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10 Gadgets You Need To Bring For Vacation

10 Gadgets You Need To Bring For Vacation

A vacation is a time for rest, relaxation, rejuvenation, and maybe even a little adventure. But just because you’re indulging in some R&R doesn’t mean that you have to leave your tech behind. Check out some of the most essential gadgets that you need to bring for vacation.

1. Smart Phone

This is the most obvious and necessary gadget for your vacationing pleasure. Not only can it help you stay connected with your travel partners for safety’s sake, it has countless uses and possibilities. You can utilize literally thousands of apps to perfect your holiday. Everything from bookings, navigation, restaurant recommendations, and accommodations is a mere finger tap away. For those of you on the Apple bandwagon, the Passbook feature allows you to keep all of your boarding pass and frequent flier information in the one place too, which is incredibly convenient. Of course, it also has its trusty MP3 and podcast capabilities so you can listen to your favorite music and shows.

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2. Portable Battery Charger

This is a holiday imperative, particularly if you’re like me and enjoy taking every possible safety precaution. There are a wide variety of portable chargers available, some being as small as a thumb drives, and others with multiple ports that are designed to keep the whole family charged. They are also great if you’re running short on socket space in your hotel room.

3. iPad/Tablet

Similar to your smart phone, a tablet device is an absolute vacation necessity if you have access to one. This is mostly due to its sheer versatility. It can be your portable media center, MP3 player, e-reader, and laptop, just to name a few. It’s also, of course, lightweight and far more convenient than lugging a laptop around. This is particularly important if you need to catch up on work while you’re away.

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4. Lightweight Laptop

Need to mix a little business with pleasure? Perhaps you’re on a working vacation or simply want a convenient outlet to blog your experiences. Thin laptops such as the MacBook Air or the Sony Vaio T are your answer. Light and convenient, these devices allow you to convert any holiday destination into your very own office.

5. Noise Cancelling Headphones

A great pair of noise cancelling head phones are one of the best vacation investments you can make. Whether you’re flying to New York or taking a bus from Vietnam to Cambodia, a decent set will block out pesky engine noises. These bad boys will also be a godsend if you have to contend with inconsiderate flyers, crying babies, or want to ignore unruly teenagers on the beach. You deserve to be able to get your zen on anywhere.

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6. Keyboard Covers

These are one of the best travel friendly tablet accessories currently on the market. Logitech’s Keyboard Cover doubles as an iPad case and responds instantly to keystrokes via Bluetooth. This is essential for working travelers, bloggers, and writers.

7. Pocket Camera

Want to document your vacation via high quality photos but don’t want to cart around a camera and a bunch of additional lenses? That’s okay, you don’t have to trade quantity for quality. There are some amazing compact cameras on the market, some of which are smaller than a deck of cards and can be used underwater. If making your friends jealous is more your style, you can even get models with built in wifi for all of your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter needs. The great news here is that they’re not only convenient, but also affordable.

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8. Headphone Splitter Adapter

These are great little devices for when you’re sharing your tablet or laptop. Now two people can enjoy your mini media center! This is particularly handy if you’re flying on a budget airline and they’re showing a crappy movie, or for keeping the kids entertained.

9. Portable Speakers

Great for the beach or impromptu parties, portable speakers have come along way since the days of boom boxes. The more recent models are powered by wireless Bluetooth technology and even have the ability to charge your other devices via USB. That’s right, not only will they play your favorite tunes, but they will also power your tech and allow you to Facetime your loved ones at home — a sound vacation investment.

10. E-Reader

Now this may seem like a superfluous inclusion considering that we’ve already discussed tablets, but I can assure you that an e-reader is a fantastic vacation gadget in its own right. We all know about the importance of battery life, and this is where these babies really shine. The more recent dedicated e-readers have battery lives that can last up to a month. This means that you don’t have to panic about being bored on a 14 hour flight if you forgot to plug it in overnight. They’re a bibliophiles dream, particularly if you’re like me and want to take an abundance of reading choices on your vacation. No more taking up all your luggage space!

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Tegan Jones

Commercial editor for global publications Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker & Business Insider.

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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