Travelling can be stressful, but luckily for us, the tech world is making it all that much easier. Here are my top 10 recommendations for apps and products that will bring your trip into the 21st century.
- Google Trips
Unlike the popular travel app Tripit, which is more so geared towards seasoned and business travellers, Google Trips focuses on being a simpler city guide and one-stop shop for all your reservations and information. Once logged into your Gmail, you will see all of your past, current and upcoming trips. Going into a trip tab will show you a visual grid of topics, such as all your reservations, general airport information, cultural and currency facts and many other need-to-know’s. The app also utilizes Google’s data to put together custom itineraries based on your length of stay, previous saves and popular searches. You can review a premade itinerary or build your own while getting lost exploring all your options in Google’s cyberspace. And the best part, it all works offline.
- Portable Charger/Charging Case
Possibly a no-brainer, but packing a portable charger is the saving-grace of technologies to have while travelling. Nothing is worse than getting lost in a city that you don’t know or where you don’t speak the language with a dead phone! If you have the space to carry around an external charger, then Anker’s 2000mAh PowerCore can charge your I-phone 6 seven times and weighs “as little as a can of soup.” If you don’t want to be carrying anything extra with you at all, Anker also makes super sleek charging cases that more than double your phones battery life and you won’t even notice it’s there.
- Bluetooth Tracker
We’ve all heard those lost luggage horror stories, and even if you take precautions by bringing your most valuable possessions in your carry-on, you’d still prefer to have everything you pack make it through safely. Tile is here to help that. Small, thin and powerful, this Bluetooth tracker can stick onto any valuable or slip straight into a suitcase. Through the connected app on your phone, you can make your Tile ring or see its last location on a map, perfect for finding your bag at the carousel or solving the mystery of your missing luggage.
- Portable Speakers
If you’re spending your vacation around a secluded beach or pool, you’re probably going to want to enjoy your own music. The JBL Flip speaker is small, portable, connects via Bluetooth, and best of all… waterproof! This speaker is perfect for relaxing worry-free around the water or in the sand. However, if you want to go even smaller, the JBL Clip fits in your pocket and contains similar features as the larger Flip. With either of these speakers you’ll be feeling right at home with your favourite tunes anywhere in the world.
- Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Although most people already travel with their own headphones (and if you don’t, it will save you from buying those terrible in-flight pair each time), investing in noise-cancelling headphones could be the next move. Not only are quality headphones useful around your own city, they’re perfect for all aspects of travelling, especially on an airplane. If you want a sleek but heavy-duty look and sound, Sony’s h.ear over-the-ear headphones feature comfortable full ear coverage, a hands-free microphone and come in a wireless option. If you want something a little more subtle, Audia Technica QuietPoint earbuds reduce background noise up to 90%, without fully covering your ears. With either option, you’ll be all set to enjoy your in-flight entertainment that much more and get a better sleep!
- Mobile Polaroid Printer
Although not the most helpful technologies to travel with, the mobile Polaroid printer can be a fun addition to any trip. Print your phone’s photos on the spot in less than 60 seconds through Bluetooth, from a printer that fits in your pocket. Physical photos can be great goodbye gifts for friends or family that you’re visiting, or for new friends that you meet abroad.
Although selfie-sticks receive some hate, and we don’t recommend using them in hectic places, they can be super useful when travelling alone. Compact enough to fold into your day bag, they can help you get that touristy shot that your mom keeps asking you for, without risking your camera in the hands of a stranger.
- Waterproof Phone Case
Nothing ruins a relaxing beach day like drowning your phone. But to keep you from running for a bag of rice, we (I?) recommend keeping your phone in a waterproof case. If you’re enjoying some riskier water adventures, the durable Choetech Dry Bag could be your safest bet, as the wrist strap will keep your phone by your side. Alternatively, if you’re just looking to protect from splashes or even some rain, Kooco’s protection cover is so slim no one will even notice it’s there.
- CityMapper App
Figuring out public transit in a new city (or even in your own city) can often be super confusing and stressful. The app CityMapper aims to help that with real-time data, secret walking routes and customizable maps based on your transportation preferences. You can also save transit routes and city maps to your phone so that you can access them offline while you’re out exploring. CityMapper is the perfect tool for planning a full day of touring like a local.
10. Point & Shoot Camera with Wi-Fi
Getting the perfect shot on your travels is more important than ever today, because, well… Instagram. Although your phone camera is a fine option, sometimes you need something more to fully capture the true beauty around you. Canon’s PowerShoot ELPH is the perfect point-and-shoot for touring around as it is small and light-weight enough to slip right into your pocket. It will save you from lugging around a DSLR without compromising on picture quality. As for the best feature, it connects to Wi-Fi, so you can upload those insta’s truly instantly.
Hopefully at least one of these products can help make your trip that much easier and therefore that much more enjoyable! Happy travels!