Tech Fails to Avoid When Trav­el­ling

5 Great Tech Gad­gets to Take on Your Next Va­ca­tion

NOVO - - TECH FAILS TO AVOID WHEN TRAVELLING - Stephanie Greenall can be reached on Twit­ter @SDGreenall and by email at


you might be tempted to un­plug on your next va­ca­tion, I’ve got a cou­ple of gad­gets you won’t want to leave be­hind. Plagued with stress-in­duced headaches my last trip could have been saved with just a lit­tle bit of tech. To help you learn from my mis­takes I have out­lined travel essen­tials that will help you avoid any va­ca­tion fails.

Lug­gage You Can’t Lose

Travel is stress­ful. There is no doubt about that. From the ar­gu­ments about how early you should ar­rive be­fore your flight to the last minute sort­ing of liq­uids, travel can in­duce a strange sort of panic. But there is one mo­ment that can stop my heart and bring a cold sweat to my palms, bag­gage check-in. When you toss your bag on top of the scale and hope you haven’t reached the limit, you close your eyes and pray to the travel gods that you will one day see your bag again. If the very thought of mis­placed bag­gage sends your stom­ach into som­er­saults, I would like to in­tro­duce you to Blues­mart, the world’s first smart lug­gage ($395+ US). De­vel­oped by fre­quent fly­ers, the smart lug­gage sys­tem con­sists of a se­ries of suit­cases with the mod­ern traveler in mind. With GPS+3G lo­ca­tion track­ing, you can lo­cate your bag any­where

in the world. Built-in sen­sors pro­vide ac­cu­rate weight data to the com­pan­ion app, and each suit­case has the abil­ity to charge a va­ri­ety of de­vices. Whether you’re stranded at the air­port in need of a charge or hav­ing a ner­vous break­down around the lug­gage carousel, Blues­mart is the an­swer to your travel woes.

Block Out Scream­ing Ba­bies

Pack­ing a carry-on bag is an art. I’ve spent years per­fect­ing the com­bi­na­tion of gad­gets, liq­uids, and clothes to get me through a long flight. For my au­dio needs, I typ­i­cally opt for a set of ear­buds and a pair of over-the-ear head­phones. On my last trip, I was seated next to what I can only as­sume was a pos­sessed child. The blood-cur­dling screams started be­fore the land­ing gear had re­tracted and con­tin­ued while we waited for our lug­gage. It was on this flight I be­gan to un­der­stand the im­por­tance of noise-can­cel­ing head­phones. For my daily com­mute, I can­not say enough about Ap­ple’s AirPods, but if there is a screech­ing two-yearold hell-bent on pol­lut­ing the air with spine pierc­ing wails, I would highly sug­gest in­vest­ing in a pair of Bose Qui­etCom­fort 35 wire­less head­phones II ($349 US). With 20 hours of bat­tery life and plush ear cush­ions made from a syn­thetic pro­tein leather, you will be able to en­joy your in-flight en­ter­tain­ment and land with your san­ity in­tact.

Avoid Pool­side Book Em­bar­rass­ment

When it comes to read­ing, there is noth­ing bet­ter than the smell of the pa­per and the sound that the pages make when flip­ping through a book. But that feel­ing can be short lived when you’re on day three of your va­ca­tion, and you’ve al­ready fin­ished your novel. If you’ve only brought the one book, you are met with the ter­ri­fy­ing real­iza­tion that you might have to ex­plore the re­sort’s “library” -- and I use that term loosely. With a de­press­ing collection of ro­mance nov­els that fea­ture the usual distraught milk­maid in the arms of an overly buff sta­ble boy, you are left with only one choice -- un­less you’re all for the fan­tasy farmer -- down­load a book to your phone. In an at­tempt to fight the glare from the screen, you en­gage in a com­bi­na­tion of towel forts and strategically placed palm tree leaves, but in the end, all ef­forts are fu­tile. In an­tic­i­pa­tion of your abil­ity to speed read, pack­ing an e-reader could save you from the blind­ing glare of your mo­bile’s screen. The lat­est edi­tion of the Kin­dle fam­ily is the Oa­sis ($249 US). Fea­tur­ing a 7-inch, 300 ppi dis­play, an er­gonomic de­sign ideal for one-handed read­ing, and an adap­tive front light that au­to­mat­i­cally ad­justs the bright­ness, the Kin­dle Oa­sis is the per­fect pool­side com­pan­ion. Oh, and did I men­tion it’s wa­ter­proof?

Drink Cock­tails Not Ocean Wa­ter

What’s an is­land va­ca­tion with­out snor­kel­ing? Well, I thought it was still an is­land va­ca­tion, but ap­par­ently, I was wrong. The last time I went on va­ca­tion, I had planned to park my­self on the beach and ab­sorb as many rays and pina co­ladas as pos­si­ble. But it turned out that I was the only one in my group of friends with this ap­proach to relaxing. Torn from my lounger -- and the cock­tail of the day -- I was sent out for an aquatic


Af­ter a short boat ride around the coast, I hur­dled my­self with the grace and el­e­gance of a new­born gi­raffe into the trop­i­cal reef. Armed with flip­pers, a mask, and a snorkel, I was ready for my very first snor­kel­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Ex­cited about the prospect of ex­plor­ing an un­der­wa­ter oa­sis, I took a deep breath. Rather than in­hal­ing through the ap­pa­ra­tus that was firmly clenched be­tween my teeth, I opted to snort as much air through my nos­trils, ef­fec­tively break­ing the seal and flood­ing my mask with half the ocean.

It turns out I am not a nat­u­ral born snorkeler and that I might need a lit­tle more as­sis­tance when it comes to a sub­merged sce­nario. It wasn’t till af­ter my trip that I dis­cov­ered the Seav­iew 180 Full Face Snorkel ($69 US). This space-like mask pro­vides you with a 180 de­gree view, an an­tileak de­sign, a Go­Pro cam­era mount, and the abil­ity to breathe through your mouth. I will def­i­nitely be grab­bing one of th­ese for my next trop­i­cal trip.

Re­visit Is­land Life in 360

As mo­bile phones con­tinue to in­crease their cam­era qual­ity, I find my Canon DSLR takes the back­seat when trav­el­ing -- es­pe­cially when space is lim­ited. It’s eas­ier to pop my iPhone in my purse than to lug around a cam­era bag, tripods, and a cou­ple of ex­tra lenses. How­ever, there comes a time when you re­ally want to cap­ture a mo­ment, and your mo­bile phone just won’t cut it. For th­ese oc­ca­sions, I have started to travel with my 360 de­gree cam­era. With the abil­ity to up­load photos and videos to so­cial me­dia and ex­pe­ri­ence them on a head-mounted dis­play, a 360 de­gree cam­era is the per­fect way to cap­ture -- and re-live -- your va­ca­tion. The Ri­coh THETA V ($430 US) is the com­pany’s new­est hand­held cam­era and shoots 4K/30p (3840 x 1920 res­o­lu­tion) spher­i­cal video. In ad­di­tion to im­prov­ing the res­o­lu­tion, Ri­coh added a se­ries of mi­cro­phones which cre­ate an im­mer­sive spa­tial au­dio track. So the next time you are look­ing to es­cape from a mis­er­able day at the of­fice just lean back in your chair, strap on your HMD, and re­visit your is­land mem­o­ries -- with­out the hang­over! Learn from my mis­takes, know when to un­plug and when to stay con­nected! If you have any hi­lar­i­ous va­ca­tion fails or travel tips, I would love to hear them.

by Stephanie Greenall

Seav­iew 180 Full Face Snorkel Mask

Blues­mart smart lug­gage

Bose Qui­etCom­fort 35 wire­less head­phones II

SIL­VER Se­ries

REVA Se­ries

AZUR Se­ries

Seav­iew 180 Full Face Snorkel Mask

Ri­coh THETA V 360 de­gree cam­era

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