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I never used to think I needed tech products when I travel, but lately, I have been finding there are some awesome tech products that I absolutely love. These make travel easier and help me enjoy my time away even more. Maybe they save me stress while driving or just help me capture memories on the road, but these are my 5 tech products I think every traveler needs.
*Thanks to Verizon for loaning me some of these items to test out for this gift guide. All opinions are my own.*
Why Do Travelers Need Technology?
You may think travel doesn’t need any special technology. While it is true that you could possibly travel without buying anything extra, the hard core traveler can benefit from some of they items I will share with you today.
After taking a road trip from Seattle to San Diego over 18 days, and then a few other big trips, the most recent being a family reunion on the Oregon coast, I have found that there is some technology that is just a must to help me survive travel.
Look, I am all for unplugging and disconnecting from the world, but there are still some things that are nice to have, if not for the destination, then for the journey to get there.
My Favorite Tech Gadgets For Travel
Okay, I know, I know, most phones have Google Maps with GPS services, but hear me out on this. When I went to Disneyland in June with my friend, we drove down to San Diego, and then explored the area one day. We tried just using our phones part of that day, and it didn’t go too great.
I love that I can use my phone to get somewhere in town, but when you have a million freeways and on ramps, off ramps, merging, splitting, the phone didn’t cut it. I love that my good old Garmin GPS would tell me miles in advance which lanes I should be in (the middle lane, two far right lanes, etc) so that I could easily get where I needed to be. I have found that phones often tell you to turn as you are crossing an intersection if you are going faster than 40 miles an hour too.
Besides the GPS for the road, there are also hand held GPS systems that are great for the outdoorsy type. Hiking, hunting, backpacking, a handheld GPS is a must-have item.
2. A Great Cell Phone
I feel bad for bad mouthing the phones for their GPS, so let me just say, a great cell phone is imperitave to have as a traveler. It can double as a camera, help you stay connected to family, friends, business.
I personally tried out the Samsung Galaxy s9 during our trip to Oregon this summer. I loved a lot about it, but the camera was my favorite part. I could get great shots of the lighthouses, the coast, and so much more.
Another part of having a great phone is having great service. I love my Verizon wireless service. When we drove from Seattle to San Diego, and even on the Oregon Coast, we had a few locations that did not have WiFi. Not good when I need to work on the road. Thankfully, while there was no WiFi, I had a 4G connection (even in the mountains) and was able to use my mobile hot spot to work online.
I was also able to use my phone for some of that online work, or to look up things to do in the area, local restaurants and more. A phone is a very valuable tool, so even though I feel the GPS is lacking when travling out of town, I love having a great phone with me on my adventures.
3. Road Trip Lover? A Charging Station Is A Must
My family loves a good road trip. (#RoadTripsForLife) As my kids get older though, I am finding we have a lot more things that need to be charged in the car, not to mention if I am trying to work while we travel and need my computer.
Having plenty of charge ports is definitely a challenge for many road trip families, so I decided it was time to review a charger. Verizon was kind enough to loan me the Energizer Cup Inverter for our road trip to the Oregon Coast. It was a life saver! Not only does this in-vehicle charging station have 4 USB ports for your phones, tablets and more, it also has a AC input which was perfect for my laptop. It fit neatly in one of our cup holders as well.
We actually ended up placing in the back seat of our suburban and hooking it up to the DC outlet/Auxillary Port in the cargo area for our kids to use. We also had my Mother-In-Law with me so it worked out perfect to keep everyone charged up.
4. Battery Pack
Besides the phone and the car charging station, it is always a great idea to have a back up battery pack for your phone. I stongly suggest having a large battery pack that can charge multiple devices and that holds the charge for some time. Jackery is one of my favorite battery packs (except when traveling to Disney, where I prefer a Fuel Rod). The packs can hold their charge for 6 months so they are great to keep in your travel gear, or even an emergency pack.
5. Tile Sport Trackers
Maybe you have a drone you are taking, or you are taking a stroller to a theme park where you might park it, or a number of other things. The Tile Sport is the perfect way to help keep track of your items. My husband has a drone that he likes to play with. Since he is still pretty new to flying a drone, he sometimes finds it gets away from him, especially if it is windy.
We were able to attach a Tile to the drone and then if he lost it in the forest or on a beach (that allows drones) we could easily use the app on our phones to locate it. The Tile works great for short ranges, but if something were actually stolen, and miles away, you would not be able to track it on your own device. But if there are other Tile users near your tile, they can track it for you.
“Tile essentially does crowdsourced location tracking. Every Tile app is able to recognize every individual Tile out there in the world, even if its not one of yours. Each time an app detects a Tile nearby, it automatically updates that Tile’s location. That way, if you lose something, any Tile user could anonymously find it for you.” (Read more)
Did I miss any must have tech products? Let me know.