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.
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!
If it sometimes seems like finding the best fall or holiday gifts for women can be difficult, realize: Technology makes a great starting point, with loads of great gadgets, gear and accessories to pick from for every budget and interest. As technology improves, so too does value continue to compound as well – expect high-tech presents to be well-received, as they’re gifts that keep on giving. A few great examples of top picks you might begin with include:
Philips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum and AirFloss – Hearing someone with a camera shout “smile!” doesn’t need to be a cause for awkward hesitation – and certainly not when you’re taking extra-good care of those pearly whites. The Sonicare Flexcare Platinum is an electric toothbrush with extra-long bristles and pressure sensors that can help keep your teeth healthy and bright. The AirFloss takes care of eliminating plaque by getting into those harder-to-reach places by using microburst technology to distribute micro-droplets of air and water between your teeth. In short, you get a great looking smile and fresh breath – still more gifts that all can enjoy.
Phiaton PS 210 BTNC Headphones – Usable with everything from the iPhone and iPod to laptops, MP3 players, CDs, and even DVD players, these headphones offer greater freedom of movement through Bluetooth 3.0, and provide noise-canceling and “MaxBass” technology, meaning that songs don’t have to be affected by ambient sounds from without or the reverb that would normally be caused within. The added microphone adds further functionality, allowing these headphones to enable phone conversations as well.
Parrot Zik Headphones – These headphones offer a degree of control unlike any other. Using touch sensor technology, you can do everything from adjust the volume to switching tracks, as well as take, end, refuse, or even set up dual phone calls with just a swipe. They even know when to play, based on whether they’re being kept around one’s neck or raised to the listening position, and can be configured to generate a concert hall-like effect, making the music sound as though it’s coming from in front of you.
Hawking HWREN2 Wireless Extender – Losing your home wireless connection is always irritating, but with this wireless extender, you can rest easy. The HWREN2 boasts not only double the normal Wi-Fi network coverage, but also a performance level that’s three times stronger than any extender or repeater on the market. This can be especially handy if you’re living in an older building with denser walls not made to allow signals to pass through.
iPhone 5S – The latest release in Apple’s seemingly unstoppable iJuggernaut is this revision of the iPhone 5. Available in three colors (gold, silver, and space gray), this iteration features an improved camera and a new sapphire crystal Home button that adds greater security by reading your fingerprint before unlocking the device, negating the need for a four-digit password. Not only do you get a stylish and handy smartphone that’s great for a variety of day-to-day uses – you also get heightened power and performance.
Nexus 7 2013 – The newer, lighter Nexus 7 is an Android tablet which features a 7-inch screen and provides up to nine hours of high definition video playback or ten hours of web browsing and reading. Play games, read books, watch TV, or listen to music, all in one half-pound portable device. Recharging is a snap, too, as this gadget allows the task to be handled wirelessly, making it easier than ever to keep your device ready at a moment’s notice.
Pikmin 3 – Get back to nature in a whole new way with this casual strategy game. Taking control of three different microscopic spacemen (well, two men and one woman), your objective is to direct groups of the eponymous plant-people to conquer challenging puzzles and predators in the oversized wilderness while retrieving enough of the giant fruit scattered about to sustain your hungry home planet. You can also challenge a friend in the two-player Bingo Battle mode, wherein you’ll each try to obtain four of the fruits on your card first for victory!
Saints Row IV – Though video games can often be seen as a boys’ club, everyone enjoys a good story and a bit of mayhem, and Saints Row IV brings both in spades. Whereas the Grand Theft Auto series has all but completely left behind the zanier part of its roots, Saints Row has come to not only embrace that brand of over the top craziness, but expand upon it as well. Create the character you want– male or female– as you prepare to take on the role of the President of the United States and fend off an alien invasion.
Targus UltraLife Thin Canvas Case – Sometimes, having your phone or tablet around just isn’t enough; you need to have your laptop on hand. That’s where this handy case comes in: A top-loading compartment for laptop computers with screens up to 14.1 inches in size, a slim design, magnetic clasps, and storage for numerous other items mean you can have it all at your fingertips when you’re on the go. Plus, it comes in three different colors (black, gray, or white) and even features a retractable handle for when the shoulder strap won’t do.
Philips SatinPerfect Epilator – When it comes to hair removal, the SatinPerfect Epilator has you covered with an extra-wide head and textured ceramic tweezers which boast more hair removed in a single stroke. Use the built-in opti-light to reveal the tinier and finer hairs which might otherwise escape notice, and the controls allow you to set the speed you’re most comfortable with. One charge lasts for 40 minutes of epilation, and it recharges again in just one hour.