If you’re planning to ward off winter’s chill with a tropical getaway, there are certain essential gadgets for a holiday beach vacationsthat will help you properly document your trip while making the most of your time away. Having just returned from Oahu, here are some of my favorites that served me well during our recent Hawaiian holiday.
Great gadgets for your next tropical getaway 1 of 10
These nine essential gadgets will help you document your trip, read your favorite content poolside, and even help you keep up with your email and make your friends insanely jealous of your tropical getaway — all while making it back home in time for Christmas!
Capture the Action and Your Adventures 2 of 10
Capture your first surfing lesson with a GoPro! Created by a surfer to capture action shots, you can purchase a suction cup mount ($39.99) to mount it to your board, press the button, and record an hour worth of footage of you progressing from hanging ten on baby waves to larger Banzai Pipeline-style ones. GoPro can also be used as a still camera.
Image courtesy of GoPro
Catch Up on Reading Poolside 3 of 10
Sony's Xperia Tablet Z ($549) may be billed as a kitchen edition but it's certainly useful outside the home and perfect to travel with because it's thin and lightweight, making it perfect for tucking in your pool bag — and it's also waterproof. Yes, you read that right — waterproof! While I wouldn't recommend playing your favorite Android apps or reading the vivid screen underwater, it will certainly repel any splashes from exuberant kids playing in the water nearby while you read, upload photos to Facebook, or catch up on email.
Image courtesy of Sony
Document Life Underwater 4 of 10
Beautiful fish that lie below the water's surface deserved to be captured by a camera that shoots in vivid colors like the Olympus TG-2 ($379.99) waterproof camera. This rugged camera is not your ordinary point and shoot because of it's practically indestructible housing. I have last year's Olympus TG-1 which has accompanied me as I've taken video footage down waterslides, on photo shoots of coral reefs, and to the pool all summer long. It's a camera that I feel comfortable handing to my kids because it's easy to use and always takes fantastic shots.
Image courtesy of Olympus
Navigate Like a Pro 5 of 10
Even if you're directionally challenged, Google Maps (free for Android and iOS) can help. Use it for exploring the city by foot or via your rental car to get accurate turn-by-turn directions that will even help you skirt the worst of the city's traffic to find that next perfect beach faster.
Image courtesy of Google
Capture the Action Inside the Pool 6 of 10
The Cadillac of Android phones got even better when Samsung released the Galaxy S4 Active ($99 with new AT&T contract). Use it to take pictures on the beach or at the pool and then throw it in your bag without worries that it will be ruined. Durable Gorilla Glass makes for a practically indestructible screen that will keep it from being scractched by grains of sand. It's also dust and moisture resistant, so you can rest easy if you accidentally leave it in your bag with wet towels.
Image courtesy of Samsung
Keep Your Devices Charged 7 of 10
Hotel rooms never have enough outlets to keep devices charged so be sure to tuck the Belkin SurgePlus USB Swivel Charger ($29.99) into your bag so you'll always have enough outlets and USB ports to keep everything fully powered when you head out to hit the beach.
Image courtesy of Belkin
Eat Like a Local 8 of 10
The right-along-the-beach chain restaurants can provide familiar fare with a great view but if you want to eat the best of what the area has to offer, Yelp's mobile app (free) will help you find great eats in your area.
Image courtesy of Yelp
Protect Your Smartphone From Sand and Surf 9 of 10
Whether you're wanting to send some warmth to some friends back home via Facebook photos of the beach, Instagramming as you're eating like a local, or just lounging at the pool, you need a case that will protect your smartphone during all of your adventures. LifeProof cases fully encase your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy to protect it from water, sand, and shock during your trip — but also provide a responsive touchscreen. For my recent trip to Oahu, I took my Fre case ($79.99) because I wanted full screen protection but when I'm at home, the Nuud version ($89.99) that lets me use the actual touchscreen provides plenty of protection for everyday use.
Image courtesy of Lifeproof
Show off your hotel room and your gorgeous view 10 of 10
Show off your hotel room and your gorgeous view to friends and family back home with a Skype video chat. This free app works on your laptop, tablet, or mobile device and can induce jealousy when you're on your tropical getaway.
Image courtesy of Skype
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