You’ve booked your flight, you’ve packed your bags, and you’re ready for that big adventure this Chinese New Year. But before you zip up your suitcase, you might want to check out our list of nifty goodies and gadgets that will make your journey run a little more smoothly and a lot more fun. Some of these tips are things we found useful during our own adventures and others are tips we picked up from clever nomads along the way. Bon Voyage!
Ear Plugs / Eye Mask
Flights are like a lucky draw, you never know if you’ll end up stuck in a seat behind a screaming baby or wedged against the window with the loudest couple in the cabin. Ear plugs can make or break your journey, especially if you’re travelling further afield on a long-haul flight and keen to get some shut-eye. Don’t bother with the foam plugs, in my experience they’re useless, instead spend a bit more and go with the silicone ones that you can safely squish up inside your ears to block out all background noise. Ah, bliss!
Be sure to pack an eye mask too, so you can decide when you sleep by blocking out the light when you haven’t caught enough winks. Planes usually provide these but it’s always nicer to have a softer, better quality mask that you can carry with you wherever you go. And who doesn’t love a cheeky design? I have panda eyes (quite literally).
This is an obvious one, but it can be a real pain if you forget it. Make life on the road much easier by picking up an adapter so you’re able to recharge your phone, camera, and tablet whenever you want. Check to see what type of adapter you need in your country of destination or take a short cut and nab yourself a world travel adapter kit to cover the whole globe. For avid globe-trotters, this is the perfect kit to ensure power connectivity in most of the countries you may travel to, but remember there’s no excuse to not stay in touch with the outside world.
Camera Memory Card
If you’re anything like me, you’ll spend a large chunk of your holiday with your index finger glued to the click button, racking up a few thousand photos during your amazing adventure. Don’t forget to pack an extra memory card or two so you can snap away to your heart’s content without the worry of ‘memory card full’ popping up on your screen just as that giant sea turtle breaks the surface of the water, or that cheeky monkey jumps from a tree on to your best buddy’s head and you miss the ‘Kodak moment’ of a lifetime. You may to bring a spare hard drive as well to back up those pics and safeguard your memories.
Your stomach may not be as tough as the locals’ on that tropical island so when it comes to eating finger food and nibbles, you can protect yourself with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, which are more effective at killing microorganisms than most soaps. These kill most bacteria, and fungi, and stop some viruses from spreading. In fact, alcohol rub sanitizers containing at least 70% alcohol (mainly ethyl alcohol) kill 99.9% of the bacteria on your hands 30 seconds after application. Ok, advertisement over, you get the point: keep your hands clean and avoid getting sick. Just remember to buy a bottle under 100ml if you intend on packing it in your hand luggage for the flight.
Underwater Phone / Camera Case
Underwater cameras can be great fun, but unless you spend a fair amount on them, the quality of snaps you take on dry land are not so great. Why splurge on a new camera when you have a perfectly good one sitting at home? Grab a waterproof camera case for a fraction of the price and take your favourite camera, or even smartphone, with you on your travels?
Whether you’re chilling on a beach or trekking up a mountain, a little music can relax or motivate you during your holiday getaway. Head down to one of Hong Kong’s computer centres and grab yourself a bargain beat box. The big centres are the Golden Computer Arcade in Shum Shui Po, Mong Kok Computer Centre in Mong Kok, Wan Chai Computer Centre and 298 Computer Zone in Wan Chai. There are literally floors of shops to browse through with all sorts of price ranges and quality rankings. Some speakers work using Bluetooth and others with cables, whatever you prefer, you’re bound to find one to suit your needs.
Vacuum Pack for Clothes
There is an art to travelling light and this can take years of practice to master. If you’ve not quite got the hang of it just yet, and you tend to be an over-packer, don’t stress by wasting precious packing time trying to decide what to leave behind in order to get your case to close. Buy some space saving vacuum packs and let them work their magic to get it all in. Come rain or shine, you’ll have an outfit to suit any mood thanks to these little gems. You’ll just need to reach out to room service to help vacuum pack your bag home!
Tablet with E-Books
Many of us like to enjoy a good read on the road and tablets and kindles can provide the perfect solution to saving yourself the space and the backache of lugging a brick (otherwise know as a travel guide) around in your bag. Whether you prefer a Lonely Planet or a Rough Guide, downloading an ebook is fast, easy, and sometimes even free.