Our travel gadgets reviewer, Brian Young, director of On Holiday Group, recommends some apps and gadgets for regular travellers and active holidaymakers
1. Samsung NX1000 smart camera
It was only a matter of time until some bright spark decided to make your camera more like a phone rather than the other way round. You can take cracking shots and HD video with the 20 megapixels at your disposal, then upload the results immediately to your favourite sharing site. You can also email them directly from the camera. The interface is a little clumsy on the NX1000 but latest versions, including the new Galaxy camera, are more intuitive. A strong Wi-Fi connection is a must.
2. iGeek portable charger
The mobile devices we’re all carrying around with us these days are brilliant – right up until they run out of juice! To the rescue comes this portable charger that holds enough power to recharge two devices at the same time. Obviously, you have to remember to charge the charger at some point, but this holds enough power to ensure you’re never caught out at the end of a long day. Particularly useful during conference season.
3. Ipad mini
This is the ideal-sized iPad if you travel a lot – dead light, thin, quick and ultra‑portable. You can use it with one hand for reading books. You can also type with both thumbs, making it so much easier to use, and you don’t feel a prize-fool when you whip it out on the train. It fits into your jacket, suit pocket or jeans back pocket, which for me is a major plus point. I know it’s not new, but it is not until you use the new iPad that you really appreciate how good it is.
4. Passbook [Apple]
I never thought much of Apple’s virtual wallet app, Passbook, until recently. It is widely used in the US but UK companies have been slow to realise its merits. EasyJet now allows you to load your boarding pass into Passbook to be scanned at check-in. I also use it with the pre-loadable Starbucks card for payment at the counter with my phone – great , since I end up there for lots of meetings.
I often wonder how agents build bonds with their clients. A blog is a fantastic option for independents and homeworkers, giving them a simple way of ensuring customers are properly informed and promoted to. I don’t think Facebook or Twitter are powerful enough communication tools. I use WordPress for my kids’ cricket team to post information and all the parents love it as it’s so useful. The WordPress platform is simple to use. You can even upload posts from your mobile, so it’s always available.