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
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.
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.
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-
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