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Showing posts with label travel accessories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel accessories. Show all posts

Nov 16, 2015

How to Keep Your Money Safe While Traveling

How to Keep Your Money Safe While Traveling

Minimize your wallet before you leave
Before every vacation I go through my every day wallet and takeout only the essentials that I would need for the trip, and those go into my travel wallet. Don’t take a big, thick wallet with you, a slim version would do much better. You won’t need the majority of your cards or other items, so clean out your wallet and leave the excess at home. That way, if something does happen to your wallet, you have far fewer things to worry about replacing.

Take at least two credit/debit cards with you and never keep them both in the same place. The reason here is diversification. If one goes missing, you still have the one stashed elsewhere.
Same applies for other belongings. Spread them out across multiple pockets. If you get struck by a pickpocket while out wandering around, it’s a bad move to have all of your stuff in one place. Wear clothing with multiple pockets and spread your stuff out among the pockets.

Leave photocopies of your documents at home where someone you trust can retrieve them.
This way you can call home to retrieve your card number and other information so that you can then verify it with customer service or authorities and either restore or cancel your accounts.

SentrySafe Waterproof Fire Chest

Alert your credit card companies of your travel so they won’t decline charges and can properly identify instances of identity theft. This has happened to me in the past where I tried to use a credit card on vacation and it was declined due to suspicion of identity theft as it was flagged as an irregular charge in a new location. If you contact them in advance, they’ll change the settings on your account so that new charges don’t trigger an identity theft decline.

Protect your digital info
While traveling, try to avoid checking your bank balance and login into other sensitive sites. If you do have to connect and you are out and about, make sure the connection is safe. Free and/or public WiFi is often not secure. To make sure your information is safe use private virtual network, such as Private Internet Access, that will encrypt all of your internet traffic and protect your identity.

Use a money belt. A money belt is simply a pouch with a strap that goes around your waist. This pouch is kept under your clothing so that it’s unexposed and thus essentially impossible for pickpockets to access. You can easily access it by stepping into a bathroom and accessing it in a stall. It’s a great place to keep your credit cards and such; I usually keep my credit cards in there and just have a tiny amount of cash in an easy-to-access pocket. That cash is exposed to a bit more risk than the cash and cards in my money belt, but then it’s really convenient when I’m walking around a marketplace or strolling through a park. You get used to wearing it quickly and it's not uncomfortable.

Travel Document Organizer - Deluxe Money Belt with Rfid Blocking

Use an ATM locator to avoid bogus locations. Criminals will set up “fake” ATMs in order to scrape credit card and debit card numbers. They look just like real ATMs but simply won’t work once you’ve swiped your card and enter your PIN. That’s because the criminals already have your info, so there’s no reason to give you cash. How can you avoid that? Use the ATM locator program on your bank’s website to identify legitimate ATMs near you and stick with just those ATMs.
Only use ATMs inside of bank locations instead of sitting out in the open. Occasionally, criminals are able to modify ATMs and add “skimming” devices that allow the criminals to take your credit card or debit card number and PIN. This is much more likely to happen with standalone ATMs and much less likely inside of bank locations. So, if you’re in a new area, make the effort to use an ATM inside of a bank location if you need to withdraw cash.

Use a secure phone password and don’t store website passwords or credit card information on there. This is good advice anywhere, but it’s great advice when traveling. A smart criminal can figure out your password by studying the marks on the screen, so make your password as complex as reasonably possible while traveling. That way, they can’t get in quite as easily. More important than that, though, don’t keep important passwords or credit card information on your phone. If someone can buy stuff on your phone by just using the stored passwords, you’re begging for a problem if your phone is stolen.

Leave expensive gadgets at home unless absolutely necessary. You probably don’t need your laptop while traveling, so why take it? Will you really use that SLR camera, or will you likely just leave it in the hotel room each day? If you’re not going to use it, don’t take it. It just becomes another thing to keep track of and another thing that can potentially get stolen. Use minimal gadgets. I use just my smartphone when traveling for everything – no need to take a SLR for family vacation pictures!

Carry a dummy wallet. Pick up a cheap wallet, then put some of the “fake” credit cards that banks often mail you along with a few loose bills in there and keep it with you. It can prove to be a lifesaver when getting mugged, as you can pull out the fake wallet and hand it over to the mugger. It can also be a good pickpocket deterrent as they may just grab the fake wallet and leave you alone.


Sound-off: What steps do you take when traveling to safeguard your valuables? Let us know below

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Oct 26, 2015

Aruba - Family Vacation - Gadgets and Accessories

Aruba - Family Vacation - Gadgets and Accessories

Charging Up Before The Trip

Getting There

The flight was the first one for our kid. It went well for the most part at the airport and during flight. To keep her occupied and get some of the energy out we got her a new small ball. She played with it while waiting to board. The ball is the non-rolling kind with bumps that prevent it from rolling away but at the same time has plenty of bounce. And it also lights up, making easy to find if it does end up under a bag or seat.
While getting ready and before packing, I looked through some of my favorite kid travel blogs to get some ideas and advice. Based on those suggestions we brought a lot of entertainment with us on the plane in her little backpack. There was a Fisher-Price Travel Doodler, small travel books, kids camera that shows different image upon click, stuffed animal, and washable crayons. And with all of that we almost exhausted all in first half hour. Though after see settled in a bit, it was better and the Jetblue in-flight entertainment helped a bit. We had the Mickey Mouse cartoon on all monitors.
On the plane we were in the first row (thanks to planing and booking by While we were first out on arrival, what we did not expect was that we had to wait for the stroller to catch up to us. Though by the time we were at the baggage carousel our bags were there as well.
In Aruba at customs, they had new machines for folks with the new e-passports. One person steps through at a time. Places there passport on scanner, looks up for camera and once all set, goes through. The line moved very quickly with this new technology.

When we stepped outside, lucky for us they were having the hottest day yet. It didn't let up for next few days

Gadgets and Accessories


- Olympus Stylus Tough - our blue all around camera. Since this camera is waterproof, shockproof, crushproof, and dustproof, it goes with us into the water, to dine, and on walks and  evening events. I just put it in my pocket and good to go. In the water, we also attach the orange camera float strap that keeps the camera dangling on our wrists and floating above water.

- DSLR - While Olympus camera is great and versatile, it does not take as good of a shots as DSLR. Our Canon Rebel XSi comes with us on every vacation to capture some of the more detailed, high definition, and artistic photos, some of which you saw on this site in previous posts.

GoPro - This was the newest camera on our trip. We have been looking to get a video camera since our kid was born, but it has been a tough choice. Most of the dedicated video cameras had very low features with very high prices that didn't make sense since we had similar video quality on the digital camera and phone. GoPro HERO4
on the other hand stood out for its lightness, small size, and superior video quality. Moreover, with the new cases it is also waterproof, has high-definition video and photography and very easy to operate. It became a no brainer for us to get GoPro for our trips.

- Phone - a necessity these days when traveling with child. Before leaving on vacation, we preloaded one of the iPhones with several gigabytes of kids cartoons and education videos. It was a life and sanity saver during the meal outings and other times of toddler hysterics. During the stay we did not have wifi and did not take the phone off of airplane mode as to not incur any roaming charges. Though we still were able to use for entertainment as well as notebook and memos.

- Phone Holder - to use the phone during meal times this little accessory was irreplaceable and we were very great we took one. The phone stayed off the table in right position for viewing and accessing controls. It folded up flat and was very light to just throw in our daypack with all the rest of the stuff.

- Mophie Powerstation - while we did charge our phone in the room overnight, it was definitely a piece of mind to have this juice pack with us as a backup as well as to give us a bit more up time at the airport.

- Kindle - we took both of our Kindles on this trip, though I was not too optimistic if we get to use them. As it turns out, I was not completely right. We had some time to read on the beach, since as it turns out the sand and sand toys were a great babysitter for our daughter for half-hour to almost an hour.

- Sports Watch - in most resorts there are activities and or shows that are at certain time. And meals are also at designated time. So a watch comes very handy. While at home, these days I mostly use the phone to tell time, that is not as easy convenient or safe to do while traveling. It is especially helpful when traveling with toddlers that need to be on their schedule or else (parents know what mean). The Casio watch I got is also great since it shows day of week which is helpful to know. And it is water proof up to certain depth. So could go swimming in the ocean or pool and be able to tell how long we been there and if it is time to reapply sunscreen or go eat.

- Water Shoes. A necessity these days in Aruba as the entrance and ocean floor can be rough and littered with rocks. We got some right before we left after we found recommendations for these on Tripadvisor ( I had the Starbay Water Shoesshoes. These were easy to put on and take off which turns out to be a very good feature for water shoes.

- Belkin surge protector with multiple plugs. Hotel had several plugs but all accept one were behind furniture

- Travelon perfume holder - I wrote about it before and I take most of it back. I can still see how it could be useful when traveling, however it does not work. I loaded it up for this trip and when we got there there was nothing left in the container. All leaked out. I checked that it was closed tightly and it was. Thankfully, it was in its own ziplock that was inside another Ziploc, so nothing around it ended up all of the contents.

All these gadgets withstanding, this trip was a detox from computers and online access to the phone

Coming up next:
Aruba Vacation - Kids Gadgets and Accessories

Sound-off: What gadgets do you bring with you on holiday? Let us know below

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Sep 21, 2015

Traveling On Business - Packing and Travel Gadgets

Traveling On Business - Packing and Travel Gadgets

#WomanRoadWarriorDay (Today is National Woman Road Warrior Day)

My wife went on a business trip to California to the company's headquarters. She booked JetBlue to fly there and back as they are still the better choice for standard class flying. Luckily, since she booked the trip earlier, she just missed the checked bag fees that were announced by JetBlue.
Though once all packed, she didn't even have a bag to check in. More on that below. While at the airport, we discovered even more important information. Turns out that your laptop bag is now considered an extra bag, and of course, gets charged extra fees. Previously, you could have a carryon, personal bag/laptop bag, and pocketbook. No more, not for free. This should be interesting for our upcoming first family vacation.

Traveling for work by just using a carry-on for four or five days? How did she do that? 
Here are some details:
  • Roll up everything to maximize space in the suitcase. That includes her dresses and a couple of pants.
  • Nothing that is fully cotton, but a non-wrinkle type of material 
  • Pack shoes either in the side pockets or on perimeter of the bag
  • Layer heavy or rugged items with soft and flexible
  • Pack small clothing items in the very bottom of the bag, in between the ridges made by the extendable metal handles of the bag
  • Make a list a few days in advance of all the items you think you’ll need, both for clothing and toiletries and for business purposes. Don’t forget to bring all the necessary chargers
Make sure to charge your laptop, cell phones and anything else that needs charging the night before you leave, so that they are ready to go when you need them. Charge Your Gadget Before You Travel, Or Else

The carry-on that my wife packed and that we take everywhere (we have 2 identical) is the Samsonite Silhouette Spinner. It is a type of carry-on luggage that makes travel easier. I would not get any other bag after using this one with 4 wheels that spin 360 degrees. Very easy to maneuver through the airport. It also does not fall over if just standing. You can just let go of it for a second to switch hands, pull out phone or ticket and it won't go anywhere.
Samsonite Luggage Silhouette Sphere Expandable 25 Inch Spinner

Since I misplaced our Mophie Pack, my wife ended up taking with her the Pebble Portable Battery Charger, which has less juice, but gets the job of giving more power up time for her phone, done. We would not travel without at least one of them these days, especially on a business trip.
*Update here - the Pebble accidentally flew off of a balcony and is no longer functioning. Ordered a new power pack during the Prime Day, RAVPower Portable Charger

Sound-off: What are your essentials for a business trip and packing? Let us know below

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Sep 14, 2015

Travel Gadgets for the Traveling Sports Fanatic

Travel Gadgets for the Traveling Sports Fanatic

Your smartphone is probably your best resource when it comes to finding things to do. It is also great for finding tickets, stadium layouts, closest bars and restaurants, as well as hotels.

Stadium Seat
Traveling to various stadiums around the country or the globe, you will encounter different type of accommodations. Even if you are shelling out for pricier seats, not all of them might be that comfortable. A portable compact cushioned seat could come very handy

Coleman Stadium Seat

Beverage Holder
And while you are enjoying your cushioned seat you are likely also enjoying a refreshing beverage. Keep these cool and your hands dry with a Beverage Holder that can be decorated with your favorite team.

Duffel Bag
You can always travel with a nice carry-on spinner, but no other form of luggage depicts sports travel like a duffel bag

Under Armour Undeniable Duffel Bag

Luggage Spoter
To make your bag standout from the rest and show your team pride, Luggage Spotter is a great travel accessory for your duffel or any other travel bag.

Visting many sports parks, its not always easy to score great seat close to the action. You can still see the action up close with a great pair of binoculars

To catch the best action shots, the best camera for the traveling sports fanatic is the one that has a great optical zoom, image stabilization, fast shutter speed and relatively small chassis. Below are some of the best cameras with these features:

Covering your head in the heat during a baseball game, showing off your team spirit, or flying over the glass to show respect and appreciation for the hockey hat trick, a great lid is essential

Nike Golf - Swoosh Front Cap

Phone and other chargers
For all the great things you can do with a phone before and during the game, it would not be much of use without some juice

[Most Powerful Portable Charger] RAVPower 16000mAh External Battery Pack Power Bank

Must have apps for sports fans
ESPN Sports Centre (Android, iOS)
Team Stream
CBS Sports (AndroidiOS)
Yahoo Sports (AndroidiOS)

Sound-off: How do you represent your favorite team during travels? Let us know below

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