6 tried and tested accessories from my latest trip

Our last trip involved a couple of weeks in Spain during which our boys competed in a sailing event. We also got the opportunity to explore a little and particularly loved our time in San Sebastian. During the trip, we also tried out some new products and include details of these for you below.

Waterproof case from Swimcell

Whilst watching the sailing, we were able to go out on a rib boat and see the racing close up, without the need for binoculars. I didn’t want to do this without adequate protection for my iPhone – particularly since I was using this to take the occasional photo – so the waterproof case from Swimcell was perfect for giving me that peace of mind. The cases come in various sizes and the smaller of the two that I have is comfortably big enough to hold my iPhone 6 even in its case, whilst there are larger ones available for bigger phones or indeed tablets. I wasn’t brave enough this time to try taking underwater photographs with it, but the mechanism for opening and closing the pouch looks to be perfectly robust so there’s no reason why I wouldn’t give it a shot next time.


Energy LS rash vest from Henri Lloyd

Although we were in Spain in the height of Summer, it wasn’t always hot, particularly out at sea, so to have a Henri Lloyd rash vest with long sleeves to keep off the chill, and one that offered UV protection, was ideal for those cooler days. It is also made with cover seam protection to minimise chaffing – again essential since the race sailing was all day every day for five days in a row (plus a few practice afternoons before the actual competition). The fact that it’s quick drying also meant it got Mum’s seal of approval!


Portable WiFi hotspot from WorldSIM

To my mind, changing the SIM card in your phone when you travel from one country to another is a hassle. I much prefer to have a mobile hotspot which other members of the family can also connect to as and when they need. With WiFi not available in one of the places we stayed, and not freely available in all bars and cafés, this WiFi hotspot from WorldSIM was incredibly useful, but its uses extend beyond just acting as a router for your internet connection. You can also use it as a USB powerbank to charge your devices or for external storage since it has a slot for a micro SD card. So, three uses packed into one device!


Rider Vest buoyancy aid from Helly Hansen

Our boys had outgrown their buoyancy aids so we used Helly Hansen‘s Rider Vest on this trip. Not only are they smart-looking, but they stand out on the water, making your own children easier to identify. It’s not too bulky, comfortable to wear (PE foam at the back for stability, soft foam at the front for comfort) and allows for free movement whilst dinghy sailing. It’s easy to get on and off with a zipped and buckled front, and has a velcro pocket. Importantly for any item such as this, it is also ISO 12402-5 certified.


Sony h.ear on Wireless NC headphones from Dixons Travel

If you’re still making do with the earphones that come with your device, then you’re missing out. Owning a pair of good quality headphones makes the world of difference and the Sony h.ear on wireless headphones available from Dixons Travel are testament to this. They allow you to truly lose yourself in the music you listen to, effectively eliminating distracting background noises and without you getting tangled in annoying cables. The noise cancellation is extremely good on these, and the headphones are comfortable to wear. On the right, you can control the volume and pause or skip, whilst on the left there is the on/off and pairing. The bluetooth works well – it connects quickly and you can still be some distance from your device and it still all works just fine.


Breeze cap from Henri Lloyd

The Breeze cap from Henri Lloyd is incredibly lightweight and made from a fast-drying, technical fabric. It’s a comfortable fit, with an adjustable velcro band at the back and the Henri Lloyd logo on the front. It offers UV protection and is available in a range of colours.


Disclosure: Our trip was sponsored by Brittany Ferries.

Comments (3)

  1. John says:

    Sounds like a fun trip! Does the waterproof case from Swimcell allow you to take good pictures while keeping the phone safe?

  2. Paul Johnson says:

    Theoretically, John… you are indeed supposed to be able to do that. I just wasn’t quite brave enough first time around! :) Swimcell have a gallery on their website at https://www.swimcell.com/pages/photos showing pictures people have taken of the product, or ones where they have used the product (and some of those are underwater)…


  3. The portable hot spot looks very interesting. I was thinking of getting one for a trip to Australia next year – I’ll need to have a closer look (well timed article – thanks).

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