Ah, travelling. Packing your luggage, booking tickets, boarding flights—for some, it’s a delight, for others, a stressful nightmare. Whichever bracket you fall into, travelling takes you away from all the comforts of your home (and home is where the fully stocked fridge is). Even though you can’t bring all the home comforts you’d want with you when you travel, there are many useful devices and all manner of portable technology from smartphones to wearable tech that you can take with you to make both your journey and the destination a more comfortable and pleasant experience.
Basic tech necessities for travel
These days, nobody travels without a cell phone. We use it to keep in touch with folks at home, take pictures, and post about our travels on social media. Before you travel, you might want to consider upgrading to a new smartphone or an unlocked cellphone. Choose a phone with more connection options to international SIM cards as this will eliminate the frustration of being limited to Wi-Fi use when there is no access to your regular carrier while travelling. Also, look for smartphones with high quality cameras so that any pictures you take of your travels come out Instagram-ready.
Essential cellphone accessories for travel
Being able to communicate is always important, but never more so than when you travel. Whether you choose to upgrade or not, protect your cellphone from damage with a solid, shock-resistant phone case so you don’t have to worry about repairs if you accidentally drop it.
If you’ll be driving a car to do some exploring, make sure to also bring along a sturdy car mount so your cellphone can sit snug and safe as it navigates you to your destination.
With travel it’s all about convenience. So if, like me, you prefer travelling light, then carrying a laptop, its charger, and a separate laptop bag is not ideal. Instead, invest in a tablet. They are smaller and lighter than laptops and are big enough to watch movies and TV shows on while you’re on-the-go. Whether you prefer iPads or Android tablets, you will also have the option to complete any work you need to do—send emails, edit PDFs, write reports, design logos—who needs a laptop to travel when a much more portable tablet will suffice? As a bonus, tablets from popular brands like Apple and Samsung come with excellent cameras that you can use in place of your smartphone to take as many beautiful pictures as desired on your travels.
Essential tablet accessories for travel
Like cell phones, an expensive device like a tablet needs to be protected with a tablet case. Look out for cases that come with a retractable stand component so that you can adjust it when you want to watch movies or shows on your tablet.
For those using the tablet for work, bring along a tablet keyboard, which can easily be detached when not in use. Tablet and iPad keyboards are very slim and lightweight, so they won’t take up much room in your bag. Styluses can also be extremely useful for those who want to work on art or visual design projects.
Planes, trains, buses, and cars—they are wonderful for getting from point A to B, but they can be noisy. Planes especially can be loud and uncomfortable. This makes it very difficult to get some rest during long flights or even enjoy some music peacefully. Noise cancelling headphones are the perfect antidote for this. They dim the distracting sounds around you, allowing you to only focus on the rhythm and lyrics of your music or the descriptive story in an audiobook. If you have children, you can even buy noise cancelling kids headphones so that they too can enjoy the journey without being over stimulated.
Many noise cancelling headphones are adjustable, so you can set how much outside noise you want to filter through to be aware of your surroundings. Alternatively, there are also wireless earbuds and on-ear headphones that don’t have active noise cancelling, so you can choose the type you want depending on what’s most comfortable for you when strolling the streets of a foreign city.
Practical gadgets to carry when travelling
Power adapters and power banks
If you’re planning an international trip, it’s likely that you’ll need a power adapter that can accommodate the socket type of the country you are visiting. With a universal power adapter, you will never need to worry about not being able to charge your devices, no matter what country you visit.
Alternatively, you can also bring along a power bank, which is great for charging your cellphone, camera, eReader, or tablet while on-the-go.
Item tracking devices
When you’re away from home, there’s a higher risk of misplacing or losing your belongings. To make sure you can keep track of all the things precious to you, including your kids and pets, you can use item tracking devices. These devices are attached to an object, like a bag, wallet, or keychain, and they can transmit a location to your phone or beep loudly when within a certain radius, enabling you to find the tracker and the thing it is attached to with ease. Item trackers will help you stay confident when out and about and can be incredibly useful if you ever need to use them to find lost luggage, a phone, or even a pet.
Travel tech for convenience and comfort
If you’re more the type to relax on vacation by reading a great book, what better way to do this than with an eReader? With an eReader, you can embark on your next adventure with millions of books of all genres right at your fingertips. And they will weigh nothing! Whether it’s a Kindle or Kobo, you won’t have to worry about choosing between your favourite books to save space in your luggage. You can enjoy them all, and more.
Smartwatches and fitness trackers
When we’re away from home, we’re away from our regular routines, which can make it hard to keep track of things. Smartwatches can help keep you on track with your itinerary by sending you reminders for your flight or business meetings so that you don’t ever have to worry about missing a thing. You can also ensure you stick to an exercise routine with a fitness tracker that reminds you to stay active. As a bonus, fitness trackers like the Fitbit can also record say, how many steps you took while exploring the streets of Barcelona.
Just like fitness, dental care shouldn’t take a backseat when you’re away from home. Whether you’re planning an extended vacation or a quick trip, smart electric toothbrushes will ensure that you spend a healthy amount of time on your oral hygiene. Smart toothbrushes connect to an app on your phone, which will remind you when it’s time to start and stop, so you don’t even have to think about it. And you won’t have to use the little plastic toothbrushes that hotels provide, which create unnecessary waste.
Digital luggage scale
Baggage weight limits can be an issue while travelling, especially for domestic flights because there are usually lower weight limits when flying nationally. You can ensure that you’re within the allowed weight limit while packing your travel bags by using a digital luggage scale. These little devices are handheld and very easy to use. They will tell you exactly how much your bag weighs so you’ll know if you can add more items or will need to lighten the load to be allowed to check it onto the flight.
One of the many wonderful things about technology is that it makes travelling a lot more comfortable than it used to be. With all these different portable devices for travelling, you no longer need to worry about losing your luggage, missing a flight, or being unable to sleep because of a noisy passenger.
Find all the travel tech you need and more at bestbuy.ca
An unlocked cell is my essential as well. When I travel to visit family in Europe I bring an unlocked cell phone and pick up a “pay as you go sim” while we are there. That’s the cheapest way to get loads of data (unlimited in some cases). Too many horror stories of people accidentally using data while travelling and racking up massive bills.
I couldn’t agree more! Data is a huge concern while travelling internationally for me as well and I always only have an unlocked phone so it’s easy to switch SIMs.
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