's unlocked, so not only can you use it with any SIM from any UK mobile operator, but you can also take advantage of cheap PAYG SIMs abroad. If you're in the US, it may be slightly difficult to get your hands on the TP-Link, but you can find it on eBay for $106.90 plus $9 shipping.

If you'd rather get a MiFi device for free and pay for it over a monthly contract as you would your phone bill, check out some of your other options in our MiFi buying guide.

Fitness trackers

If walking is your thing, tech can help you keep track of how far you've gone, how many calories you've burned and even how close you are to your daily goal. (In my case it can also show you how long – and how deeply – you've slept.)

 Fitbit Charge 2

The Fitbit Charge 2 earned an excellent 4.5 stars out of 5 in our review. It has GPS tracking and a heart-rate monitor, it records fitness statistics, offers guided breathing sessions, and measures sleep. It probably gives you more insight than you may ever need on a holiday, but at least you can bask in the satisfaction of knowing you've burnt some calories (even if it's a casual waltz over to the tiki bar).

Misfit Ray

Another great option is the Misfit Ray if you're on a tighter budget. Though it doesn't have a screen like the Fitbit Charge 2, it is swim-proof, can send call and text notifications, and of course can track steps, distance, calories and sleep as well.

Check out the best activity trackers in our group test.

Jet Lag Calculator

It's not a gadget as such, but this free Jet Lag Calculator could come in very useful if you're the sort of person who needs a holiday to get over your holiday.

The Jet Lag Calculator will work out a Jet Lag Plan that will help you get back to normal as quickly as possible, but you must remember to fill it in three days before you travel.