Travel interrupts our natural schedule and is an easy reason we are not maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It also causes us to be out of touch with our friends, families and jobs. Don’t let a change of scenery spoil your trip, gear up for with these 10 apps and gadgets to help make your travel experiences exciting and productive. Here are our top 10 apps and gadgets recommended for the ultimate travel experience
1) Tile Your Travel Items
Avoid the last minute craze with a DIY digitization of all of your important travel items. Tile, one of Kickstarter’s hottest projects of the year, is a matchbook-sized, thin, white plastic square. This self-adhesive device, equipped with GPS, allows any item to be tracked using the owners smartphone app and Tile’s low-Bluetooth technology. Just attach, stick or drop your Tile into any item you might lose: laptops, wallets, keys, guitars, bikes, passport, luggage – you name it – and remotely send the Tile device a signal to emit a sound, hopefully putting an end to the search-and-rescue. Tile, which does not require battery changes or charging, can be pre-ordered for summer 2014 delivery. Tile for travel could keep your passport and checked-luggage always in your pocket. ($19.95 for one Tile, $59.85 for four Tiles, thetileapp.com)
2) Rove to Create an Automated Travel Diary
Rove is a Free app that is an automated timeline, which tracks users’ movements through GPS, estimates the method of travel, inserts pictures, maps and locations into a timeline. The result is a beautiful visual travel journal with no inputs required. Next time relatives ask to hear all about the trip? Just Share your travel story timeline from the app and Rove will email a link to the trip’s timeline. This will allow you, the traveler, the time to enjoy the special moments and not spend time recording them. Want to keep Rove personal? The app is 100% private unless users choose to share. (Free in the iTunes store)
3) Get More Battery Juice with Dark Resevoir
There are many options on the market to pack power for on-the-go charging. IOGEAR’s sleekly designed device is a pocket-sized device with a 11,000mAh lithium cell is lightweight, powerful and serves as a battery extender for your mobile devices. With IOGEAR you can charge two USB powered devices at the same time.
4) Clean Water with LifeStraw by Vestergaard
Described as “one of the ten things that will change the way we live” by Forbes, take this (empty!) water bottle on the road, mitigate the risk of illness, and turn local tap water anywhere in the world into safe drinking water. The filtration technology integrated into the LifeStraw Go water bottle reduces the risk of bacterial and parasitic water-borne disease transmission. Through advanced filtration technology, water is forced through fibers that only allow the clean water to pass through, keeping contaminants away from consumption.
5) Free Phone, Video, and Text with Viber
The Free Viber app allows users to make free phone calls, video calls or send text messages, over 4G or WiFi, anywhere in the world, free of charge (as long as both users are connecting through the Viber application). The app is available on all mobile devices and with 200 million active global users, has become one of the largest disruptors in the online global communication space. (Free; runs on: Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Windows Phone)
6) Sickweather is Doppler Radar for Sickness
Sickweather’s iOS app uses social status updates, natural language processing, and location data to map zones of illness in categories. Avoid getting sick on the road through the app’s push notifications and maps highlighting zones with outbreaks of specific illnesses. Sickness maps can be filtered to ones important to a specific user and included in “illness alerts” or can be mapped by disease category, density, or proximity. (Free in the iTunes store)
7) SleepPhones, The “Pajamas for Your Ears”
Developed by a family physician to ease sleep without medication, SleepPhones come with free apps offering sounds of nature or white noise, which should upgrade your flight at a fraction of the cost. These cozy fleece accessories come with built in headphones, or an option for a wireless Bluetooth-enabled band.
8) Translate the World through Word Lens
Word Lens, a popular smartphone app, provides frictionless translation of written words. View a sign or a menu and the app renders the words in real-time, in English translation. This technology may be the end of the translation dictionary and as a bonus it uses Glass’ local storage, eliminating the need for data connectivity. Word Lens doesn’t just try to translate the words, but also tries to make it look like it’s actually translated the written word ($4.99 in the Android Store)
9) Tripshell’s All-in-One Travel Adapter
For international travel bring a power adapter that doesn’t require a bag full of interchangeable accessories. Tripshell’s International All-in-One Travel Plug Adapter With Surge Protection support outlets in 150 countries.
10) Smartphone Attachable Lens-Style Camera
Smartphone cameras have come a long way and instead of bringing a large, bulky camera, try Sony’s new hybrid option that allows for higher quality photos and video, without the extra device. Sony’s Smartphone attachable lens shoots creates video in 1080p and brings DSLR-like features, like pixel-free zoom, that haven’t yet come to our all-in-one smartphones.
Melissa Thompson, a technology expert and CEO of TalkSession, Inc., provided content for this article.