A NEW YEAR means one thing: it's time to start planning your next get away. And whether you're an international jetsetter, regular MegaBus rider or more of a traditional 'I'll just use my legs' type, there are few journeys that aren't made more bearable with the help of some good old pocket-sized gadgets.
If it's just something to keep you occupied on public transport, to assist your travels or that no holiday can do without, gadgets are becoming more and more prevalent in the modern age where travel and communication become commonplace.
So here's our rundown of the best gadgets that no traveller can do without.
Aukey 20,000mAh Portable External Battery Charger
This high capacity power bank powered by a 20,000mAh Lithium Polymer battery will provide enough emergency back-up power to charge an iPhone 10 times over. It's also nice and slim, and has a torch built in, making it our favourite power pack this year.
Priced at £16, this power bank is very cheap for the capacity it offers and has two USB ports for different output levels so you can charge two devices at the same time, perfect for when your phone dies right when you need it the most.
Mobi EyeFi SD card
Time is precious when you're on your jollies, and the last thing you want to spend time doing is transferring your recently taken photographs from one device to the other, faffing around with memory cards, cameras and laptops when you could be spending longer on the beach.
That's why Mobi's Eyefi SD card with built in WiFi is ideal for any trip away. You can use the Eyefi Mobi WiFi SD card and respective app to send pictures from your camera to your favourite iOS, Android or Kindle device as you take them. Eyefi Mobi functions like a regular SDHC card, works in most cameras and includes built-in WiFi that pairs your camera to your smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac so you can take photos and videos and watch them appear instantly.
The card, priced from £24.99 for 8GB, also comes With Eyefi Cloud - a private, photo-centric cloud service - free for 90 days, to ensure high-quality shots instantly available on any web-enabled device.
Basically, this smart memory card means no more swapping cards, no cables and no emailing photos to yourself to view on your tablet, TV desktop or smartphone, wherever you are in the world.
Divoom Airbeat 10
The Divoom Airbeat-10 is a portable Bluetooth speaker with a suction cup that turns any hard flat surface into an extra subwoofer that amplifies the bass, perfect for those get away weekends where luggage space is limited but you just can't do without your favourite tunes.
Better still, its splash-proof feature and portable design make it an ideal travel companion, and its bike mount creates the perfect speaker to listen to music in a hotel room, for example, or during an outdoors adventure.
The Divoom Airbeat 10 costs just £13 on Amazon right now, down from £30, and the sound is simply excellent for the price.
iMend gadget repair service
While it's not really a travel gadget as such, we still recommend having these guys' number on speed dial as part of any trip abroad, even if it's just for peace of mind in case your most beloved gadget gets damaged.
The super quick service means you don't need to splash out on a phone or tablet replacement if you've managed to drop your existing one on the promenade or dancing frantically in some exotic nightclub, as these guys are on call to come and fix your damaged gadgets in front of you - as soon as you step off the plane - for a fraction of the cost.
iMend was the first company to provide a UK-wide mobile repair callout service and its handymen are among the fastest out there. We know because we've tested them ourselves - they provide an affordable solution to all your broken gadget woes. They are also friendly.
The best thing is, if they can't fix it, they won't charge you. Repairs carried out by iMend come with a 12-month warranty so you don't need to worry if something goes wrong even up to your next trip away.
TomTom Spark fitness watch
With GPS, heart rate monitoring and timing tools all in one fitness tracker, the TomTom Spark is an ideal gadget for those who love to get out and about. Aimed at runners, cyclists and gym-goers fed up with taking their smartphones out on a run with them, the TomTom spark lets users track every sprint, stroll and step as well as see the total time, distance and the calories burned.
But the Spark isn't just for running. You can use it on the road when cycling, in the gym or swimming in the pool. You can also switch modes to mix up your training, or use it for sleep tracking.
However, our favourite feature is that it has built in storage for songs and uses Bluetooth to sync to wireless earphones so you don't have to take your smartphone everywhere you go when working out, giving you more freedom to run, jump or dance around anywhere in the world. Buy here for £170.
Overboard waterproof case for iPhone
One of the main disappointments in owning an iPhone or iPad is that they don't have built-in water protection, seen in the likes of rival Android devices such as the Sony Xperia Z4, Xperia Z4 Tablet and the Samsung Galaxy S6.
Those who are more active, and looking for a waterproof smartphone or tablet but want to stay in the iOS ecosystem, need not worry. Overboard's waterproof cases mean you can snap pictures, watch movies and send text messages in the wettest of environments without damaging the iPhone or iPad, and without having to consider buying an Android device.
The Overboard cases can be submerged in water up to a depth of 6m, and are supplied with lanyards/shoulder straps so you won't lose them if you decide to take to the sea. Better still, they fit all models, even the most recent.