Travel with Technology
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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