We use to be able to pack and go within hours of leaving home to board a plane. It was pretty routine. But when we began to come out of our pandemic cocoons, we had to adjust to the new norms. With stories of lost or misplaced luggage came a few new gadgets that gave us peace of mind. And now, with airlines putting more restrictions on carry-on bags, we have to be even more strategic in what we bring. Let’s face it we are connected in many ways and when it comes to travel we have to consider what’s the most useful, handy and compact.
Apple AirTag: quickly became the most useful tracking device on the market. As airport baggage systems globally seemed completely disorganized, this simple little device became the go-to for every traveller. Size no bigger than a quarter cent piece it was easy to toss into luggage. The accompanying “find my” feature on iPhone gave users the ability to track wherever it was. Even helped airport staff locate luggage within the terminals when needed. The AirTag became also useful for handbags, backpacks for explores in busy city streets and beaches.
Power Bank: The first few trips overseas threw us for a loop as we raced to pack phone chargers. We thought we were “pros” but didn’t bring enough charging cables or had too many (wrong) chargers. Hotels did not have extra chargers there and the one store in town had nothing. I found this hand power bank on amazon.ca that not only could charge up devices on the go, but it also had built in lightning charge end, and other ends to accommodate a variety of devices.
Conversion plug: Of course, if you’re travelling abroad, you already know to bring the proper conversion plug, right? Or use a wireless charging pad if your phone is equipped to do so.
We’ve noticed more airlines are not providing on-board entertainment but no worries! There’s no shortage of content you can download onto your laptop or iPad/tablets pre-flight and still enjoy at your leisure.
Kobo Clara 2E eReader: download your latest read onto your eReader is easy and obviously takes less space in your carry on bag. It’s also lighter and you can download many books. You can even virtually “borrow” books from the library and have them ready to go. We love how the eReader is ergonomically designed with comfort in mind. Fonts and even the light on the device also adjusts according to your reading space so eyes won’t get tired so easily. We love this edition as it’s also made with recycled and ocean bound plastic. Bonus, it’s water-resistant so it’s perfect to take to the beach or poolside.
Headphones: noise cancelling headphones are my preference for in-flight entertainment. Not only can they deliver crisper sounds but they can surround you with peace even if there’s a crying baby nearby. I prefer cordless always that you can blue tooth to your device to watch shows, movies, listen to audiobooks, podcasts or music. SiriusXM had gifted a set of JBL Tour One wireless, over-ear headphones with true adaptive noise cancelling feature that I never leave home without. They deliver incredibly rich sounds while automatically adjusting to what’s happening around you.
Netflix: If you’re wondering about the latest trending shows on this streaming service like, “Escaping Twin Flames” (WTF people?!) about a few cult in Arizona that also has followers Toronto. Download episodes onto your devices (included with your membership).
Audible: I love listening to audio books so prior to travelling I’ll download a few. Especially when I need to give my eyes a break from screens. Britney Spears’ autobiography “The Woman in Me” read by Michelle Williams was my latest. There’s also a great “Sleep” series and the “Mistletoe Murders” series that are made as audible original content. Both series have star-studded power behind the voices.
Spotify: Don’t have your own music library? You can find your genre, playlists, from or even by your favourite artists. I’ve found a few deep meditation playlists that are my go-tos. You can easily create your own unlimited playlists by downloading to your devices. There are all the popular podcasts available as well.
MyFitnessPal: Keep track of what you eat, what exercise you get and even how your sleep is easily on this popular lifestyle app. No matter what your health or fitness goals, this one was designed to be user-friendly for every level to stay mindful of everyday even travelling.
Apps: Before you travel, check out any apps that can help you expedite parts of your trip. From airport navigation apps to hotel and city apps. For example, Apple Maps can even help you make good use of your time while waiting for flights at the airport too! Locate washrooms, baggage areas, pick up spots, shops and restaurants easily. Four Seasons Hotel recently launched an app and we tried it in Lisbon, Portugal. It made our stay seamless and with quick access to such services as concierge and housekeeping all at the touch of your screen. Wondering about where to go for ramen? or what theatre show is happening? Need extra towels or shampoo? Want to adjust your car rental reservation made through the hotel? We did all of that through the app.