7 tips for surviving the summer getaway

There’s no bigger advocate of getting away for the summer months than Cliff Richard. He merrily skips to the ‘fun and laughter’ in the chorus of his Summer Holiday tune with a big, broad smile. But hang about, Cliff, you’ve missed a bit off the first verse…

Fun and laughter? What about the queues and the questionable seating, Cliff?

The sun might shine brightly and the sea may be blue once you arrive at your holiday destination, but shouldn’t there be a verse about an arduous journey in cramped conditions?

We’re all travelling on a budget airline
Food and water costs a quid or two
Crying babies on a budget airline
Uncomfortable seating for me and you
For an hour or two

But perhaps Cliff was staying positive because he knew we had come up seven ways to survive the summer getaway with the help of a few gadgets.

Check in online
If you’re passionate about looking out the window onto the clouds below or like to make a quick dash to the loo, then checking in online is definitely a good idea. Just whip out your laptop a couple of days before your flight, type in your details and get the printer whirring to minimise hassle.

Pack carefully
A selection of gadgets can help you through the journey, but be realistic about what you can bring. Laptops are great for watching films on flights, but remember that you’ll need to unpack it to go through security. Perhaps a portable DVD player and an mp3 player are more travel-friendly.

Keep your iPod updated
If you normally spend the day kicking back listening to the radio then podcasts could be just the thing for a long flight. But make sure your iPod is packed with fresh podcasts and any new albums you might have downloaded. You may have had a secret penchant for The Fast Food Rockers last summer, but it may have you running for the emergency exit this time round.

Charge your gadgets
Because nothing is worse than running out of juice halfway through an episode of House… and you’ve still got another seven hours to get through. Plan well and plug in, guys.

Bring your own headphones
If you’re used to rocking out a pair of Beats headphones which have been given the nod by Dr Dre, then the standard airline issue may leave you a little disappointed. Don’t forget to bring your own headphones to avoid listening to the two brats behind you squabble.

Don’t rely on the in-flight movie
I was very excited about what movies I could watch on the way to South Africa last year. Would it be a fresh-from-the-cinema Hollywood blockbuster? No, it was the turkey of all romcoms, Valentine’s Day. So pack an eReader or portable DVD player and don’t rely on the in-flight entertainment.

Mark where you park
So you’ve been away in the sun for two weeks and now you’re ready for the drive home. Trouble is, you can’t remember where you’ve parked your car. There’s plenty of apps for your tablet that you can use to mark your parking spot with GPS and avoid traipsing around the car park for hours.

Have you got any travel tips ahead of the summer holidays? What gadget could you not be without? Comment below…