Heading off on vacation? Packed the clothes and grooming essentials? So what else do you need to make sure you have everything required for the perfect trip away? It doesn't matter where you're off to, here are some essential travel helpers to make sure you have a trouble-free time.
Wherever you are you'll want to keep in touch (unless, maybe, you're on honeymoon and really don't want to engage with friends and family for a while) so plan what to take carefully.
Laptop: lugging a laptop around if you're backpacking can be a hassle in terms of weight and taking up space, so think about this carefully. Sometimes, depending on how your work arrangements are, you may feel comfortable having one available if you need to do some work on the road. Probably best if you're vacationing by car because you'll have the space for it.
Tablet: this is the must-have gadget for traveling as it's lightweight, easy to slip into a small bag and can do everything your laptop can do. If you need to write you can always take a keyboard with you whether you use Android or Apple. All tablets are Wi-Fi enabled so whenever you check into an establishment that offers Wi-Fi you can easily get connected to pick up email, surf and use social media, not to mention playing your favorite games. More and more hotels, restaurants and other places offer free Wi-Fi – it's always worth checking that where you are staying offers this. Of course, if you're on a beach in the middle of nowhere you'd probably better forget it!
Cell phone: can you do without it? Probably not. Check what your service provider charges when you go abroad if you intend to use it. There are often stories about vacationers who have accessed data abroad and suddenly found a massive bill on their return. Be prepared is the best advice here and your cell phone can be an extremely useful tool. For cell phones and tablets it's a good plan to have a cover to give added protection in case of an accident.
GPS system: if you're driving to somewhere you don't know then a GPS system in your car is essential. Tap in the co-ordinates of your destination and enjoy a hassle-free journey as you're guided to where you want to be.
Adaptors: don't forget that many countries have different pins for their electric sockets. You can buy appropriate adaptors at an airport but you'll find them much cheaper at a local store or online. Remember, you need to charge any electronic items you take with you.
Games console: it's an option if you need to take your favorite console but you may find that for a relatively short vacation you can do your gaming online with your tablet or phone.
It's unfortunate but there are many vacation destinations in every country that suffer from the plague of pickpockets and thieves. You can help keep your money, credit cards and other important possessions safe by using a fanny pack or bum bag As Seen on TV. They're inexpensive and extremely handy for those precious documents such as passport, drivers license and insurance documents that you may not always want to leave in your accommodations.
If you're backpacking you may want to consider a rucksack that you carry on your front rather than your back so that it's more difficult for a prospective thief to get to access it.
Prepare for the grooming
Hotels usually provide hairdryers but if you're going a little off the beaten track you may want to take a few grooming gadgets to keep you in trim. If you have a car then get an adaptor that plugs into the cigarette lighter socket and can use the car's battery to recharge a hairdryer or an electric razor. You'll have charged them before you leave but if you give them a lot of use then this is a simple and handy way of putting new charge in if you're not able to access mains electricity. You can also charge up your cell phone, tablet or laptop while you're on the move. It takes longer than plugging into the mains but is extremely useful.
If you like a drop of wine or beer and don't want to pay high restaurant or bar prices, buy your own and take a corkscrew that doubles as a bottle opener. Save lots of money!
Take what suits you for your vacation, gadgets that will make life easier for you and help you relax in a different environment.