headphonesWhile the main goal of summer travel and vacation is to unwind and unplug, most of us still need to be in touch at some level. So, give yourself designated time to be free of technology on vacation and when you do use your devices, these tips should reduce stress. They might also enhance your trip!

  1. Number one on the checklist is not to forget your devices along with chargers and adapters.
  2. Security is not just about ensuring you know your passwords. Remember to change them regularly or use a password manager. You should also encrypt the hard drive on your laptop, phone, etc. and set automatic screen locks. (On computers, this is usually done by going to System Preferences, then Security and Privacy and then clicking to turn on FileVault.) In addition, keep an eye on your devices, especially in airports and crowded tourist spots. Phones are especially vulnerable to theft while traveling.
  3. You may want to consider a 3G adapter, in case you don’t have WiFi when traveling.
  4. A bluetooth speaker is a great device to take on a trip. There are some lightweight, good-sounding speakers available that are relatively inexpensive, usually in the $100 range. A pricier but excellent option is the Bose Soundlink mini, which costs about $180. The JBL FLIP 2 is about $75.
  5. Noise canceling headphones are great to have on a trip, especially if you are flying. Among the top-rated is always Bose. Its larger Quiet Comfort 25 costs $300. Its smaller version is the Quiet Comfort 20i, which costs around $250. The Harman NC is also an excellent larger choice, about $200.
  6. A USB battery pack is always a smart option when packing your technology. The Ankus 2nd Gen Astro E4 is highly rated and a good inexpensive choice at $30. If you have an iPhone 6, the Lepow Pie iPhone 6 mAh battery case is a nice turquoise color and more than doubles the batter life at $60.
  7. Remember, you are always at risk of identity theft when using hotspots in public spaces.
  8. Here are some apps that are great for travel:
  • Tripit – this app forwards confirmation emails from airlines, hotels, etc. and organizes everything into a single trip itinerary. You can also share itineraries.
  • Gate Guru – This app can tell you about airports in the US and Canada, which is especially helpful if you have a layover. Look at a map of the airport, find the closest ATM or good place to eat.
  • Skype – You may already be a fan of Skype, but it is a great way to make low cost calls over the internet using your cell phone provider’s per-minute international plan. If you have free WiFi in your hotel, you can “skype” other Skype users for free.
  • Uber – this popular app will get you a car driver (like using a cab) in the US and abroad.
  • Hop Stop – This app will give you the best train or bus routes in cities you are visiting.
  • Skyscanner – compares cheaper flights.
  • Hipstmatic – takes great snapshots.

Safe journeys this summer!