Top Topics:
Showing posts with label travel hack. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel hack. Show all posts

Aug 14, 2017

Travel Hacks: How to make the most of what you carry

travel hacks

Travel hacks: How to make the most of what you carry (click to tweet)
Guest post by Connor MacDonald from

travel hacks

The water is warm, the days are longer, and we all get the best excuse to take a few days off from work—it’s Summer! Hopefully, you’ve been lucky enough to have escaped your office for a few days to hit the road, catch a flight, and just get away.

So before you pack up your bags for a weekend getaway, let’s talk about what you’re bringing. Because let’s remember, vacation isn’t about going there it’s about being there. The last thing you want is to have to worry about dragging that bulky luggage through the airport or showing up to your destination dangerously under-packed.

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 :)

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

Save on Wearable Technology + FREE shipping on all orders $35+!

Get 15% OFF NOCO Genius Multipurpose Chargers. Perfect For All Vehicles. Shop Now.

Get huge discount on Family Travel Deals! Book now and get extra $15 off with Coupon Code – TLFMT15.

If you found this page useful in your gadget search, please recommend us:

Follow us via RSS RSS Feed
Sign up for free blog updates

Feb 25, 2016

Family Trip To DR With A Toddler - A Week Without A Screen!

Family Trip To DR With A Toddler - A Week Without A Screen!

Earlier in the month we traveled to Dominican Republic and one of its all-inclusive resorts. We like these as you get there put your bags down and you are good for the rest of the trip. You know 99% of the cost of the vacation already. Most of the activities and outings are pre-planned. Just need to carry your key card around and nothing else. Drinks, food, beach towels and chairs, all are included.

We have been to this resort before. And that was a major consideration when we were planning our second vacation with a toddler. Knowing the layout of the resort, where the food is and what kind of restaurants and meals offered, made the week a lot easier. And since we did not have to run around to find places, we got the vacation started earlier.
This is quite different from one of the cruises we were on. We were on Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas. Usually it takes me about a day to orient myself and be able to navigate without a map. On this ship, it took me 3 days to figure out where the restaurants, entertainment and the pools were. And even then, we ended up going the wrong way a couple of times. While the trip was nice overall, the layout made it a bit more stressful than needed to be.

The resort has changed a bit since last we were there. Less structurally, though there were some small rearrangements, but more in terms of clientele. The vacationers were mostly families with kids and seniors. There were plenty of those before, though this time these two groups made up around 98% of the population.

Traveling with toddler, even in all-inclusive, adds on a few things to consider and to plan out. After two days, we figured out the schedule and balance between food, swimming, napping, more swimming, entertainment and sleep. The first days were test and trial, but once kiddo got comfortable and we stuck to the schedule, it was smooth sailing.

We lucked out with the week we were vacationing at the resort. On our last supper there, it was a crazy time. New arrivals came to the buffet like vultures. They were lining up for food 10 or more deep, grabbing everything and then some and also grumbling. We were actually glad we had only breakfast the next day and then we are off.

At the resort, they charged extra for weighing your bags before departure. We were very glad that we brought our own digital luggage scale to save money at the airport and also ended up saving it at the hotel also.

No Worries, It's All Inclusive Here

Aruba - First Family Trip South - Summer Continued

Travel Gadgets & Travel Hacks

Razor Travel Hack
On this trip I tried out a shaving razor hack (see pic below). I have a travel case for it but it is bulky and plastic, making it hard to pack and takes up too much space. Instead you put a clip on top of the razor to cover up the blade so it does not catch on anything, and then you can stick it anywhere. I placed it within my grooming pack with all other stuff for easy and convenient storage.
Travel hack = works!

Right before the trip we bought the DRY PAK Waterproof Wallet. The previous one I was using fell apart and we needed a waterproof container to hold our room card. It had decent reviews on Amazon. However, was not great in execution. The card was not dry after just first use. The inside was damp and visibly wet. The pocket was sealed as supposed to with the latches fully engaged. While it was better then using a zip lock bag or just having the card in the swimsuit pocket, it didn't work as described. I filled it with water to rinse after first use and found out why it didn't work - there was a whole in the pocket.
After the trip I contacted Amazon and seller describing what happened with the product. Without hesitation, they sent out a new pocket within a day. That was a superb experience and look forward to trying it out again.

Selfie Stick
The selfie sticks were more prominent during this trip then any other one we have taken. They were on the beach and all over the resort. People were taking their sticks and phones right into the ocean. I really hoped that they had some kind of waterproof protection on their phones or phones that are at the least water resistant

What would want, like to have, on next trip:
Gotenna, or similar communication device


Sound-off: What would you want to take on your next trip, you have not yet? Let us know below

If you found this page useful in your gadget search, please recommend us:

Follow us via RSS RSS Feed
Sign up for free blog updates

Oct 16, 2013

10 Travel Gadgets Hacks

10 Travel Gadgets Hacks

1. Hack a Shower Cap to Pack Your Shoes: Keep your clothes clean in your luggage by wrapping your shoes inside shower caps. These are available in a few hotels for free or can be purchased cheaply in bulk Shower Caps Clear (30 count)

2. Hack a Flat Iron to De-Wrinkle Your Clothes: Before you walk out the door give your cuffs and collars a touch up with your straightening iron for a crisp look. No need to drag around an iron or hoping there is one in the room. You get 2 uses for the price of one gadget.
3. Power strip. Split up one socket into multiple with ease with this travel gadget. This way you will have space to plug in more than one gadget at a time at locations and rooms that do not have many plugs. This is also helpful in crowded areas where there only a couple of plugs for many more people. By plugging in one of these power strips, you can share the charge with others, even if they were there first.

4. Dryer sheets. Pop these into your suitcase, your overnight bag, or any other luggage, to keep your clothes smelling good throughout the trip

5. Hack a Bowl to Blast Your Music
Playing music out loud on your smartphone usually does not result in very powerful sound.
To help amplify the sound, simply place the speaker end of the phone in a bowl and press play.

6. Hack a Staple Remover to Add a Key: Save your fingers and nails from getting pinched or pocked trying to get a new key on a key chain by using a staple remover to pry open your key ring.

7. Doorstop as Security Device
Little rubber doorstops are there so you can prop open the door to your room if need be. Additionally, they can be quite effective at keeping doors shut. So if you want an added level of security when you turn in for the night, wedge the doorstop under the door, and you just added an additional lock.

8. Socks as Scratch Protectors
You bring a bunch of pairs on your trip. Give them new purpose by keeping a pair on hand to protect items from getting chipped or scratched in transit. This would provide extra protection to your devices, jewelry, and souvenirs. They are great for padding inside your luggage as well.

9. Baggage Tag as Lint Remover
Didn't bring a lint roller? No problem, you're still likely traveling with an item that can do double duty and help you get the lint and such off of your garments. Just carefully remove the long baggage-tracking sticker from your suitcase handle that was placed on their at the airport. It is a good idea to take these off anyhow to make sure your luggage gets to the correct destination on the way back. Then wrap it around a brush, remote control or similar with the sticky side facing out, and blot at any area of clothing that needs cleaning. Voila!. Your cloth are looking great and fuzz free.

10. Conditioner as Shaving Cream
Man or woman, you're likely going to need to shave at some point on any trip, so finding yourself without shaving cream can be problematic. However, this little items is one of the most forgotten toiletry during travel. I know I have left it behind on more than one occasion.Worse, most hotels don't offer shaving cream in their collection of complimentary items. But hair conditioner, which comes standard with nearly all hotel rooms, makes a perfectly acceptable substitute. And it has the added benefit of being moisturizing, so you can be smooth and supple in one easy step.

One more great hack:
Amazon prime
If you forget to pack something small yet important on a prolonged trip, it's often relatively cheap to have it shipped priority one-day through Amazon Prime to your hotel. And while at your hotel waiting for it, you can enjoy movies and shows using the service as well.

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

Sign up for free blog updates

Travel Gadgets