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Holiday gadgets and apps for your 2018 vacation!


So you’ve got your passport, your bucket and spade, your travel adapter and a bottle of Sun lotion. What else should you be taking on your holiday in 2018? We’re going to take a look at some of the best holiday gadgets as well other tips and trips. So worry less about how to charge the kid’s tablet and spend more time in the sun!

Classic Holiday Equipment

Classic Holiday equipment may look awesome, but what mod-cons should you be considering?

Portable Charger

Where better to start than the aforementioned tablets and charging. A portable charger is vital for day trips and emergency top ups in the era of smart devices. We’ve had good experience with Anker chargers. You might be tempted by solar chargers, but they don’t actually generate much charge and rely on being charged from the wall. So do without the gimmick. We’ve spoken about this sort of thing back in 2014.

Holiday Tablets

So maybe you want a read or to occupy the kids. It’s hard to not recommend taking a tablet, but there’s no need to spend £769 on an iPad Pro. Amazon’s kindle fires are nearly impossible to not recommend. Kindles are perfect for browsing, reading or catching a film of an evening. They cost 50 quid and are frequently on sale for less! Likewise the child editions while “just” a kindle with a foam cover, also have an amazing warranty and an interface designed for kids.

Portable Speaker

Perhaps you’d like a little music in the hotel room, or some summer tunes on the beach. A portable speaker is a great little item that help you relax with your favourite tunes, or maybe add a little more volume to your tablet if you’re watching a movie. There’s many choices available, but why not consider combining this and your portable charger and going Anker again.

A Holiday Power Strip

Right, so now we’ve got all these items that need charging we need a load of travel adapters, right? Wrong. Pick up a decent power strip and you can just plug that into your travel adapter. Just be careful not to overload sockets though, so no chaining gangways sticking a kettle and hair straighteners on together! Almost any will do, but we recommend not using a surge protector strip. Surge protectors can have issues with different voltages.

Offline Sat Nav (GPS) For Holiday Travel

Maybe you’re driving yourself, maybe you’re hiring a car. Either way you want a Sat Nav. Rental costs of Sat Navs extortionate, so too can be roaming charges. Many of us are used to loading up Google Maps or Apple Maps but their offline maps are a bit fiddly to set up. A good alternative is Maps.Me which allows for downloads of entire regions and countries. So you can do that at home on the WiFi before you go. Maps.Me is available on both iDevices and Android.

Cheap Exchange Rates for your Holiday

Avoid those dodgy counters at the airport, and as great as it is to receive your M&S holiday money in the post, there may be a better way to spend while you’re abroad.

While these so called challenger banks warrant a blog on their own, what you need to know is that you can use them to reduce the cost of converting currency. These banks are “App only” and have no high street stores and where they excel is their fresh approach to charges. Two of the accounts I’ve personally tried are Monzo and Revolut. Both of these accounts offer a MasterCard Debit Card, fee-free currency exchange, and free ATM usage while abroad (usually up to around £200 per month – after that there’s charges). The exchange rate you get is Mastercards exchange rate with no fees. Compare that with Barclays which charge their customers £1.50 plus 2.75% for the pleasure. Every other high street bank I checked has similar charges, usually with a lovely complicated table to help you even less.

Monzo is a fully fledged Bank with a banking license with FSCS protection. Revolut should be viewed more as a service, like PayPal, as they’re not yet licensed (though it is “due soon” at time of writing). There are other options such as Starling and Atom, and we will explore these in the coming months.

Monday, July 30th, 2018 by Dan Lowe About Us

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