Travel

Top 10 must-have travel accessories

Author: Canadian Living

Travel

Top 10 must-have travel accessories

Planning an adventure-filled holiday? Lonely Planet suggests tools that every adventurer needs.

1. Motorhome
If your main concern when you're on the road is having the freedom to go wherever, whenever, whatever the weather, then consider hiring a motorhome for your next adventure. You can rent these fully self-contained bad boys from many capital cities worldwide. Choose your level of opulence by selecting from an astonishing array of extras such as satellite navigation systems, central heating, air con, bathrooms with showers and toilets, fridges and freezers, microwave, TV, video, DVD, stereo, radio, generators, awnings, automatic transmission and power steering. If a truck can get there, so can you in a motorhome.

2. Digital camera
Digital cameras are gold. You can review your snaps instantly and delete the ones where you look ugly. Extra memory cards mean you can keep virtually limitless numbers of images in which you look good. With digital you don't have to wait to get your snaps developed, but you have the option of getting them printed should you so choose. Most digital cameras also have a recording facility so you can literally capture poetry, or your friends, in motion. But perhaps the best thing is that you can send images via e-mail to instantly share your experiences with friends and family, wherever they may be.

3. MP3 player/iPod
Life is a journey but every now and then it can get a little tedious, like when your plane get delayed or you're stuck on a never-ending bus ride. MP3 players are perfect for whiling away otherwise dull hours by listening to your fave tunes or random podcasts, flicking through photos, or even watching a movie on the miniscreen. The first workable MP3 player was created in 1997 by Tomislav Uzelac when he was still a student at Croatia's University of Zagreb. In recent years it has been estimated that MP3 sales have rocketed with well over a million sold each year.

4. Swiss Memory USB
Geeks and tech-savvy citizens everywhere have been getting very excited about this one. Described as "the perfect marriage of technology, practicality, materials and quality design," this exceptional unit has everything you need to survive in both rural and urban settings. In addition to the standard Swiss Army Knife features (knife, scissors, screwdriver, key ring) that have made the brand famous, this postmodern must-have also has its own USB flash drive, LED light and ballpoint pen. You can choose how much memory you want (from 256MB up to 2GB), and the deluxe version comes with built-in FM radio and voice recorder.

5. Leatherman Core Multitool
Hard-core travellers demand hard-core accessories to ensure their adventurous lifestyle is hassle free, leaving them more time for more hard-core adventures. So for anyone planning a trek into the backcountry, this multitasking wonder is just the ticket. Featuring locking knife blades, three wire cutters, pliers and hollow-ground screwdrivers in standard sizes, with rounded handles to help every Action Man or Wonder Woman get a firm grip when putting it to use, the stainless steel Core will fix, open, mend and repair just about anything. If the A-Team had used one of these, they'd have been able to build a tank out of sand.

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Reproduced with permission from Bluelist 2007, copyright 2006 Lonely Planet Publications. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.

 

6. Emergency mobile-phone charger
You've been stranded out in the middle of nowhere with your erstwhile travelling buddy for weeks, stumbling around looking for signs of civilization. At last your mobile has coverage and, believing salvation is at hand, you call for assistance. Then the battery goes flat. It's at times like these you'll be feeling ever so smug and superior for remembering to pack an emergency charger. Some chargers are model-specific, while other suit a range of phones. They use standard AAA batteries and typically give you around 40 to 60 minutes of talk time and four to six hours of standby time. Sorted.

7. Universal plug adaptor
Plugs and sockets are the bane of international travellers' lives. There are at least nine different types of plugs in use around the world. Europe uses two prongs, the USA has three, the UK also has three but they're different to the US ones, and so on. The International Electrotechnical Commission actually wrote a world standard in the 1980s but governments are reluctant to give up their own standards. Luckily, universal plug adaptors can save the day. Ingenious as a Rubik's Cube, in one tiny box they fit all the prongs needed to produce a plug you can use wherever you wake up.

8. Headlamp
When you're travelling around with your world in your backpack you're always on the lookout for good things that come in tiny packages. That's why we really love the ultralight travel headlamp designed by the caving gurus over at Petzl Zipka. Weighing only 57 g with batteries included, this mini-illuminato fits into the smallest of pockets ensuring it's always close at hand during a blackout or on those long, dark nights when you're stuck by yourself at the back of a plane, train or automobile. Anyone wishing to see the light should invest in one of these, a genuine travel essential.

9. Quick-dry towel
Sometimes the best ideas are also the most simple. Anyone who's had to drag around a wet heavy towel in their backpack, unable to prevent it festering in its own dampness, or worse still, spreading mildew onto your spare set of clothes as you travel between places, will understand the straightforward brilliance of a lightweight towel that can dry super-fast -- up to eight times quicker than a beach towel. Made from a combination of synthetic microfibres, the best brands also come with their own carry bag and are treated to prevent the buildup of bacteria, fungi and stench.

10. GPS watch
For those who like exploring well off the beaten path, and others who just want to be James Bond, the Suunto X0 Global Positioning System (GPS) watch uses 27 satellites to calculate its wearer's exact location, give or take a few metres, almost anywhere on the planet. Very handy if you get lost looking for the South Pole or charging through an Ecuadorian rainforest. What's more, it features a barometer, altimeter and compass, and will measure your travelling speed, guide you to your destination and store coordinates so you can retrace your steps. Amazingly, it also tells the time.

Check out these 9 great reasons to visit Montreal.

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Reproduced with permission from Bluelist 2007, copyright 2006 Lonely Planet Publications. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.

 

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