TheAltitude Report

The Ultimate Travel Gear for 2016

Hit the ground running this January with the latest must-have travel essentials. From the hottest apps to the best in tech to functional and stylish luggage, we look at what the road warriors will be packing in the New Year.

APPS

FLIO

Avoid the hassle of signing up for free Wi-Fi at city airports with FLIO, an app that automates the process so you can be checking e-mail and browsing news feeds in seconds. FLIO has all of your airport answers, including terminal maps, security wait times, places where you can charge your laptop and suggested activities for your children. The app also offers discounts on food, drinks and shopping, and provides flight information and gate changes across 850 airports.

Mobile Passport Control

Expedite your entry into the United States with Mobile Passport Control (MPC), an app developed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to facilitate your customs experience. Replacing the traditional blue and white paper forms, this app allows you to submit your declaration via smartphone or tablet. Just create a profile, fill it out and then send it – along with a selfie – so that the information is waiting when you arrive at the window. The app also supports single submissions for families travelling together. Right now, the app can only be used by travellers arriving at Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, Seattle and San Francisco city airports, but MPC is expected to expand to at least 20 new airports in 2016.


TECH

Bose QuietComfort 20

Enjoy noise-cancelling audio gate to gate with the best travel headphones on the market. The device even offers better active noise-cancelling than its cousin, the bigger over-ear QuietComfort 25. Washable silicone tips physically block some of the noise, while the noise-cancelling technology electronically reduces what’s left. This year’s models are available in new colours and come with improved support from Android. Enjoy better sound and lose yourself in music, TV or film.

TAG Heuer Connected Watch

With the help of Google and Intel Inside, TAG Heuer has created a beautiful and functional product that combines more than a century of watchmaking with the latest in computer technology. This luxury watch has three interchangeable digital faces, created in the design codes of TAG Heuer’s Carrera collection, that connect with up to 4,000 available apps at the Google Play store (it is also iOS-compatible). With 4 GB of memory and an all-day battery life, the device connects effortlessly via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and also offers audio streaming.


LUGGAGE

RiutBag

Designer Sarah Giblin created her first RiutBag in 2014 through an immensely successful Kickstarter campaign. This year she improved upon the product and created the R10 – a slimmer, sleeker version that has just come out on the market. RiutBags are minimalist backpacks created for the safety-conscious traveller. Equipped with zippers that face the wearer’s back, the bag protects against theft. It can also accommodate a surprising amount in its 10-litre hold, including laptops and other essentials. Each bag is hand-sewn in waterproof materials and also features hidden ticket pockets in both straps.

The Away Carry-On

It took 20 iterations for this company to make the perfect wheel, but the Away Carry-On now glides almost silently on its Japanese Hinomoto 360° spinner wheels. Made from 100-percent virgin Makrolon polycarbonate hardshell, this deceptively simple piece of luggage has strong YKK water-resistant zippers and an integrated TSA-approved lock on top of the bag. There is also a built-in 10,000 mAh battery that will charge your smartphones, tablets or other electronics. For the moment, the Away Carry-On is only available in the United States.