1) Talking Translator. There are a few of these on the market and, as is always the case with translation tools, they produce varying results. Still, hunt around for the best and you have a luxury travel gadget that probably goes unrivalled.
The principle is simple: These handheld devices not only translate what you type into them, they also say it back to you. As anyone who speaks French as a second language will testify, the benefit of hearing a translation instead of reading it is massive – not only does it stick in your head longer, it’s also much, much easier to reproduce when ordering a dish in a top Parisian restaurant!
When researching for Talking Translators, look to see whether they are either GPS enabled or capable of displaying maps.
2) Noise-Canceling Earphones. Again, there are plenty of these on the market – though this time, their results are widely regarded. Noise-canceling earphones work with ingenious electronic trickery: A small microphone placed near to your ear picks up ambient sounds, and then produces ‘anti-sounds’ to cancel them out. Clever, eh?
In fact, so good are noise-canceling earphones, many people use them as the aural equivalent of a sleep-mask – rather than play music through them, they’re simply put in and turned on, allowing the user to drift off in peace.
3) iPod. Yes, it’s obvious, but an iPod really is an essential luxury travel gadget. Not so long ago people used to lug around entire suitcase of CD’s with them just to play their favorite tunes on the road; now, all you need is a slim white metal box of electronic wizadry and a pair of earphones.
Thanks to the iPod’s popularity, many luxury hotels now offer special in-room iPod docks, so you can treat your hotel room like your living room back home and play those all important songs morning, evening and night. Travel without an iPod today is almost unthinkable.
4) Gorillapod. There are a few variations on the Gorillapod, but the basic premise remains the same: These small, ultra-bendy, ultra-strong tri-pods fit in your pocket, allowing you to take a camera mount with you without all the fuss normally associated with the things. Blurry, wonky photos need never be again.
5) Universal Power Bank. This handy battery set adds up to 100 hours of usage time to your iPod, your iPhone, your Macbook, or (in case you aren’t a complete Apple disciple) your Sony Camcorder. In fact, given the multitude of connections the Bank comes with, it’ll run just about any electronic devise you own. Even a Talking Translator.