Traveling With A Smartphone- Is Your Phone Ready?

Traveling With A Smartphone- Is Your Phone Ready?

Traveling with a smartphone

 

Camera, personal assistant, music player, movie theater, eBook reader, phone,… Our smartphones are an essential part of the modern age and we can build our whole life around them. This is no different for our travels. But even though they can help our trip run more smoothly, they are a more delicate travel partner and do demand some specific preparations and care on the road. Read our tips on how to make full use of your phone during your travels as well how to best protect it from the usual threats.

 

General tips for traveling with your smartphone – Is your phone ready for travel?

 

 

Buy a local SIM card

Especially when staying somewhere for a longer time, this is the first thing you should do. You can benefit from local rates as well as the data usage so you won’t have to rely on Wi-Fi all the time. Make sure to inquire after the cheapest as well as the better providers to suit your needs. I, for instance, benefit best from a provider that offers good connection in more remote areas so this is one of my priorities. If you will remain in densely populated areas, this is less important for you and you can focus on other matters, for instance, the price per MB. I have a detailed post on buying a sim card and where to get the best deals here

 

traveling with a smartphone

 

Your planner and research partner

With the data usage enabled by your local SIM, you can always use your phone to research places to go. But there are also loads of travel and planner apps out there. If you enjoy keeping an overview, you can use apps like Tripit, TripCase, and Roadtrippers. I can’t go into detail here since I have never used them myself but I have heard from fellow travelers that these have helped them a lot.

As for me, I tend to just wing it on my travels and the only apps I use are Hostelworld and Booking.com. I would use them when visiting cities (since they offer good deals and I am really bad at price negotiation!) and in more remote places I would just wait until I get there and try to get the cheaper or more interesting option by looking for homestays or hostels that don’t have Wi-Fi. You will find that when a very remote place offers Wi-Fi, it will reflect greatly in the price!

 

Content protection

I am sure we have all had a mini freak-out over some sensitive content on our phones when we lost or briefly misplaced it. A simple suggestion would be to enable the lock screen at least to save yourself some time. The pattern locks are generally the easiest to break so perhaps it is better to avoid using this one. But there are more effective ways to find or protect a lost phone.

For Android, you can use the Android Device Manager to either locate or call your phone or even to lock and erase all content remotely. The latter is the better option when your phone gets stolen while traveling.  For IOS you can use iCloud and for Windows, you can go to windowsphone.com to explore your options further.

 

International sockets

This is a no-brainer! Research the plug and socket type for the country you are visiting. If you travel a lot and to many different places, consider purchasing a set. I recommend this travel adapter

If traveling within your own country, buying a USB wall charger is a good tip for convenience in use and travel. If you do, also consider purchasing shorter wires than the ones provided with your phone. This way you avoid a tangled mess and also take up less room in your bags. You can also use a travel organizer bag for your wires. 

 

Always be alert

You will read this and think “well yes, obviously” but it is very easy to get careless especially when you reach a level of comfort in a specific place. It is important not to leave your phone unattended, not even right next to you on the table. It only takes one second of not paying attention for someone to grab it and run.

During my travels, I spoke with a girl who had had her phone stolen twice by the time I met her and one time here phone was simply snatched out of her hands while she was texting. A lot of tips in this article relate to your phone being a planner or navigator and you will sometimes need to use it while walking. But here too it is important to choose where you check your phone and to keep it close otherwise. When using it as a navigator, enable the vibrate mode so that you feel the notification when you need to make a turn and know when to check it (no need for the earphones, they only draw more attention and make you less attentive to everything around you), consult the map now and then when you feel it is safe to do so, but otherwise keep it close and outside of view or easy access from others. Read more tips on theft and keeping your valuables safe here.

 

Local emergency numbers

These days we tend to forget our phone can also function as a phone. Make sure that when you travel internationally, you put the local emergency numbers on speed dial. They can, of course, be Googled, but in emergencies, swift action is always desired.

Heading out of town

These tips apply to general use as well but are of particular use when traveling outside of cities and into more remote and natural areas.

 

Waterproof bag

However far we may try to hide our phone in our bag, a big storm can still create some problems. Always keep a waterproof bag handy for these situations. It is a small investment but could potentially prevent a lot of issues. Here is a fantastic one on Amazon.

 

Shockproof phone case

If I still had the before and after pictures of my previous smartphone after I returned from my travels, you would laugh. Or maybe cry. I had to make certain choices regarding what I invested in and what not and as expenses added up, I decided not to get a phone case for extra protection. In retrospect, this was a mistake. I should have known since I can be very clumsy and by the end of my travels I had dropped my phone so many times, usually in places where dropping it could be fatal, that big parts of my screen were missing. In the end, it is a lot more expensive to invest in a new phone! This is a great shockproof and waterproof case for iPhone users. 

 

Maps.me – offline maps

I swear by this app as ‘the’ navigator to use. I first installed maps.me in Bolivia when wanting to walk to the canyons outside of Tupiza without a guide and have used it ever since. As it includes an offline function, you can consult these maps in more remote areas as well. All you need to do is download the map for whatever country/area you are visiting. In my experience, this app is more user-friendly than others out there and offersd more routes into remote areas.

 

Google translate app – offline mode

The times of phrase books and dictionaries are over. Especially now that you can get the Google Translate app in offline mode for convenient use in remote places. Don’t let this stop you from trying to get by in the local language, though. Learning a new language is good for your mental agility as well as gaining a richer, cultural experience. Google translate should be a last resort, even after using your most expressive body language and making a complete fool of yourself, and not your constant go-to. There is nothing more annoying and unnatural than trying to have a conversation with someone who keeps typing and staring at their phone.

 

Portable power bank

The portable power bank is your smartphone’s best friend when wandering away from sockets and electricity, especially when you also use your phone as a camera or even as a flashlight. When heading off the grid for a longer period of time, consider a power bank equipped with a solar panel.

Other than a good way to keep charged when on the road, the power bank can also be used to prevent your phone from being stolen. When you have to leave your phone unattended when on the charger (don’t, though) and you feel unsafe doing so, charge your power bank instead so you can then use that to charge your phone and keep it on you. Perhaps it is possible for the power bank to get stolen, but these are easier to replace than a phone. This is my recommended power bank. It’s not the cheapest one on the market but it’s worth the few extra dollars for the quality and features it has.

 

Here is a great video showing some other smartphone travel tips. 

 

 

 

Summary

Even though important in our lives, a smartphone can be frustratingly fragile and this reaches new levels while we travel. But in following these simple tips and practicing some caution otherwise, you can make full use of your phone and still get it back in one piece. So don’t stress and remember your phone can make your travels easier, not harder!

If you enjoyed our tips and guides for traveling with a smartphone, have a look at all our travel gear guides here:

 

Hopefully, you found these guides helpful. As always, feel free to leave a comment or send us a message anytime via our contact form.

Thanks for reading!

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission if purchases are made through those links at zero cost to you. I will only sell and recommend products that I have either used personally or believe will be helpful for you. You will only see proven and trusted gear, and I will help guide you away from the products that simply don’t work!

 

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buying a sim card in europe

Buying a SIM card in Europe

Can Light Therapy Glasses Help Jet Lag?

Can Light Therapy Glasses Help Jet Lag?

Can Light Therapy Glasses Help Jet Lag?

 

can light therapy glasses help jet lag?

 

Light therapy glasses are a futuristic looking style of glasses that are helpful in many ways. They are becoming more popular over time and are extremely effective. Some people use phototherapy (light therapy) to improve circadian mood disorders and sleep disorders. They are also used to improve insomnia, increase energy levels, and reduce the effects of jet lag.

So can light therapy glasses help jet lag? Yes, they sure can!

If you fly through multiple time zones on longer international flights, then you know how difficult dealing with jet lag can be. There are many products you can use to help combat jet lag, including No Jet Lag Homeopathic Remedy and Jet Lag Rapid-Reset.

In my article What Is The Best Way To Avoid Jet Lag, I mention a few other tips that can be very helpful in reducing the effects of jet lag.

In this post today, I will show you another great way that is very effective when dealing with jet lag. Light therapy glasses.

 

What Is Light Therapy?

Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, is basically using light to treat certain medical conditions. One of those conditions is when the circadian rhythm is misaligned to the natural patterns of light. This will affect your ability to sleep.

You may have heard of light therapy glasses being used for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which is a treatable mood condition.

 

Are Light Therapy Glasses Safe?

Yes. For the most part, there are no issues with using light therapy glasses. There is a chance that you may experience some side effects which include headaches, insomnia, photophobia, fatigue, hypomania, irritability.

 

How Often Do I Use Light Therapy Glasses?

Generally, 20-30 minutes of use is often enough to receive the benefits depending on the type of glasses you are using. Some glasses like RE Timer recommend you use them for 60 min.

A great feature of these glasses is the ability to use either an app or scheduler to put in specifics about your travel to get a personalized calculation of when to use them.

For example, you might need to start wearing the glasses 3 days prior to your trip for a certain time. This will adjust your body clock for your destination. Then upon arrival, wear them again for 3 days for the same amount of time. They really are amazing and helpful for battling jet lag.

 

There are 3 brands of light therapy glasses that I recommend. Each has its pros and cons which I will explain.

  1. Luminette 2 
  2. AYO
  3. RE Timer

 

 

 

Luminette 2

Features and Functionality

Luminette 2 is a type of light therapy glasses that are commonly used for improving not only depression but also Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D) among other issues such as anxiety, jet lag, and insomnia.

These glasses are purposely made as an alternative for lightbox therapy. They are much flexible in the sense that they can be worn while you carry on with other duties such as working out or when doing yoga hence its convenience.

Luminette 2 is made in such a way that it produces a full spectrum light which has been proven to alleviate some of the symptoms of SAD since it stimulates daylight and can help to reset your circadian rhythm.

This full spectrum light also leaves the user feeling energized and awake thus encouraging normalized sleep and wake cycles. At about 17 ounces, 1.2 oz, the Luminette 2 is in lightweight thus making it more comfortable to wear.

Luminette 2 has a patented lighting system which provides ideal eyes exposure while keeping the vision free. Notably, the patented illumination system makes it possible to use the Luminette glasses without affecting your general vision or rather a comfort.

Another great feature about these light therapy glasses is the fact that they have a long autonomy in the sense that, it is rechargeable using a micro-USB cable and one charge can serve you for up to six sessions and the glasses are normally supplied with a USB plug charger.

Additionally, its equivalent to a 10,000 LUX LAMP, this is to say that; the light emitted by the Luminette 2 glasses is blue-enriched white light and it comes with three intensifies that is, 500, 1,000 and 1,500 Lux and studies have proven that the glasses are much more effective than a 1,000 LUX LAMP.

The Luminette 2 glasses come with a protective case, a lens cloth and you need not to worry about how to use them since they come with an instruction manual. Above all, Luminette 2 light therapy glasses are safe and certified and they have been used by more than 50,000 users worldwide since 2006 and according to the European Standard IEC they are certified as ‘zero-risk.’

Luminette 2 Pros:

  • They are very convenient in the sense that, you can still use them as you do your morning routine be it getting ready for breakfast, watching television, working at your computer, undertaking light exercises name them all.
  • It has a strong power autonomy since it can go up to six sessions and one session lasts for about 20-45 mins depending on the light intensity you choose. Above all, it’s proven to be one of the best alternatives for light box therapy.

 

Luminette 2 Cons:

  • It’s restrictive for usage only when you wake up. The boosting effect of the Luminette 2 effect is almost immediately and it takes you about 4-7 days before realizing the impact, therefore, it’s not an immediate solution for your SAD.
  • They also have an initial discomfort experience.

 

 
 
The Luminette 2 light therapy glasses are available on Amazon.
 
 
 

 

AYO Light Therapy Glasses

Features and Functionality:

 
AYO is one of the world’s best-advanced light therapy glasses that are designed to improve the user’s sleep as well boost energy, jet lag and above all correct the user’s natural circadian rhythm using full spectrum light.
 
 
They are designed for effectiveness as well comfort since they have some specially crafted extensions that keep the frame elevated over your nose bridge and they do not distract your vision.
 
 
The glasses include blue LED lights that are normally positioned in such a way that it ensures the light illuminates into the eyes and ultimately on both retinas. Additionally, the AYO glasses are designed with smart programs which are adjustable for travel, energy and sleep options and are controlled using the goAYO applications which are available for both IOS and Android.
 
 
They all have a standardized dimension of 6.1*2.6*0.9 with a light weight of 1.2 oz. They are also designed for Jet LAG prevention since the glasses are able to compact light easier and more conveniently with the light therapy solution allowing you to adapt to new time zones of about 2-3 times faster thus making your air travel more comfortable, smooth as well enjoyable.
 
 
Another amazing feature about the AYO glasses is the fact that the go AYO application utilizes proprietary algorithms to calculate the appropriate time for you to use the glasses thus helping you with your sleep as well rejuvenating and boosting your energy.
 
 
Lastly, the AYO light therapy glasses are proven and certified to be safe for use to optimize your natural circadian rhythm. Similarly, AYO technology is based on the fact that it is tested and proven as a light therapy solution with over 10,000 successful cases and it’s also considered safe for the users’ eyes according to EU and it’s independently certified by TUV.
 
 
AYO Pros:
  • Its batteries are reachable and with over 10,000 hours of estimated life span.
  • It’s effective when it comes to boosting your sleep, your energy, reduces Jet LAG symptoms.
  • It comes with an integrated power bank, a protective case, and a wireless charging system.
  • The goAYO application allows the user to record their daily activities.

 

AYO Cons:

  • One of the known disadvantages of AYO is the fact that it can be expensive.
  • Again, the impact of this light therapy normally varies from one person to another therefore, it’s not guaranteed that you will have the same experience as the other person.

 

 

 

 

The AYO light therapy glasses are available on Amazon.

 

Re-timer Light Therapy Glasses

Features and Functionality

These glasses are made specifically to rejuvenate your body clock, improve your sleep through reestablishing your sleep schedule as well as reduce the SAD syndrome.

Additionally, these glasses are made for active and busy people who can’t find time to sit in a lightbox therapy. The Re-Timer light therapy glasses have superior green-blue illumination which has been chosen for both safety and efficacy baring in mind that the green-blue mind is very effective in influencing sleep.

The Re-Timer illuminations are UV-free as they have been independently tested for eye safety by the international standards CEI and proven to be user-friendly. It’s actually amongst the world’s best-selling light therapy glasses as its available in more than 46 countries.

It has an equivalent of about 500, 10,000 LUX LAMP and it emits illuminations at wavelengths between 450 and 550nm and the light intensity emitted is adjustable at one of the power buttons on the inside part of one folding earpiece.

The frames are uniquely designed to prevent obstructing vision and thus you can wear the glasses and still carry on with other activities.

Re-Timer Pros:

  • They are completely portable and lightweight as it comes with a convenient and protective case as well as a user manual.

They are not time restrictive since you can either use them in the morning or evening depending on how you want to influence your sleep.

 

Re-Timer Cons:

 

  • The power autonomy is generally low since it can last for at most four hours.

 

 

The Re-Timer light therapy glasses are available on Amazon.

 

Regardless of which type of light therapy glasses you chose, they can really help with jet lag. Each has its pros and cons, and price differences. Many travelers have used these with great success and they are definitely worth trying if you are an avid traveler on international flights crossing many time zones. You might find these to be the answer you are looking for!

 

Hopefully, you enjoyed this article and found it helpful. As always feel free to leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Cool Travel Gadgets You Can Take On A Plane

Cool Travel Gadgets You Can Take On A Plane

Cool Travel Gadgets You Can Take On A Plane

 

cool travel gadgets for carry on

 

 

We all love cool travel gadgets. In today’s world of growing technology, our selection of cool travel gadgets is getting better all the time. What’s even better is knowing that you can bring some of these gadgets on a plane with you as carry on items.

Travel gadgets, innovative gear, and accessories can really make things easier, safer, and convenient for you while traveling.

For example, the use of smart luggage is becoming more popular all the time. Smart luggage can be taken anywhere you travel, making things easier and less stressful when used as a carry on bag.

Travel gadgets can help keep yourself organized, solve those annoying problems you may encounter, and they also make a perfect gift!

 

Cool Travel Gadgets You Can Take On A Plane

 

  • Smart Luggage
  • Portable Pocket WIFI
  • Travel Drones
  • Apple Smartwatch
  • Travel Pillow
  • Travel Vacuum Storage Bags
  • Wireless Headphones
  • Compression Socks
  • Airplane Foot Rest
  • Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet
  • Universal Travel Adapter

 

 

What Can You Not Pack In Your Carry On Bag?

 

First, let’s have a look at some things that you are not allowed to pack in a carry on bag.

  • Liquids – All liquids over 3.4 oz or 100 ml are not allowed on board. Any liquids under this limit must be in a travel plastic bottle or container and zipped in a bag to prevent leaks resulting in a huge mess. You can see the TSA liquids policy here.

 

  • Sharp Objects – As a general rule, keep any sharp objects out of your carry on bag. This includes knives, needles, tools etc.. Any sharp objects must be placed in your checked in luggage. There are some exceptions like small scissors under 4″ and plastic utensils, but just be aware that the final decision rests with the TSA agent at security screening in regards to whether an item is allowed on board. Did you know you can bring an electric razor on board? Read my article best carry on board beard trimmers here.

 

  • Guns – This is self-explanatory but I figured I should mention it. Although guns are allowed in your checked luggage under certain conditions, they are never allowed on board. Check with your airline company to confirm the checked in requirements if you need to bring a gun.

 

  • Sporting goods – Some sporting good items such as baseball bats, golf clubs, sticks, pool cues can be used as weapons and are not allowed on board. If you are looking to air travel with golf clubs, here is my article regarding bringing golf clubs on board a plane.  

 

  • Lighters, matches, flammable liquids – These are generally never allowed on board a plane for obvious reasons. But there is an exception to the rule. Certain types of lighters (Zippo and disposable types) may be allowed on board and only allowed in your checked luggage if there is no fluid in them. Extra lighter fluid is not allowed. For the record, e-cigarettes and vape devices are allowed on board a plane.

 

I recently wrote an article 12 Things you didn’t know are allowed on a plane. Feel free to read that as well.

 

Smart Luggage And Smart Travel Bags

 

As I mentioned earlier, smart luggage is getting more popular all the time. Imagine having a luggage bag that has a brain. Smart luggage uses Lithium-Ion batteries and those batteries must be removable to be used as a carry on.

My article Smart Luggage Options For Airplane Carry On explains everything you need to know with regards to regulations, best smart luggage brands, options and features, and much more.

A great smart luggage bag that I recommend is the G-RO Classic. It has many features, includes a lifetime warranty, durable and built to last, and is affordable.

You can read more on the G-RO luggage bag by clicking the link above or see all the G-RO smart bags by clicking the image below.

 

 

 

Portable Pocket WIFI

 

A portable pocket wifi device is like having a small router in your pocket.

You will be able to connect your devices to wifi just like you would at home.

Portable wifi is very convenient and useful when traveling.

The Huawei E5577Cs-321 is a great device that has many 5 star reviews. You can read more in my article Best Portable Pocket Wifi For Europe or see the latest info and pricing on Amazon

 

Travel Drones

 

Another awesome gadget that is gaining in popularity is a travel drone.

 

These drones are actually very affordable and the technology is so good now, that you will be able to take amazing photos and videos of your vacation from the air. Keep in mind that not all drones will be suitable for carrying on board an airplane.

You will need to make sure it is the proper size, with the proper batteries, and a proper drone travel case.

My article How To Travel Safely With A Drone explains all the regulations and everything you need to know about traveling with a drone.

A great drone that is suitable for airplane carry on, is the Altair AA818 Hornet Plus Drone. You can read all about it in my article Best Affordable Travel Drones With Cameras or check out the latest customer reviews and price directly on Amazon. 

 

Apple Smartwatch

 

There should be no argument that the Apple Smartwatch is in line with the best smartwatches on the planet. If not the best!

Apple plans for the watch to be around for quite some time, as it keeps getting better and more improved.

Series 1 – Series 4 watches are available at many retailers and are very popular.

 

The Apple Watch is great for travelers as it has many features and apps that will help make traveling easier.

If you are looking for a great deal, I recommend you take a look on Amazon where the prices and availability is great.

You can also take advantage of a certified refurbished product where you will save quite a bit on this watch.

For example, the Apple Watch Series 4 is selling for a great price now on Amazon. New and certified refurbished. Click the link to see the current price. The Series 3 model is now much cheaper.

Here is a great review of the Apple Watch.

 

 

 

TTRL Travel Pillow

 

When it comes to travel pillows, there are so many options out there and it can be difficult to choose the right one.

There are certain ones that I recommend for airplane use and my favorite is the TTRL travel pillow.

This travel pillow for carry on is a best seller, I personally love it and have no complaints. My favorite things about the TTRL is the neck support and comfort it provides and the compact size and weight. Not to mention the great price! Just what you want for bringing on a plane.

 

The TTRL travel pillow is available on Amazon here.

 

 

 

Travel Vacuum Storage Bags

 

I had to include these on the list as they are so cool!

These travel vacuum storage bags are used when traveling and you want to save space in your luggage.

They will help you cram as much as possible into your bags without going over the allowable luggage weight limits.

The package comes with a USB powered electric pump, it’s very compact and easy to take with you anywhere.

These are a perfect solution to saving space inside your luggage! Available on Amazon here.

You can read more on luggage storage solutions in my post here.

 

 

 

 

Wireless Headphones

Can you bring your own headphones on a plane? Yes, you sure can! Click the link to read my article for all the full details. Wireless headphones are no exception and having a great set of noise-canceling headphones can go a long way to helping you have a much more enjoyable flight.

The nice thing to know is that you don’t need to break the bank to get good headphones that are suitable for airplane use. My favorite headphones on the market today are the Bose QuietComfort QC 35. 

I have used different Bose products and currently use the QC 35 for airplane use. In my opinion, they can’t be beaten for quality and price.

If you are looking for a lower budget option, check out our travel headphones section where you will see many great options.

 

Compression Socks

 

Compression socks are something that not many people think about bringing with them when traveling on a plane. But they are very important to have.

As I mentioned in my post 9 Unique Gift Ideas For Frequent Travelers, long flights can have an effect on poor blood circulation in the body. Some people have noticed swollen ankles and feet after a flight.

Compression socks are very helpful in keeping the blood circulation going while preventing swollen ankles and feet.

I recommend you try the Physix gear compression socks on Amazon.

 

Airplane Foot Rest – Sleepy Ride

I love using these Sleepy Ride airplane footrests. They are a very popular carry on board item and will provide you with comfort as you are crammed in your airplane seat.

They will help you relax and are proven to help with swelling and soreness while flying. They are lightweight, easy to use and no problems with bringing them on board.

Made with quality materials and memory foam to ensure, the Sleepy Ride footrest will elevate your feet sort of like being in a hammock.  your feet will sway and move slightly as the airplane moves which is much better than having them on the floor!

The Sleepy Ride footrest is very affordable and can be found on Amazon where it’s #1 bestseller. Click the link or image to go directly there.

 

Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet

The Amazon Fire HD 10 is my most recommended tablet for use on an airplane. I mentioned it as the #1 choice in my post for Best Tablet For International Travel. 

It is an improved version from the awesome HD 8 and is very affordable. If you are on a budget but still looking for quality and great features, look no further. You can’t go wrong with the Amazon Fire HD 10. 

It is very fast and responsive with a nice HD display. Travelers will appreciate this tablet. There really aren’t many cons about the Fire HD 10. If I had to pick one thing, it would be that some people have complained about the strength of the wifi connection.

But there are so many variables there, I find it hard to believe a #1 bestseller on Amazon would have this problem but it’s possible!

You can read all the reviews and check the current price of the Amazon HD 10 tablet here.

 

Universal Travel Adapter

Last on my list, but certainly not least, is a universal travel adapter. I need to emphasize how important these are to have if you are traveling internationally.

Not all countries use the same power plugs and power ratings, so if you are traveling to another country and need to plug in any of your devices, you will be out of luck without a universal travel adapter. Trying to find one last minute can be a nightmare and could end up costing you much more money.

These travel adapters are easy to take with you in your carry on bag. They are very inexpensive and are a must-have item. So plan ahead and buy one before you travel.

This adapter will work in over 200 countries. It is a new and updated version and comes with 3 USB ports, auto-resetting fuse and many safety protection features that are important to have.

The Glamfield Universal Travel Adapter is available on Amazon by clicking here or the image.

 

Summary:

So there you have 11 cool travel gadgets that you can take on a plane. All of these items are very useful for travelers, won’t break the bank and you can carry them all in your carry on bag. Just not at the same time! Well, I guess you could if your luggage meets the airlines carry on luggage guidelines for size and weight. I have an article for that too, just click the link to read it.

Hopefully, you enjoyed this article and found it helpful. As always, feel free to leave us a comment below and tell us your thoughts.

Thanks for reading!

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Smart Luggage Options For Airplane Carry On

Smart Luggage Options For Airplane Carry On

 

Smart Luggage Options For Airplane Carry On

 

 

We all know that technology is getting more advanced all the time. Imagine this. Luggage with a brain. Or as I like to call it bags with brains.

When I first heard about smart luggage I was skeptical for a few reasons. For one I didn’t think it was necessary and a stupid idea, two I thought it was expensive and a waste of money, and three I was convinced that smart luggage would never become popular and be a huge flop. Boy was I wrong.

Smart luggage is becoming hugely popular amongst travelers these days. More and more people are starting to see the convenience and experience of how smart luggage can make traveling easier and more enjoyable!

Plus for all the techy travel geeks out there, who wouldn’t want a smart bag!

 

What is a smart bag or smart luggage?

 

First, let’s look at what smart luggage is. When anyone mentions smart luggage, think of any bag or suitcase that has high tech capabilities.

Smart luggage is powered by lithium-ion batteries which can be removable or non-removable. More on that shortly.

 

What Does Smart Luggage Do?

 

Smart luggage can do some pretty impressive things and make your travels easier. Some examples are:

  • GPS capabilities – track your luggage by using GPS on your mobile device. Use GPS luggage tags.
  • Bluetooth enabled
  • Electronic locks – Use TSA approved locks that can be controlled from your smartphone.
  • Apps controlled remotely
  • Charging capability for your devices
  • Electronic weighing – shows the weight of the bag just by picking it up.
  • WIFI capability – portable WIFI hotspots in the event you are in an area with no connection.
  • Prevent identity theft – RFID blocking liners to prevent identity theft.
  • Solar charging ability

 

Not all smart luggage will have every one of these features but expect to see a combination of each on most bags.

 

Are Smart Bags Allowed On Planes? Smart Luggage Ban

 

 

 

Ok, so now that I told you how great and convenient smart luggage is, there is a pretty big problem you might run into.

Not all smart bags are allowed on airplanes. Yup, that’s right. Starting on Jan 15, 2018, there is a smart luggage ban in place for some airlines restricting the use of smart luggage that do not have removable lithium-ion batteries.

Not all airlines are affected but a few have already implemented this smart luggage ban including Delta Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and United Airlines.

It is expected that many other airlines, if not all of them will implement this ban in 2019.

But here is the good news about the smart bags ban. It doesn’t affect all bags. Just the ones that don’t have the removable lithium-ion batteries. This is due to the fire safety hazard of placing lithium-ion batteries in the cargo hold of the aircraft.

There has always been rules and regulations in place with regards to carrying batteries on board a plane. You can read more on that here.

So if you have a smart bag that does have a removable lithium-ion bag, you are in luck. I always recommend you check with your specific airline before traveling to confirm this as every airline can be different when it comes to carry on luggage restrictions. This can also include size and weight.

So to be clear, if you have a smart luggage bag with removable batteries, they can be used as a carry on with batteries removed. Bags with non-removable batteries, can not be placed in the cargo hold as checked luggage either. The bags can be placed there but the batteries can not. 

 

 

Which smart bag brands are approved by Airlines?

 

Any smart luggage brand that features removable batteries will be allowed on most flights. The most popular brands being Away, Arlo Skye, Heys, and Raden.

Raden is no longer in operation along with Bluesmart which was a very popular distributor of smart bags. I did some research and found out that Bluesmart has gone out of business due to the batteries being so difficult to remove in the Series 1 and newly-released Series 2 models, that it makes them impossible to fly with.

Here are my recommended Smart luggage bags for air travel.

 

G-RO Classic Carry On

The G-RO Smart luggage bags are designed with quality and long lasting features in mind. They offer a lifetime warranty and are very affordable.

 

 

Features:

  • Gravity roll indestructible wheels mounted on the side not the back
  • Removable 10,000 mAh power bank
  • Luggage strap for an additional bag
  • Constructed with carefully selected materials
  • World-class YKK zippers
  • Undergoes lengthy, rigorous stress tests and quality control to ensure that it is built to last
  • Compliant with FAA smart luggage regulations
  • Weight: 9.3 lbs
  • Dimensions: 14” wide x 22” long x 9” deep
  • Plus many more features

 

Here is a great review of the G-RO carry on smart luggage bag.

 

 

You can check out more info on the G-RO carry on classic smart luggage bag here or click the image above.

 

RADEN A22 USB SMART LUGGAGE

The RADEN A22 is a great smart bag if you are on a budget but still looking for an airline approved, quality bag. It won’t have all the features of a more expensive, higher-end smart bag but still considered “smart luggage”.

Features:

  • Quality 100% polycarbonate shell
  • Reversed zipper linings and waterproof sealing
  • 4 double-spinning wheels
  • TSA-approved lock
  • Removable Battery
  • 2 external USB ports
  • Self-Weighing
  • Location Awareness: Built-in Bluetooth
  • Dimensions: 22″ x 14″ x 9″
  • Weight: 8.4 lbs

 

The RADEN A22 is very affordable and can be found on Amazon by clicking the link here or image above.

 

Smart Luggage Tags

 

If you plan to travel with smart luggage, I recommend you consider getting some smart luggage tags. Keep an eye on your luggage and never lose it in the airport!

The Swiftfinder smart luggage tag uses Bluetooth smart tracker and app to notify you when your luggage has checked in and arrives to you. It is compatible with IOS and Android devices, comes with a 5 year long lasting battery and is very affordable. A must have to keep your luggage safe and have peace of mind knowing your luggage is not lost.

My favorite feature is knowing where your bag is on the airport carousel. No longer will you need to push your way to the front in a panic to grab your bag as it flies by! With the Swiftfinder, you will know exactly where your luggage is and when it will come to where you are standing! Not bad for the cost of a few cappuccinos!

 

Summary

So I think that if you are an avid traveler, looking to find an approved luggage bag that is perfect for airline carry on, you should give the smart luggage a try. No longer am I skeptical like I used to be.

The GR-O smart luggage is highly recommended by many people. They have many 5 star ratings and is definitely worth the cost. You really can’t go wrong with GR-O.

The RADEN A22 is another great option at a smaller price tag with less options. A great bag overall.

Any of these bags will be great for the everyday traveler or business traveler. Smart luggage is the way of the future for travel luggage so check these out, you will be impressed!

Just remember that your smart bag must have a removable battery to be allowed on a plane!

Hopefully, you found this article helpful. As always feel free to leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.

Thanks for reading!

 

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Nomatic Life on the Move
How Virtual Reality Is Transforming The Travel Industry

How Virtual Reality Is Transforming The Travel Industry

How Virtual Reality Is Transforming The Travel Industry

By: Mieke Leenders

How virtual reality is changing the travel industry

 

We have always been fond of imagining the incredible or impossible but reality has often needed some time to catch up with our minds. Now that we are exploring more and discovering more, it is something of a tragedy that we can’t get there quicker. We are learning more about space every day but can’t go there yet. We read about all these amazing destinations but don’t have the time or money to visit all of them in our lifetime.

We are slowly kicking our addiction to material goods and are looking for a new high in unique experiences. With Virtual Reality, we can accommodate this trend by completing our destination bucket list and even by adding some things we might never have thought of. Next, to that, Virtual Reality is slowly but surely transforming the way we will travel as well as the way we will decide on where to go.

What is Virtual Reality?

 

What is virtual reality

 

Virtual Reality (VR) is an interactive, computer-generated immersion into a simulated environment. Although it has the reputation for mainly playing with our visual perception, other senses, like the sense of touch, has also been incorporated into the experience. The world can either be inspired by the real world or a fantastical one, but it can also combine the two and add some fantastical details into an existing location (augmented reality). VR is most commonly explored with a virtual reality headset, sometimes aided by certain objects or props do make the experience more layered and realistic.

VR and the travel industry

VR has many different kinds of applications and the travel industry is one that is being transformed by it in many ways. Virtual Reality is an amazing tool for enhancing existing experiences or presenting us with those that are still impractical to visit physically. VR will surely become an indispensable tool for our traveling experiences as well as an effective sales technique for hotels and travel agencies.

Travel where it wasn’t possible before

You might have some destinations on your list that are too dangerous or nearly impossible to visit in person. Or perhaps a bit too impractical for you to visit for other reasons. You might even have scratched these destinations off of your list altogether. In this context, VR has taken up the job of fulfilling some ultimate destination wishes that will, In turn, transform the way we think about them.

  1. Dangerous or unstable destinations

Marcus Olsson, CEO, and founder of SceneThere has devised some travel destinations in a virtual reality context. When he was invited to North Korea to speak on entrepreneurship, he took the opportunity to bring his 360-degree camera and take some shots while he was there, turning them into a VR travel experience.

North Korea is a place most of us have never been to considering the current state of affairs. Olsson’s idea in this is rather two-fold. He doesn’t only want people to see a place as if they are there, but perhaps it will also stimulate them to eventually take the chance to go there anyway. This way they can serve as an introduction to some places and in time, perhaps boost tourism in unexpected places.

  1. theBlu

Travel has often been associated with conquering our fears and experiencing something entirely new. The ocean can very easily be a rather intimidating destination but definitely also an interesting one. theBlu offers an underwater experience that brings you within touching distance of some of the ocean’s most iconic creatures. You can stand on a sunken ship scattered across the ocean floor and watch whales swim by. If you want, you can even have some adventures and help marine biologists on a quest to save some animals and learn as you are confronted with the real dangers of an underwater trip.

  1. Birdly

Travel has also been associated with a desire for freedom and no creature embodies this sensation more than the bird. Our desire to fly has taken shape in many different ways in the tourism industry. One of these is zip line and canopy tours where you can soar over jungles and forests, even near oceans. With Birdly, our new travel destination can be the skies themselves as well as some famous locations we can now explore from the air.

  1. Titans of Space 2.0

Most places on earth can be put within our grasp but the same can’t be said for space. Space travel has been the source of debate (and dreams) for decades but as far as commercial travel goes, we still have a long way to go. With VR, we can go on a  tour of the solar system that would exceed the efforts made by even the best planetariums.

Travel more interestingly at the destination itself

Other than creating a destination in VR altogether, an actual location can also be augmented into a more interesting and more educational travel destination. Here are two amazing examples;

  1. David Attenborough, National Museum of Australia

Do you just love Jurassic creatures from bygone eras? Yeah, me too. VR is transforming high culture just as much as destination tourism. The National Museum of Australia has opened exhibitions combing David Attenborough’s documentaries with close encounters with long extinct beauties as well as familiar destinations we can now see in a new light, as the great barrier reef. 

    2. SoReal China

China has opened the world’s first VR theme park. Located at the heart of Beijing, this theme park is a gamer’s dream. But it would be a mistake to think only gamers will get a kick out of this theme park. Wouldn’t many of us want to travel to the future, battle in space wars and even enter Star Trek? This high tech tourist attraction is bound to put Beijing even higher on people’s bucket list.

VR and the travel business

Although more easily connected to entertainment, VR is also being adopted to be applied for use in business. This is a particularly clever way to go about it. Next, to being overstimulated, we can also be distracted so easily. Rather than reading through a long, descriptive text or sitting through a sales pitch, it is so much more interesting to be shown the actual product, right then and there, as if we were present already. It is the theatrical yet equally effective version of ‘please, try this cheese cube and guarantee you will want to buy the whole block’.

VR and the hotel industry

 

Virtual reality hotel room

 

A picture can be very misleading. They will always be taken from the best possible angle and highlight a room’s best features while hiding the worst. How often does a hotel room actually look like it did in the photo? By allowing a potential guest to take a virtual walk through one of the rooms, they are immediately being given a better idea about the sense of space, light, and ambiance into a room conveniently accommodated with a 360-degree angle. A predecessor of this has already been used for many years in the 360-degree photo you could find on the websites of some more upscale hotels and resorts. This may have nudged us into the booking direction slightly but an actual walk through the room might almost be irresistible.

This can be taken further into a tour of the actual hotel and even a virtual booking process. Booking engine Amadeus has launched a virtual reality booking procedure in which you won’t only be able to purchase your plane ticket, for example, but you will be able to select your seat by taking a walk through the plane itself.

Sample your trip

The experience doesn’t have to stop with the sale of a hotel room. We rarely travel to just stay in our room, after all, but to get to know the location itself. This is why some hotels offer a virtual experience of some of the touristic highlights the area has to offer. You will able to stand on top of the Eiffel Tower or walk through the ruins of Rome.

Naturally, this method has also been adopted by some travel agencies who can now present the ‘month’s travel tip’ in a far more attractive jacket. If you are still deciding on the perfect honeymoon destination or where to go for your summer holiday, you can simply have a virtual one first.

VR Travel Apps

 

 

 

Conclusion

The virtual world is slowly merging with our physical reality and will definitely define the future of travel. Considering the big steps that have been taken already, the next couple of years are bound to be telling. VR will be a new sales technique using our strong focus on our visual senses as an incentive to buy. It will move tourism from the actual destination to the empire of our minds but on the other hand, it will also push us to visit certain places in person after haven been introduced to it. It gives life to our fantasies and makes impossible trips possible. The travel industry will always have a physical aspect tied to it and VR won’t replace traditional travel. It will simply transform it by combing what we already have, by what we dearly want to add to it.

Hopefully, you found these guides helpful. As always, feel free to leave a comment or send us a message anytime via our contact form.

Thanks for reading!

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How Virtual Reality is transforming the travel industry

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11 Best Travel Hacks For Packing Electronics

11 Best Travel Hacks For Packing Electronics

11 Best Travel Hacks For Packing Electronics

 

Best travel hacks for packing electronics

Best travel hacks for packing electronics

 

One of the most frustrating things when planning a trip is figuring out what you are going to pack. There are so many things to consider these days like baggage restrictions, weight limits, carry on board rules and much more. 

These rules and regulations are not much of a concern if you are going on a hiking or camping trip, but if you are air traveling, this can be a huge headache. I recently wrote an article on rules for carry on luggage you can read here. 

When packing your electronics, there are many things you need to be concerned with. Traveling with electronics is very common today and you will want to pack them right in order to prevent damage, also ensuring you are not breaking any rules.

In this post, I will show you 11 best travel hacks for packing electronics.

 

Best Hacks For Packing travel electronics

Best hacks for packing travel electronics

 

 

Packing electronics for air travel

When you go traveling with your electronics, it is a good idea to pack them in your carry on luggage. You don’t want to pack them in your checked luggage as you won’t be able to access them and you risk them getting damaged, lost or stolen. I wrote more information on packing your electronics for air travel in the post best tips for traveling with electronics. You can read that here.

 

1. Pack large electronics last

This will allow your electronics to be easily accessible on top, and you won’t need to go digging through your bag to find them.

 

2. Pack all your electronics together

This is important for 2 reasons. If you are on a flight, maybe a short flight, it will be easy to grab a tablet and say headphones together without rummaging around. They will be in the same location and you will know exactly where everything is.

Also, the TSA requires your luggage to be screened prior to boarding and it will be easier to locate them and unpack for the agents to screen.

 

Packing hacks for international travel

As you follow the tips above for packing your electronics for air travel, there are also some hacks to follow if you are traveling internationally.

 

3. Save luggage space by using an App

A great idea for saving space in your luggage bag is to download travel guides onto your smartphone. There are apps available for IOS and Android you can use for this eliminating the need for bulky paper books and guides.

 

4. Avoid extra fees – weigh your luggage before leaving for the airport

It’s very easy to weigh your luggage yourself before you travel. The airlines are very picky these days with weight and size limitations and you don’t want to be caught off guard and charged an extra hefty fee. I recommend the Etekcity Digital scale on Amazon. 

 

5. Use an international travel adapter

If you are traveling internationally, a universal travel adapter is a must-have. I made the mistake of forgetting one myself once. Yes only once! It can be very frustrating when you are in need of an adapter to charge your electronics and they are either nowhere to be found or way overpriced!

In my post 21 must have travel accessories, I mentioned this travel adapter. They are inexpensive and easy to pack in your carry on bag. You can buy one on Amazon here.

 

6. Use a portable backup device

This is something that not everyone remembers to bring with them when traveling internationally. If you are in an area that doesn’t have internet access, you may be taking photos or videos and need to back them up somehow. A portable backup device will allow you to do just that. I recommend you check out the Seagate backup plus slim on Amazon.

 

More packing electronics for travel tips

 

7. Store your cables and loose cords in a sunglasses case

This is a really cool idea and it works very well. To keep your USB cables, chargers and other loose cords organized and protected, use a sunglasses case you might have sitting around that you are not using.

 

8. Pack your batteries properly

 

Recent regulations now state that you must pack battery packs and lithium batteries in your carry on luggage. You can not pack them in your checked luggage. So if you plan to bring a drone or anything else that uses these batteries make sure you follow the regulations of the airline. This article will explain everything you need to know about traveling internationally with a drone, including how to pack batteries properly.

 

9. Use a smart electronics organizer case

Using an electronics organizer case is a very wise idea. Not only will it help keep your cables and cords organized, but it will also help protect and keep everything clean and all in one place. It is great for carrying and organizing cables, cords, USB, adapter, power bank, phones, Android and apple chargers, and other electric gear. I recommend the smart electronics organizer case on Amazon.

 

10. Keep your electronics device and charger together

It is important to keep your electronics device, Ipad, tablet, smartphone together with its charger in the same place and not separate them. Far too often, something happens where either your luggage bag will go missing or perhaps even stolen leaving you with a device without a charger. Or a charger without a device.

 

11. Use proper cases to protect your devices

Traveling can have a huge impact on damaging your devices. Most devices including smartphones, tablets, chargers will have proper protection cases you can buy if you don’t already have one. You can also use a universal travel case that will work for most devices. They will have a solid outer shell to protect from the elements and other hazards.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How do you save space when packing a suitcase?

Here are a few tips you can try to help save space in your carry on bag or checked luggage.

  • If you have a belt, lay it flat or roll it in your shirt
  • Pack socks inside your shoes
  • Use a pill organizer case instead of packing large bottles
  • Avoid last minute packing and stuffing your bag in a hurry. Plan ahead!
  • Wear bulky items if needed to save space. You can always carry the item or take it off later like a winter jacket
  • Use packing organizer cubes. These are amazing for saving space. I recommend these packing organizer cubes on Amazon.

Here is a great video showing some amazing packing tips

 

 

Can you carry your own headphones on a plane?

Yes, you can. But there may be times when you can’t. I recently wrote an article on the rules for carrying your own headphones on board a plane. You can read that article by clicking the link.

 

Travel essentials for men – Can you pack a beard trimmer in your carry on luggage?

According to the TSA, Transport Security Administration, yes you can carry these on board. There are certain beard trimmers that I recommend for carry on. You can read the full article by clicking the link.

 

Some other great travel packing tips:

  • This tip is great for people who love hiking or backpacking. When packing your backpack, try to place heavier items towards the bottom and against your back. This will help provide better balance.
  • Don’t assume that your medications are ok to pack. Always check the laws of other countries to ensure it is safe and legal to bring into the country.
  • Keep multiple copies of your travel insurance and other travel documents. Keep one in your carry on luggage and one in your checked luggage.
  • Keep track of your own travel packing hacks and tips that you learn along the way. Write them down or store them on your smartphone for reference for your next trip. It can be helpful for you on future travels!

If you enjoyed our best travel hacks for packing electronics guide, have a look at all our travel gear guides here:

Hopefully, you found these guides helpful. As always, feel free to leave a comment or send us a message anytime via our contact form.

Thanks for reading!

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission if purchases are made through those links at zero cost to you. I will only sell and recommend products that I have either used personally or believe will be helpful for you. You will only see proven and trusted gear, and I will help guide you away from the products that simply don’t work!

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