Fashion and gadget summer holiday essentials for 2013

It’s no accident that spring’s fashion weeks coincide with technology conferences and new phone launches. Samsung chose to unveil its much-anticipated S4 in Times Square just weeks after Chanel unveiled designer Karl Lagerfield’s hula-hoop bag. While the S4 may prove to be a much more popular purchase, even hula-hoop bags may have a place in this 2013 round-up of summer holiday musts.

Gadget: the travel-friendly Smartphone
Move over, iPhone. The S4 launch was their most secretive and biggest yet, with Samsung renting out New York’s Radio City Music Hall and creating a feature-length performance advertising the S4’s features. These include a built-in translator and TripAdvisor app—making the S4 one of the most travel-friendly phone on the market.

Taking a prized Smartphone on holiday may be dangerous: accidents do happen. Alcatel is now selling a £1 phone, which is cheap back-up. The phone is limited to texts and phone calls but on a beach in Majorca, that may be all you need.

Fashion: the new season’s swimsuit
Despite a new swimsuit being one of the most popular items for a summer holiday, only one third of women actually purchase a new bikini every year. This low number may be due to the inconvenience and hassle of shopping in stores, so women are adapting. Shopsmart estimates that 27 per cent of women now do their swimsuit shopping online. For updated patterns, shapes and styles, check out the latest range of swimwear at

Gadget: the portable router
In the tech world, everything is getting more compact and convenient to transport. Enter smaller and smaller routers that transform a lacklustre hotel’s connection into a WiFi paradise. The newest router from Asus is approximately the size of a pack of gum. A USB connector links an Ethernet cable to your laptop and transforms into an internet point for all your gadgets.

Fashion: the tote bag
This season’s designers tended towards transportable tote bags for their collections. With the exemption of the hula-hoop bag, the runway totes seemed both high-fashion and easy to wear. At the beach, big bags are a necessity and luckily, this season’s fashion favours the big and the bold in the world of handbags.

Gadget: the Bluetooth keyboard
Taking laptops on holiday is so passé. Just ask Apple: they’ve thrown their marketing efforts into selling the iPad mini like many companies embracing tablets. What is hard to get around is the annoying touchscreen . . .

And this is where a Bluetooth keyboard comes in handy, cordlessly connecting to a tablet to create a device with all the advantages of a laptop and none of the portability issues. They’re thinner and more lightweight than ever and Archos has an iPad-friendly one that is stylish and easy to use.