apple airtag

USB Data Blocker

You should never use public USB charging ports without a USB data blocker! Most USB ports in public places are USB 3 or 3.1, which have 4 pins. Two others are for data transfer – in and out. When you plug your phone into an airplane, monitor, or in any other USB port in the airport or a public space, you don’t know what kind of information transfer is taking place between your phone and the airplane or airport software you’re connected to. The way around this problem is to travel with a USB adapter that blocks data transfer pins in USB ports. You can find these for about $15 by doing a simple search for a USB data blocker. Using a USB wall charger will help you avoid this problem altogether, and help you charge your phone  faster anyway.

USB Wireless Antenna

Sometimes it can be a challenge to find and maintain a strong wireless internet connection while you’re traveling, and especially when you’re in the airport or at a hotel. A simple and portable way to fix this problem and make sure you stay connected is by bringing a USB wireless antenna.  A USB wireless antenna can put out more power than the wireless adapter in your laptop.

Retractable Lock

I’ve mentioned, but it’s worth mentioning again: a retractable lock is an effective way to secure your laptop and multiple bags/items while traveling. You can lace a retractable lock through your bag’s zippers, and even directly to the laptop itself.

Apple AirTags

On the topic of security, Apple AirTags are a great way to keep track of your belongings while on the road. Place an AirTag in your luggage for example and keep track of your bags on your way to your next destination. Likewise, you can throw one into your daily bag in case you lose track of your bag in that busy café. Finally, you can put one In your rental car as you go on that road trip… just in case!

AirFly Pro

The AirFly Pro isn’t a necessity, but more of a convenience. The gadget is a wireless headphone adapter that allows you to use wireless headphones/earbuds in places where you can’t use Bluetooth, and where there is only a headphone jack available. You can use the AirFly Pro to watch in-flight movies without having to use pesky wired earphones or use earphones provided by the airline. You can also use the AirFly Pro to connect your phone to your car’s stereo if you would normally have to use an AUX cord.

Plan and Pay Reasonable Prices for Your Gadgets

These are just a few gadgets that make travel easier, but before you hit “buy now” make sure you shop around. There are several USB data blockers, USB wireless antennas, and retractable locks to choose from, so find the best one for you and your needs. You can usually find refurbished tech gadgets at lower prices that still provide optimal performance. And if the AirFly Pro sounds useful, make sure you have a pair of wireless earbuds to use with it!

Post written by Tech Guide staff.

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green and orange wallet

Since PayPal went public in 2002, several services have emerged to give it a run for its money (no pun intended). While PayPal has long been trusted as arguably best or most secure way to send and receive money, more and more people are leaning toward options that allow them to avoid PayPal fees and send money for free. PayPal charges a 3% transaction fee when sending or receiving money for personal purposes internationally, and you can’t use PayPal to send payments to and from some countries, including India.

PayPal recommends using Xoom, a PayPal service, to send money internationally to the countries that PayPal does not operate in. That being said, Xoom is riddled with fees, and users complained of less-than-favorable exchange rates.

Wise

One of the best ways to transfer money when you’re traveling abroad  may be Wise (formerly known as TransferWise). Launched in 2011, Wise does what the previously mentioned services do not and allows international transfers for a fee that is lower compared to its competitors, as well as favorable exchange rates across currencies. This means you do not need a U.S. bank account, and any local bank account will do the job. With that, you will be sending the money in your local currency, and the recipient will receive the payment in their own currency. Transfers are usually not instant, and take a couple of days to get to the recipient, usually due to bank transfer delays and procedures.

OFX

OFX is another good option for international money transfers, with low fees and not-bad exchange rates. Like with Wise, bank-to-bank transfers conducted through OFX can be on the slower side, and unlike Wise OFX accepts a minimum transfer amount of $1000 USD.

Venmo

Launched in 2009, Venmo is a mobile payment app (owned by PayPal) that has no hidden fees or extra charges. The catch with Venmo is that you can only link U.S. phone numbers and bank accounts to the app, meaning it doesn’t work internationally.

Zelle

Unlike Venmo or PayPal, Zelle is backed by banks—including Bank of America, BB&T, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, PNC Bank, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo. Launched in 2017, Zelle is built into each of the banks’ mobile apps, making it easy to use and leaving it as secure as the banks are. That being said, money transfers are subject to amount limitations set by the banks, and Zelle accounts must be tied to a U.S. bank account. Zelle transfers are only available to U.S. residents, or U.S. bank accounts.

CashApp 

CashApp was released in 2013 and is available in the U.S. and U.K. and only requires a working bank account (in either of those countries) to work, and the service only works within the country in which you live.

There are several options for money transfers depending on where you are, what you want to do, and how much money you need to receive or send. If money transfers don’t seem like your thing, it wouldn’t hurt to look into the best travel banks so that you can avoid those pesky fees or make up some of the money you spend on random travel fees by getting the best credit card for travel perks.

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FaucetSafe App Shows Where You Can And Can’t Drink The Tap Water

FaucetSafe app, available for iOS and Android, is a worldwide guide on where you can and can’t drink the local tap water, that is updated in real-time. Whether or not the local water is potable is one of the most common questions travelers have but a lot of the information online is either inaccurate or […]

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DroneMate App Has All The Current Rules For Traveling With And Flying Your Drone Worldwide

DroneMate is an app I created that shows you the international rules for flying a drone in every country in the world. Available for iOS and Android, the DroneMate map is updated regularly from official sources, to make sure the information is as current and accurate as possible. DroneMate also includes U.S. state laws as […]

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WiFox Is A Continuously Updated Map Of Wireless Passwords From Airports And Lounges Worldwide

WiFox is a map of airport wifi and lounge passwords from around the world that’s updated in real-time with information verified from other travelers, pilots, and reliable sources. WiFox is available for iOS on the App Store, Android devices on Google Play, and Amazon.

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Can Bitcoin Be Useful For International Travelers?

Reader Steve C recently asked me on foXnoMad: “How could Bitcoin be used during international travel? Is there any benefit? What type and how much risk might there be?” Those are interesting questions about the digital currency a lot of people are talking about right now. There is a lot of confusion around Bitcoin and […]

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How To Never Miss An Episode Of The Walking Dead (Or Other Favorite TV Show) When Traveling

Traveling exposes you to new sounds and sights but some days the only thing you want to do is stay in your hotel and watch the latest episode of The Walking Dead. That’s not always easy though since regional regulations and Internet censorship can all prevent you from watching your favorite TV shows. There are […]

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4 Reasons You Should Never, Ever Travel Without A VPN

airport vpn

A virtual private network (VPN) is a category of technology that’s as equally useful as it can be confusing for travelers. Whether it’s the name that’s intimidating or the fact that most people don’t feel the need for them until they’re actually traveling, a VPN is something you should never go anywhere without. A solid […]

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Managing Your Money On The Move – Tips For Keeping Solvent While Traveling

hostel dorm

The key to not worrying about money is making sure you don’t run out of it. That holds true whether you’re traveling or not; but when you are on the go and converting currencies with a variable income there is a tendency to balance your budget on the fly. That’s where most travelers get into […]

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Find Out How Many Hours Are Between You And Them Using TravelMath

travelmath

Calculating timezones can be confusing when you’ve got to do it often and aren’t especially keen on keeping up with which city is on daylight savings or isn’t. And while an hour may not seem like a significant amount of time, missing a phone call or meeting can be more than inconvenient, if not downright […]

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