It must have taken some dedication to travel the globe in the days of Columbus. The famous explorer did, after all, discover the ‘New World’ due to pure hard-headedness. In fact, he was so convinced that he’d reached the coast of China (and not Central America), that he was at a complete loss when he didn’t discover the Indian Ocean on his last voyage – something which led to his Spanish financiers stripping him of his titles and essentially ostracising him.
Luckily, we’re not like Columbus.
Being rather attached to our GPS’s these days, we’re not in the business of discovering and claiming new territories. We’d much rather key in the coordinates and know exactly where we’re going, after we’ve googled what the weather’s like, what to eat, and how much things cost there.
It’s true, we leave surprises for birthdays and anniversaries – because when it comes to travel, we want convenience and relaxation. So, in honour of those like us, who want to take the scenic route without the hassle, here are a few travel tools which are making worldwide exploration easier.
1. Nokia Treasure Tag
The Nokia Treasure Tag is a nifty little baggage “appendage” which attaches to your suitcases or laptop bags and informs you when you’ve left something behind. Using a standard watch battery and connecting with any smartphone with Bluetooth 4.0, the treasure tag starts beeping when you move out of range. If you download the app, you can get updates on your luggage location on your smartphone.
2. Manet call app
The Manet call app allows you to make free local or international calls and browse the web from your smartphone wherever you are. The app also offers tourists localised maps and information on hotels, restaurants, events and attractions in their area.
3. SCOTTeVEST Q.U.E.S.T. vest
Ever wanted to feel like a spy without all the danger and responsibilities? Well, look no further. The SCOTTeVEST Q.U.E.S.T. vest looks like your normal zip-up “pullover” vest, but there’s nothing normal about it. This vest has 42 unique hidden pockets to stow (almost) each and every gadget, belonging and possession you need on your travels. Pretty much the only thing we couldn’t fit in there was Mandy, our pet Chihuahua, and only because all her wriggling caused some chafing. If you want to travel without all that baggage, get yourself one of these.
While the app is not yet available, the survival kit for this nifty tool is already available. SameSame is a visual translator that uses voice-recognition technology to help foreign travelers be understood wherever they are. It literally translates your words into pictures which you can show speakers of local languages to get information, ask questions, give instructions and more. Though the database is still in its infancy, we have very high hopes for this tool.
5. HooToo TripMate Wireless Travel Router
The HooToo HT-TM04 TripMate Elite Versatile Wireless N Travel Router (yes, that’s a mouth full), solves your connectivity issues on the go. They don’t call it “one device to rule it all” for nothing (though we’re not sure Mr Tolkien will appreciate the comparison). This device combines the functions of a dual-USB wall charger, personal cloud, file sharing device, travel router, external battery and hotspot. To top it all, it’s conveniently small and simple to use.
6. Equil Smartpen
So here’s the thing – we know you hate killing trees. Your kids like to climb in them, getting older, you’re constantly looking for a little shady spot to rest in and apparently the things are also pretty awesome for ecosystems, human breathing and the atmosphere. So a pen that writes in the realm of technology without needing paper is really something we can live with. The Equil stylus syncs to your tablet and transfers whatever you’re writing to your tablet. You can see what you write in real-time or record and sync notes later.
7. Yubico FIDO security key
If you’re not travelling for pleasure, lugging your laptop around can be a pain. Of course, it’s also a necessary pain. But the Yubico FIDO Security Key deals with your security concerns. This device is a key which you use to unlock your computer or laptop and uses U2F authentication standard which is considered unhackable. All you need to do is download the Google Security Key for Chrome, load it onto the security key and use it to lock and unlock your device in future. No password needed!
8. Flight 001 4-in-1 travel adapter
This brightly coloured 4-in-1 adapter reminds us a bit of building legos, which is part of its charm. But it’s much more useful than that. The four different colours indicate which area of the world each specific adapter can be used – giving you charging capabilities in 150 different countries around the globe.
9. Favi J7-LED-PICO smart projector
This little device is like a ray of digital office-sunshine on the go. As a miniature projector, the Favi does a lot more than its bulkier cousins. With an Android operating system and built-in mouse touchpad, the projector also gives you access to Google Play, Netflix, Skype, Chrome, DropBox and more while allowing you to give presentations without the necessity for any other mobile devices. Stream, watch videos and enjoy the full WiFi capability of this little gem,
10. XE Currency
There are a lot of paid-for currency converter apps out there, but we still prefer the simplicity of the XE Currency application. It’s simple to use and tells you exactly what you want to know. Since it uses live currency rates, you’re also assured that the information you’re receiving is 100% accurate. So if you’re a frequent flyer, this may just be the app for you.
Talk to us about your foreign exchange needs
Of course, if you need more advanced foreign exchange advice, finglobal.com can help you out. We offer competitive exchange rates and have years experience in making the most out of your money.