Daniel is a copywriter who has well and truly been bitten alive by the 'travel bug'. After ticking off several North American National Parks and exploring Europe by train, his sights are now set on South East Asia. Usually with at least one camera locked and loaded, you'll find Daniel wherever there are mountains, lakes or beaches.
Navigating the ever-changing landscape of travel gadgets is a challenge for any tourist. We’re here to help you dodge unnecessary excess – check out these 11 travel gadgets that are better off staying at home, saving you both space and cash on your next adventure.
Solar-Powered Phone Case
We’re willing to bet you’re not headed to a rugged desert or remote island with no power on your next vacation, so why bring a solar-powered phone case? Sure, it sounds like a great environmentally friendly gadget, but who’s leaving their phone out in the sun for hours on end? Unless you strap it to your head, your phone will be sitting in your pocket or bag all day, far away from UV rays. Just do it the old-fashioned way, plug your phone into a charger when it runs out of juice.
Disposable Underwater Camera
It’s 2023 guys; you don’t need to be buying disposable cameras anymore. It can seem fun and quirky, but the actual end product is always a disappointment. You can pick up good underwater phone cases for less than $40 nowadays that will produce great photos. Plus, 35mm film is actually going up in price, so by the time you’ve bought two disposable cameras, shot them, and developed them, you’ll have spent more than $40!
Can you hand on heart, truly say that you’ve ever found profound levels of comfort when using a travel pillow? Is the 10% increase in comfort worth the 90% annoyance of carrying this cumbersome item around for the rest of your trip? You’ll either have to make room in your carry-on or be that person that whacks everyone in elevators after strapping it to the outside of your backpack.
Yep, you really can buy a plastic case for your banana. It seems that some of the population haven’t quite grasped the notion that bananas naturally arrive in our stores with their own protective casing – a banana skin. Now, unless you’re planning to aggressively sit on your banana or sub it in for a football, you absolutely do not need to buy a banana case.
After bursting onto the scene a decade ago, selfie sticks have long cemented themselves as one of the worst tech inventions to date. Not only do you look ridiculous extending the arm and then maneuvering it awkwardly for the ‘perfect’ angle, but it has taken away spontaneous interactions between fellow vacationers. What’s wrong with asking someone else to quickly snap a photo of you before having a chat about your trips? Humans need human interaction!
When Steve Jobs revealed the iPod, many of us assumed the days of boomboxes and loud public music were finally behind us. Sadly, that hasn’t been the case, with Bluetooth speakers entering the zeitgeist. If you’re sharing a beach or pool with other people, put the speakers away. And even if you do find the place to yourself, just use your phone.
Hey, you’re on vacation, give yourself a break from worrying about crinkles in your clothes. Just do the old-fashioned fold or roll, and you’ll be just fine. If you’re traveling for business, then you’re almost certainly going to be staying in a place that can offer an iron.
Filtered Water Bottle
Much like with the solar-powered phone case, unless you’re headed off the beaten path for your next trip, you don’t need a filtered water bottle. Pretty much every major tourist destination now has drinkable tap water.
Up there with the banana case, a passport wallet is a truly pointless accessory. Last we checked, passports come with a front and back cover, so why do you need to hide it in a slightly larger casing? Unless it has some tracking capabilities, you’re just as likely to misplace your passport wallet as your actual passport. And hey, a beaten-up passport looks cool and shows you’re a well-traveled, seasoned adventurer.
Picture the scene, you’re seated at a restaurant table in Milan, desperately thumbing through your Italian phrasebook whilst the waiter stands awkwardly. “Una lasagna… [next page] e un… [next page] bicchiere di vino… [next page] per favore!” The waiter responds “Will that be a large or small glass of wine?” and your face drops. Most places will speak English, and if they don’t, just use your phone and its lightning-quick translator app to speed up the process for everyone!
If you’re looking for a sign that screams, “I am a wealthy tourist and I would very much like to be robbed,” then grab yourself a money belt. If not, just bring a wallet and use a secure pocket. Unless you wear very baggy clothing, you can be sure your money belt will be visible, and you will be targeted.
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