Travel with Technology
Courtney: That can make travel a little bit easier, Julissa’s with our favorite nerd with more.
Julissa: Okay, I don’t know if you know this, but I love bags. Not the ones under my eyes. Okay, okay. I’m told that this is a fantabulous bag. Look, it lays flat, you guys. Look at this, it’s great. So Ryan’s here, he’s got some fun gadgets. So if you’re already looking ahead to your summer vacations, these are some things you might want to grab on your list.
Ryan: So this is the SwissGear 1900 ScanSmart backpack, and what’s great about this is it’s got this own compartment just for your laptop.
Julissa: Okay, cool.
Ryan: You don’t have to take it out, put it in a bin or anything. This goes right through the scanner at TSA.
Courtney: Oh, get the heck out.
Julissa: You just got to open it like this, right?
Ryan: Open it up and you’re done. You just have to give them an unobstructed view of this.
Julissa: View, okay.
Ryan: But you got a little sleeve for your tablet here.
Julissa: Tablets, okay.
Ryan: And this is my favorite part.
Julissa: Let’s see what.
Ryan: It just stands up by itself. Now, I’m holding it because we’ve got it unzipped.
Julissa: Right, we’ve unzipped it.
Ryan: But it stands up by itself. I have backpacks, they just fall over all the time.
Julissa: They fall, yeah.
Ryan: Kind of a pain.
Julissa: I like pockets.
Ryan: There’s a ton of pockets. Look at you, just going through everything.
Courtney: Oh, I love the pockets.
Julissa: I mean, it’s great.
Ryan: There’s a little headphone compartment in case you’re still using wired headphones. You can sneak your headphones through there, and then put your phone.
Julissa: I am, don’t judge.
Courtney: I was going to say, I thought that was a little judgey, Ryan. That was a little bit judgey.
Ryan: This is pretty cool, it’s 60 bucks. It’s on Amazon right now. It’s got a really cool handle, and I love how comfortable it is. It’s got air flow in the back…
Julissa: Right, good padding.
Ryan: …so you’re not getting all sweaty in the back.
Julissa: And this is you know, you got the ScanSmart right there, so it’ll go right through.
Ryan: That’s what you want to look for if you’re looking for a travel backpack. Otherwise, you got to put the backpack in the scanner, take your computer out.
Julissa: I had to do that this last weekend, yep.
Ryan: I have seen people leave their computers at the TSA station.
Julissa: It’s so easy to do…
Courtney: Oh, snap.
Julissa: …because you’re trying to be so fast, right?
Ryan: Okay, so let’s talk about headphones, because if you’re going to get on a plane, you need headphones. And you can’t just get old cheapy ones. These are awesome. So this is called the Plantronics BackBeat PRO. I’ve had the older version of this for about a year, and I love it to death. I use it every single day. Here are some cool parts. Number one, check this out, it says right and left. I don’t know why, but I love that. It’s so easy. You know exactly which one to put on. So when you put these on, it’s aware that it’s being used and it will unpause or pause whether you take them off or put them on. How cool is that?
Julissa: That’s very cool.
Ryan: You can also turn the noise cancelling on or off, so if you’re on a plane and you want to get rid of all that noise, you turn it on, but if you’re like riding your bike or you’re outside, you can turn it on so you can hear what’s going on around you.
Julissa: Hear, yes.
Ryan: And not, you know, get smushed by a car.
Julissa: Right, absolutely.
Ryan: These are 200 bucks, they’re made by Plantronic. I love them to death.
Julissa: Okay, cool.
Ryan: Now, they have a second thing here. This is called the True Wireless Sport. It’s also by Plantronics. What’s cool about these is, whoa, look at that, there’s no wires. And they’re sweat-proof, they’re waterproof.
Courtney: Oh, look at that.
Ryan: You can use them instead of using the Apple products, the nice thing about these is if you run, you know, they stick on your ears and they’re not falling out all the time. I love these things to death. These are 149 bucks. We also got the Tile Mate. So you put this on your backpack…
Julissa: This is very helpful, very helpful for your keys, your wallet.
Ryan: And your phone….
Courtney: You say that with experience.
Julissa: Speaking from a friend.
Ryan: …because if you have this and you lose your phone, you can press this twice and your phone will ring. And so you can find your phone.
Julissa: Or if your child puts it behind the shutters. Yes.
Ryan: So this is 25 bucks, you can buy them in a 4-pack at Amazon for like 60 bucks.
Julissa: Love those.
Ryan: And last but not least, this the Mophie. The cool part about this is it’s 70 bucks, you get it at Verizon, it can charge two products at once.
Courtney: Oh, at once. That’s what I’m talking about.
Ryan: So two phones. And it’s a little USB charger there, so you don’t have to get another cord.
Julissa: And 48 hours of extra battery life, that’s key, especially when you’re taking all kinds of photos, you don’t want to be at the amusement park and your phone dies.
Ryan: Or worst case, your kid’s tablet dies mid plane ride. You’re going to have to talk to your kids if that happens.
Ryan: Bring this with you, you don’t have to talk to nobody. Put your headphones back on, say, “Whatever, Junior, I don’t care.”
Julissa: Ryan, these are all great. So there you go. Parents, if you are planning some trips for the summer, these are some great items that might make traveling with your kiddos, or your other family members, just a little easier.
Ryan: And we’re doing traveling with wifi in the next segment.
Julissa: Okay, perfect.
Ryan: So how to find wifi on the road, and I’ve ranked the best free wifi, the restaurants, the retail stores, all that kind of stuff. We’re going to talk about that too.
Julissa: Okay, sounds good. All right, we’ll stick around for that next hour. Back over to you.
Courtney: All right, thanks, you two.
Cody: It’s a swap and shop for tech, and new at…
Whether for a business trip or for a vacation, the process of travel can be fun. But it can also be … well … a grueling nightmare.
While a lot of that boils down to luck, a good travel gadget can significantly stack the odds in your favor. Here are a few geeky gizmos which can take the sting out of that next red-eye flight or road trip with grumpy, tired kids.
A TSA Compliant Bag
One of the most painful parts of travel is getting through security. Not only is it kind of a drag to pull all your technology out of your bag, but it can also be downright stressful to jump through those security hoops.
Transport Security Administration (TSA) compliant bags are specifically designed to ease your passage through security by organizing your gear which helps a border security officer do his or her job.
Take the SwissGear 1900 Scansmart Backpack ($60 on Amazon). This rugged bag has a cool, “tactical” look and it’s equipped with all the deluxe features which make life a bit easier when you’re on the road. We’re talking side compression straps, good padding, high-quality zippers, good back ventilation, and comfy shoulder pads.
It also features a ScanSmart lie-flat laptop compartment which can accommodate a laptop of up to 17 inches. So long as you keep your laptop in the compartment and unobstructed by other tech, it should pass through X-ray without an issue.
Pro tip: make sure you keep your chargers, cables and other tech accessories separate!
Any old set of headphones will give you some basic distraction from unwanted noises, but seriously good headphones can immerse your tortured eardrums in a soothing cocoon of sound.
For Vehicle Travel
Trains, planes, and automobiles share one annoying characteristic; they all make a lot of sounds, which can get grating when you’re on a long haul flight.
The Poly BackBeat Pro 2 ($200) is a prime example of serious ear augmentation. The critical factor in this beautiful bit of tech is active noise canceling. Noise-canceling has been around for a while, but the technology behind it is getting better and better. Slip these on and even the high decibel ambient noise of an airliner cabin quietens down to an easily ignored background whisper.
This model is especially travel-friendly, owing to a few of its bonus features. You can get up to 24 hours of wireless listening from a single charge. It folds flat and slim, making it easy to throw into your carry-on luggage.
It also has an ingenious feature where you can rapidly disengage noise canceling, so you don’t have to worry about missing that crucial airport announcement about your connecting flight.
For the Great Outdoors
If you’re heading outdoors, noise canceling technology isn’t always a safe option. It’s often important to have your wits about you. The BackBeat Fit 3100 ($149) is a great choice for these situations.
Like its BackBeat vehicle-friendly cousin, this model gives you fully wireless listening experience. For up to 5 hours on a single charge. It’s also built for serious comfort, with ear inserts which you can barely feel.
However, this model was built with the outdoors in mind. It’s sweatproof and waterproof, making it a no brainer for a long hike or for a bit of camping zen. It also comes with “always aware” technology, a form factor specifically designed to blend the sounds of the outside world with your music.
For the Kids
Let’s not forget the rug rats! If your minion has the unfortunate habit of getting a tad grumpy on long trips, a good set of headphones playing their favorite music may be the secret ingredient you’re looking for.
Cozyphones ($19 to $21) won’t break the bank — and to a young kid, the cool animal styles will offer a ridiculously cool fashion statement. They’re also soft ’n plush acting as a soothing blankie for grumpy kids’ worn out and overstimulated cranium. They’re even comfortable enough to wear while napping! Sweet.
Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that the max volume on a pair Cozyphones is set to 85 decibels. This makes them a safe option for protecting kids’ sensitive hearing.
Other Cool Tech For Making Travel Easier
Honorable mention needs to go to the following gadgets which are lifesavers when you really need them.
Keep it Charged
Travel for more than 4 or 5 hours and you can bet that at least one item of your tech is going to start displaying that scary red battery symbol. This is where a battery backup can save your day.
You can’t go wrong with the Mophie Power Station XL 10,000 from Verizon ($70). This compact little battery packs a punch, with enough juice to charge a smartphone or tablet up to 3 times. It also comes with 2 USB ports, so you can be bringing two of your devices back from power oblivion at the same time.
Keep Tabs on Your Stuff
Hopefully, you’ll never have the stress of losing valuables while traveling. Because, quite frankly, it is the worst.
If you do experience this particular travel nightmare though, the Tile Pro ($35) could well save your nerdy bacon. This tiny little gadget can slip into pretty much anything you own, from a giant piece of luggage right down to a coin purse. It offers a GPS update on where your device is located and can even be set to beep so that you can track your possessions down from up to 300 feet away.
Traveling is an odd experience. It can be amazing fun or it can be nothing short of an ordeal. Grab the right travel tech and you’re far more likely to have fun, wherever you’re going.
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