We’re all keen to get some sun and relaxation by flying off into the sunset, aren’t we?
The warmer months are upon us, and many of us have already planned – or are starting to plan – our next trip to somewhere even warmer.
It’s an exciting time, but I can think of at least two of ways to make the next adventure even more fun. One is to pick up the right kit to make everything go smoothly, and the other is to get money back on those products so that you have extra funds ready to use for your next trip.
Nailing your carry on essentials
Choosing the right kit and getting those ‘why didn’t I pack one of those?!’ moments down to zero can be tough, even for seasoned travellers.
This year, I’ve put together a list of five must-have carry-on items that go beyond the obvious toothbrush and passport. These are bits of kit that should help with all sorts of little challenges, from helping you get a better night’s sleep, to nifty ways to help ensure your most important possessions stay with you.
My five must have carry-on items
SleepPhones – £36.95 from Tesco Direct
Bright lights and lots of noise add up to a recipe for a bad night’s rest. These lightweight headphones can help cut out both with built in speakers, and a headband that can double as an eye mask.
Music, audio books, ambient sounds of nature – load up on whatever gets you relaxed, plug in and zone out. These are great for on a plane, the back-seat of a car or during tough nights in noisy hotels.
A basic SIM-free mobile phone – £12.95 from Argos
You can pick up a cheap mobile phone for less than £20, but why would you want to when you can take your regular smart phone with you on your travels?
Well, if you’re going out for the day somewhere you’re likely to lose, drop or submerge your smartphone, carrying an affordable backup is a great way to still be able to make and receive calls and texts should you face a phone-related mishap.
If you’re really planning ahead, you can order a spare SIM from your network operator before your trip, so that you can pop the new SIM in should you need to and be ready to make calls again in just a few hours. Getting a new SIM delivered to your hostel in Nepal could prove a lot trickier!
Wi-Fi Range Extender – £19.99 from Currys
If you’re travelling with a few people, these little gadgets can be really helpful.
A Wi-Fi extender connects to a Wi-Fi network and creates its own signal which all of you can then connect to. That means you only have to go through the login process once for everyone, and you don’t have to pay extra if there’s a charge per device.
It’s fantastic for airports, train stations and hotels, and since they’re small, light and plug right into the mains socket, there’s no need for extra cables.
They also have much larger antennas than the one you’ll find in your laptop or smartphone, which means a big boost in signal strength, so pick one up and say goodbye to choppy hotel Wi-Fi – you might even find a few free local coffee shop signals with it!
A travel adaptor with USB ports – £16 from B&Q
If you’re like me then the thing that gets charged more than anything is your phone, so these travel adaptors with two built in USB ports are incredibly handy.
Many hotel rooms only have a single plug, but with this gadget two people can charge their phones at the same time, or you can charge a spare portable battery, while still having a plug socket free for other things.
Tile Mate tracker – £22.95 from John Lewis
These things are magic!
Stick a lightweight Tile Mate to your keys, important documents folder or luggage and you can use your smartphone to locate where they are.
If your smartphone is within 100 feet of the Tile Mate, you can start the hunt for it and as you get closer to the lost object, the signal will get stronger until the Tile Mate lets out a distinctive tune, making it easy to locate.
It will also automatically record the last time and place you had your missing item, so you can pinpoint it on a map.
So they’re my must haves, but I also promised to tell you about saving money too, didn’t I? Well, it’s as simple as signing up to collect Avios.
If you haven’t heard of Avios before, it’s a super easy to collect travel reward currency, which can turn your everyday shopping (in the high street and online) into flights, hotel stays, upgrades, days out and more. The range of airlines where you can spend your Avios is pretty extensive too, including major airlines like British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Meridiana, Flybe and kulula.com.
Signing up with the Avios Travel Reward Programme only takes a few minutes, and means you’ll be racking up Avios right away. They also run special offers often which means even more savings, so it’s worth keeping up to date with them on twitter. For instance, there’s a 3 points for every £1 promotion running between Thursday 25th May and Wednesday 31st May – all you have to do is shop through the Avios eStore.
The range of shops participating in the promotion is huge, with all the items that made my must-have list coming from there. Partners include: John Lewis, Currys, Argos.co.uk, Tesco Direct, ASOS UK, Marks & Spencer, Wickes, AO.com, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Selfridges, Apple UK, very.co.uk, Boden UK, Just Eat, Groupon UK, PC World, B&Q, Harrods and Outnet.com.
Don’t forget to tell me your travel tech must-haves below, and search for #TripleAvios for more info.
This is a commissioned post for Avios.