When you’re traveling, technology can be your biggest help getting where you need to go, finding how to get there, and maintaining your lifestyle while away from home. Anyone who has traveled before knows it can go one of two ways: it’s either a complete catastrophe, or you have an amazing time. Of course, we’re all hoping for the latter!
Since technology can be such a big help for your travels, I’ve compiled a list of 10 must-have apps and gadgets for traveling, in hopes that these tips will help make your trip a great one.
TripIt Travel Organizer
TripIt allows you to organize all of your travel plans in one place. Whether you use their app or their website, you can add and edit your plans manually, sync them with your calender, store all of your travel documents, and selectively share your plans with others. If you use Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook.com as your email provider, your travel confirmations will be automatically sent to TripIt for easy upload into their database, assuring that the app will always have your information on hand.
For $4.09 per month, you can sign up for TripIt Pro, which will allow you to do the following: receive real-time flight alerts, locate alternate flights, track your reward program points, receive fare refund notifications, and even find out when a better seat is available for your flight. If subscription services aren’t your thing and you’re more interested in trying before you buy, you can still take advantage of TripIt Pro with a 30-day, free trial.
(By: Kensington )
If you’re one to visit coffee shops and the like with your laptop by your side, it may be a good idea to pick up a Kensington ClickSafe Keyed Laptop Lock for your trip. Similar to a bike lock, the Kensington ClickSafe Keyed Laptop Lock will protect your computer when you need to step away for a moment. Compatible with 99% of laptops, this laptop lock retails for $44.99, though you can sometimes find it on sale at websites like Amazon.com or Newegg.com.
(By: LifeStraw )
LifeStraw is an award-winning portable water filtration straw, which filters out bacteria, protozoa, and viruses. With LifeStraw, you’ll be able to safely drink water no matter your location. As long as there’s a body of water nearby, you’re good.
Durable, lightweight, and battery free, LifeStraw retails for $19.95 and can filter up to 264 gallons of water. This straw doesn’t just clean your water; with every purchase of Lifestraw, you’re sharing clean water with school children in developing countries. Each LifeStraw product you purchase will give one school child safe water for an entire school year.
Since there’s almost no way to avoid using public Wi-Fi while traveling, it’s a good idea to install a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, on all of your devices before heading out. A VPN will keep your devices protected from malware and hackers by allowing you to encrypt your internet traffic and hide your IP address. You’ll also be able to unblock websites that are commonly blocked based on your geographical location.
ExpressVPN is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, and costs as little as $8.32 per month. It’s also backed by a 30-day, money-back guarantee and offers unlimited bandwith and 24/7 customer support. If you’re not sure whether ExpressVPN will suit your needs, review this extensive list of features available.
Universal AC Travel Adapter
If you’re traveling out of the country, you are definitely going to need a universal AC travel adapter. There are a handful to choose from, but they all do just about the same thing—let you plug your electronics into outlets not native to your home country. This is a must-have travel accessory that many forget about until they are already at their travel destination, without the ability to charge their phone, laptop, etc.
Don’t wait until the last minute to pick one of these up because they are not easily found in stores!
Deluxe Roadside Assistant
Going for a road trip instead of taking a flight? Well then you might want to bring this guy along. The Deluxe Roadside Assistant is a $179.95 gadget that can save the day; it can jump start your car’s battery, inflate your tires, power your devices, and even work as a radio or speaker for your MP3 player or smartphone.
Weighing less than 18 lbs. and toting a built-in emergency light, this device can easily be recharged through an AC socket or your lighter socket in your car, making it an absolute must-have.
Of course you’re going to need to eat on your trip, and although the locations of fast food restaurants are usually apparent, eating fast food every day is probably a bad idea. With Yelp’s app, you can find the locations of local businesses, whether it be a restaurant or not. Besides finding the locations, you’ll also be able to check reviews, view photos of the establishments, check their hours of operation, get directions, and more.
Yelp especially makes it easy for you to stave off hunger because you’re able to book reservations to restaurants and even order take-out or delivery on the app or website.
If you’re looking for a chauffeur, Uber is the app for you. Uber is available in 57 countries and brings transportation to you whether you’re looking for a fancy ride or a more casual one. A taxi without the whistles, Uber will get you to where you need to be, without having to stand roadside flailing your arms around or learning how to whistle.
One tap of the app, and your ride is on its way. You can also request a quote via the app and paying through the app is a requirement, making it a more secure choice than a typical taxi service.
Many are already familiar with this one. Skype allows you to call other users for free, and for a small fee, you’re even able to call non-Skype users. Compared to most cellphone plans, this is a much more affordable option to keep in touch with your friends and family internationally. Whether you’re using it on your smartphone or your laptop, Skype offers video chatting, voice calls, and messaging all in one place.
Nokia Treasure Tag Mini
Nokia Treasure Tag Mini is an app and gadget combo that keeps track of your belongings. For as little as $29.98, every item you tag will be displayed in-app on a map, and if you happen to forget your tagged item, you’ll receive a notification on your phone to alert you as you’re leaving.
With these 10 must-have apps and gadgets, your travels should be nothing but happy. Staying organized, easily locating restaurants and transportation, keeping your belongings in sight, having your devices secured, and preventing mishaps should make your trip much smoother. Whether you happen to be traveling for business or leisure, these gizmos are sure to make your time spent away from home feel much more like a vacation!