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Modern gadgets ease travel woes

By Bob & Sandy Nesoff
Members: North American travel Journalists Association
American Society of Journalists and Authors

Most people travel once a year-or less-on a major trip of two weeks or more. There is the occasional weekend or day or two away. Simply being away from home overnight has created problems.
Now modern technology has reared its head to help solve many of those situations.
One of the more annoying situations we’ve faced, both in the warm summer months and winter’s chill, is coming home to a house that is either hot as you know what, or colder than the proverbial witch’s nose.
Well the Honeywell Corporation has come up with a relatively inexpensive way of fixing both situations. They now have on the market a “Smart Thermostat” that you can control from virtually any place.
The Smart Thermostat, replacing your current programmable one, can be controlled by voice or the old fashioned way, by hand. But let’s say you are on your way home from a nice and relaxing cruise in mid-July. You get off the ship and the temperature is hovering somewhere around total meltdown.
Before you left you either shut the a/c or turned it all the way up to save on fuel. The choice you now have is to call one of the kids or a neighbor to run over and change the setting. If the house is retaining heat it could take most of the day to become livable.
Reverse that for the winter. You were in Florida and are now heading home to a temperature of perhpas55°. You have the same option as with the a/c.
The Smart Thermostat has solved both problems. Simply go online or use your modern cell phone before you land or debark the ship, and you can reset the thermostat to a more comfortable setting. By the time you get home the interior temperature should be more to your liking.
Ain’t technology wonderful?
For the men one of the more vexing problems on a trip is a comfortable shave. This is especially true for the guys who use an electric. The home razor is none too small and will frequently get damaged even though it’s packed carefully. What to do?
Shavetech has come up with a truly remarkable solution…an electric razor that literally fits in the palm of your hand. The neat little gadget gives you as smooth a shave as those far more expensive models sold at discount warehouses.
The USB Rechargeable Travel Shaver is barely 3x4 inches and moves comfortably over your face. The shave is close and there is no pulling or irritation. And, conveniently, there is a flip-out USB port that can be connected to most computers in order to recharge the unit. The razor takes up so little space that it can be packed anywhere.
Most travelers enjoy taking pictures. After all, what’s a trip if the only memories are in your mind? With the advent of digital cameras and no longer the requirement to spend huge amounts of money to develop pictures, there are few vacationers who aren’t pointing their devices at someone.
Those who enjoy more active vacations-motorcycle riding, zip-lineing, kayaking, and other intense sports can’t hold a camera. The miniaturizing of cameras, especially the old bulky video cams, has opened a new world.
The “Action Camera” can attach to a helmet, handle bars or most any object and takes crisp and clear videos. It is waterproof and unless you drop it from a cliff at the Grand Canyon, virtually indestructible.
A micro-chip (purchased separately) gives a couple of hours of filming. It comes with a 64MB internal memory, not much for filming a ride or a trip down river. The chip slot will hold a micro chip and support one up to 8GB. The unit is easily recharged either by plugging it into an electric outlet or with a USB port. It also comes with all accessories for mounting.
Afraid of losing your smart phone or your young child when away from home?
A tiny gadget called the “nio” can help put your mind at ease. Apps included with the nio can warn you if someone is taking a tablet from where you left it. But more importantly, if you clip the nio onto the clothing of a small child and he/she should go missing, the nio can instantly track the whereabouts.
How’s that for peace of mind? In this day and age when terrible things can happen to little children, this peace of mind is priceless.
The nio apps will also securely store confidential information, locate missing items; lock the nio apps on alarm. The battery can last up to three months without need for a recharge.
Many of us like to listen to music and use our phones for that purpose. There’s an item that will play music, charge your telephone and maybe even brush your teeth-well, not exactly.
The Eton Rugged Rukus is an all-terrain, solar powered wireless sound system. It’s splash-proof and can wirelessly connect to any Bluetooth device. It has an internal lithium battery that will play music for more than eight hours; has a plug-in to recharge cell phones, a solar panel that will fully charge the unit in five hours.
There is also a micro USB enabling the unit to recharge with AC power in perhaps two and a half hours.
The only downside to the Rukus is its size and weight. It is 6.5 x 5.9 x 1.8 inches and weighs about 1.5 pounds. It comes with a rechargeable battery and the necessary cables. It’s great for boating, relaxing on the patio or at a lawn party.
Comic strip detective Dick Tracy thought he was hot stuff a half century ago when he wore a watch that had a two-way radio and a small TV enabling him to stay in contact with his partner. Would he ever be amazed at what is available today that makes his gadgets-way ahead of their time then-obsolete today?

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