Six tech tools to make life on the road easier

Steve Mulhern

Wednesday 2 July 2014

Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, technology has a solution for every conceivable mishap – making your trip that much easier. Here are six gadgets you won’t want to leave home without.

1. Global language translator

If you travel internationally, a little help making yourself understood goes a long way. Franklin has created a 12-language translator with 12,000 pre-programmed phrases and 450,000 other words to help you create your own sentences. The device shows you the translation in the foreign script, in phonetic spelling and will even read the message out loud for you.

2. Portable mini-power pack

We’ve all encountered that dreaded moment when our phone dips below 20 per cent, we’ve got a day of meetings ahead and no chance to recharge. In times like these, a portable mini power pack is a life saver. They are inexpensive and worth every penny – keeping your smartphone or laptop functioning through days of meetings (or travel) abroad.

3. E-reader

If your aim is to travel light, then a tablet will be of great value. Taking a lightweight device that can store hundreds or thousands of titles really makes a difference – whether you’re travelling with hand luggage or complying with baggage allowances.

4. Portable travel iron

When you travel for business you need to look your best. Unfortunately, not all hotel rooms come with an iron, and they can often be neglected, broken or poor quality. Worse still, they can leave a stain on your shirt. If you travel a lot, consider investing in a portable iron that you can power through a USB socket. A little-known secret – a hair straightener can also iron out your clothing creases in a pinch.

5. Luggage tracker

Losing your suitcase is a nightmare at any time, but it’s even worse when you’re due at a client meeting in Frankfurt an hour after you land. If you travel with checked-in baggage, make sure to attach a TrakDot sensor. This will help you find out exactly where your luggage is and have you reunited in no time.

6. Wi-Fi detector

Being able to identify your nearest internet source is important for many business travellers and there is a whole range of devices on the market that will light up when they’re within a network. From simple gadgets like key rings that have different colours for locked and unlocked connections, to T-shirts that show you the strength of nearby networks, there are plenty of options available.

Travel has changed greatly over the past couple of decades, with personal technology helping to make life easier than ever. What’s your ‘must have’ travel gadget?