By Trae Jacobs,
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Smart home tech is continually advancing, and each time I travel, I find new ways to make my leisure time more enjoyable, safe, and organized. Smart home technology makes remotely monitoring my at-home devices easy and leads to a more relaxing vacation.
Just as I have found the most valuable items to bring on vacation, I also know how to keep my suitcase as light as possible by avoiding unnecessary items.
Staying in touch with tech on vacation is just as valuable as using it to your benefit while at home. If you can’t seem to let go of some of your smart home tech when you travel, see below for a guide on essential smart home tech to take on your next vacation!
The Importance of Travel-Smart Technology
Travel-smart technology has evolved over the years, from the first wireless cell phones to smartphones that allow you to monitor your smart devices from anywhere.
In the early years of smart home tech, the ability to monitor at-home devices was a luxury. Now, it is a necessity.
Technology hasn’t only evolved to make traveling easier with simple features like mobile apps for airlines and portable chargers for your phone. Now, smart devices give you a seamless travel experience from the moment you arrive at the airport to your last day on vacation.
Smart tech positively affects every aspect of your vacation:
- Planning trips with a few clicks of a button
- Setting schedules with voice activation and organization
- Monitoring security at home from your phone
- Traveling back to the house you left in the same condition
Needless to say, smart home tech has become just as essential to on-the-go applications as it has to at-home functions.
Benefits of Smart Home Tech for Travelers
If you’re not convinced that smart home tech is beneficial to your travel experience yet, let me enlighten you.
First and foremost, smart tech allows you to better prepare for the vacation ahead of you — those who’ve never experienced a little inconvenience during travel probably don’t travel very often!
Easy preparation before, during, and after travel is essential. Smart tech helps you do everything from planning your travel route based on the weather around you to staying organized with a virtual calendar or itinerary.
Another benefit of smart tech for travelers is a better sense of safety for your family and the home you’ll return to. With a video doorbell and an app on your phone, you can monitor petsitters, delivery people, and anyone else around your home.
Worried about no one being able to access your home in an emergency? Having a smart lock you can lock and unlock remotely is essential.
And perhaps the biggest benefit of having access to smart tech on vacation is peace of mind. Smart home tech keeps you safe during your vacation and reassures you that you can monitor your home when no one is in town.
Essential Tech to Bring Regardless of Accommodation
Certain smart devices are useful across the board, whether you’re staying in a youth hostel or a five-star resort.
Here are some of the best smart devices to bring on your next vacation, regardless of your accommodation.
Whether connected to a suitcase or placed into your wallet, Apple AirTags allows you to track the item they’re connected to in case you misplace it.
No worrying about whether your checked luggage actually made it on the plane with you — just open the Find My app when you land and breathe a sigh of relief when you see it in the same city as you.
No one wants to think about their child getting lost on vacation. But, giving them an AirTag wristband to wear at all times will give you peace of mind in case of an emergency.
With various colors and styles to choose from, you won’t even have to convince your kids to put them on!
Noise Canceling Headphones
We’ve all been on planes with crying babies and rowdy college students. If you’re taking an overnight flight or sharing a hotel room with a snorer, noise canceling headphones are a must.
Some of the best include:
Planning an all-day excursion and using your phone to navigate the streets? A portable charger ensures you never get lost due to a dead battery.
I recommend this one. It’s slim enough to fit in your pocket or purse and includes all the charging cords you could need.
If you’re traveling to another country, chances are you’ll need a power adapter to plug your American electronics into. Airports and hotel stores are notorious for price hikes, so bring one with you to save a few bucks.
Women and other people with long hair know how tough it is to pack all the hair-styling tools they need into their suitcases. Don’t use the decades-old hair dryer in your hotel bathroom — bring this all-in-one styling tool instead!
Best Smart Home Tech for Hotels
With the expansion of smart tech in the hospitality industry, you can expect the possibility of a smart hotel room with at least some smart accommodations. But, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Here are some smart devices that will make your hotel stay all the better.
If you’ll be staying in your hotel room for a week or more, you might want to bring your Amazon Echo or Google Home device to check the weather, hear local news reports, and more while you get ready in the morning.
Smart Security Cameras
If you’ll be spending most of your time outside your hotel room, you might worry about the valuables you leave there.
Bringing a portable smart security camera is perfect for cases like this. Some of the best to bring with you include:
Your hotel will probably have a gym, but if you’re used to using your Peloton to stay in shape, using the app while you work out in the hotel gym is a great way to stay on track with your goals.
The Peloton app works in most regions, but be sure to check the specific area you’ll be traveling to before you go.
Although hotel room TVs are getting more advanced, some are still pretty lacking in what they offer. Bring a streaming stick with you so you can still watch all your favorite shows!
As long as your hotel room’s TV has an HDMI port, you can bring along:
Just be aware that some of your favorite streaming services may be unavailable if you’re traveling to a different country.
Utilizing Smart Home Tech in Airbnbs
If you hit the Airbnb jackpot, it might already have a lot of smart home devices. But, there are others to consider bringing that you probably won’t find in your temporary home.
Smart Power Strips
Smart power strips are essential if you’re traveling with a big group. Everyone can plug their phones in before you leave for the day, and you can monitor the charge for each device on your phone.
That means no one has to keep checking if their phone is charged, allowing you to charge up and get out of the house faster.
If you’ll be staying in your Airbnb for a while, having your smart assistant with you will help you maintain your usual routine. You might even be able to connect it to the smart home devices already in your Airbnb!
Smart Security Devices
Leaving your jewelry, expensive electronics, and everything else you traveled with in an unfamiliar location can be scary.
If your host allows it, bringing smart locks, doorbells, or cameras will help you monitor your home-away-from-home while you’re out exploring the city.
Smart Baby Monitor
Traveling with a baby is hard enough without worrying whether they’re okay in the guest room while you’re making dinner.
Who doesn’t like to listen to a little music on vacation? You could go through the trouble of trying to connect your phone to your Airbnb’s complicated speaker system, or you could bring something like the Bose Portable Smart Speaker to keep things entertaining.
Adapting Smart Home Tech for Hostels
Hostels are often shared spaces, and there’s no telling who you’ll be staying with. If you’re paired with a group of rowdy youngsters, you might want to block out the noise with some noise-canceling headphones like the AirPods Max.
If you want to keep your luggage as secure as possible during the day or a night on the town, consider a smart padlock like the Megafeis Fingerprint Padlock to protect your belongings.
This padlock is an essential item to keep your belongings safe around strangers. It responds to your unique fingerprint so others can’t tamper with it.
Smart Tech to Take on Road Trips
Whether you’re going on a road trip in your sedan or a big RV, you probably aren’t too worried about bringing advanced smart tech with you. But, you can still benefit from the basics.
Portable chargers are a must when the available USB and electrical outlets in a car are occupied, allowing you to keep your devices charged and your passengers entertained with games, music, and more.
If you’re one of those people who can read in the car, bring your Kindle with your favorite books loaded up to get some reading done while someone else drives down the interstate.
And if you’re always worried about someone messing with your car on a road trip, the new Ring Car Cam will give you peace of mind. If you ever get worried, just check the Ring app to make sure your car is safe.
Smart Home Tech that Should Stay at Home
Although smart tech makes for convenience while traveling and on vacation, it’s not necessary to over-pack. Some smart home tech items are simply unnecessary while traveling.
While virtual assistants are great for extended stays, connecting them to other devices on a weekend trip is usually more trouble than it’s worth.
And as much as you need coffee in the morning, there’s usually no reason to bring your smart coffee maker on vacation. Head over to a local cafe instead!
Before packing for vacation, consider how important a certain smart tech device is to you. Do you use it every day? How much does it cost? Will it really make your travels easier?
If the answer to any of these questions makes you hesitate to pack your smart device, don’t bring it. If it’s not a necessity at home, it won’t be necessary when you’re skiing down a hill.