Most of us are traveling more and more for business and/or pleasure. There are essential tech items that will make your journey more enjoyable so you can concentrate on the fun stuff. No worries if you are not tech savvy, most of these tech travel tips are easy enough for beginners but also burly enough for us geeks to also appreciate.
1. TripIt Travel Itinerary App
I was the “that” girl who put together a tabbed travel binder for every trip. In my defense, it was the age of MapQuest and calling around to book reservations for any task. I have to pat myself on the back, those binders were quite spectacular. However, my life has forever been upgraded by my indispensable travel itinerary app – TripIt.
TripIt organizes all of your travel plans in seconds. Seriously! Faster than I can use a 3-hole punch. Unlike other travel apps, TripIt can organize it no matter where you book. Simply forward your confirmation emails from a booked flight, hotel, car, or another reservation to firstname.lastname@example.org, and in a matter of seconds, TripIt creates a master itinerary. Say farewell to the days of copying and pasting, or relying on your inbox to find what you need. You can access every trip, no matter where you are (even without wifi or cell service). You can instantly send plans to your calendar or share all or part of your trip with others.
They also have a Pro version which I cannot live without. TripIt Pro continuously tracks to find better seats, notifies you if your fare has dropped, and alerts you to early check-in for potential upgrades (whoop whoop!). The pro version prompts you when to leave, and tells you how long it will take to get there (it even tracks security wait times). TripIt Pro will escort you along your journey with searchable airport maps to find your gate, connection, bags, or nearby restaurants. If your plans change, they will immediately suggest other options. It is like I have a virtual travel assistant with me 24/7.
2. Outlet Adapters and Converters
Adapters are a necessity if traveling outside the states. Unfortunately, I have had many burn out on me (actual burn marks) or short circuit a hotel outlet (in one instance, the entire room – embarrassing). Therefore, I have learned to travel with a dual adapter/converter to cover all my bases. An adapter simply adapts your plug to fit the shape of their outlet. However, it does not necessarily mean that it is using the correct amount of voltage to power your device safely. This is where a converter comes in – it will convert to the proper amount of voltage. You also need the right converter for your needs as they are not all created equal. For me, I need one to go from using a larger wattage like a curling iron to charging my phone and everything in between. The Doace 2000W Converter/Adapter Combo fits the bill. If you only need one for smartphones, tablets, and computers, I would recommend the Bestek Universal Travel Adapter for 110V.
3. Travel Phone & Car Chargers
All of us are taking more selfies, photos, and videos than usual when on vacation and your battery can quickly move into the red zone even before it is noon. Many quick phone chargers are bulky and often take forever to charge. The Anker PowerCore 10000 phone charger fits easily into any pocket or bag. It is the perfect charger on a plane, on an excursion or anywhere else your phone needs a super-high-speed boost.
If you are taking a road trip or need to rent a car, a car charger is a necessity. Nothing is worse than trying to reach your hotel after a long flight and not having enough battery charge to get you there safely. After my own mishap, I quickly learned to pack the car charger in the same place within my carry-on so that I can instantly retrieve it.
Pro Tech Travel Tip: If you need to charge quickly, then power off your phone while charging. Turning off reduces the rate of power consumption by your phone to zero while it is plugged in, therefore increasing the rate of charging. Also, use your original charging cable from your device instead of the generic USB cable that might come with a charger to ensure the proper wattage.
4. Travel Headphones and Adapters
You are excited to start off your trip with a little rest and relaxation on the plane, yet the crying baby behind you and your snoring husband beside you leave you more frustrated than relaxed. I bet that noise-canceling headphones have saved many a marriage. If you are going to travel, use headphones with dual purpose: noise cancellation that makes quiet sound quieter and your music sound better. Put on the Bose QuietComfort headphones and suddenly everything changes. Your entertainment sound is enjoyably balanced. The engine roar gently fades away (as does your husband’s snoring) so you can enjoy a little peace and quiet.
The Bose headphones mentioned above include an adapter for airline travel. If your current headphones are a 1-prong, they will not work with the airlines 2-prong system. A small airline headphone adapter will do the trick so you can still use your own headphones. If your current headphones are wireless, do not despair. There is a receiver-adapter you can use, so you do not need to buy a second wired pair just to listen to in-flight entertainment. Please note that not all flights support Bluetooth usage. Some will ban it for the entire flight, while others are more lenient and allow you to use it after take-off and landing.