Are any of you excited about the FaceCradle Travel Pillow that has been going viral for the past week? This awesome pillow is already being dubbed the world’s best travel pillow, and it hasn’t even been launched yet! This pillow is getting so much buzz because it supposedly allows you to sleep five different ways, while letting you rest your whole head on it as if you were sleeping on an actual pillow. Passengers who have been part of the trial run say it has allowed them to get the best sleep they’ve ever received on an economy class flight. Unfortunately, this product isn’t expected to be completed until the end of September, which means, it’s likely the pillow won’t be released to the actual public until towards the end of the year. The good news, however, is there are other amazing travel pillow alternatives available while you wait. Here’s the list!
The Quick Guide To Airbnb
Have you heard of Airbnb? It’s okay if you haven’t. We are here to help break down the latest trend in travel. Whether it’s an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 190 countries.
Based in San Francisco, California Airbnb is a trusted marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world.
Let’s now dive in a little deeper so you can understand the process of Airbnb.
The best cameras for travelers
Cameras can fit into that confusing tech category. Confusing from the standpoint of knowing what you want, but with so many different options on the market-how do you know which one is best? If you are in need of a travel camera, great news! Cameras have gotten smaller and more portable than ever, all while delivering better quality images.
In our opinion, a camera is one of the best traveling companions, so we rounded up the top 5 best travel cameras covering everything from budget, durability, waterproof, and size just to name a few.
This durable camera is for anyone encountering a little more adventure than reading by the pool. Waterproof and shockproof, this camera can survive the kinds of knocks delivered to it by most outdoor activities and still produce quality images. The Canon PowerShot D30 is a good-looking camera that handles nicely, boasting a 12.1MP 1/2.3in BSI CMOS sensor and a 28-140mm lens. It’s not terribly sophisticated, with limited exposure control, but can survive in depths of up to 25m. Other features include a built-in GPS, full HD video recording and Canon’s Intelligent IS optical image stabilization.
Travel gets better every year thanks to technological advancements on planes, at airports and in your day to day life. Are you headed for a getaway? Traveling for business, pleasure or both? Whether you're making your way by plane, train or automobile, no trip is complete these days without digital accessories. The problem is, with so many gadgets and varieties of each on the market, it can be hard to choose.
We rounded up some of the top tech accessories specifically for travelers. If you travel with tech, these accessories are must-haves.
1) Know Roaming Smart Sticker
If you’ve left the country, chances are you’ve felt the wrath of data roaming’s dagger in your phone bill. You’ll be safe from that happening with the KnowRoaming Smart Sticker. The KnowRoaming Smart Sticker is an app and an actual SIM sticker that protects your pockets while keeping you connected internationally. When you’re home, the sticker does nothing. You won’t even notice it’s there. When you land in a new country, the sticker automatically activates and switches you onto a local carrier.
Unlimited data rates start as low as $7.99 per day in a majority of countries in Europe like France, United Kingdom, Spain and tons more. If you prefer pay-as-you-go, the rates are super low for data, phone calls and texts. Basically, if you need data on the go and travel often, this will change your life.
2) Plastc Card
Plastc has changed the credit card game for the better. Plastc allows you to combine all of your credit cards, gift cards and loyalty cards into one secure card. Up to 20 cards can be stored on the Plastc Card. An e-ink touch screen on the card allows you to scroll through and choose which card you want to use for each payment, and then you swipe it exactly like a regular credit card at all the places you already frequent. If you’re worried about security, don’t be, as Plastc comes with protection. The magnetic stripe and NFC chip are disabled until you select your card, preventing any fraudulent activity. A secure card PIN of your choice, photo ID, proximity alerts if you get too far from your card, and ‘Return Me’ mode, are all features with Plastc. If you do happen to lose your card, you can completely wipe your card data remotely from your smart phone.
3) Travel Power Strip
What is it with most hotels offering only one or two outlets? We have all been there -- the inconvenience of having to pull the hotel nightstand out so you can plug in your phone. Is there anyone who travels these days that doesn’t have something that requires recharging? In cases where multiple devices are in need of recharging, a travel power strip comes in super handy. The Monster Power Strip, which is about $15 on Amazon and elsewhere, also has a USB plug. Another option: Belkin has one with two USB plugs, but it’s twice as expensive.
4) Home Monitoring Camera
Watch what’s happening at home from anywhere in the world. The device is a discreet HD camera that works with a phone app to allow travelers to connect with family through Wi-Fi. Use the 24-hour playback to keep a tab on kids and pets, or the two-way microphone to do a free video chat.
5) Kensington ComboSaver Portable Notebook Lock
A notebook computer is stolen every 53 seconds in the U.S. It says so right on the box this lock comes in, citing 2005 FBI statistics. So imagine how fast your laptop — and the data it contains, might fly out the door if you left it unattended in a Starbucks in London or Paris? Kensington has been making notebook security systems for years, and theirs is the brand you see most often in college dorm rooms and other areas where laptops are easily swiped.
If the only smart feature you want is the ability to track your bag, save some money and just buy a LugLoc. All you have to do is put the tracking gizmo, which combines GSM and Bluetooth technology, in your suitcase. With a tap on the app, a map will appear showing its location. Genius.
7) Olloclip 4-in-1-Lens
If you have an iPhone and you take a lot of pictures, especially when traveling check out the Olloclip which slides onto the corner of your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. The Olloclip acts as a wide-angle lens for your mobile camera, doubling your field of view and capturing robust street scenes and landscapes. Also included: a fish-eye lens and two macro lenses for portraits and detail shots. What’s even better? It’s under $100.00.
8) Logitech Keys-To-Go
This universal keyboard is just a quarter-inch thick and connects via Bluetooth to any Android or iOS device. It’s a top-rated travel tech accessory for its mechanical keys, which are dramatically easier to use (and less prone to typos) than the touch pads you’ll commonly find elsewhere.
9) USB Wall Charger
Think about how many items you take with you when you travel. Kindle? iPod? iPhone? After a long flight/flights, all might need recharging. One option is plugging them all into a laptop with USB outlets, the other is an affordable little piece of awesomeness. The USB Wall Charger plugs right into the wall, and has outlets for multiple USB devices. The Monoprice 8856 is a great buy for $7.80, but there are similar products available on Amazon for similar prices, like the PowerGen for $15. Another option: Travel in the car much? How about a USB charger that plugs into the cigarette plug. Many come with two USB outlets so your devices don’t have to fight for over which gets juice.
10) Wallet Ninja
Possibly the weirdest looking, but most useful thing you could ever put in your card holder. Why? Because you just never know when you're going to need a tool to open a letter or a bottle or a box - all in the same outing. Wallet Ninja, a credit card-sized pocket multi-tool, is definitely a great travelling companion. The 16-in-one device, made from heat-treated steel, is also a ruler, a phone stand, a peeler, a screwdriver, and probably offers more uses than we can put into words, so be careful how you use it. It's TSA-approved for on-board use as well.
If you have never used Uber or Lyft but have always had a curiosity as to how they stack up against each other, you aren’t alone.
We break down the two industry leading ride-sharing services to find out who has the edge in the battle of Lyft versus Uber and we will also help you identify which ride-sharing service is best for you.
Lyft and Uber are very similar in cost. While both ride-sharing companies offer a range of expensive, premium rides in luxury SUVs and limos, a basic ride will cost you about the same in Lyft as it will in Uber. While costs vary across different cities for Uber and Lyft, rides are generally $1 to start or $1.50/mile, and $0.25/min.
A common rule-of-thumb in regards to cost is $2/mile or 20-30% cheaper than traditional taxicabs. Rides are slightly more expensive in cities with higher ride-demand like LA, San Francisco, and NYC. It’s easy to see how a simple ride down the street can be affordable and convenient, while a lengthier trip can quickly add up in cost. From an overall cost standpoint, Uber and Lyft come out about equal, so it’s really up to the passenger and their discretion.
One thing we would like to point out is surge pricing or what ride-sharing companies refer to as “Prime Time.” At high-demand times and locations, the cost of a Lyft or Uber ride can significantly increase. For Lyft, "Prime Time" can increase the cost of a ride by 25 to 200%. For Uber, surge pricing can increase the cost of a ride by as much as 7 to 8 times the cost.
Uber is notorious during this time for having their surge pricing being more difficult for the passenger to notice prior to requesting a pick-up. Lyft's prime time, on the other hand, is not as easy to miss. It’s important you understand that requesting a ride after a busy football game, during Fourth of July weekend, or on New Year’s Eve will most likely cost you more.
Another aspect of ride-sharing services that people tend to think about is the safety of the ride. Lyft and Uber drivers are required to have their own car with up-to-date insurance and a valid driver's license. You can also rest assured in knowing drivers must pass a DMV background check, criminal background check, and car inspection. For Uber, drivers must be at least 23 years old and have a 4-door car, 2005 or newer. For Lyft, drivers must be at least 21 years old and have a 4-door car, 2003 or newer.
Lastly, both companies use a rating system to quickly throw out any bad drivers from the system. Of course, there is a risk with anyone who steps inside a car, but when compared to the average driver on the road, it's safe to bet that Lyft and Uber drivers are among the safest. It's important to note that Lyft has a much higher percentage of female drivers and passengers.
If you’re looking for a front-seat, engaging, and fun ride, Lyft is generally your choice. Uber drivers are more likely to open your door and dress well, whereas Lyft drivers are instructed to greet you as a friend with a high-five. In this category, Lyft takes the trophy, as many Lyft rides sport fun themes such as the Harry Potter Lyft, the Trivia Lyft, the Karaoke Lyft, the Cookie Lyft, and many other themes.
For drivers and passengers, both the Lyft and Uber app are accepted as user friendly, and more importantly, functional. Both apps allow you to request a ride, plug-in an address prior to pick-up, watch your driver navigate to your location on a map, and submit ratings with an electronic payment at the end of your ride.
The Uber app allows passengers to see the real-time cost of their ride whereas, the Lyft app tends to have a more fun feel, with fireworks displayed after a high tip is given (the Uber app seems to have a more professional layout). The most recent Google Play Store reviewers gave the Lyft app a 4.3 (out of 5) star review and the Uber app a 4.1 star review. On iPhone's App Store, both the Uber and Lyft app have a solid 4 stars.
As you can see, Lyft and Uber tend to be similar in all categories that we have broken down. Both allow you to request a ride, get picked up, and arrive at your destination fast all while paying with your smart phone and voilà, DONE!