When it's time to hit the road, every traveler's goal is to bring as little as possible, but be sure they have absolutely everything they need. That causes quite an interesting challenge when packing, but there are a few travel gadgets that can help you avoid potential headaches and travel like a pro.
Problem: Gadget battery dies. This means that you can't entertain yourself, communicate with the outside world, or Uber your ride home from the airport.
Solution: Portable charger. We know that all of our gadgets – laptops, tablets, smartphones, readers – require a charge. We also know that most airports still don't offer enough outlets and when you do find a charging station, it is mobbed with travelers standing by their devices and plugged in until that charging percentage equals 100. To prevent this problem, invest in a portable charger. There are plenty of options and your choice will depend on the type of device you want to charge, how much you want to spend, and how you want to transport the device.
Consider the popular mophie, which can come in two useful options – a battery pack mophie that charges multiple devices (but it a little bulkier), and a mophie that attaches to your smartphone which, when activated, provides about a full charge and a half. These products will help you keep your charge on-the-go at a range of prices based on your need.
Another option is the Veho Pebble charger, which is small and fits in your bag. It will charge any device with the corresponding cord and has two options for input. Some Pebble versions have less power than a mophie, but it's great for casual use and that extra boost when you need it.
Problem: You lost your luggage. You want to know where it is and solve that ever-plaguing airport mystery of how your luggage went to Cincinnati when you're in Florida.
Solution: Luggage Locator. The most stressful part of any trip is when your arrive and your luggage does not. Now there is a great way to know if your luggage has arrived at your destination city, or not. Check out Trakdot, which is a small device that can be placed in checked luggage. When activated, the device sends information to a smartphone via SMS or through an app, which provides the GPS location of the bag. This device can provide peace of mind when the airline can't tell you where your bag went, but you know that it's the last suitcase spinning around on the carrier in a faraway city.
Problem: You walked around town exploring, but can't remember exactly where you went…and you want to tell all your friends what you did and what you saw.
Solution: A Personal Tracker. Maybe this isn't a traveler's biggest concern, but I know that when I go exploring a city, I often forget exactly where I went and how I got there. I always try to remember the next time I land in the city, but because I have a poor sense of direction, I can never figure it out. That is, until I used a tracker.
A personal tracker, such as Trackstick, will track all of your steps and visits. When plugged into your computer, it will integrate with Google maps and show a personalized map of all your explorations. Another function is geotagging, which when synced with the time/date stamps on your uploaded images, shows a visual representation of where you were when you took the photos based on the data your tracker collected. This is pretty cool and provides a nice online "scrapbook."
All three of these devices are small enough to pack, even with carrier restrictions on the size and weight of your baggage. Consider bringing them with you on your next vacation or business travel – they can ease the frustrations of travel and add to the pleasure of exploring your travel destination.