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6 essential tech products to make your holiday even better

Whether you're heading abroad or planning a road trip closer to home, find out which gadgets can improve your experience

Now that summer is here, you might be looking forward to your next well-earned getaway. Our expert reviews have uncovered some impressive tech products that will make your journey easier and even more enjoyable.

By consulting the results of our rigorous lab tests, you can avoid buying a dodgy power bank that rapidly loses its charge, a painfully slow sat nav or a pair of headphones that fail to drown out background noise while you're on a long flight.

Below, we've picked out some popular products based on visits to our website in 2022, but you'll need to read our reviews to see if they're any good. If the recommended retail price matches the listed deal price, it's not a great time to buy – waiting a little longer could save you money further down the line.

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1. Headphones – for stress-free travelling

If you plan on working through an audiobook or enjoying your favourite music while on holiday, make sure you pack a great pair of headphones. The best models we've seen provide fantastic audio quality, whatever your go-to genre.

To tune out from the bustle of a busy beach or a packed flight, consider shopping for a pair of headphones with noise cancelling technology – this blocks out external noises so you can focus entirely on your music. The feature is most common in over-ear headphones, although various on-ear and in-ear pairs offer it too.

Popular headphones include:

Apple AirPods Pro

Apple AirPods Pro

These truly wireless, in-ear Bluetooth headphones from Apple feature active noise cancelling. Thanks to a handy Transparency mode, you can temporarily pause noise cancelling to hear an important outside sound – an announcement at a train platform or during a flight, for example.

You can control your music without reaching for your phone simply by tapping the headphones. A single press will pause a track, while a double press skips the song you're listening to. The Apple AirPods Pro are also water-resistant, so they should survive a splash if you're by the pool.

Does Apple make some of the best wireless headphones around? Find out more with our Apple AirPods Pro review.

Sony WH-1000XM3

Sony WH-1000XM3

Sony's foldable, over-ear headphones feature noise-cancelling technology and touch controls so you can quickly control your music. Thanks to built-in support for Siri on Apple devices and Google Assistant on Android, you can also use voice commands to play specific songs, set alarms or make a call.

You can turn ambient sound mode on or off at any time, which controls how much outside noise you can hear. The Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones also come bundled with a detachable cord that you can use for a wired connection to your device.

To see how effective Sony's noise-cancelling really is, explore our Sony WH-1000XM3 review.

Sony WF-1000XM3

Sony WF-1000XM3

These in-ear Sony headphones are compact and designed to support your smartphone's voice assistant – to connect with a compatible mobile, you simply touch the two devices together and pair using NFC. They feature active noise-cancelling technology.

Music controls are managed through the touch-sensitive earbuds. With a tap, you can play or pause music, adjust the volume, enable noise cancelling and activate your voice assistant of choice.

We've been hands-on with these headphones to see if they'll impress a true audiophile – read our Sony WF-1000XM3 review.

Our lab tests cover the latest releases from big-name audio brands including Apple, Bose, Sennheiser and Sony. Browse all of our headphone reviews, or see our guide to the best headphones.

2. A capable camera – for selfies and group photos

If your mobile phone has a high-quality camera, you might not need to splash out on an expensive digital camera. Plus, grabbing your mobile for a quick snap is often easier than setting up your DSLR with the correct lighting and focus settings. (see also: 5 ways to save money on mobile roaming this summer)

However, for those that are serious about high-end photography, standalone cameras have several features that can't be matched by a mobile. Their zoom functions are usually far superior, plus they have larger sensors that allow them to take in more light.

Popular digital cameras include:

Nikon Z6

Nikon Z6

This is a full-frame 24.5Mp mirrorless camera. It has an adjustable 100 - 51200 ISO for shooting in low light, along with a sports mode designed to help you capture subjects moving at high speed.

The Nikon Z6 uses a five-axis vibration reduction system, which aims to take clear photos even if you're shaking a little when you press the shutter button. Other features include built-in wi-fi, Bluetooth and automatic image transfer.

Find out if this Nikon camera is worth taking on holiday with our Nikon Z6 review.

Fujifilm X-E4

Fujifilm X-E4

The Fujifilm X-E4 is the fourth iteration of the X-E camera and supports interchangeable lenses, meaning you can attach an appropriate lens based on your shooting environment.

Weighing in at just 364g, this lightweight camera should tuck neatly into your travel bag. It has a viewfinder with a generous 2.38 megapixels, plus face detection and speedy autofocus.

To see what else this camera has to offer, see our full Fujifilm X-E4 review.

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

This Canon camera is a high-end compact with a 20Mp 1-inch sensor, a f/1.8-2.8 lens with 4.2x optical zoom, a 3-inch tilting LCD screen and full manual controls. It fits easily into your pocket, saving you from carrying around a chunky bag on holiday.

A setting named Picture Styles ensures images are processed in the camera, meaning can share them quickly without making any changes via editing software.

Before you part with your money, have a read through our full Canon PowerShot G& X Mark II review.

Explore all of our digital camera reviews. Alternatively, learn which camera type will suit you best with our guide on how to buy a digital camera.

3. Bluetooth speakers – for tunes by the pool

Ambient background music can help you relax while you're away, and investing in a good Bluetooth speaker lets you enjoy your music hands-free.

There are a range of sizes to choose from – you can opt for a smaller speaker that hangs off your carry-on, or a larger alternative designed to produce powerful sound. Be mindful of other holidaymakers if you're in a shared space, and keep the volume down to avoid unnecessary disturbances.

Popular Bluetooth speakers include:

Sonos Roam

Sonos Roam

The Sonos Roam is the brand's first truly portable speaker and connects to your smartphone using Bluetooth. It’s rated IP67, making it fully dustproof and waterproof (up to a depth of one metre for 30 minutes).

As this is a smart speaker, you can control the Sonos Roam using Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands. Apple AirPlay 2 is also supported. Alternatively, there are physical buttons that allow you to play or pause your music, adjust the volume, skip a track or temporarily turn the microphone off.

To see if this is a Best Buy Bluetooth speaker, read our Sonos Roam review.

JBL Charge 5

JBL Charge 5

Here's another Bluetooth speaker rated IP67, meaning it’s dustproof and able to survive full immersion in up to a metre’s depth of water for 30 minutes. As this model has a USB A port, you can use it to charge your smartphone while you play your music.

The JBL Charge 5 is designed to be laid down horizontally on its rubberised, grippy base. It supports JBL PartyBoost, which means you can link other compatible JBL speakers together for a bigger sound.

For more details on what this speaker has to offer, check our JBL Charge 5 review.

Sony SRS-XB13

Sony SRS-XB13

A small, affordable Bluetooth speaker with a handy carry strap that lets you attach it to a bag. The Sony SRS-XB13 is fully waterproof and weighs in at around 160g, so you won't dread carrying it around on long trips.

There are physical controls on the side of the speaker, or you can use voice commands to tell the gadget what to do – both Siri and Google Assistant are supported.

Does this small speaker pack a real punch when it comes to audio? Consult our full Sony SRS-XB13 review.

For even more speakers suitable for travelling with, explore our wireless, smart and Bluetooth speaker reviews. You can also see our advice on how to buy a smart speaker

4. A power bank – for charging your gadgets on the go

When you're exploring somewhere new on your travels, the last thing you want is to be miles from your accommodation with a dead phone battery.

A reliable power bank can put your mind at ease, allowing you to keep your phone or other devices topped up on the go. We've reviewed a range of models, from beefy power banks that charge up to four devices to others that use 'quick charge' technology if you're short on time.

Popular power banks include:

Juice 20000mAh Portable Power Bank Max

Juice 20000mAh Portable Power Bank Max

This large-capacity power bank has a pair of outputs, meaning it can charge two devices at the same time. The first is a standard USB-A, but the second is a USB-C type which can be used to charge the power bank itself.

There are LED indicators to show its charging status – if you give the device a shake, you can see right away how much charge is left.

Find out if this power bank is worth chucking in your backpack with our Juice 20000mAh Portable Power Bank Max review.

Duracell 6700mAh Fast Charge Portable Power Bank

Duracell 6700mAh Fast Charge Portable Power Bank

With a copper-topped design to match the company's iconic batteries, this portable charger is small in size for a large-capacity device.

This power bank has two USB outputs, one of which is a USB-C type used on most new Android phones. LED indicators on the side of the Duracell power bank let you know how much charge is remaining.

See how long this power bank really lasts with our Duracell 6700mAh Fast Charge Portable Power Bank review.

For a look at every power bank we've tested, see our portable power bank charger reviews page.

5. An ebook reader – for unwinding

If you like the idea of relaxing in the shade with a novel, an ebook reader will be a welcome addition to your luggage. Our high-scoring ebook readers are compact and designed to slide into a travel bag or carry-on. 

You can store thousands of books on one device, so you won't need to cram books into your suitcase. Downloading your favourite reads beforehand means you can enjoy them offline, and to sweeten the deal, many online ebook stores stock a huge selection of top-rated reads for free.

Popular ebook readers include:

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle 2019 (10th-gen)

This is Amazon's cheapest ebook reader. It features a 6-inch e-ink display, LED front-lighting (handy when reading in low light) and plays audiobooks from Audible if you pair wireless headphones or speakers using Bluetooth.

For more details on what Kindle has to offer, read our Amazon Kindle 2019 (10th-gen) review.

Kindle Oasis 2019

Kindle Oasis

The Kindle Oasis has a larger screen compared to the entry-level Kindle – 7 inches compared to 6 inches. Unlike its cheaper sibling, this model will adjust the warmth of the screen depending on the room you're in to provide a better reading experience.

In terms of storage space, you get to pick between 8GB and 32GB. The cheaper option should provide more than enough space for most readers, but if you enjoy graphic novels, you might want to consider the 32GB Kindle Oasis.

Should you be packing this ebook reader ahead of your next holiday? Explore our Kindle Oasis 2019 review.

Kobo Libra H2O

Amazon Kindle's major rival is Kobo, which has its own line-up of ebook readers battling for your attention. The Kobo Libra H2O has a 7-inch display, a rubberised rear panel and page-turn buttons on the side of the screen so you can use the device with one hand. This model has 8GB of storage space.

If you connect this ebook reader to wi-fi, you can create a Kobo account and receive book recommendations based on your reading habits.

Can this Kobo ebook reader truly compete with Kindle? See our Kobo Libra H2O review.

To see how Kindle and Kobo ebook readers fare in our test lab, check our ebook reader reviews.

6. Sat navs – for long distance driving

If you're packing up the car for a long road trip, having a reliable navigation system is a must. And where paper maps just don't cut it anymore, a sat nav could be your new favourite driving companion.

You have two obvious options: download an app on your smartphone or invest in a standalone sat nav. Although there are plenty of free mobile apps out there, dedicated sat navs can offer additional features such as non-reflective screens, regular map updates and modes that recommend routes for larger vehicles.

Popular sat navs include:

TomTom Go 620

TomTom Go 620

This standalone sat nav has a 6-inch display and free worldwide map updates for the lifetime of the device.

If you pair it together with your smartphone, you'll see texts on your phone pop up on the TomTom's screen. Note that the Go 620 uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone for live traffic, meaning it uses your mobile data connection.

To see if this sat nav is the perfect road buddy, check in with our TomTom Go 620 review.

TomTom Go Discover 7

TomTom Go Discover 7

The TomTom Go Discover 7 offers global mapping and has a 7-inch touchscreen that’s larger than many built-in car navigation systems. The device updates over wi-fi, but you'll need to link it to your smartphone to access the latest traffic information and speed camera warnings – this uses your phone's data.

If you have to make a detour while you're on the road, you can use voice commands to tell the sat nav where to redirect to.

Find out whether or not this sat nav is worthy of Best Buy status with our TomTom Go Discover 7 review.

Garmin Camper 890 MT-D

Garmin Camper 890 MT-D

This dedicated sat nav from Garmin is aimed at owners of motor homes or car drivers towing a caravan, boat or other trailer. When planning out your route, the device will warn you of steep gradients, sharp curves and other tricky road conditions.

The Garmin Camper 890 MT-D has an 8-inch touchscreen display and comes preloaded with several different directories of camp sites.

If you're regularly taking on long journeys, will this Garmin model get you from A to B without a fuss? See our Garmin Camper 890 MT-D review.

To see which dedicated sat navs and sat nav apps impressed our product experts, see our guide to the best sat navs.

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Additional reporting by Natalie Turner.

Tech tips you can trust – get our free Tech newsletter for advice, news, deals and stuff the manuals don’t tell you