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5 Travel Essentials To Make Life Easier

travel essentials

In just under two weeks, I’ll be heading to Asia for a 2+ week vacation and I’m scrambling to make sure all the little things I need to do are taken care of. As much as I love adventure, there are those travel details that will make your trip run as smoothly as possible. Less stress, means more time to have fun.

Rolling Around With a 4 Wheel Luggage
I purchased my first 4 wheel luggage three years ago, a bright white Samsonite hard case carry on. And I LOVE it. Every time I fly with it, it moves along so smoothly. No need to tip a 2 wheel luggage and drag along, it’s more of a pushing motion.

Now with a longer international trip, I needed a larger luggage to make my way around Japan and Hong Kong – and to hold all that shopping! I ventured out and purchased another 4-wheel luggage, a 28″ expandable Swiss Gear hard case from Winners which cost me $99. Winners is my favourite place to shop for luggages with brand names like Samsonite, Delsey, Swiss Gear and Heys at big discounts. Another spot to try for luggage is The Bay, you’ll often see steep discounts of 60%.

Trust me, investing in good luggage is worth it. It’ll make your life much easier as you travel from airports to trains from hotels to home.

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Photo via Rimowa

Staying Connected With a Travel SIM Card or Pocket WiFi’s
The thought of not being connected and online probably freaks you out right? Typically, if I’m traveling in the United States or Mexico, I’ve used Roam Mobility. You purchase a SIM card for $9.95 (the prices have actually gone down, they use to be around $20). Purchase a plan depending on what you need (text, talk, data) and how long you’ll need it (a text & data plan with 2GB of data for the US is $1.95/day). And then pop the SIM in your unlocked phone – don’t forget that little SIM removal tool or a paperclip. I’ve already got my Asia SIM card for Japan, courtesy of my friend in Asia who shipped it over.

Another item we’ll be using is a Pocket Wifi. In Japan, you can rent a Pocket Wifi for about $10/a day and pick it up right when you land at the airport. In our case, the AirBNB’s we’re staying at already have a Pocket Wifi. This will ensure you’re connected, whether it’s doing searches on Google Maps, uploading travel photos on Instagram or sending your family updates.

Be prepared, cause your mobility provider will ding you big time – you do not want to come home to a phone bill bigger than the cost of your flight!

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 1.28.54 PM Don’t forget your travel SIM card to avoid costly charges from your mobility provider

Tracking Expenses With a Handy App 
On this trip, I’ll be traveling with a girlfriend, so we’ll be splitting a lot of expenses such as our AirBNB rentals and hotels. A handy app I used on my trip to Mexico last year was Splitwise. Every time you share an expense, plug it into your phone (you can easily choose the currency of the expense) and sync up with your friend(s). The app keeps track of the expenses entered of all parties, so you’ll know at any time, what you owe or who owes you. Before I’d keep receipts, and often times would lose them or forget a few – this process makes the sharing expenses process so much easier.

Splitwise
Keep track of travel expenses easily with Splitwise

Using Google Translate
A long time ago, my uncle mentioned he was traveling in South America and because he couldn’t read the menu at the restaurant, he ordered three items from different parts of the menu – appy, main, dessert right? Well, he received 3 soups! Now this is where Google Translate could’ve come into play. Open the app, hover the phone over the text and Google will translate that copy into your language of choice. Another interesting feature is “Conversation Mode” – Google Translate will translate a conversation taking place right in front of you! Creepy right…

Google Translate Download Google Translate for iPhone or Android

Packing An External Charger
There’s a good chance that while you’re traveling, you’ll be out for long stretches in a day. So there’s a very good chance (especially if you’re using your phone as a camera) that you’ll run out of battery. Something you really don’t want, especially if you need the phone for way finding. A Mophie Juice Pack Battery Case is a case that carries a handy full charged battery. Mind you, the case does make the phone a bit bulkier and heavier, so I opted for an external battery charger – the Mophie Powerstation. This is a life saver!

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Mophie Powerstation $79.99 CAD, Best Buy

Cover Photo via Sincerely Jules 



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