5 Ingenious Travel Gadgets

It seems like yesterday when the only “gadget” you ever thought to bring on holiday was a disposable camera and, maybe, a digital watch with a tip calculator (like the Casio your Aunt Fay snail-mailed for your bar mitzvah). Today of course, gadgets are absolutely de rigueur and come in a dizzying array of iterations. And while for many, a trusty BlackBerry or iPhone is more than enough in the travel accessory department, others thirst for more mechanical bells and whistles to accompany them on the plane, on the beach, in the hotel and on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Since it’s unseemly in contemporary society to be caught dead without a choice contraption outside of your home, we thought it high time to run down some offbeat and truly innovative gadgets which, all in all, simplify, enhance and destress the experience of travel.

Tunebug Vibe

This ultra-sleek pod transforms any ordinary flat surface into a boom box. Just connect to your portable audio device and rock out. Awesome for when you’re riding in a cramped rail compartment across the Central Asian steppe and want to entertain your fellow passengers with a little Rage Against the Machine.

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150-Country Travel Adapter And Converter

No longer will you get stuck in Papua New Guinea without a plug for your electronic salad spinner. Not with the 150-Country Travel Adapter And Converter. Did we mention it works in 150 countries and auto-detects? Incredibly unsexy but oh so essential for wanderlusters with urgent plug-and-play needs.

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xxd load-ing

If the state of your precious devices induces OCD behaviour, this über-cool German electronics hammock and charge station (note the hip lower-case spelling) has saviour-like potential. The design-forward gadget for your gadgets elegantly protects delicate mobile phones, audio players et al from icky surfaces or, indeed, simply cradles them as they charge up in that oddly placed wall plug in your hostel in Bratislava. Nifty.

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ITG-Vidix Goggles

These futuristic specs may signal to everyone on that coach bus in Patagonia that you’re an unabashed nerd with a Tron fetish but fear not. With a crisp display and 2 GB of built-in memory that allows you to watch movies, play video games, browse photos or even listen to music and view text files, you’ll be too busy to notice the curious scorn and ridicule.

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Apple iPad

Too obvious? Sorry but we have to openly profess our love for the iPad. It is certifiably ingenious as a travel gadget and with so many killer apps out there and with the worldwide prevalence of WiFi (forget the 3G), the iPad rules as a portable device. In our humble opinion, Apple’s tablet makes all other slate computers and e-book readers look pathetically one-dimensional. Don’t even get us started on the outcrop of fabulous iPad accessories. Now if only we could use it in direct sunlight …

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Bonus: Reef Sandals

Beach bums adore the Reef brand with cult-like zeal. The casual apparel company may seem like a strange fit in the gadget category, until you take a gander at their sandal line. These flippers neatly hide your credit cards, cash and – no joke – can open your beer too (that is, if you’re not tough enough to do it with your teeth or buff forearm). In other words, no need to hide your valuables under the mattress or steal the bottle opener from the mini-bar in your Sydney hotel before you hit Bondi.

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We’re aware that 5 ingenious travel gadgets is far from satisfactory for insatiable gearheads. Patiently stay tuned for future installments, as we get all techie on you intrepid travellers out there.

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