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Gadgets & Home Improvement

8 must-have apps and gadgets for travel

It pays to be well prepared before you travel and here are essential apps and gadgets that you shouldn't leave home without.
Asia One - May 7, 2013
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8 must-have apps and gadgets for travel

When planning for a dream holiday, it doesn't end when you finish booking the tickets for your flight and hotel. The fun part is deciding what to bring along.

It always pays to be well prepared before you travel and here are essential apps and gadgets that you shouldn't leave home without.

Evernote
Travelling takes a lot of planning but remembering all the details can be challenging. Evernote is handy app for organising vast amount of information. It will allow you to save websites, e-mail messages, travel notes and more for easy reference later.

It's available on multiple platforms and all information will be kept in sync -automatically. So you can make a checklist on your desktop computer and when you are on the move, you can access it from your smartphone or tablet.

Evernote is available for free on all major mobile platforms but should you wish to access the information offline when there's no Net connection, you'll have to subscribe to the premium service for US$5 (S$6.17) a month.

SeatGuru
This app has handy info on aircraft seat maps (including seat reviews) and in-flight amenities for over 100 major airlines.

It even provides real-time flight status alerts when there are changes to your flight.

It's available for free on both iOS and Android.

Weekend Escapades
If you are thinking of flying out of Singapore for a weekend getaway, check out the new mobile app by Changi Airport.

Weekend Escapades is a free app that serves up information on 30 cities across 11 countries – all located within a five-hour flight radius of Singapore. It covers both popular destinations such as Hong Kong and Bangkok, as well as lesser-known cities such as Lombok, Danang and Vientienne.

The user-friendly app features bite-sized content prepared by the team behind travel magazines Lonely Planet Asia and Escape!. Each of the 30 cities covered in the guide comes with a ready-to-use itinerary.

Users can also search for potential travel destinations by country or event, and options are sorted according to price range. Users can also search for flights and find out about travel promotions through the app.

TripAdvisor Offline City Guides
On a recent trip to New York, we found the TripAdvisor Offline City Guide app -invaluable. Once we set our favourite destinations, the app did the rest. It suggested an itinerary with interesting places to eat and major attractions to visit.

If your smartphone has a built-in digital compass, it'll even point you in the right direction when you get off, say, at a subway station.

The best part about the app is that it is free, and it's available for both iOS and Android devices. It has localised maps for over 80 different cities around the world.

Maps are stored locally on the phone so you don't need a data connection which can cost a bomb while overseas.

Digital cameras
Choosing a good digital camera for travel can be tough, as there are so many good choices. And you don't really need a big DSLR to shoot great photos.

Cameras such as the Olympus Pen E-PL5 (above) with interchangeable lenses is great for just about any situation.

The Sony RX100 is also a good alternative for those who want a pocketable camera that performs well in low light situations. It has a customisable control ring that makes it easy to adjust settings on the fly.

If you are a fan of Android then the Samsung Galaxy Camera is the way to go. This camera, which is powered by the popular operating system, allows you to easily share you photos and videos online without needing a computer.

The Galaxy Camera can also use popular Android apps like Instragram which is a bonus.

Tamrac Zipshot tripod
Snapping photos of yourself on a holiday can be challenging especially without a tripod.

The problem with most tripods is that they are too big and bulky. That's not the case with the Tamrac Zipshot which weighs 312g and measures 38cm long when folded. It'll easily fit in a camera bag or luggage.

The tripod has a metal swivel ball-head for mounting a camera and can handle up to 1.3kg. Universal adapter Universal adapter

Powerbank
For most of us, smartphones and tablets have become indispensable but when they run out of power they are as useful as a brick.

When you are overseas the last thing you would want to do is hunt for a power outlet, so why not invest in a good powerbank?

Powerbanks come in many different forms and sizes. Some are designed to be more compact but carry less charge while others are monstrously huge but have enough power to power up a notebook. The choice is yours.

It'll also come in handy for ensuring your gadgets have enough juice for a long haul flight.

Also, don't forget universal travel adaptors. Bringing two or three units will help keep all your gadgets charged.

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