When traveling takes up a great deal of your time, it’s important to make the most of each moment.

To avoid turbulence on your next trip, follow along as we review over a dozen new technology solutions and proven travel tips to keep you productive:

Staying Connected

With global travel up 26% in the first half of this year according to Airlines Reporting Corp, it’s a great time to evaluate the type of international plan your phone has. Because talk isn’t always cheap, especially when roaming charges hit.

With that in mind, Verizon now has one of the most comprehensive data plans abroad. Other options include Google’s Project Fi that allows Android phones to work abroad—in 135 countries—in much the same way as they would at home.

Are you still uncertain? Buy a portable Wi-Fi hotspot like Skyroam to keep in your pocket or purse. The bottom line: you can pay as little as $8 a day for unlimited data in about 100 countries.

Leveraging Technology

A closer look at key apps & sites making a difference in the travel space:

Sidekix – This route planner will help you find the best way to get somewhere —although it may focus more on the journey versus the shortest route. Sidekix will choose the best walking directions based on your preferences and interests.

Looking for a new cafe for breakfast on your way to check out a museum exhibit? The app is filled with clever suggestions from locals who will point you in the right direction.

Café WiFi – A digital nomad treasure that shows you where free WiFi is located. Although visiting coffee shops when you need WiFi to send a critical email has its own benefits – Café WiFi is better; offers other great detail and continues to expand their reach.

TripHappy – This browser-based search tool uses big-data analytics to comb through 37 million user reviews to determine the best neighborhoods and places to stay. TripHappy is also able to sort results by price or rating.

Rideways – Instead of taking your chances with a ride-sharing service after your flight arrives, use Priceline-owned Ridgeways to book reliable transportation. They cover everything from airport transfers, taxi rides, trains, and buses in more than 500 cities worldwide.

All you need to do is enter your trip details and the type of transportation you want, and the app will provide several options.

AutoSlash – With rates for car rentals changing daily, it can be a challenge to get the best price. AutoSlash asks you to input your car reservation details into its site—an app is in development and is on target for release later this year—then tracks the rates for your dates and scouts competitor pricing, including coupons and discount codes.

If a lower price for the same rental becomes available, you’ll be notified by e-mail and can move your reservation.

AirHelp – Get paid for your delayed, canceled or overbooked flights. AirHelp’s goal is to help get disrupted travelers money for their woes: the average reimbursement is more than $500 per claim. Fees apply at reimbursement. If you are confused about your rights, they can help.

Parkopedia – A classic app for travelers who use a vehicle when on the road. This app locates nearby parking and provides you with the fastest route, parking availability, opening hours, prices and more, plus you can book a spot straight from the app.


Healthy Approach

Crossing time zones often lead to jet lag, which can result in headaches and trouble sleeping. To help alleviate this, the doctors at Harvard suggest that you get plenty of sleep before you begin your trip, and keep well hydrated before, during, and after your flight.

As soon as you arrive at your destination, adjust your sleeping and eating schedule to the new time zone. This can be difficult if you’ve crossed several time zones, but try to force yourself to stay awake until the local bedtime, and get up in the morning when the locals do and get outside in the natural light.

If you simply cannot stay awake until evening on the day you arrive, nap for no more than an hour or two. Engaging in social activities can also help your body clock adjust.

When trying to stay awake, eat protein and vegetables and avoid starchy foods like pasta, bread, and rice.

Secure Journey

From a personal safety perspective: the ‘My Panda’ app founded in response to the 2015 Paris terror attacks, tells you the level of security in the area via GPS. Currently covering 30+ largest global cities, app features include the fastest route to the nearest police station and the option to call local authorities.

If you are traveling to several global locations consider using STEP, the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, a free service that links you to the nearest embassy or consulate.

Evaluating the best way to secure your intellectual properties while on the go?

Update all security software on your digital devices prior to leaving on your next trip. In the wake of all the cybersecurity incidents, it is smart to stay on top of updates and patches at all times.

The reality is you’re unlikely to remember to do it the night before leaving on a 10-day trip. So, avoid an expensive breach by preparing in advance.

Now it’s your turn

In the comments section that follows, join the conversation by taking a moment to share one of your unique travel tips that can help our community on their next journey.




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Kelly Isley is an international strategist, business leader, columnist, author, and pilot with more than 21 years of experience in the aerospace, finance, engineering, and healthcare industries. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and covers global workforce, workplace and leadership topics. If you have any suggestions for future articles please contact Kelly via email or twitter.