I keep getting asked what my favourite travel tech gadgets are. I compiled this list which features 10 of my favourite laptop and smartphone accessories
First things first – what travel tech do I use?
I am on my second MacBook 12 laptop and I find it really works for me. The size and weight are perfect, and I have no issues with speed, so have no problems recommending it.
My current phone is an iPhone XS Max (and yes, I do have all the storage I can get) and being an iPhone user for 10 years now (I started with the 3), I am pretty happy with the current phone (but this is a personal choice, like many others)!
With regards to travel tech, I honestly keep it to the absolute minimum. I am not into dozens of laptop accessories and the less smartphone gadgets I can take with me, the better.
So here are 10 of my favourite laptop and smartphone accessories.
PortaPow 3rd Gen Data Blocker
I had never heard about a data blocker until Kirsten Alana mentioned it and I do not leave my house without one. Ever charged your phone in a public place like an airplane, a USB charger at a cafe or airport? I certainly have. But silly me did not think something bad could happen and with this little device, nothing ever will (I now have 4 and attached to my on-the-go USB charging cables). The device physically stops any data transfer happening whilst charging.
Get this before your next trip.
Chilewich laptop tech sleeves
Costs $55-$95 direct from Chilewich
I was so tired of my ‘boring’ black Tumi sleeve which I use when travelling and not just throwing my laptop in my handbag and when Chilewich shared this new range with me (and sent me one), I was pretty excited. So much so, that Mr. O wanted his own (it comes in different sizes and the 15′ one will fit your standard ‘corporate’ Lenovos). I have been asked countless times at airport lounges and coffee shops about the sleeves.
Incase Textured Hardshell in Woolenex for 12”, 13″ and 15” MacBook (USB-C)
I don’t love that my MacBook is pink so I have been on the lookout for a hardcase that looked really smart. I tried some plastic ones, but my fingerprints were all over it, so when I saw this beautiful case, sized 12″, in navy blue and a beautiful cottony-wooly fabric, I was in laptop heaven. I know it sounds extreme, but I really wanted something like this, and now it goes beautifully with my Chilewich sleeve.
Lenovo USB-C Hub
I have surprised myself with how well I have lived without USB ports on my computer for a few years, but it has happened before where I needed to charge it, but also needed access to something with a USB, or download photos.
I had one gadget for one thing, another for another and actually at the Apple Store they suggested I got this from Amazon which was a lot less than the ones they had. I just added this to my ‘travel tech’ bag and I need for nothing.
Tozo Super thin iPhone case
I want the world’s thinnest smartphone case – and I found it. I had found the ones at Peel, but got annoyed at how long their shipping took… and how they only lasted a couple months. I get it is super thin… but then I decided to give these Amazon ones a try.. and they are the same. And guess what? At £7.99 they can break every month – but they actually last 2 months and sometimes a bit more. When they break, Mr. Amazon Prime brings them over the next day.
For screen protectors, I get the lovely people at Apple to sell me whatever they want and ‘install them’ as my skillset does not go that far!
RAV Power Multi USB charger
These may not look very sexy, but they have been a godsend to us. The difference with other multi USB chargers is that this version has a cable (which you connect to the mains) – and you can actually place the USB charging part on a table or something and not subject the plug to all the weight (particularly difficult in North America, for example). The other plus is that of course you only then need a single adapter to charge 6 items. Sometimes a tough travel tech decision is required!
Anker premium 6ft lightening USB cables
Hands down the best iPhone charging cables and they last! I have been buying them for years and they last over a year each, which is saying something. I have great respect for everything that Anker does as they really are very good. They come in 2 lengths (so handy sometimes to have a much longer cable) and a variety of colours.
Anker wireless charger
We finally understood the concept of wireless chargers when our car came with one – it really took us time to understand ‘why’ we needed it. We have now bought 2 wireless chargers for the house (in white) from Anker as they do make life easier. We have a ‘charging’ station in our utility room, and we find ourselves using it less and less (just for things like the Fitbit charger, the Fire tablet and when I have to charge my drone and photography bits).
The Anker one is great value and does not overheat (like many others do). I have also ordered a Marie Wolt wireless charger as they are BEAUTIFUL. They are not supposed to be as fast, but you need to sacrifice something. They look like coasters… and they will match your decor.
Ugreen phone holder
This phone holder is one of my best Amazon finds – it works a treat on planes when I forget to take my tablet with me and I can’t get the phone to stand on its own. It folds down to nothing, and it just works!
Amazon Fire 10 HD
I like to keep things very separate (laptop and fun), and I always struggle with disk space so when it was time to replace our iPad, we cheated and went on full Amazon after a recommendation from Kim-Marie Evans from Luxury Travel Mom. The quality is excellent and I love how you just add a San disk micro SD card (click here for USA) to increase the storage as you need it. The battery is excellent and for £100 and something pounds, I cannot ask for anything more.
Buy the Fire 10HD ‘without special offers’ – I had no idea what it was and it comes with some ads on the screensaver, but these are removed in the other version.
I could keep this list of laptop and smartphone accessories go on and on and on, but I won’t! (and I may do a travel tech follow up post at some stage as these are pretty popular).
But here are some smartphone accessories I own and make my life easier:
- Belkin Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar iPhone Adapter – £29.99 from Amazon UK, $33 from Amazon USA
- Bose in-ear noise cancelling headphones – £259 from Amazon UK, $299 from Amazon USA
- Belkin dual USD car charger – £19.99 from Amazon UK, $19.99 from Amazon USA
- Belkin car vent mount – £12.99 from Amazon UK, $25.00 from Amazon USA
- Cable tidy boxes (in both black and white depending on where it needs to go in the house and in 2 sizes so you can fit in a smaller or larger extension lead. This is one of my key laptop accessories at home) – from £9.50 from Amazon UK, and $16 from Amazon USA
- Anker power bank – £32.99 from Amazon UK, $55 from Amazon USA