June 15th, 2017
Must-Have Travel Tech
Thought you had everything that you needed for your trip? Think again. One of these top tech gadgets may help you find the best flight, track your luggage, and more.
There are lots of great digital tools that can make traveling easier. For instance, there are apps and websites that can help you organize your flight and hotel confirmations and GPS tracking devices that can help you locate your luggage. Check out some of the best of the bunch, below.
Finding the Perfect Flight
Flight websites are always improving and two standouts are Google Flights and Skyscanner. These two heavyweights condense the world’s airlines and put them into one simple set of results based on when and where you want to go. You can sort flights by price, travel time, and even by number of stops. Set alerts to get notified when rates go up and, in the case of Google Flights, before the hike even takes place.
Figuring out Where to Stay
It can be hard to figure out whether you should book a hotel through a site like Travelocity.com or Hotels.com or go directly to a hotel's website. Why not skip all that and stay at an AirBNB rental? Bypass touristy and overpriced hotels and just stay at someone’s house. You’re staying where the locals stay and not in some cookie-cutter hotel or resort when using AirBNB.com.
Organizing Your Trip
The app Tripit allows you to keep all your flight and hotel confirmations in one place, and if you opt for the Pro version, you get real-time flight updates and VIP travel benefits. Also, Google Trips has a “Magic Wand” that you can use where you’re staying and map out a half-day or full-day itinerary based on sites in the area. All your information is accessible offline in case you don’t have any service and have no Wi-Fi.
Keeping Your Phone Dry (and in One Piece)
One particular brand, Lifeproof, is ahead of the pack. It makes protective cases that allow your phone to be submersed in water (up to 6.6 feet or 2 meters for one hour) and survive a drop of up to 6.6 feet or 2 meters. Buy one of these so you don't have to worry about wear and tear in transit.
Staying Charged Up
Not all planes, trains, and automobiles have a power source, so you need something like the RAVPower Ace Series adapter. That will keep your devices going for long periods of time. When you do find a power outlet, hopefully you prepared the right plug. The Apple World Travel Adapter Kit has every shape, size, and country in mind and will keep your devices charged no matter where you’re staying.
Tracking Your Luggage
If you have to check bags, the last thing that you want is for them to get lost on the way to your destination. That’s where GPS tracking devices come in and take away the worry. LugLoc and Trackdotare two of the best companies to check out. Just tuck one of these trusty devices into your bag and you can follow its progress on your phone or tablet.
Save weight in your luggage by downloading the official Kindle app on your phone. Or give your battery chargers a break and pack an actual Kindle device. Each new model keeps getting more compact and comes with a significantly longer battery life. The E-Ink-powered screens are better for reading in the sun, with no glare shining back in your face, so those are especially good choices for tropical vacations.
Blocking out Noises
Noise-canceling ear buds or headphones are great from blocking out fellow passengers who won't stop talking. Bose QuietComfort ear buds do just that and come equipped with an “Aware” mode that allows you to listen and talk when you need to. To fully cover your ears, Beats Solo 2 is the lightest and sleekest pair of noise-cancelling headphones.
Learning the Local Dialect
Learning a language is a long, arduous process, but the tech gods have made it into a fun series of games. The Memrise app mixes science, fun, and community, and it presents listening, reading, and speaking as growing a garden of words. The DuoLingo app treats learning a language like a game, letting you earn points for correct answers to questions, race against the clock, and level up. Both apps come equipped with nearly every modern language.
Many countries do not have easily decipherable conversion rates and dividing large numbers by eight or 15 in your head may be too much for your road-weary brain. The XE Currency solves this problem. You can track multiple currencies at once and in real time.
So what travel tech do you already use when traveling? Share your two cents in the comments, below.
While Eagle Creek is here to provide tips and insights on travel, we cannot accept any responsibility for any potential consequences arising from the use of this information. Always conduct your own research and use your best judgment.
Related links (from Eagle Creek blog):
How to Plan an International Trip
Technology & Travel Apps for International Travel
by Duke Stewart
Duke Stewart is a recovering American expat who writes about life through travel—and wants you there with him—through captivating stories and guides at Travel Through Life. In the meantime, you can follow his adventures on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.