There are few things more exciting than traveling. Whether it’s a business trip or vacation, alone or with loved ones, internationally or domestically, for one weekend or for one month, the opportunity to travel is exhilarating. There’s only one thing that can raise your traveling game to the next level: The perfect technology. When you utilize the right tech for the right traveling solution, you elevate your traveler status from “novice” to “pro.” So, what do you need to optimize your trips?
1. A Customized Google Map
No, not merely for the drive from the airport to the hotel and back, that can be routed in the tap of an icon. A truly customized map will incorporate all the places you plan to travel throughout your stay. From your hotel and the tourist spots to meetings and off-the-beaten-path local restaurants, a customized map is your ticket to a seamless trip. Find a rich and robust app to map out your destinations, like Google’s My Maps. It allows you to add point of interests and color-code them or mark them with distinguishing icons, plus the option to add notes, like hours of operation or price ranges.
2. An Itinerary Assistant
Itineraries: love them or hate them, they’re integral to a successful trip. Itinerary managers like TripIt and Google Trips are a win-win for every kind of traveler. If you’re a type-A who loves creating and sticking to a schedule, you’ll revel in the organization assistance. If you’re more of a wanderer than a planner, you’ll benefit from a schedule tool that requires minimum effort on your part. These helpful assistants access itineraries, car rentals, and activity and hotel reservations via your inbox before syncing them all to create a master itinerary.
3. One (Compound) Word: Spreadsheets
Most people see the word “spreadsheets” and immediately tune out, but they can be pivotal to the trip-planning process. A well-organized mind can utilize spreadsheets to separate vital destination information, like important information about the area, tip customs, and applicable currency conversions. Pre-trip information, like a packing checklist and house/baby/animal sitter instructions. In the early planning stages of your trip? A spreadsheet is the perfect tool to compare and contrast hotel, care rental, and other trip necessity options.
4. A Personal Global Hotspot
Even if you’re traveling within the country, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll hit a dead zone where it’s impossible for you to access Wi-Fi or 3/4g service. If you’re travelling internationally and want to avoid expensive roaming charges, Wi-Fi will be your best friend. While most hotels and some restaurants offer a public Wi-Fi network for guests to use, you’ll likely encounter instances where it simply isn’t available. Save yourself the aggravation—and your wallet the fees—by investing in a personal hotspot, like the Skyrim Global Hotspot. After you pay the one-time fee to purchase the device, you can activate it on a need-be basis and only pay for the days you use it. This will save you from the stress of finding yourself in an area without Wi-Fi when you need it most, and the inconvenience of renting a temporary hotspot for every vacation.
5. Inconspicuous GPS Trackers
Some people have a tendency to lose things, some are victims of theft, and some simply have bad luck. Either way, it’s a prudent idea to have a small and inconspicuous GPS tracker on your valuables, like your luggage, passport, keys, wallet, and anything else that’s not easily replaceable. Technology like Tile Mate makes it easier for your lost, stolen, or misplaced belongings to be found. Simply download the Tile Mate app and you’ll have access to the real-time location of your item. Lose your phone? Press the button on one of your Tile Mates twice and your phone will ring, even if you have it set to silent mode.
6. A Reliable Power Source On-the-Go
In today’s technologically-dependent world, there are few travesties greater than the low battery light on your phone. Your phone is more than a way to pass the time by playing HQ or scrolling through Instagram, it’s your connection to the rest of the civilization. Without it, you can’t access your email with reservation confirmation codes, text your family to let them know you landed safely, call your housesitter to make sure they water your succulents, or Skype your kids a bedtime story at night. If you want more than one full charge and have the space, opt for a powerful charger like the Anker PowerCore 20100, which boasts seven full phone charges. If you just want a boost, a more portable (but less powerful) charger like the Jackery Bolt 2000 may be more your speed.
No matter where you go, why you go, and who you go with, the opportunity to travel is always exciting. Make your next vacation or business trip better than ever when you utilize these pieces of technology that are integral to any successful trip.