Item that changed the way I travel
When it comes to Christmas shopping for the globetrotter in your life, the ideas really are endless.
But with all that 2020 has served up on the travel front (or lack thereof), there's one box that most of us want ticked when looking for a Christmas gift that would please even the most hard-to-buy-for traveller.
Whether you're dealing with a friend about to go on a backpacking adventure, someone who enjoys a little luxury with a city stay-cay or even that one person who spends more time on the road than at their own home - convenience has never been more sought after than in 2020.
So if you don't want to splash out loads on flight vouchers and sit with anxiety at the thought of borders possibly closing again, look no further than the three items that changed my travel life this year.
THE GOPRO HERO 9
It's 2020. The generation of the selfie and documenting every single moment while on holidays. Let's be honest, if it's not on the #Gram it didn't really happen, right?
Now, while some of us are pretty content with taking snaps on our smartphone, the new GoPro Hero9 has become a total game changer in my suitcase.
With the tiny device FINALLY bringing in a colour front screen perfect for taking all the action selfies imaginable, this waterproof wonder has become my new favourite travel buddy.
The world's best known action camera took a big leap in the right direction this year by bringing in a colour screen upfront for those of us who cannot throw back a poolside cocktail without taking a cheeky selfie first.
The camera is super lightweight, perfect for your handbag or backpack and has been given a massive battery boost as well as a jump to 5K video and 20-megapixel photos.
But perhaps the best feature of this nifty little device is the HyperSmooth 3.0 feature. Basically, if you've got a shaky hand or perhaps you want to go on an adventure where there's a bounce or two involved, this feature built into the camera can make a bumpy bike ride look anything but.
But if you're wanting to take your photos to the next level, GoPro has also brought back the easy change lens, and if you're wanting to get everything you see in one shot, nothing beats the Max Lens modification.
The lens simply screws to the front of the camera and not only delivers a much wider view, but allows for even smoother video recording. Even the biggest amateur will look like a pro in no time.
When it comes to travelling, there's one thing that cannot be avoided - other people and mutual hand-touch surfaces.
That's why this super convenient device called the Touchie is a pandemic must-have, eliminating the touching of all surfaces - and for just $20.
The little handbag device essentially does all the dirty work for you.
Pop it on your key ring, or perhaps your back pocket and it will help you grasp handles, push buttons and even open doors without you having to make direct contact with the surface.
Becoming a cashless society throughout 2020, the device is even touchscreen-compatible so you can use the ATM or pay by credit card without touching anything at all, making it the perfect stocking filler. Oh, and with a tonne of designs and cheeky slogans printed on each device - you'll find one that suits almost any personality.
When it comes to any kind of holiday, even the most off-grid globetrotter would find it hard without taking a smartphone along for the journey.
But with texting, phone calls and just general touching - that device you love so much has a filthy secret.
According to Seattle Times journalist Bobby Caina Calvan, your phone is covered in germs: 25,127 bacteria per square inch, to be precise. This makes your iPhone one of the dirtiest objects we come in contact with every day.
That's why this little $50 pouch comes in handy - not just for when you're on holidays - but for every day use.
Called the UV phone sanitiser case this USB charged device claims to kill 99.9 per cent of germs on your phone without the use of chemicals, heat or liquid.
The sterilisation process takes around five minutes, and doesn't just fit your smartphone device - it's perfect for your keys, glasses, credit cards, earphones and even jewellery.
Sticking with the convenience theme, this device plugs into a mobile phone power bank, USB laptop port or a USB power adaptor with some brands even including an aromatherapy essential oils diffuser so your phone goes back to smelling like sunshine and rainbows.
Originally published as Item that changed the way I travel