– by Bridgette Mabuto –
I love traveling. I traveled a lot growing up and continue to do so into adulthood. But traveling has changed a lot since I was a kid. Security has gotten more serious, charges for luggage are outrageous and it might just be me, but airplane seats feel much smaller these days.
Thankfully, with all these irritating changes came innovations. Technology has been doing its best to keep up with the modern traveler by providing devices and tech that make everything a little bit easier. Here are some tech options for your next trip or a gift for your globetrotting friend or family member.
August Smart Lock
Home security has become a vital part of any home, specifically, the newest launch of “smart” homes. The August Smart Lock provides homeowners with a keyless technology that consists of a simple installation lock that’s compatible with an already existing deadbolt. The lock allows for the homeowner to use the coordinate mobile app for easy access to settings, such as locking and unlocking the door, granting access to your family or friends remotely and keeping track of who comes and goes
The bonus? August uses the same technology that many secure institutions, such as banks, use to guarantee security. So you can leave your home knowing that your home is as safe as a bank vault.
If you’re an anxious pet owner, you need to invest in the newest pet friendly technology, which allows you to leave the house with a certain peace of mind. Petcube is a small device that connects to the Wi-Fi in your home and sends a video stream for you to access while you’re away. It’s understandable that you don’t feel comfortable leaving your pets alone, even if they have all the food and water they need. Petcube lets you be there for them, without actually being there.
My favorite part is that Petcube lets you speak through the device’s two-way audio stream, so your pets know you’re there, and can be comforted. Also, there’s a laser for a quick playtime with your fur babies.
SKROSS World Travel Adaptor
Traveling can already be a stressful experience without the added hassle of toting around cords and cables for all your electronics. And those cords grow exponentially if you’re traveling overseas, since power outlets vary from country to country. The SKROSS World Travel Adaptor lets you travel the world with one adapter; you save space and money and you don’t have to try to figure out which adapter you need for which country ahead of time. Some SKROSS adapters also have usb chargers that store energy, so you can charge your phone from wherever you are.
Wallet Titan Power Card
Keeping your electronics charged between locations can be tough. If you’re looking for a solution, the Wallet Titan features a small design, no bigger than a credit card, but it can give your phone a 60% charge from 0%.
The Wallet Titan Power Card is efficient and will save you time and prevent you from climbing under counters in train station bathrooms or fighting with the janitor for the only plug in a waiting lounge. I really appreciate that it’s compatible with all USB devices including, but not limited to, most cameras and smart-phones. This is an essential item if you want to travel with ease and not stay stuck to the wall incessantly checking your charge level.
If you’re worried about the security of your bag, Bluesmart is the perfect solution for you. This carry-on is connected to your phone, so you can access it from anywhere. You can track your bag, which is becoming more important in this age of lost luggage, weigh it, and even lock and unlock it. While supplies are limited at the moment, Bluesmart is definitely worth the wait and the investment.
Trakdot Luggage Monitor
Lost luggage is so annoying that I had to include two tech solutions to the problem. It’s the single most aggravating part of travel and too often people find themselves faced with this predicament. I once spent a week in the French Alps without half of my luggage, including my winter coat. Thankfully, recent technology has changed the fate of lost luggage.
Trakdot Luggage Tracker is a mobile app that allows you to track your checked baggage from wherever you have service. The tracker will even send a text message once you’ve landed to alert you of the location of your bags. This technology could help prevent the headache of lost luggage forever more.
Bose QuietComfort 25
Air travel can be long and tiresome, especially with the added noise from the cabin. If you want to get some peace and quiet or just enjoy your music, movie, or TV show without hearing the awkward fight behind you, you need a good set of headphones. Bose’s noise-canceling headphones are the way to go. They’re light and comfortable, but most importantly, they keep all the noise out. And if you’re flying 12 hours to South Africa, listening to an excited teenage rugby team throughout the entire flight is the last thing you want.
Dirty laundry is an inevitable part of travel and no one wants to pay the immense fees hotels charge just to launder just a couple of items. Luckily, there will soon be a solution: Dolfi. Dolfi resembles a bar of soap, but is actually an ultrasonic pod that can clean any piece of clothing–even delicate items—in the sink. You don’t need to do anything – no scrubbing, just add detergent, press the on button and let Dolfi do all the work. Unfortunately, it’s currently only available for pre-order, but when it arrives it will be incredibly helpful on your next trip.
I’m not recommending any specific product, but I can’t push this enough: If for whatever reason you won’t or can’t use your phone when traveling, get an unlocked GSM-compatible phone. (GSM is the most common cellular technology, and will work throughout most of the world. A CDMA-only phone cannot be unlocked.) Traveling without any mode of communication can be extremely dangerous. Also, expectations of communication and convenience are simply different than they used to be. Luckily, mobile phones can be programmed to run independently of limited phone services through a process called “unlocking.” If you unlock your phone, it is free from the singular programming catering to a particular phone company.
When traveling, buy a local SIM card and insert it into your phone. This gives you access to cell service, no matter where you are. It is an easy way to ensure that you will have ways to communicate with friends and family back home, without the steep overseas charges.