Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean that you need to leave your high-tech lifestyle behind. Consumer electronics are more portable and powerful than ever before, and you can easily access your same books, movies, and other media from a variety of devices.
1. Universal Power Plug Adapter
Instead of buying an adapter plug to convert one type of outlet to another, you can purchase universal power adapters that work with multiple plug standards. Some models can even convert voltages, and with a single adapter, you’ll save valuable bag space.
2. Underwater Smartphone Housing
Do you love scuba diving or snorkeling? You won’t want to leave home without an underwater smartphone case. Dry bags keep water away from your sensitive electronics while specially designed hard cases let you shoot photos and video clips up to 20 feet underwater. By securing your phone with elastic bands around your arm, you’ll never have to worry about losing it.
3. RFID Shielding
Your credit and debit cards likely use RFID chips to store sensitive information. Unfortunately, thieves can easily scan your credit cards from up to 15 feet away, and you won’t have any idea that your financial information has just been stolen until you end up with a mysterious $10,000 purchase from another country. You can protect your credit cards with a specialized case like the new Flipside Wallet, which blocks all RFID signals.
4. Low-Cost 4G Wireless Internet
When you travel to another state or country, it can be next to impossible to get reliable Internet service. Cable, fiber optic, and DSL Provider connections are spotty at best, but many travelers today are opting for mobile 4G hotspots instead. Your speeds will largely depend on your distance from the nearest cell tower, but you should be able to enjoy speeds between 1 and 10 Mbps unless you’re camping out in the woods.
5. DVR Internet Access
How do you watch your favorite movies and TV shows while out of town? You simply connect your DVR to the Internet. Some TV providers like DirecTV make it easy to stream DVR content to any Internet-connected device, but others require a bit more work. If your DVR can’t connect to the Internet, transfer the movies and TV episodes onto your home computer instead. Apple and Microsoft both provide robust media streaming capabilities.
6. VPN Connections
A virtual private network is the easiest way to log into your home computer while traveling. Install remote desktop software on your home computer, and you’ll be able to browse your hard drives for important files and access software. Most new versions of Windows include remote desktop functionality.
7. Portable Drive Enclosures
The newest smartphones provide up to 64 GB of storage, but that’s hardly enough to shoot hours of HD video. Most external hard drives are expensive, bulky, and provide limited storage. For additional storage and faster transfer speeds, consider picking up an external enclosure like the Vantec NexStar HX4R, which can hold up to four separate 3.5-inch SATA III drives in a RAID configuration.
Physical books aren’t quite extinct, but they’re about to become little more than novelties. With an iPad or Kindle, you can store an entire library’s worth of books in a single tablet. You can also watch movies on the plane, listen to music, browse the Internet, and play games. If you haven’t made the switch yet, you can pick up a solid entry-level tablet for about $200.