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International travel, from a distance, can seem like one big graph — replete with peaks and valleys. The peaks are almost exclusively confined to the trip, and the deep valleys occur in the preparation, airport, and ensuing jet lag.
But thanks to my work as a product reviewer, I see a high volume of great tools and products designed just to make traveling easier. And on my recent trip abroad, I decided to put a few of them to the test. What I got was a trip that was markedly easier — and more enjoyable — from start to finish than any other I’ve planned before.
Below, you’ll find 15 purchases that made my last international trip a breeze — just in case any of them might be helpful to you, too:
Reliable, impressively affordable Wi-Fi that goes where you go
Skyroam Solis was probably the number one most helpful thing I packed. It’s a portable Wi-Fi hotspot that offers unlimited 4G LTE service without having to worry about cell data overages or big fees. The device itself is $149.99 on Amazon and the Skyroam „day passes“ for wifi are $40 for 5 days ($8 per day). For the $8 per day, you can hook up to five devices at a time to the Solis. If you’re traveling with family or friends, that means that one day pass will cover everyone’s data for the day. Over our five-day trip, it worked almost flawlessly.
Part of the joy of international travel is not always having wifi, but we really only used it for necessities like Google Maps and looking up more information on the sights we were enjoying. It allows you the considerable luxury of being flexible with your choices, and can save a closed restaurant, museum, or unfortunate turn of events from ruining your day.
A website that plans your trip for you for $25/day, complete with booking hotels and making your reservations
Before I remembered Journy, I was so stressed out by the details of planning the trip (researching restaurants abroad, mapping out must-see sights to group them by neighborhood, and allocating time for all the activities we wanted to include) that I wasn’t even enjoying the anticipation of a big trip.
For $25 per day of your trip, Journy basically takes care of all of the travel stressors so you can relax without missing out while you’re gone. You work with a seasoned concierge who designs your itinerary, books hotels, makes restaurant reservations, and keeps your priorities and preferences in mind. In other words, it’s a huge relief. If you want more details, you can find a full review here.
A phone case that keeps cards and IDs within reach at all times
Both myself and Insider Picks editor Ellen Hoffman are longtime fans of Incipio’s lean but functional Stowaway card case. It keeps my debit card, ID, and metro pass within easy reach instead of zipped in my bag or loose in my pocket while I’m traveling, which is a real lifesaver.
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Source: Business insider