As part of the Octopus Recommends Summer Series, we asked our Technology Centre of Expertise team to tell us which tech they won’t holiday without. Next up, we’ve got essential kit to make your summer better.
Almost everyone we asked said a power pack (for charging devices) is a must-have when travelling. If you carry one you won’t miss the chance to capture holiday memories because of a flat phone or camera. Front End Developer David goes as far as to say “these are so widely available nowadays there’s no excuse not to have one.” You can pick up a basic battery pack easily and cheaply from places like Amazon.
If you want to go all out, Ops Engineer Ben “cannot live without my 30,000 mAh Powerbank,” which has three charging ports and the ability to hold enough charge for six iPhones. He remembers a holiday in Morocco when it “saved mine and three friends’ phones which kept running out of battery…due to constant filming/taking pictures.”
Wearable tech, and the apps that go with the kit, can track your habits and help you stay healthy, even while you travel. Adrijana, an Octopus developer, said her BellaBeat wearable and app, which she uses to track her water intake and sleep patterns “helped keep me healthy on my trip to Japan.” FitBit is another good one for tracking steps, according to Ben. Trackers are especially helpful for managing time zone changes and jet lag.
Wireless headphones are at the top of our colleagues’ lists of must-haves. When it comes to the specifics, they have a few suggestions:
- Apple AirPods are the top choice for total immersion. These are another of Ben’s favourites. He says, “they’re a great compact solution for travel… and you can never lose them as they have ‘Find my Device’ capability,” meaning they’re a great option for clumsy travellers. Tcha, Head of IT Operations, agrees. AirPods have converted him to in-ear headphones because they’re “a brilliant, lightweight alternative. And they hold their charge for ages”.
- Sony wireless headphones are a great option for over-the-ear headphone fans. This is another of David’s recommendations because they’re “fast charging, have long battery life and are wireless.” He also says “they’re super comfortable, lightweight and boost sound quality… I take them everywhere”.
- Python Developer Dom highly recommends Seinnheiser wireless headphones, which are well worth the high price tag, he says. He wears them “reading on the train or walking through the streets… to switch off and get into my own head.”
Why not take your holiday relaxation to the next level with a mini projector? This excellent suggestion comes courtesy of Richard, one of our Front End Developers. He likes to wind down in the evenings while on holiday and uses his projector to watch shows or films if he’s staying somewhere without a TV. And, it can be used when camping to create your own personal outdoor cinema. Richard says of the projectors, “they’re small enough to put in a handbag, have around 2 hours of battery life on a full charge, and come with all the popular streaming apps.”
Buying a Nintendo Switch just for a holiday could be quite a hefty investment. But if you were considering a console anyway or have one at home, it’s worth remembering the Switch’s portability makes it the perfect companion for a trip. You can play it on your own or with friends at the airport or on planes, trains or buses. Adrijana used her Switch on her recent trip to Japan too, “to make the flight feel shorter, or in case of unwanted bad weather outside.”
Here’s a suggestion we never would have thought of: an extension lead. Product Delivery Manager Chris dreamt this up. He suggests you should “take a power adapter for the mains and a multiple socket extension lead… you can charge all your tech as you go without having to juggle chargers and fight for the adapter.” Great hack.
Next time, we’ll be continuing the Octopus Recommends Summer Series with suggestions for the best podcasts to listen to while holidaying.