(WHAT THE TECH)—If you have holiday travel plans this year and they involve airplanes and airports, you may already be dreading long lines and delays. A long day in an airport can put a damper on the entire trip. Over the past year, I’ve discovered some gadgets and tech products that help me get through security a little faster and make it easier getting from gate to gate.
One of my favorite gadgets the past two years is not really a gadget. It’s a vest made for the tech we carry with us always. The ScotteVest is a line of travel clothing with multiple pockets to carry all of your devices without the need for a bag.
The Fireside Fleece vest is comfortable and includes 15 pockets for phones, charging cables, a wallet, glasses, keys, change and water bottle. There’s another pocket large enough to hold an iPad with keyboard. ScotteVest also has jackets, coats, pants, hats with built-in pockets for your gadgets. It’s a time and frustration saver when I go through airport security. Rather than having to empty all of my pockets and put them in a basket or bin before I walk through the metal detector, I just take off my vest and put it in a bin.
Speaking of an iPad and keyboard, I used to take a laptop with me on the plane and do some work in my seat. That’s always cumbersome for anyone without a small Macbook Air. Now I take my 10.6″ iPad and a keyboard. The Brydge keyboard is slim like the iPad and they’re available in colors to match. The keys are very responsive and it certainly feels like I’m working on a laptop. Using Evernote or Google I can take care of some work or use the keyboard as a stand to watch movies or shows on the iPad.
If you travel by air very often a good pair of headphones is a great investment and if you’re looking for a pair to block out the noise of the engine or an annoying passenger, it’s best to look for headphones and earbuds with ANC, which stands for active noise cancellation.
Newer headphone manufacturers are designing new products to block out or cancel as much noise as possible. Bose makes some of the best over-the-ear headphones, the Quiet Comfort 35 II has ANC and Bluetooth capability so you don’t need a cord to listen to music on your phone or a movie on a tablet or computer.
Another set to look at is the Soundcore ANC wraparound headphones/earbuds. This style can stay around your neck for the entire day without you even noticing until it’s time to use them. When you want to listen to music or take a call, you can simply place the earbuds in your ears.
One another note about airports and tech gadgets, there have been warnings about using public USB charging stations because it’s possible a hacker or bad guy can tamper with those stations and steal the data on your phone. The Los Angeles district attorney warned travelers to avoid using the stations because they “may contain dangerous malware”. (read the advisory here http://da.lacounty.gov/about/inside-LADA/juice-jacking-criminals-use-public-usb-chargers-steal-d ata-ff).
I will say it is unlikely that your data can be stolen and a long internet search has returned no incidents of it happening. If it concerns you though I suggest picking up a portable charger you can take anywhere. Another option is to purchase a charging cable that will not transfer data. You can use these cords to charge a phone but you cannot move files from the phone to a computer to, say save photos.