We all know packing can be a chore. By the time I’ve sorted a clean, pressed, practical wardrobe, decanted various lotions and potions into teeny bottles and assembled essential travel documents, I feel like I’ve accomplished a feat of military planning. So, it’s understandable to view travel gadgets as another load on the mind and in the luggage.
There are all manner of gadgets on the market aimed at the travelling female, from the Solar Bikini that promises to use the sun’s rays to charge your iPod, to the Wine Bra which holds a whole bottle of wine in the cups. Those, I personally would be inclined to leave at home but there are some ingenious inventions aimed at safety I would bring along.
If you’ve ever been lost in a new city, feeling vulnerable in a hotel room or the victim of theft abroad, you might wish you’d discovered these little beauties earlier. Slip them into your luggage, and they could actually make life a heck of a lot easier.
Here’s my list of 10 top safety devices to prevent those nightmare-ish scenarios:
Have you ever found yourself in a hotel room unsure the door is locked, or dubious about the state of the lock? In my mind, key-card systems just aren’t the same as the reassuring ‘click’ of a standard steel lock.
It may look unusual, but this device for securing doors only takes up about the same amount of space as a small bottle of sun-tan lotion, and is very light. A clever little bit of engineering- something to do with vertical and horizontal force, but you don’t need to know that. What you do need to know is, DoorJammer offers added security to hotel/hostel/guest room doors against unwanted visitors. It’s foolproof to put up, and pulls off easily in an emergency. Great for peace of mind.
2. Pacsafe Digisafe 100 Anti-Theft Phone and Camera Strap
There is something rather brisk and stethoscope-like about this sturdy device that fits to your camera or mobile phone. Nice and lightweight when worn around your neck, one look at the purpose-made slash-proof strap is enough to deter thieves from attempting a swipe.
Pacsafe also does an array of secret wallets to be worn around the neck, waist, wrist arm or ankle.
3. Wind Up Phone Charger
From earthquake victims trapped in collapsed buildings to unfortunate hikers, time and time again a simple text or call has led to rescue. In 2010, one kidnapped woman in Missouri seized her chance to call 911 from her mobile. Despite not knowing her location, the operator tracked her through her phone’s GPS, catching her assailants and probably saving her life.
We’ve all found ourselves annoyingly stuck without battery power at some time or another, which is where a Wind Up Phone Charger comes in. Using this model, two minutes of elbow grease will give you about six minutes of talk time, and is also equipped with a built-in light.
Wind Up Phone Charger, £8.99
4. ila Dusk Personal Alarm
Don’t be fooled by the pretty appearance of this gadget from female safety specialist ila. Pull the chain, and it emits a 130Db female scream. As well as disorientating an attacker, the scream is more effective at making others respond than a traditional alarm. It comes in a range of elegant designs and can be clipped to your bag or used as a key-ring.
If it gets set off in error you can stop the noise straightaway by popping the pin back in- reassuring to know, once you’ve heard the frightening scream!
5. ila Sport Pedometer Alarm.
Another stroke of safety-meets-practicality. The perfect companion for those who like to fit in a jog on their trip, it gives you added confidence when you pull on your trainers and head out of the hotel.
As well as telling you how many steps you’ve taken, how many calories you’ve burned, the distance you’ve travelled and the time, it also includes a backlight and 130dB personal siren.
ila Dusk Personal Alarm, £19.50 and ila Sport Pedometer Alarm, £19.50. Both available at Handpicked Collection
6. Lifesaver Water Bottle
Wherever in the world you find yourself, you need clean, safe water. If your travels sometimes land you in places with questionable water supplies, take a look at this incredibly efficient water bottle. Its makers claim it is the World’s first and only water bottle to remove all nasties without the need for foul-tasting chemicals, power or UV light.
If, heaven forbid, you reached desperate levels of dehydration, you could actually pee into this and drink the purified result. Not a desired situation to find yourself in, but amazingly good to know!
7. My Light
If you’ve ever found yourself walking home in the dark you’ll appreciate how much safer you feel with a little illumination. Despite being the size of a lipstick, My Light gives more than just a little- its lightweight aluminium case contains a powerful 3w LED light.
My Light, £8.99
Over 6,000 men and women in the UK have reported being the victim of a drug rape attack since 1997, and it is reasonable to expect this worrying trend to be rivaled abroad. Simple and inexpensive, Topstoppa fits over bottles to deter would-be drink spikers.
9. Drink Detective
If you like the idea of Topstoppa but rarely drink from bottles, Drink Detective Drug Rape Testing Sticks offer an easy- to- use way of testing for drugs commonly used to spike drinks. Take a drop of wine or cocktail from your glass using the dropper and place onto the Drink Detective card to detect for dangerous chemicals.
10. Mini Foaming Defence Spray
Whatever your views about the use of Pepper Spray for personal defence, it is illegal to possess in the UK and is certainly not recommendable for travelling with due to variations in the law as you cross country borders.
The Mini Foaming Defence Spray is completely legal in the UK as it is ‘eye safe’ and is not designed to cause damage or harm in any way. In an emergency, press down on the trigger button on top of the canister and any would be attacker will be covered in a bright red foaming dye that is quite difficult to wash off. A fantastic deterrent!
The dye also contains an invisible Ultra Violet Tracer which only shows up under UV light (which the police have!) Obviously, never carry in your hand-luggage.
Mini Foaming Defence Spray, £8.99
Tell us about your own favourite travel safety gadgets
Before travelling, take a look at our travel safety tips.
Go to maiden-voyage.com