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6 tried and tested travel accessories from my latest trip

On one of my latest excursions, I did back-to-back trips to London and Marrakech. In London, I was working on an assignment for American Express, putting a piece together about some iconic viewpoints from venues around the city, whilst in Marrakech I was attending a luxury travel conference but also enjoying a little free time to partake in a number of unique experiences. The trips also enabled me to try out and test a few products and you’ll find a summary of those items here. Alta Pro 254CT tripod from Vanguard® Taking photographs at night is challenging at the best of times and a good quality, sturdy tripod is essential, particularly if you want to keep your shutter open for any significant length of time. The Alta Pro 254CT tripod from Vanguard® offers just that and is perfect for travel because it has lightweight carbon fibre legs. The whole thing weighs 1.57kg making it easy to carry around but still weighty enough to do its job. Other nice features include an Instant Swivel Stop-n-lock (ISSL) system and a central column that you move at multiple angles. Once you have this in your hands, you can see why it’s one of their best sellers from the quality of the build alone. Alta Pro tripod from Vanguard USA P^Cubed® clothing from Clothing Arts Wandering around the medina in Marrakech, you need to have your wits about you and be aware of pick-pockets, particularly in crowded areas. Wearing clothes that make it difficult for pick-pockets can be a worthwhile investment so take a look at the P^Cubed® range from Clothing Arts. They do some lightweight and comfortable trousers (or ‘pants’ as they call them in the US) – for both business and adventure purposes – in a choice of practical colours, as well as shorts and travel shirts. The business trousers have a atented 10-pocket design which features two triple secure pockets, five double secure pockets and dual side smartphone pockets… much more practical than those old money belts! P^cubed clothing iPhone cover from lastucase  You spend a lot of money on your smartphone, so you want to invest in a cover that looks the part and is functional too. I rarely go anywhere without my iPhone so what I particularly like about this cover from lastucase is that it also holds my essentials. There are 5 slots, perfect for my driving license and credit and debit cards, as well as a compartment behind them where I can store some bank notes or receipts. This isn’t one of those usual silicone cases but is made in Finland with genuine reindeer leather and a quality wood finish. There’s a range of combinations to choose from but I went for the black leather with a walnut finish and was very pleased with the outcome. lastucase The TravelCard I had to wait for my iPhone upgrade before using this wonderfully small iPhone charger as it uses the lightning connector which my old iPhone didn’t have), but boy was it worth the wait! The TravelCard charger is lightweight and compact – the size of a credit card but a little thicker, with an inbuilt lightning connector so you don’t have to go looking for one.  Being so small, it won’t charge my iPhone 6 fully but from one full charge it did take my smarthphone’s battery from nothing to up to around 40% of its battery life which I’d say is pretty good for something that’ll comfortably fit in any pocket or even a wallet. TravelCard Alter Ego drinks bottle from Aquaovo Don’t be put off by the unusual appearance. The Alter Ego from Aquaovo is not just a drinks bottle but your own personal filtration system and thus the perfect travel companion, particularly if you’re heading somewhere where you can’t be sure about the water quality. It comes with a multi-patented filtration technology built-in that filters up to 99.9999% of contaminants, meaning you can fill it up not just from any tap water but also from rivers and lakes if you’re out and about in the outdoors. Alter Ego water bottle Kojai app Take a look at the Kojai app as a means of quickly and easily sharing geo-tagged photos as you travel. I trialled this whilst I was in London and found the app to be simple-to-use and intuitive; as well as sharing your images on Kojai, you can also share them across Facebook and Twitter at the simple click of a button. It’s early days at the moment so I couldn’t see so much other activity on the app within London but with time you should in theory be able to discover other places you didn’t know about thanks to the contributions of other users of the app, whether that be great views, hidden-away attractions or fantastic little eateries. Kojai

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Telegraph.

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  1. I was straight away drawn to the tripod and to the statement that night shots are not easy and the best of times, because this is so true. Anything that makes that easier is worth a good look at. The next thing is the weight. Again, anything that is as light as possible and easy to pack has my stamp of approval. The Alter Ego would be very handy in Bali, where the water cannot be drunk.

  2. Some great ideas here Paul and that credit card size charger sounds so useful. I have a portable charger but it’s bulky, especially with the connection lead as well. The TravelCard charger sounds a god send.

  3. There’s plenty of great ideas here Paul, I do like the travel clothes…even though I know they may not be as cool as some of the gadgets. However as much as I love Barcelona I was recently aware of how ultra streetwise I needed to be there, and any extra help in this department when travelling is great.

  4. We use that tripod too! Love that thing, must have travel accessory. Going to check out that app, didn’t know about that one.

  5. Those are all fantastic and compact travel accessories, I would probably use a few of those myself especially the phone charger which I have not purchased yet and this one is very compact looking

  6. The water bottle seems particularly useful, I haven’t seen that before and would take such a lot of the hassle out of buying bottled water pretty much everywhere we go!

  7. We are in the market for a new tripod so this post came at the perfect time. During our trip to Iceland, trying to photograph the Northern Lights without a tripod was near impossible, a mistake we made that I will ensure never happens again!

    Always love to hear the new greatest and latest travel apps and Kojai looks pretty cool so may check that out. I am always someone who will download a new app, try it out and then figure out if I want to keep it. That’s the benefit though of purchasing the 128GB iPhone 6 so I have more space to store apps!

  8. Thanks for sharing this. I will be looking for the iPhone cover right now, as I am sure if there is anywhere in the world I can find it, it’s right here in London (fingers crossed).

  9. I’m not sure if you’ll easily be able to find that cover in London. I believe they are made to order, since there are lots of different permutations possible. Go to https://lastucase.com/ and select what you want. It takes 2-4 weeks but delivery to EU countries is free.

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