5 Ways to Easily Communicate on the Road

5 Ways to Easily Communicate on the Road

Staying connected is a top priority for today’s traveler. Thankfully, a wide range of high-tech devices andservices now provide countlessways to keep up with friends, family and coworkers wherever you go. Looking to effortlessly stay in touch with the gang back home or office from any location? From cloud computing solutions to cutting-edge hospitality and lodging services, following are five ways to practically guarantee maintaining seamless communication anytime, anywhere:

Put Your Head in the Clouds – Cloud computing services like Google Docs, Zoho, OneDrive and Dropbox let you easily store and share files, photos, documents, and spreadsheets online, so your desktop travels wherever you do. Using these tools, accessible from Web browsers, apps and even desktop folders, you can synchronize all your data across tablets, smartphones and computers.Coworkers can even collaborate on projects in real-time. Dozens of providers (even more include Amazon, Box, Hightail, etc.) make it easy to stay in touch, team up on shared efforts or transport files and folders full of music, movies and more to any destination.

Get Connected – If you’re a modern professional or parent, or simply want more face-to-face time with your friends and family, free videoconferencing services like Skype, Tango and ooVoo are a must. Make voice and video calls from mobile or stationary devices with an Internet connection so you can tuck in your kids or take calls with key clients from hundreds of miles away. Instant messaging programs such as WhatsApp (see: its free international text messaging services), Trillian and Kik also put contacts and comrades just a tap away. With these, you can easilysend and receive text messages or share photos, videos and more multimedia goodies from a variety of popular portable devices.

Stay Smart – Many hotel brandsoffer wireless Internet connections at significant cost and variable speeds. Others such as Hyatt Place (already notable for its design with the 24/7 traveler in mind and roomyrooms) offer greater convenience and comfort by providing free dependable Wi-Filocation-wide along with USB charging ports.When booking a room, don’t just choose based on location. Look for lodging choices such as these which offer ample power plugs, generous work spaces, and complimentary wireless connectivity.That way, it’s easy to make video or voice calls, visit your Inbox and access social apps and networks.

Use Go-Go Gadgets – Mobile devices make the perfect portable communications solution, but battery life seldom lasts the entire day. Save yourself from sprinting for a power outlet by grabbing recharger cases for your favorite device, which can provide a quick energy refill to go, such as those made my Mophie, PowerSkin and Powermat. If you’re a high-speed cellular customer, virtually every carrier offers mobile wireless hotspot options that can help you stay connected day-round as well. These handy gizmos, which sync up to 3G and 4G LTE networks, make it possible to connect several devices (tablets, laptops, digital cameras, etc.) to the Internet and enjoy mobile connectivity to go.

Bring the World to You – A variety of helpful blogging services such as TravelPod, Tumblr, Blogger and WordPress make it possible to create your own travelogue or running diary, and post updates, photos and videos from every stop on your itinerary. Popular social networks such as Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter also provide a quick and easy way to share updates from every stopover, or even in some cases post up videos or entire photo galleries’ worth of vacation snapshots. You can not only keep others up to date with your travels, but also create a greater sense of connection by helping them see the world through your eyes.

Just as important as knowing the best ways to communicate is taking the time to disconnect. Explore the area you’re visiting using advice from friends in the area, local blogs and newspapers or asking your hotel for their favorite suggestions. You’re bound to discover a something new to share the next time you connect. 

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

Last-Minute High-Tech Holiday Gifts

11 December, 2013 Life No comments
Last-Minute High-Tech Holiday Gifts

One of the nice parts about shopping for last-minute holiday gifts this year is the wealth of high-tech options available for every age, interest and budget. In case you should find yourself sprinting to find the perfect present though, it’s not always easy to choose the best pick for friends and family, however. But fear not, help is at hand: We’ve teamed up with several leading manufacturers to offer a few ideas that can save you time, effort and energy when it comes to gift-giving this season.

For starters, if you’re shopping for a home entertainment fan, check out the Samsung Shape Wireless Bluetooth Speaker. It’s a sleek system that offers an attractive, eye-catching design and wireless entertainment throughout your whole house from a variety of music sources – for example, smartphones and tablets. It offers an awesome wireless experience, letting you listen to your entire music library, radio stations and music services on-demand via Bluetooth or WiFi. Easy plug-and-play setup also makes it simple to install so you can get right to rocking your own wireless surround sound system.

If you’re a big fan of streaming music, movies and video games though, it’s important to note: Your connected experience is only as good as the weakest link in your home network. With more and more devices connecting to home wireless networks at one time, response times can slow and frustration increase. Happily, you can help the whole family turbo-charge downloads and boost streaming capabilities with the Motorola-ARRIS SURFboard SBG6782-AC Gateway. It’s a two in one modem and router that packs the latest technology and blazing speeds to allow everyone to use their gadgets happily.

With so many devices in our home entertainment centers now, however, controlling them can get somewhat complicated. So if you’re looking for a great gift for a DIYer guy that can help them control all their favorite gadgets, see the Logitech Harmony Ultimate as well. It’s a universal remote that lets you control all your devices, from TVs to Blu-ray players, Philips Hue lights and even the new Xbox One, even through cabinets and walls. You can even create activities like “watch a movie” and watch as the Harmony Ultimate powers up your TV, receiver, Blu-ray player and dims those lights.

If you’re shopping for an iPhone 5 owner, have a look at Duracell Powermat products as well, which help increase battery life so you’re never caught without power. Case in point: The Powerset II, the ultimate charging system for the iPhone 5. It includes an Access Case that offers wireless charging through snap-on, snap-off batteries that are easily installed and more than double your mobile device’s battery life. It also includes a two-position mat so you can wirelessly charge two devices simultaneously. The Powerset II is on-sale through Christmas at AT&T Stores and DuracellPowermat.com as well – you can save $30, as the price has been reduced to just $99.

Of course, if you find yourself struggling to come up with ideas, be sure to swing by your local neighborhood RadioShack as well. They’ve got tech experts on-hand who can help you pick from a wide range of last-minute tech gifts like the AUVIO Folding Headphones with Mic, among many great choices for the holidays. You might also consider grabbing a RadioShack gift card as well, as techies can always have fun picking out their favorite devices. There’s even a Holiday Cash promotion running where you can get $10 back off on a $5 purchase.

As you can see, there’s no shortage of great last-minute holiday gift options to be had, so you’ll never have a problem finding something to quickly stash in your bag as you head out to visit friends and loved ones, or under the tree. Happy holidays!

Gadgets and Gifts: High-Tech Holiday Gear

24 November, 2013 Life No comments
Gadgets and Gifts: High-Tech Holiday Gear

The holidays are coming up quick, meaning that if you haven’t picked up the perfect present for everyone on your list, now’s a good time to start thinking about what gadgets, gear and gift options to grab. Between two new video game systems, high-powered and eye-catching smartphones, and numerous new ways to work and play, the good news is that plenty of viable options exist. Better still, the beauty of technology as a gift-giving choice is that it appeals to everyone, is bound to be used day in and out, and (thanks to downloadable add-ons, upgrades and streaming media choices) will sustain friends’ and loved ones’ interest longer than ever before. So if you’re on the fence about what to buy for everyone, consider browsing through an ever-growing range of consumer electronics: There’s no shortage of awe-inspiring choices to pick from.

Not a high-tech enthusiast? Have no fear. In addition to growing power and performance, one of the most exciting trends we’re seeing today amongst gadgets and mobile devices is growing accessibility, and ever more approachable user interfaces. Whether you’re looking to beam down high-definition (HD) songs, movies and TV shows to your living room, access a variety of useful apps, or check out the latest books, magazines or breaking news reports on-demand, everything’s now literally a click or call away. Which, of course, will prove a boon to both families and working professionals: For less than ever before, in more ways than ever before, you can access a growing range of practical and cost-affordable entertainment and productivity options. So if you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to pick up a new tablet PCs, grab a new sound bar for your home theater, or make the jump from paper to electronic books (eBooks), the holidays present a perfect excuse to give your life a 21st century upgrade.

Seriously – after 25 years in this business, even we are floored by the sheer scope and capabilities of the technology solutions on offer today. From portable media players to 3D gaming handhelds, wireless all-in-one printers to Swiss Army knife-life two-in-one hybrid PCs/tablets, we’re enjoying a golden age of gizmos unlike any experienced to date. Best of all, with Black Friday coming up, you won’t find a better time to browse the virtual aisles, as the week promises some of the best deals of the year to date. Skim through some of the recent collections of attention-getting accessories, gadgets and gear we’ve posted online at eBay, for example, and you’ll find just a few of hundreds of great options available in every category.

Which, of course, brings up another good point: If you’re no fan of long lines, or fighting tooth and nail for parking at the mall, online shopping provides a handy alternative this holiday season. Among its biggest pluses is the ability to browse far larger aisles than you’d find at local retailers, and have presents shipped right to friends’ and family members’ homes in just a matter of days. Note that there’s still plenty of time to grab gadgets and gear, get them to recipients’ front steps in time for the holidays, and do so without breaking the bank thanks to growingly fast and affordable shipping options as well. However, whichever route you choose to go when buying selections from the latest high-tech toys to hottest new family gaming picks, be smart about where you spend. Only buy the features you plan to use regularly, and those that promise to be most practical for your situation – there’s no need to spend extra just to feel as if you’re keeping up with the Joneses.

Wherever possible, we always recommend going hands-on with devices to see how you like their feel and design, and shopping around for deals from different vendors to see who offers the best mix of value as well. Some welcome options can be found in our recent collections of high-tech picks, which we’ll continue to post and update over at eBay, and here at TechSavvyMag.com as the coming weeks unfold. But don’t be fooled: A little searching around on sites such as these will also reveal dozens of additional deals in virtually every consumer electronics category. In fact, you might even want to consider getting loved ones and acquaintances gift cards and certificates as a present. Sometimes, the chance to browse through buying listings and top gift-giving picks can be every bit as fun as receiving a ribbon-wrapped present.

No matter if you’re looking for ways to entertain yourself on road trips and cross-country flights, or looking to swap out an old PC or laptop, it’s our pleasure to keep you up to date on the latest and greatest new high-tech options. Naturally, we welcome any and all suggestions from you and your family as well: By all means, please reach out and contact us, or post your own collections online, if you have added suggestions. In the meantime, we wish you and yours the best this holiday season – and the best of luck choosing from all those shiny new HDTVs, Bluetooth speakers, and mobile devices. If this year’s crop of connected gadgets is an indicator of what’s to come, 2014 looks to be an equally bright and promising year for fans of everything electronic.

eBay Collections are curated in collaboration with eBay.

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