Introducing Roving Rachel our new techie travel writer. A candidate for having the best job in the world, she reports on some of the best adventure destinations on the planet, the best festivals and the best ways to get there – all while discussing the technology, apps and services she uses and encounters along the way.
Which camera works best when diving with Whale sharks? Which waterproof speaker put the pool boy out of business? What do crews on Super Yachts use drones for? Now you need wonder no more…
5 items every water-loving traveller must have
Let’s be honest, life as a pirate on the high seas is very much about getting wet.
The glamorous bikini-clad girl will get splashed laying next to the swimming pool while listening to the latest Justin Bieber hit and texting her girlfriends about her new shoes.
Sometimes you will just want to jump into that crystal blue water to take some footage of the dolphins that would put David Attenborough to shame.
Or that pool party on your cruise ship could turn raucous, and the next minute you are squirting water out of your mouth after a diving in with your clothes on and your phone in your pocket. No amount of Pina Colada and selfies with the Elvis impersonator is worth damaging your treasured travel gadgets for, so make sure you pack these five life-saving gadgets next time you travel on the open seas. Or the beach. Those places are known to be rather wet too.
1. Lifeproof case
My iPhone screen resembles a Moroccan mosaic, an ageing crumbling mosaic, with tiles chipping out and falling away. Yes, I actually have slithers of glass scratching my fingers when I swipe right because I didn’t buy a life proof case when I should have. Lesson learnt.
Lifeproof cases will save you the heartache of not only bloody thumbs but also cracked screens, water damage and shock damage. It’s perfect for gym junkies and thrill seekers too with plenty of adaptors to hook your phone up to your mountain bike, your jogging arm or, if you are like me, the dashboard of the car for hands-free pizza orders.
The cases are all tested to strict regulations and can house Apple iPhones, LG, Samsung and Motorola phones, along with the Apple iPad.
From $89.95 online lifeproofcasestore.com.au
2. Fugoo Tough waterproof speakers
I travelled all over Europe last summer with one of these bad boys, and it was perfect for group beach get-togethers and fishing trips. I managed to get fish bait all over mine, but 2 minutes later, and a dunk in fresh water and she was clean as a whistle. Waterproof speakers are the way forward. Fugoo’s speaker has a 40-hour battery life, a whopping 30 more than some competitors. The sound quality is fantastic due to its six drivers, two tweeters, two mid woofers, two bass drivers and its 360-degree speaker placement. The Fugoo Tough really is made to be tough. It’s housed in fibre-reinforced resin and aluminium. My favourite adaptor is the Go-Float, an inflatable speaker holder for use in swimming pools. Although it does mean the pool boy is slightly less useful now.
From $339.00 online industec.com.au
GoPro is almost a household name these days - and for good reason. These cameras are compact. They are easy to use. And they do exactly what they say on the tin. I’ve taken mine snorkeling with whale sharks, canyoning, down the side of a volcano, snowboarding, and even used it on a leisurely road trip. Come on, we can’t be adventurous all the time!
All GoPro models are waterproof and come with a hard casing to protect them from the elements. The Hero Black is the current top of the range item sublime ultimate image quality (1080p, 120fps video) and Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity for instant viewing and remote sharing.
But what’s really exciting is the upcoming GoPro drone called Karma due out this year. The specs are all still under lock and key but with additional rumours of a GoPro 5 in the pipelines. Watch this space!
From $199 shop.gopro.com
4. Sony TX30 Cybershot waterproof camera with 5x optical zoom
When I'm travelling I tend to spend a bit of time at airport bars and in crowded markets. A large SLR is not always going to cut it: I’m juggling shopping bags or cocktails already and another bulky camera is cumbersome. Instead, I opt for my snappy waterproof camera. It’s small enough to fit in my pocket and takes decent-quality photos with its Carl Zeiss Lens and 18.2-megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor. Sony claims it to be waterproof, but I can also attest to it also being mud proof (don’t ask). The large screen at the back is great for checking selfies on the fly and the touch screen makes it easy to use, even with wet fingers.
From $358 Harvey Norman
5. A-Data HD710 waterproof portable hard drive
My laptop is my life. Like many people, I lose sleep over the possible loss of data that could happen if my laptop got stolen or severely damaged. So when I found there was a reasonably-priced black-box of hard drives out there, I immediately got my hands on one and have slept peacefully ever since. The A-Data hard drive range is compatible for Mac and PC and comes in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB sizes. It’s waterproof to 1.5m for 60 minutes, which is plenty of time if it accidentally gets dropping in the swimming pool, or a drink gets knocked over on to it. The silicone casing also gives it some shock absorption. I’ve dropped mine plenty of times and I’ve yet to lose a single saved bathroom selfie yet.
From $93 online at tech4u.com.au
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