The Complete Guide To Better Travel

Travelling to a new destination is exciting, but it can also be exhausting. Here are Gizmodo's favourite gadgets to make travel more enjoyable and productive, and Lifehacker's best tips for maximising the experience while minimising the bill.

Departures picture from Shutterstock

Gadgets

1. International Universal Adaptors

Don't you just had landing in your hotel room, unpacking your gear and realising that none of your gadgets can be charged because you forgot universal adaptors? Next to losing your luggage, it has to be the most annoying thing about travel. Head to your local suitcase or travel goods store to get all sorts of adaptors for less than $20.

2. Globalgig

The Globalgig Wi-Fi hotspot is a marvellous piece of tech that essentially makes huge data-roaming bills a thing of the past. That sounds like a huge gimmick, but after a few trials abroad we can attest to the fact that the Globalgig does, in fact, work. Basically, you buy — $129 for the unit plus a monthly plan — or rent — $5 per day for the unit and 150MB of data — the Globalgig pre-paid Wi-Fi hotspot, power it up and you’re away! Connect to it like you would any Wi-Fi hotspot on your mobile phone, tablet or laptop. The data rates are infinitely cheaper than anything Telstra, Optus or Vodafone can offer, and it potentially beats out buying a SIM your destination city — both in cost and hassle.

3. FitBit Zip

The Fitbit Zip is the mini-gadget that will help you make big changes to the way you move when you travel. Clip it onto your pants, skirt, bra or other item of clothing and it counts your steps to track your fitness progress throughout the day. It also syncs with your smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0 so you can see how your movements fit in with your overarching fitness regime, as well as allowing you to track food and workouts.

4. Telstra 4G Wi-Fi Hotspot

If the Globalgig is your saviour for domestic travel, the Telstra 4G Wi-Fi Hotspot is the domestic equivalent. Why pay a fortune for hotel Internet when you can have your own connection and link it to multiple devices?

5. Apple EarPods

I know they’re only crappy in-box headphones that come with iPhones and iPods, but I really have taken to the Earpods over the last few months to the point that I can’t leave home without them now. It’s so easy to stick in just one ear or both and block out the world around you. Plus, they’re cheap to replace when you eventually put them through the wash cycle and they take up next to no space in a pocket.


Tips & Tricks

1. Align Your Time Zones

The most common question I get asked as a frequent traveller is "How do you avoid jetlag?", and my basic answer is always the same: I align myself with the time of my destination and make sure I sleep appropriately, both on the plane and when I land. It's not always easy, but it makes a massive difference. Picture: markjtaylor

2. Don't Pack Too Much

The enormity of suitcases that people take on trips never ceases to amaze me. The most common packing mistake is taking stuff you don't actually need. Save yourself the hassle and check out our list of five items you don't need to pack. You don't have to go as far as travelling with nothing but a phone, but excess baggage equals excess hassle. Picture: Richard Giles

3. Avoid Global Roaming Hassles

Nothing ruins the memory of a trip more than coming home and discovering that you've run up an enormous bill for global roaming charges. A smartphone is a great adjunct to any trip, but you also need to be smart about how you use it. Our top 10 list of ways to avoid global roaming rorts will help you avoid common roaming mistakes.

4. Don't Overspend On Flights

In relative terms, flying is much cheaper than it has ever been, and with the right tactics you can spend less on your flight and more on the activities you'll enjoy when you get there. Our top 10 tactics for finding cheap flights will help you maximise your travel budget. (My most-


Comments

    "If the Globalgig is your saviour for domestic travel, the Telstra 4G Wi-Fi Hotspot is the domestic equivalent. " This sentence doesn't work for me...

    Globalgig have recently changed their plans. Best option for occasional international traveller seems to be the Flexi plan. $79 for the dongle, $5.00 per month for the service plus $0.05 per MB for roaming data.
    About to test mine out in US/UK.

      Let us know how you get on. I had a good experience with www.woolworthsglobalroaming.com.au for cheap calls and reasonable data rates when travelling in Europe. They do a great UK bundle at the moment - 200MB + 400mins + 600sms for $34.

    Take an Australian:

    * powerboard so you can power multiple devices.

    * extension cord so you can reach the bed or desk from the powerpoint that is hidden under the bed or behind the sofa.

    When you get to your destination buy a powerboard. Many, particularly older, hotels only have one power point so if you want to watch TV or heat water in the kettle while you power your devices you need a powerboard.

    Also useful because many powerpoints are too low on the skirting board or above the fixed in place desk to be able to get a socket converter and a powerbrick which points down to fit.

    If you don't want to carry an Australian extension cord you can buy one locally. The French name is prolongateur, a word that I just love the sound of.

    The photo of the Euro socket adapter above, the one of the left, shows a good adapter to get. The diamond shaped extension is good because a lot of sockets are shaped like that. The standard Euro adapter is round and won't fit in the diamond shaped sockets.

    I don't like the white universal socket adapters because the prongs are always loose and the heavy adapter wont stay in the socket. I prefer one adapter per socket type.

    You should always carry cloth gaffer tape to hold the power adapter in the socket because a lot of sockets are very loose.

    A non-tech item you should carry is a sewing kit with normal thread to reattach buttons and thicker thread, I use sail-makers' thread, to fix backpacks that invariably split as soon as you leave home.

    I have been travelling in Europe and UK for the last 2 months and I have experienced all of these issues.

    Great tips. Anything that reduces jet lag is worth it's weight in gold in my book. I would like to add one more general travel tip that saved my last trip to Rome from total disaster. I lost my passport during the day but had no idea it was missing. Fortunately, I had an Okoban tracer tag on it. A waiter where I ate lunch found it and entered my tracker number on their website and I was sent a text message (and an email) before I ever even knew my passport was missing. Lucky for me because I was leaving in the morning for Germany and getting a new passport would have been impossible. I found these tags at mystufflostandfound.com. It saved my trip and I now have tags on almost everything that goes with me on a trip.

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