Gadgets on the go - the gizmos that can ease your summer travels

Whether the Apple iPad will lead to travellers leaving half a dozen books at home remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt that virtual travel sites and guides are transforming the way many of us will see the world this summer.

“I’ve done away with all the paper tourist information for a trip to Stockholm on Thursday, in favour of two Travel Guide iPhone/iPod apps which are now happily sitting on my devices and ready to go,” said Neil Wilkins of Viper Marketing, which specialises in promoting digital technology.

“The huge advantage is that they update daily with events and festivals rather than the tired paper format which are out of date the moment they’re printed,” he continued. “The Stockholm Travel Guide from cityscouter.com allows for realtime reviews and social networking, which means I can create comment and publish as I sit in the cafe or restaurant.”

Rough Guides, Lonely Planet and Apptism equivalents also offer a vast array of digital information. And you may soon require apps even in the UK. Several UK outdoor areas are developing podscrolls and scaling back on information boards - which are expensive to make and rapidly deteriorate – in favour of “augmented reality”, whereby a “digital ranger” provides the “viewer” with the capability to use an iPod or other device to investigate deeper into a subject – for example, allowing Roman legions to be seen stomping down the Roman road visible under the field.

“A lot of travel publishers have rushed to get something into the [apps] space,” said Peter Buckley, digital publisher for Rough Guides, which has delayed its move into the field and instead offers users self-contained online content they can download. “The tricky bit isn’t the content, it’s the actual user experience. There’s still a big question over apps to do with travel. Until the roaming charges come down, they are just not going to take off.”

Beyond apps, Kirsty Parsons, of Mountain Kingdoms, approves of a new multi-purpose charger called the Power Monkey Explorer, from PowerTraveller. “It can be charged by a small solar panel, from mains or a USB. It’s a way of having power if you’re out and about,” she said. The solar re-charge takes 16 hours in the northern hemisphere, but only half this time south of the equator.

The Swiss Army Knife remains a design classic that is hard to beat, but it has a rival in the range of pocket-sized Leatherman multi-tools, such as the Juice Cs4, which measures 8.25cm when closed, weighs just 156g and includes corkscrew, can opener and scissors. Items recommended by Andrew Steed, general manager of Stanford’s travel bookshop in London, include a cooler mini fan and a worldwide travel adaptor (both from Design Go Travel), a travel pillow for kids called a yondi (by Magmatic) and a waterproof camera from Aquapac.

Mark Davison, managing director of travel company Venture Co, recommends binoculars (Canon, and others) with image stabilisation, which overcomes the problem of hand wobbles when viewing distant wildlife. “They’ve been around for a few years but they’re only now catching on. They’re fantastic if you’re on safari and bouncing around in a jeep – you can click the button and it will hold the image of an animal running parallel to your vehicle.”

And even technophobes may acknowledge there’s something to be said for the digital age: those lightweight travel gadgets and digital media might just make the battle with airlines voraciously charging you for luggage that bit easier.

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Service Charge Accountant

    30,000 to 35,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: We are currently recruiting on...

    Management Accountant

    28,000 to 32,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our client, a hospitality busi...

    Food and Beverage Cost Controller

    18,000 to 20,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our fantastic leisure client i...

    Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive

    £20 - 24k: Guru Careers: A Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive is needed t...

    Day In a Page

    Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

    Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

    A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
    Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

    Time to stop running

    At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
    An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

    An app for the amorous

    Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

    Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
    She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

    She's having a laugh

    Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

    Let there be light

    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
    Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

    Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

    Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
    Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

    A look to the future

    It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
    The 10 best bedspreads

    The 10 best bedspreads

    Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
    Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

    Arsenal vs Galatasaray

    Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
    Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence