Tech Travel: Great Apps and Tech Gear to Help You Travel Like a Pro
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Tech Travel: Great Apps and Tech Gear to Help You Travel Like a Pro

05/15/2011 by Jason M. Atwood (he/him)
A look some of the great gear and mobile applications that can help you reach the next level of travel.

I have done a fair amount of traveling in my life and I am always working on perfecting "The Pack" when it comes to travel. From the perfect suitcase, to the right amount of underwear to take, finding the right mix has been part game and part obsession. While I might not have it nailed yet, here are some of the things that I never travel without.

Tech Travel Gear

I will skip the obvious things like laptops, cell phones, and power cords since those are just the staples of any good trip and get down to taking your tech packing to the next level.

  • iPad: With all due respect to the rest of the tablet market, the iPad is absolutely the best travel companion out there. Load it up with travel apps (see below), games, and enough movies to last you the flight and entertain you while on your trip from room to poolside. If you are looking for content don't forget to add Netflix or Hulu as well download a bunch of podcasts to catch up on.
  • Great Earphones: Go beyond the everyday pair you use to commute or jog and get a big, over the ear pair from Sony or Bose that both provide great sound and block out ambient noise. Sure they are a little bigger and bulkier, but your ears will thank you at 30,000 feet. I have been using the same Sony Studio Pro Headphones for over 10 years and they keep on providing great value.
  • Cords & Connectors: Once you have power covered move on to the other cords that will help you out when you get there. I start off with making sure I have everything HDMI, with a Mini DVI -> HDMI, the iPad HDMI connector and a six foot HDMI cord to create a mobile entertainment center that can be hooked up to almost any hotel TV. I also bring spare USB and Ethernet cords just in case as well as every other Mini DVI adapter that Apple makes.
  • BYON (Bring Your Own Network): Not only do I suggest bringing a Verizon 4G Mifi for the airport, I also always pack an Apple Airport Express for the hotel room. There might free wifi in the hotel, but it can be spotty and unreliable depending where the access points are. An Airport Express connected to hotel ethernet can create a robust, personal network in every corner of your room or suite.


There Is a Travel App For That

TripIt (Free): Your travel plans should start and finish with The online service allows you to forward all the confirmation emails to where TripIt will build your itinerary from start to finish. From the website you can add travelers, change plans or just print it all out to hand to others. Download the universal iOS application and your entire trip will be on your iDevice with up to date information and confirmation numbers.

FlightTracker Pro ($4.99) / Kayak Flight Status (Free): Both of these applications track flights, with alerts and interactive maps. FlightTracker Pro adds the benefit of grabbing all your flight data from TripIt (see above) so there is no double entry. It also integrates with FlightBoard ($3.99) that replicates the flight boards that are around the airport displaying boarding gates and delays of every flight in the airport.

To round out the travel apps make sure not to ignore all of the branded version from airlines like American and Delta, to hotels like Hyatt and Hampton as well as rental cars like Hertz. While most of these apps have limited functionality some offer logins to rewards points, check ins or just good locators for service.

If you have great travel tips or applications be sure to send them over to me at Twitter @JasonMAtwood or drop them on the Arkus Facebook page.