Travel Gear to Keep You Connected
Kids don’t like to disconnect when they’re away from home, and neither do a lot of adults. We’ve rounded up the best gadgets and plans to help you stay in touch, no matter how far you roam.
TravelPass, from Verizon
Two dollars a day--that's all it costs to take your domestic talk, text and data allowances with you when you travel to Mexico or Canada. Or use Verizon's TravelPass and pay just $5 per day in Spain and $10 a day in over 100 other countries around the world. This international plan also lets you get directions, post images on social media and stay in touch with friends and relatives, all without roaming charges. Better still, you only pay for the days that you actually use your data.
When you're running for a plane or hailing a cab, it's easy to drop your smartphone. The Moto Z Force Droid has a guaranteed-shatterproof screen to help avoid those disasters. It pairs with Moto Mods, accessories and options that transform it into a movie projector, stereo speaker, battery station and more. Available with 32GB, it has a 3,500 mAh battery, so you can use it for more than a day without recharging. An included TurboPower charger provides up to another 15 hours of battery life in just 15 minutes of charging time.
Have you ever found yourself at the airport with your smart device, only to realize you left your charging cable plugged in back at the hotel? The BUZZ Alarm Cable 2 in 1 Micro USB & Lightning Connector won’t let you leave it behind. When you disconnect your device from the cable, an alarm sounds. Either unplug both the device and the cable, and silence the alarm, or hit the built-in “snooze button” to remind you to get the cable later. The sound can also help protect against theft.
Even if you have the latest smart device, you may discover you can't use it when you're away from home, because the plug doesn't fit the available outlet. The SKROSS World Adapter MUV USB is a two-pole adapter with a built-in, dual USB port. A sliding mechanism gives you quick access to U.S., Australian, U.K. and European outlets in over 200 countries. Use it with your tablet, smartphone, camera, shaver, game console, camcorder or MP3 player. If you need a three pole adapter for your journey, or you just aren’t sure which adapter is right for your needs, no worries. Use the handy adapter finder on the SKROSS website.
Go ahead and run down the battery on your mobile devices. This portable power bank for smartphones, tablets and USB devices is equipped with a 12,000 mAh universal battery and two USB ports. It can re-juice your smartphone about eight times. Need more power? The Powerstation XXL is a 20,000 mAh universal battery with three ports; it provides over seven extra charges for your smartphone. Choose the 6,000 mAh universal battery Powerstation if you're watching your budget. It has two USB ports and provides two additional smartphone charges.
Don’t skip your walks and workouts just because you're away from home. This fitness tracker can be used with multiple sports to count steps, monitor your heart rate, and much more. Use the GPS function and your nearby, compatible smartphone to map your run or walk and display speed, distance and other stats. Among other features, it can notify you when you’ve got a text, call or calendar alert. Interchangeable faces, bands and frames let you customize your look; the watch syncs wirelessly with over 200 compatible devices.
Complimentary Gear for Travelers
Even if you don't bring your tech gear along, some hotels and resorts have devices you can borrow for free. The Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa loans Garmin products like the VIRB X and VIRB XE action cameras. They’ll also set you up with a vivofit 2 fitness tracker to wear on your wrist. Ask for details, so you can save and share your experiences. If you like the Garmin items too much to return them, inquire about discounts on future purchases.
If you’re into photography--or you just can’t resist those selfies--borrow a waterproof GoPro Hero4 camera from Costa Rica’s Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort. Then use it to capture all the sights and sounds of the surrounding 1100-acre tropical rainforest and the Pacific Ocean.
Here are Samantha Brown's tips to help you keep your cool on your next family vacation.