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Apr 28, 2016

Top Travel Tech Gadgets Posts This Month - April

Top Travel Tech Gadgets Posts This Month - April

10 Great Smartphone Camera Hacks For Travel

Multiple uses for feature of your device, camera, that is already part of your travel arsenal...

New Cool Up-and-Coming Travel Gadgets - April

Forget tiny mobile keyboards, you could soon type in mid-air using SONAR...

How to Stay Safe Online While Traveling

There are numerous benefits to this surge in public WiFi: you can book tickets while on the go, keep in contact with loved ones back home or document your adventures on a blog, to name a few. However, there is also a risk factor that many fail to consider.

Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Gadgets, Gifts and Favors Ideas

This wedding season, technology gifts are in style when it comes to gift-giving

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Apr 25, 2016

Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Gadgets, Gifts and Favors Ideas

Destination Wedding Travel Gadgets

This wedding season, technology gifts are in style when it comes to gift-giving

Did you know? More couples consider technology items appropriate for gift registries, according to a survey of brides and grooms commissioned by retailer Best Buy.

Destination Wedding Stats:
  • 24 % of marriages are destination weddings.
  • Average budget for a destination wedding is $28,000.
  • 60% of destination couples pay for the wedding themselves.
  • Average number of guests at a destination wedding: 48.
  • 9 out of 10 couples say weather is a key factor in selecting a destination.
  • Top 5 destinations for out-of-town weddings are (# of weddings):
    • - Las Vegas (125,000)
    • - Hawaii (20,000)
    • - U.S. Virgin Islands (5,100)
    • - Jamaica (5,000)
    • - Bahamas (4,000)
Why register for china when you can register for a trip to China?
Bride and groom can have their guests and benevolent friends and family make a “trip contribution,” which are funds that are transferred to the recipients by check or bank transfer. Or can register for a gift via a “resort credit,” which would be applied to the couple’s hotel account and can be used for anything that can be billed to a room while at the resort. Couples can request gifts toward a honeymoon stay or spa services and do so in small, separate increments, kind of like crowd-sourcing your getaway.

Amazon Wedding Registry Sweepstakes now through May 31st, 2016. Customers who create a wedding registry and add at least one item from the Lenox product line to the registry during the sweepstakes period (April 1, 2016 - May 31, 2016) are entered for a chance to win a Honeymoon Getaway Package. Visit the sweepstakes page for more information and official rules.

Per a Bridal Guide survey, below are honeymoon travel items wedding couples are mostly likely to purchase:
Wardrobe = 70.1%
Swimsuit = 69.9%
Sunglasses = 69.9%
Sunscreen = 57.8%
Luggage = 49.7%
Video Camera = 36.6%
Camera = 31.0% Sports
Equipment = 7.3%

Travel Gear

Wedding couples can register for many things, it does not have to be household items. The young newlyweds hopefully are planning to travel beyond just their honeymoon. Putting off traveling like the generations before have done, is not a great idea. As my grandpa stated a long time ago, go travel now while you can move around since if you wait until you are retired and have any health issues, there go your traveling plans. So get some travel gadgets for your wedding and go travel.

Noise-canceling headphones
You want to hear your new significant other, but tune out all the other noise around you when you are traveling. A great pair of noise-canceling headphones can do just that by filtering out the sound of engines and such, but keeping the music coming through clear.
Top noise-cancelling headphones

Ipod/Mp3 Player
While your phone can serve as a music player, not all have enough storage to keep a full list for the trip and all the other stuff on it. So a dedicated MP3 player would be a great way to keep on jamming.
Apple iPod Touch MP3 Player

All the gadgets that are coming along for the honeymoon or destination wedding need to be ready and fully charged to not miss a bit.
Anker PowerCore Portable Charger

Streaming TV devices
Using the streaming devices you can not only watch Netflix and Amazon Prime while traveling, but you can also share pictures to the group and stream music.
Roku 3 Streaming Media Player

Wireless speakers
To share your tunes with the wedding party on the go, wireless speakers easily sync up with Bluetooth on your phone or MP3 player to transmit the sound out loud.
DKnight MagicBox Bluetooth Portable Wireless Speaker

USB Sticks
If you want to share your wedding day with friends and family after the big day is done and you are back in town, adding photos and videos to a USB stick along with a thank you note is a great way to share and preserve memories.
SanDisk Cruzer 32GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive

Amazon Wedding Registry

For Bride & Groom Honeymoon

Keep a journal. This way you will remember all of the activities, romance, and funny moments during your trip. The main event and the trip after is going to be a whirlwind. This will also help you replay your honeymoon stories when you return.

Take photos. This is a likely a given that you will be taking a lot of shots on your travels. Photos of the two of you enjoying the activities your guests purchased from your honeymoon registry can be included in your thank you note or message that you going to put on a USB.

If you are traveling internationally and plan to call home, set-up a Skype account so your calls are inexpensive or free if you are calling another Skype account. All you need is a Wi-Fi connection.

Slip an easily compressed duffle bag into your suitcase. If you learn your luggage is too heavy when you are are the airport, or have too many gifts and souvenirs from the trip, you can quickly repack and avoid extra fees.

Luggage Scale - wedding is pricey enough, no need to pay overweight fees
Digital Luggage Scale

Want to make your significant other not forget your wedding anniversary? Ever! There is a ring for that. The Remember Ring™ utilizes patent pending Hot Spot™ technology to deliver a reminder. 24 hours before your special day, the thermal spot on the interior surface of your Remember Ring™ will warm to 120ยบ F for approximately 10 seconds, and continue to warm up every hour, on the hour, all day long. It would be hard to ignore.

Make a Wish for your wedding with Wed & Wish

Image: WineEnthusiast
Wedding Guests

For a Destination Wedding, all of guests are from out-of-town. Make them feel welcome by preparing a welcome bag that is filled with goodies, wedding favors, and gadgets:

It is very likely that the destination for the wedding is warm and sunny one. A pair of nice sunglasses would be a great gift as it is functional and can be used during and after the trip.

Another essential in a sunny destination is the sunscreen. The guests, and the couple, need to be in good condition, with no sunburned skin, and ready for the wedding. Travel sized containers filled with SPF 30 sunscreen are compact inexpensive and will protect your guests from the harmful rays of the sun.

Luggage Tags
This is also a very functional gift for the wedding guests. They can place them on their luggage either on the way back or to if they are distributed ahead of the trip. The wedding couple can customize the luggage tags with their wedding location, date, and names so that they are unique and easily recognizable

Water Bottles
Water bottles are great option as they can be customized for the wedding couple and be useful during and after to keep guests hydrated. It would especially be a great idea if the destination wedding includes some local activities for the wedding party.

Bottle opener
These are also easily customizable and useful for the duration of the trip as well as after the wedding.

Offbeat Wedding Favor
What do most wedding guests like the most? Eating, dancing, and drinking. Not necessarily in this order. Someone came up with a hands-free option for keeping your wine or champagne glass on you at all times. With Wine Glass Holder Necklace you have hands free to keep eating, or talking with loud gestures, or if adventurous enough, dancing.

Image: Vimeo: Celebrations of Tampa Bay
The Event
One way to create an unforgettable and unique event is to add a few tech upgrades:

To get a different view of your destination wedding, beyond just ladders, hire a drone videographer. Aerial wedding videography would make for some great scenes of the surroundings, the full view of the ceremony, and layout of the party.

Fotio is a photo booth without the photo booth. If a clunky box and curtain at your wedding isn't your thing, Fotio provides a vintage alternative to a traditional photo booth, and it can be easily moved throughout the wedding. Chicago-based Fotio takes stunning photos and sends all the images to to an online gallery so you don't have to worry about carrying around printed pictures.

I Do Stream
Got out-of-town friends and family that can't make the wedding? You can broadcast the ceremony and reception with I Do Stream, a live-streaming wedding service that will capture your big day in real-time. A videographer can come onsite and perform the broadcast for you, the company can send you the equipment to do the live-stream on your own.

Wedding Wall Want to see your guests' photos and messages as the wedding is taking place? Wedding Wall is a real-time, visible social media feed that runs throughout your reception. All you need is a TV or projector, and Wedding Wall grabs all the images posted to social media websites with your specific hashtag and displays them during the reception.

A GoPro is a must-have for when the dinner ends and the party begins. You can put it virtually anywhere. These easy to use, lightweight cameras can be worn by the best man, carried on a selfie stick, taken onto the wedding dance floor, secured onto a liquor bottle and much more.
GoPro HERO4 Silver

Did You Know?
New Study Reveals Traveling Boosts Your Sex Life and Can Help You Lose Weight
5 Things Every Bride & Groom Needs To Know About Preferred Vendors and Vendor Lists

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Apr 21, 2016

The Stanley Cup Travels More Than You Do

I Love Hockey

It is up there with travel and gadgets. "It is the fastest coolest sport on earth." So when I came across this article on Travel&Leisure, I had to re-post.
The oldest trophy in North American professional sports travels approximately 300 days a year, more than even the most accomplished jet-setters. ...
For more see the full article that includes interview with the caretaker of the cup, Phil Pritchard: The Stanley Cup Travels More Than You Do

Pictures from my trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame and Stanley Cup:

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Apr 18, 2016

How to Stay Safe Online While Traveling

This is a Guest Post by Cassie Phillips who is an online security expert and writer for of the use of VPN and cybersecurity while traveling is very important especially with amount of Internet accessible gadgets that we bring along with us.

How to Stay Safe Online While Traveling

I would like to thank Travel Tech Gadgets for publishing this article. There site is a great place to learn how to optimize your traveling experiences with the latest technologies and electronics. After reading this, be sure to check out their post on the best travel apps on the market!

Internet access is becoming universal as increasingly more connection points pop up all over the world. While 50 years ago, travelers would have had little to no contact with the world outside the places they were traveling, now it’s commonplace to be able to log-on wherever you are.

There are numerous benefits to this surge in public WiFi: you can book tickets while on the go, keep in contact with loved ones back home or document your adventures on a blog, to name a few. However, there is also a risk factor that many fail to consider.

Dangers of Public WiFi

Public WiFi are usually open networks. This means that data is left to fly around unencrypted and accessible to any malicious prying eyes who might also be connected. Whenever a traveler finds a coffee shop or train station signal and connects, all their online activity can be viewed and intercepted. This includes every time you enter your payment details to make a purchase or every time you enter a password to use a sensitive account, such as email or online banking.

With this data, malicious hackers can easily access your bank account or commit monetary fraud using your identity and leave you to pick up the pieces. A cyberattack while on the road can be disastrous to any trip, so being aware of the risks and taking the necessary precautions is essential.

Rogue Hotspots

The rise in cybercrime has been constant and unrelenting over the past few years as many criminals turn to these insecure networks to make a quick buck. The practice has become so embedded that in many places, rogue hotspots have been set up with the primary intention of stealing your information.

Criminals will set up free, open WiFi points—occasionally mimicking the name of a local and well-known brand to fool users into trusting it—and as soon as you connect, they will start cyphering off your data. To avoid this, stick to trusted networks, such as your hostel or the local Starbucks, and confirm the name of the WiFi with a staff member before connecting to be sure to avoid trouble.

Staying Up-To-Date

One of the most important thing about the cyberlandscape is that it’s ever-changing. Just as quickly as companies are providing patches for insecurities, hackers are finding new security holes to exploit. Sometimes your best line of defense can be to stay ahead of the game.

There are always prolific threats that are detailed and reviewed online, alongside remedies to resolve them, so keeping your eyes to the blogs and forums could be essential in protecting yourself. This was evident recently as a new strain of ransomware, named Locky, took the traveling community by storm. Fortunately, online sources were quick to warn others, and the crisis was averted for many.

Related articles
How to Keep Your Money Safe While Traveling
Finders Keepers - How To Find and Keep Your Travel Gadgets
How to Make Your Home Ready for Your Departure (Using Home Automation)

Password Protection

Everyone knows that passwords are an important part of online security. Just as you would lock the door to your house with a key, passwords act as the first line of defense for any malicious criminal trying to access your data. However, so many of us are guilty of recycling and re-using old password combinations. By doing this, you significantly increase the damage a malicious hacker can cause if your details are intercepted.

If you’re passwords are similar over many accounts, then they can easily gain access to them all; however, if the combinations are complex and varied, then if they manage to intercept one, they can’t infiltrate anything other than that single domain. To create strong passwords be sure to use a mixture of characters—including numbers, capital letters and punctuation—and avoid obvious phrases such as dates of birth or common words such as “password.”

Virtual Private Networks

Although all of these steps increase your online security, by far the best way to protect yourself on public WiFi while traveling is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Already favored by many to access geo-restricted sites such as Netflix and Hulu when on the road, this handy software package is also a leader in internet security.

Once installed, an initial connection is created between your device and the VPN server that mimics a private connection. The tunnel this creates allows your data to be encrypted and your location to be hidden. This means you can subsequently connect to any WiFi hotspot, anywhere in the world, and you will be protected and anonymous. It’s a great tool to keep yourself safe online while traveling.

Do you have any more tips for travelers to help them stay safe when connecting on-to-go? Or have you had any experiences with public WiFi abroad? Be sure to leave a comment below and help make the internet a safer place overall!

The Best VPN Reviews - Because a fake mustache won’t fool online spies via

Is your phone/tablet/computer open to hacking? Protect the ones you love with a PIA VPN service for safe and secure Web Browsing: VPN for Android VPN for iOS

Sound-off: What do you do to keep your gadgets safe while traveling? Do you use VPN? Let us know below
And if you would like to guest post here also, please contact us

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Apr 14, 2016

New Cool Up-and-Coming Travel Gadgets - April

New Cool Up-and-Coming Travel Gadgets - April

Forget tiny mobile keyboards, you could soon type in mid-air using SONAR
This would also mean one less thing to pack in your carry-on when traveling with your gadgets. You use just about any surface to draw and type on your phone or smartwatch instead of on the tiny display.

Image Source:
Kiss That Window Seat Goodbye: Is THIS What Airplanes Could Look Like in 40 Years?!
Concept design of what the plane might look like in the future is quite a change fromt the current. More space, less emissions. That would be great step forward for the air transport.

Suitcase that solves the biggest problem with luggage
No need to track your luggage. Your luggage will track you. That is the concept behind the new suitcase current in development that has sensors on-board for tracking its owner and following them around the airport. And since the luggage is on its own platform, you also do not need to drag

Image Source: Boom
Supersonic Jet Faster than the Concorde Under Construction
The new plane would make a trip from New York to London in just three and a half hours. It is still far from being in production and commercial use, though definitly make the world even smaller.

Blue Origin Successfully Launches, Lands Rocket for Third Time
This plus successful attempts by SpaceX, proves reusable rockets are now a reality, which in turn means lower cost for space freight and fligh leading to more feasable commercial trips.

This New Plane Could End Jet Lag for Good
"The A350 XWB is larger than a Boeing 787 but smaller than an A380. The “XWB” in its name stands for “Extra Wide Body,” and that's not a lie. The 253-passenger aircraft is six inches wider than a 787...."

This New Office Will Have Hundreds Of Spaces For Bikes—But None For Gas Cars
More power to the bikes. Not only the building is green, they are thinking outside the building of how people get to it. Suggesting that their commute be greener as well.

Sound-off: What do you think? Let us know below

Is your phone/tablet/computer open to hacking? Protect the ones you love with a PIA VPN service for safe and secure Web Browsing: VPN for Android VPN for iOS

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Apr 11, 2016

Travel The World From Home With Virtual Reality

Travel The World From Home With Oculus Rift

Travel makes a more rounded person, it opens you up to new experiences, people, and cultures. Seeing pictures of a place is not the same as being there. At least that has been the thinking previously. And it is true since you cannot experience the smells, sounds, and views unless you are there.

Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, and other Virtual Reality devices are looking to, at least partially, change that. Using these gadgets you can "experience" being there without leaving the comfort of your home. The videos immerse you into different locals where you can see and hear the surroundings as though you are there.

This is great technology that has come a long way, but it is a preview. It does not replace the real thing. At least currently. It only satisfies two out of 5 senses. Sight and hearing. You still have smell, taste, touch that you can only get from being there. So go preview and then go travel.

Some great apps for experiencing travel via VR:

YouVisit - With this app, you can experience virtual reality tours. They have a collection of different experiences such Alaska, helicopter ride, view on the cruise ship

Discovery VR - Virtual Reality can take you to new worlds like never before, such as shark-infested shipwrecks and freeboarding the windiest street in the world

Jaunt VR - has a selection of incredibly high-quality travel VR videos including Nepal, Machu Picchu, Syria and Jerusalem

Sound-off: What do you think of virtual reality travel? Would you do that or actually go to a place or both? Let us know below

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Apr 4, 2016

10 Great Smartphone Camera Hacks For Travel

10 Great Smartphone Camera Hacks For Travel

Multiple uses for feature of your device, camera, that is already part of your travel arsenal:

Use it as a mirror
The camera works great to do a quick hair, make-up and teeth check. It’s much more convenient and space saving than carrying an actual mirror. You can also use it look in tight spaces.

Record your parking spot
If you tend to forget where you parked your car in a large parking lot, then take a photo of your pot, specifically the actual spot number or wall or pole next to it. Remember, a photo of the car you’re parked next to is useless if the driver happens to leave before you return.

Save an e-ticket for flights, movies or events
These days I almost always get an e-ticket when I travel. They are easier to carry with you and don't require wasting paper and, therefore, trees. But there have been a couple of times when I’ve had slow cellular service or no WiFi, which makes it hard to access on the spot. Once you get the e-ticket, grab a screenshot so you can pull it up right from your photo library without worrying about log-ins or wireless service.

Save directions
Google Maps app is a great service to use while traveling to find directions and to find places of interest. Though it would not work well if you hit a bad reception area. I have previously put together a guide on how to use the app in such cases:
How To: Use Google Maps Offline When Traveling
This way you load your directions before you leave. As an alternative or in addition, you can take a screenshot of the map and the directions in list view so you have it all easily accessible. This is especially great for rural areas with terrible reception, and urban dwellers who don’t get service underground in the subway. Speaking of which, a screenshot of the local subway map when you travel is a good idea also.

Translate foreign language text
Have you ever been in a foreign country and needed to translate some printed text? These days, that probably involves typing the foreign-language text into your smartphone or laptop and using something like Google Translate to translate it for you. However, there’s a better way — if you’re using Google Translate, you can use the camera function to snap a picture of the text. Google Translate can use optical character recognition (OCR) to automatically interpret the text and translate it for you. It’s does not translate everything it sees 100%, but it can work surprisingly well and is faster than typing in words you don’t recognize. What's also great is that the app will work with no service or in airplane mode for most basic phrases.

Related articles
What Are the Rules For Gadgets On A Flight These Days Anyhow?
What is the one thing you can't travel without?
Hey Siri And Live Photos iOS Features - How They Are Useful For Travel
How to Get Your Phone and Tablet Travel Ready

Create digital copies of important documents
Snap photos of your driver’s license, passport, and other important documents, especially when you’re about to travel.  If your phone settings require a password to get in (which it should), you won’t have to worry about someone else gaining access. Plus, if you use an auto cloud-syncing service you’ll have it backed up somewhere besides your phone.

Scan and OCR documents
Optical Character Recognition, or OCR, is a technology that enables you to convert different types of documents, such as scanned paper documents, PDF files or images captured by a digital camera into editable and searchable data. You can use your smartphone’s camera as a scanner for receipts and other documents you come across. There are apps that are able to convert those photos by performing OCR to analyze the text and convert it into a searchable document. You won’t get the same image quality you would with a flatbed scanner, but this is a much faster, on-the-go way to scan documents.

Memo(ries) for save keeping
Using the phone's camera you can take mementos during your trip to remember later. You can take a picture of labels from wine or beer bottles that you’ve tried and loved at a restaurant or winery/brewery. Also grab a snapshot of your meal, restaurant name, and hotel room number.

Car rental and rental insurance
When renting a car, take a picture of the car and its license plate. This helps when checking in at a hotel and registering the car, not to mention finding it when you have forgotten what the car looks like. In case of a minor fender bender, pull out your phone, document the damage, snap pictures of insurance cards and drivers license info and get back to your vacation.

Currency converter “cheat sheet”
When traveling out of the country, take a screenshot of the sheet with conversion rates for easy access to the info on the go to do some quick calculations.
OANDA Customizable Currency Cheatsheet - this handy tool puts together a wallet-sized 'cheat sheet' for on-the-fly converting. You input your local currency and that of your destination and you get a currency converting sheet that you can easily take a picture of since it is so compact.
Example (US to Brazilian Real):

Scope out nearby places with augmented reality
Augmented reality overlays relevant information over what your smartphone camera sees.
Just point your camera in a given direction and allow an app, such as Yelp for instance, to show you what's nearby. Once you select something you will also be able to get specific directions.

And Oh Yeah, you can also use it to take pictures and video :)

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