Staying Entertained on the Road

Staying Entertained on the Road

With summer in full swing, it’s the perfect time to kick back, relax and enjoy some high-tech gadget entertainment thanks to devices like smartphones, tablets and portable video game systems. Hotels, like Hyatt Place hotels, are helping make stays more enjoyable for modern travelers and families with amenities like free in-room Wi-Fi and ample USB ports as well. Put the two together, and you’ll discover that downloading and enjoying music, movies and on-demand shows is more seamless and simpler than ever.

As a response to the requests we received through the Hyatt Place Seamless Travel Series, I’ve developed a list of the of the latest and greatest gadgets to keep you busy on the road, and keep the fun chugging merrily along, whether you’re cruising to your next destination via plane, train or automobile.

Lenovo IdeaPad A10

www.lenovo.com

Many tablet PCs offer vibrant HD screens, hyper-intuitive user interfaces and enough computing horsepower to play just about any clever new app you could imagine. But this affordable Android model also offers something that many value-priced rivals don’t: Dolby stereo speakers that make music sound more warm and vivid than anything you’d expect to hear from such a compact and lightweight carry-on. If you’re an audiophile, be sure to check it out. One listen is all it takes to hear the difference.

PS Vita

www.playstation.com

Players of all ages can enjoy video games on laptops, tablets and smartphones of every kind. But this supercharged handheldunit is the closest you can come to experiencing the power of your favorite set-top device to go without packing a PlayStation 4 along. Connect to the free in-room Wi-Fi available at hotels like Hyatt Place, and you can even seamlessly access favorite Internet and social media services such as YouTube and Facebook, or stream movies from Netflix. With hundreds of software titles available from a colorful puzzler to a soccer simulator, you’ll find plenty of great excuses to keep those thumbs moving.

Garmin Forerunner 15

www.garmin.com

Stepping out for an occasional jog is a great way to sightsee, better get to know the places you visit and stay fit while on the road. Strap on this connected sports watch, which tracks the number of steps you take and how far you travel each day, and you’ll have plenty of incentive to hit the ground running. Capable ofhelping you set daily activity goals, and plot workout plans accordingly, just give it a quick charge from one of your hotel room’s USB ports, slap it onto your wrist and off you go. Literally.

Samsung ATIV Book 9

www.samsung.com

Want to stay in for the night and curl up with a great flick, or browse the best that the Internet has to offer? This slim and stylish all-purpose ultrabook, which combines the best features of tablet PCs and notebook computers, is just the ticket. Boasting a sporty HD touchscreen, and easily connected to free Wi-Fi so you can access streaming movie and music services, it also offers speedy Web surfing capabilities. Pack it along on your travels, and you can enjoy a convenient solution for staying productive and entertained on the road for hours on end thanks to the system’s considerable battery life.

DC Comics

www.dccomics.com

From Batman to Wonder Woman, all it takes is a tap to make dozens of classic superheroes spring to life on your Apple or Android device. Just load up this nifty app, choose a comic to purchase and read, and you’re set for the better part of any flight. All sorts of favorite titles are available for browsing, including all-star turns by caped crusaders like Superman, the Justice League and Green Lantern, and parsing each issue isa breeze since you can swipe between pages and panels in seconds. In short, it’s like having an entire comics shop right there along with you in your backpack.

Olympus Stylus Tough TG-850

www.getolympus.com

Why settle for any old digital camera when you can grab one that’s waterproof, freeze-proof, shockproof, and otherwise “ruggedized” to withstand just about any other form of extreme travel you can throw at it? A novel tilting LCD screen also provides entirely new perspective on shots, so you can climb up on rocks or submerge the device in water, as well as snap one of a kind images from a number of eye-opening angles. Vacationerswill especially appreciate this surprisingly cost-conscious camera’s high-speed capture capabilities and wide-angle lens, great for grabbing shots of national parks or squealing toddlers sprinting by after downing a popsicle or five.

This post was sponsored by Hyatt Place as part of its Seamless Travel Series. The opinions are my own and based on my experience.

Summer Road Trip Hints and Tips

Summer Road Trip Hints and Tips

Looking to plan a summer vacation? We highly recommend taking road trips, as they can provide a great way to get out with the family and explore a new town or area of the country. Plenty are easy and fun to setup. However, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared before hitting the road. We’ve teamed up with some great companies to help you do just that.

For starters, you’ll want to make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape. Oftentimes vehicle maintenance is pushed to the bottom of the to-do list, but it’s important to make sure your car is good to go before hitting the road. With 700 locations nationwide, Sears Auto Center has you covered. They have full-service and battery experts to help with any of your maintenance needs and super-reliable DieHard battery products keep you powered when you need it on the roadways. If you check out their website at Searsauto.com you can grab more info, including updates on all sorts of great deals like an oil change AND tire rotation for just 14.99 through July 26.

After you’ve got the inside of your car covered, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the outside covered as well. You can take care of your tires and trim with the new Turtle Wax Jet Black line of products like Endura-Shine Tire & Trim coatings feature exclusive breakthrough tint technology that restores finishes to their blackest black.  The Jet Black line offers powerful UV protection against future fading, so you can maintain your car’s sharp looks and luster. They have a great $7 mail-in rebate program going on right now through October, 31st so be sure to check out Turtlewax.com/jetblack.

Also be sure to have a look at Delphi Connect, which is a great gadget that helps keep you connected while on a summer vacation road trip. Plug this into your car and download the app, and you can get vehicle diagnostics alerts so you know when your car is having issues. You can check things out before you hit the road and also monitor along the way. Plus, it’s a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot in your car for up to 5 devices so your kids can stay connected and entertained on those long rides.

As you can see, it’s quick and simple to get yourself up to speed for any road trip, wherever your travels promise to take you this summer season. Happy trails!

Best Travel Apps of All Time

Best Travel Apps of All Time

Oh how we love technology! Thanks to the efficiencies smartphones, tablets and other devices offer, business travel has never been more seamless for today’s working professional – especially during peak vacation season when your mind may be traveling to things outside of work. Just recently when we were on business in Chicago, for example, I stayed at the Hyatt Place Chicago/River North and experienced their high-tech hotel rooms. It just took a quick recharge on a nearby USB port, connection to the free Wi-Fi network and tap of a finger to quickly access files. Today it’s unbelievably easy to stay up-to-date and in touch!

As the Hyatt Place Seamless Travel Series’ Tech-spert, I was recently asked “what are the best apps to help you travel more smoothly” during a Twitter party with #TravelSkills. With hundreds of free or cost-affordable apps available for download now, you can almost manage the whole travel process from your phone. From booking your hotel room and dinner reservations to your scheduling your next flight and car service pickup, it’s important to know the best ones to utilize. For your convenience and entertainment, here are some of my favorite travel apps of all time, designed to help road warriors make the most of every trip:

Worldmate

www.worldmate.com

No matter how complex your travel itinerary gets, you can easily manage it with this tool from most smartphones and tablets. You can track and organize your flight schedules, hotel bookings and car reservations, or pull up weather forecasts, maps and more. For business travelers, you can even use it to juggle appointments, so you don’t end up at showing up at the right time at the wrong client’s office.

Evernote

www.evernote.com

Need to create a to-do list, share audio clips and images, or simply want to clip and save an interesting article you spotted for reading later? Try Evernote, an online organization app that lets you save notes, files, images, and websites you’ve bookmarked, then synchronize them across devices and access the information from anywhere. Among the best ways to keep current projects, it plays the role of virtual assistant, helping you cut through the clutter and more effectively manage your digital life.

Hyatt Hotels

www.hyatthotels.hyatt.com/mobile

Hunting for a hotel while on the road? Hyatt’s multilingual mobile app for Android and iPhone devices lets you book stays at hundreds of Hyatt hotels, including my personal favorite – Hyatt Place, which offers free Wi-Fi, USB recharging stations and a comfy work areas in roomy rooms specifically designed for business travelers. You can also manage reservations right from the app and access local maps or driving directions, and you can even handle check-ins and checkouts right from your pocket.

Dragon Dictation

www.nuance.com

Great for getting work done while sprinting between appointments, this handy speech recognition app translates your voice into text, so you can speak your texts or emails for later use in seconds. This is also a handy way to get ideas and thoughts down on virtual paper. The next time you’re sitting at the airport and inspiration strikes, try rattling it off before you forget – you may be surprised at how brilliant a solution you’ve come up with later.

Snap One

www.snapone.com

If you’re a working parent, you know how difficult it can be to stay on top of everyone’s schedule, especially while traveling. Snap One’s suite of cloud (online) apps helps solve the problem by letting you securely and privately share contacts and calendars with your family, as well as bring your files, photos, videos and documents wherever you travel. You can essentially bring your desktop along on any trip and send snapshots and videos to family back home.

TOTALe

www.totale.rosettastone.com

Need to pickup a few common phrases for a trip overseas (Where’s the bathroom? orWhere can I find the best local restaurant?)? Rosetta Stone’s travel-friendly app helps you brush up on various languages to easily translate dialogue or practice your pronunciation. There’s also a desktop version that offers live chats and group activities so you can quickly go from flustered to fluent.

Skype

www.skype.com

Numerous apps from FaceTime to Google Hangouts make it possible to easily videoconference with clients and colleaguesfrom a variety of gadgets. But Skype remains among the most widely popular solutions for mobile meetings or phoning back home to say helloin realtime. Suitable for both personal and professional use, it provides a free and seamless solution for video chats, so you can enjoy some face-to-face time with clients and coworkers, and – wherever you travel – be there to tuck your kids in and say goodnight.

This post was sponsored by Hyatt Place as part of its Seamless Travel Series. The opinions are my own and based on my experience.