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The travel kit list: the best tech for digital nomads in 2021

Wireless, easy to wipe down, wearable and boasting better-than-ever battery life: the latest travel kit comes with tech to make your journeys smoother, safer and synched up. 

By Kate Russell
Published 22 Jul 2021, 06:08 BST, Updated 6 Jan 2022, 16:23 GMT
Left to right: Gopro Hero 9; Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic; Anker PowerWave & Watch Holder. 

Left to right: Gopro Hero 9; Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic; Anker PowerWave & Watch Holder. 

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller (UK)

1. Gopro Hero 9

Don’t be fooled by the look of this palm-sized camera. It captures fantastic video up to 5K resolution, with the option of 240fps (x8) slow motion and burst photography you can save as RAW files. Turn on GoPro color mode and the scene will really pop, and with enough lighting, the HyperSmooth stabilisation is like having the camera on a gimbal. It’s also water resistant up to 10 metres and can be used for HD live streaming. RRP: £329.98. 

2. Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic

The Captain Cook is an automatic watch for adventurers and explorers with 80 hours’ power reserve and water resistance up to 300 metres. With ceramic monobloc case construction (scratch-resistant and hypoallergenic high-tech ceramic), it’s powered by Rado’s premium-calibre R734, featuring a Nivachron hairspring, protecting the timepiece from magnetic fields (smart phones, computers and their loudspeakers exert the most common magnetic forces negatively affecting the accuracy of a mechanical watch). RRP: from £3,065. 

3. Anker PowerWave & Watch Holder

More and more devices are being made with wireless charging, which is great news if you’re nervous about surface hygiene in hotels and suchlike. The smooth button-shape of this charging pad from Anker makes it is easy to wipe down after use. The LED indicator notes the charging process and shows blue if the connection to your device needs attention, and there’s also a handy peg to hang your watch on while charging. RRP: £29.99. 

Left to right: JBL Clip 4; WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Earbud Headphones; Apple Watch Series 6.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller (UK)

4. JBL Clip 4

A go-anywhere speaker will brighten up any hotel stay with the accompaniment of music or a favourite podcast. This little padlock-shaped Bluetooth speaker packs quite a bass punch for its size. It’s waterproof and dustproof and will stream audio from your phone for 10 hours between charges. The handy clip design makes it a great companion for travellers who want easy access (or for those prone to losing small pieces of tech). RRP: £49.99. 

5. WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Earbud Headphones

These earbuds provide a secure, comfortable fit, and dual microphones picking up external noise front and back deliver impressive noise-cancellation. For those moments when you don’t want to remove headphones but need to interact, place a finger over the earbud to activate Quick Attention, which lowers the volume and turns off noise cancelling. The battery should last 12 hours. RRP: £220. 

6. Apple Watch Series 6

As well as all the navigation, communications and fitness-tracking functions you’d expect from a top-of- the-range smart watch, the Series 6 adds a blood-oxygen saturation monitor so you can check the performance of your respiratory system. A hand-washing timer is another nod to Covid concerns. A decent speaker and mic mean you can leave your phone safely tucked away while chatting, and the watch is water resistant up to 50 metres, so perfect for the beach. RRP: from £379.

Left to right: Amazon Fire HD 8 Pkus – 32GB; Riut Easy-Clean 15" Laptop Backpack; Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller (UK)

7. Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus – 32GB 

The latest tablet from Amazon adds wireless charging, making it a good pick for travellers who hate fiddling with power cables. The 2.0 GHz quad-core processor and 3GB of RAM make it swift enough to handle all your entertainment apps and basic communications needs. For an extra £10, you can order it to be configured without ads, which is a battery and data saver. RRP: £109.99 (without ads £119.99). 

8. Riut Easy-Clean 15" Laptop Backpack

Created as a response to the pandemic, this 15” laptop bag is the perfect place to store gadgets. For maximum security, zips are against your back when wearing the bag, and it’s designed to be easily wiped clean inside and out, to banish any bacteria that might have hitched a ride with you. With shoulder strap clips for your mask and hand-sanitiser, it has current public health issues at the forefront of the design. RRP: £129. 

9. Logitech K780 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard

Laptops are cumbersome but valuable for travelling; typing messages and notes on your smartphone screen is just a pain. This wireless keyboard is the perfect compromise, connecting with Bluetooth-enabled devices and turning them into much more useable digital platforms. There are three Bluetooth channels, so you can connect multiple devices for quick and easy switching. Two AA batteries are said to last a whole year. RRP: £79.99.

Discover more recommended kit for travellers

Published in the Jul/Aug 2021 of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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