As I write, the nearby motorway is heaving as the schools close for the summer and everyone turns their attention to getting away for the holidays.
Good riddance the morning commute, supermarkets, domestic chores and the office, if only for a few weeks.
Whilst getting away from it all for a while is great, there’s plenty that we don’t want to leave behind, not least our beloved gadgets. No, the tablets and smartphones must come too. The only problem is that many holidays do not come with great internet connections or regular access to a power socket for charging. But don’t worry, there are some great accessories out there to help your gadgets sing whether you’re camping, or living it up in a hotel somewhere. I’ve raided the Dependent on Gadgets archive to pick five favourites.
1. NavFree - Free Satnav App
Back in 2013, my wife and I went for a lovely week in France with friends to stay at their family holiday home in France. It wasn’t long after I drove us off the ferry at 5am that we discovered that my friend didn’t really know where his parent’s place was! Fortunately, I was preparing to put the free ‘Navfree’ satnav app through its paces and had already downloaded the European maps to the phone. Here’s how we got on:
2. Extsud - Car Charger
I’m old enough to remember when the socket in the car was simply there for lighting cigarettes, but it’s now evolved from death giving poison for us, to life giving power for our gadgets. If you’re lucky, the latest cars have two or more sockets, meaning you can run a satnav and charge a phone at the same time. You’ll probably be looking for an adaptor that will add a USB socket, so I would consider this from Extsud. It’s your standard dual-USB charger, but adds a little oomph over many by being able to charge most smartphones by more than half in 30 minutes due to its patent technology licensed from Qualcomm (available here). It glows blue when connected, so it's even got power to spare.
3. Expower 5000Mah Solar Battery
Whilst many of us already have car chargers, not everyone has a car, especially on holiday. If you’re away from a power source then you’ll want a power bank, that is, a large battery for charging your gadgets on the go.
The Expower review has been one of this site’s most popular posts and I’ve been using it regularly on trips over the last year. It stands up to rain, sand and even a bit of water no problem and when the sun finally comes out, it’ll even start to charge itself. Full review here:
4. Kingston Mobilelite G2
Once you’ve solved the problem of keeping your gadgets charged whilst on holiday, you’re going to want to keep doing stuff with them. Holiday internet access is often furiously expensive or worse, non-existent. One thing that annoys me is when you get a free wired connection in a hotel, but you have to pay for WIFI. Either way it probably won’t be fast enough to keep up with Netflix or allow you to backup your photos and videos. The Kingston Mobilelite G2 is a tricky gadget to explain, but it solves all those problems and more, so take a look at the review here:
5. Expower Water Resistant Bluetooth Speaker
Come rain or shine, you’re going to want to be entertained on holiday and music can lift a bad day and celebrate a good one. Trouble is, your delicate gadgets may not be so happy to be pulled out during the rain - so leave them somewhere safe and let this bargain Bluetooth speaker take all the risks:
So there you have it, five great gadget accessories for the holidays. I hope whatever you end up doing, that you have a great time! :)