The Canon 550d is just above the entry-level price for a digital SLR, but it performs well above its station. Wonderfully clear photos with clean results up to ISO1600, and usable at ISO6400. This means you can take low-light shots with confidence that they will turn out looking great. Add to that the ability to take full high-definition video (or 720p video at 50 frames per second), and you have a wonderful versatile camera for travel.
This tiny device is amazingly powerful. Just turn it on anywhere you can get 3G reception, and you’ll have internet access to any device with WiFi. This means on a family holiday you can share the internet with the whole family. Mum and Dad’s laptops, and the kids gaming devices and iPods will never be without internet coverage. This would get 5 stars, but I have to knock one point off for the continuing high cost of mobile internet.
I’ve never been on a cruise, but I’m told that a pair of handheld radios are essential kit. Without cellphone coverage, rounding up the family on these massive ships can be impossible. These particular Motorola radios also come with a hands-free option, so you could use them as a long-range baby monitor. They have a stated range of “up to 10km”, but this would be cut down a lot by all the metal in a cruise ship. Also: when you get home, you can use them as pretend spy radios with your kids!