2017 Travel Hacks and Technology Trends

2017-travel-tech-trends-and-hacks

Happy New Year everyone!  It’s going to be an exciting year for travel.  To stay on top of it all, be sure to exploit the below hacks and technology trends to get the most out of your travel, money and memories.

 

Drones

2017 is the year of the drone!  Companies like DJI are revolutionizing the type of footage you can take during your travels.  Nothing gets you retweets and Instagram likes like a beautiful aerial shot.  But be careful!  Regulations and insurance requirements are getting more strict around the world making drone affordability harder.  Companies like DroneTec Solutions are coming up with hourly on-demand insurance solutions to make drone insurance more affordable, but a lot of consideration should go into any and all drone purchases.  The drone that is likely to be most versatile around regulations is the DJI Mavic.  Weighing less than 1kg, the Mavic may be able to skirt some drone laws around the world, including Ireland.

 

Gimbals and Camera Stabilizers

Similar to drones, Gimbals and Stabilizers are changing the way videos are shot.  If you have ever moved around while filming, you know how hard it is to keep your camera stable.  These handheld devices allow even the most novice of users to shoot smooth, sharp cinematic videos with little effort.

 

International SIM Cards

All travellers know how expensive cellular roaming can be.  Thankfully, there are some new startups that are addressing this issues that are making roaming more affordable, including Toronto based KnowRoaming.  Unlimited daily data plans start at $7.99USD.  Use promo code RAITA81 to save 30% on your SIM sticker/card and get $5USD free.

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How To Turn 20 Days Of Annual Leave Into 47 Days Of Travel in 2017.

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If you’re in Australia, you’ll love this!  Awol/Contiki has put together a chart that shows how to turn 20 days of annual leave into 47 days of travel.  By strategically planning your leave days (book them before your colleagues!), you can enjoy up to 47 days of travel if you combine weekends, holidays and your annual leave days.

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So what are you waiting for?  To see the latest deals from Contiki go here. #NoRegrets

 

Montreal BARBEGAZI Winter Action Sports Festival

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Although the thought of Montreal in January can bring memories of cold weather, the first two weekends of 2017 are going to be a hot commodity with the the introduction of BARBEGAZI.  Îlot Clark, in the Quartier des spectacles, will be transformed into a huge free playground, featuring all kinds of physical activity to encourage Montréalers to have fun instead of hibernating… and the opportunity to plunge into urban culture.  The main attraction of the event is a playful, oversized and high‐tech obstacle course where the top 10 performers get to share $5,000 in prize money. The general public can also participate in this mad obstacle course… and then discover other extreme sports, such as snowskate, lumberjack, arm wrestling, Christmas Tree throwing, and more!

For more information visit the BARBEGAZI website.

Concerts Announced! Montreal Jazz Fest 2017 | Le Festival de Jazz de Montréal 2017

2017-montreal-jazz-festival

The 38th edition of the Montreal Jazz Festival has been officially announced with 10 concerts (with more to come) listed below.  Ticket sales started November 25, 2016 and more info can be found at the festival website.

Buddy Guy | Charlie Musselwhite | Lucky Peterson — Triple bill
A major-league blues evening in Place des Arts, with three giants of the genre… a classic triple bill!
June 30, 7:30 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA (Événements spéciaux TD series)

Pink Martini
Somewhere between jazz, chanson, classics and retro, the suave, savvy Pink Martini orchestra never fails to pour out a cocktail of musical exhilaration… Make it a double!
July 8, 8 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA (Événements spéciaux TD series)

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Contiki Ireland Review and Tips

Ireland – Home of Guinness beer and the colour green. If you’re considering Ireland for your next adventure be sure to consider Contiki to take you around this beautiful country.  Below is a review and summary of what to expect, including some tips to help you prepare.

Book early! Contiki Ireland tours are very popular.
Book early! Contiki Ireland tours are very popular.

 

First off, the Contiki Ireland tour is the final leg of a bigger Contiki UK tour. If you have the budget and time, it might be worthwhile to do the whole tour starting from London (16 days). The Ireland portion is 7 nights.

Day 1:
Arrive and meet with your new crew at the hotel around 3pm. Once the paperwork and intros are done, dinner will be at the hotel. After dinner, you’re off to central Dublin for an optional night out.

Day 2:
Around 8:30am you depart Dublin and head to Kilkenny for an optional bike ride through the town. Once you’ve taken in this beautiful village it’s off to Cork for an included dinner at a local pub then to the hotel. The hotel (Oriel House) is on the outskirts of Cork, but is the nicest hotel you will be staying at on this tour. Take this evening to relax and enjoy the hotel bar as there isn’t much else around the hotel.

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Free WhatsApp Roaming with KnowRoaming

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Get 30% off instantly here. Promocode RAITA81.

KnowRoaming, a Toronto-based player in the international mobile roaming market just introduced a game-changer.  By simply signing up and having one of their international SIMs, users get free and unlimited WhatsApp usage.  And that’s not just messaging, but also pictures, videos and calls so long as it’s through the WhatsApp app.

So how does one get on the KnowRoaming network?  Simply order one of their SIM stickers ($29.99USD) or SIM cards ($9.99USD) to get started (HINT: Use promo code RAITA81 for a $9/$3 discount).  The main difference between the two is that the sticker allows you to use your existing SIM at the same time so there’s no need to switch between two SIM cards.  On the other hand, the SIM card option is great if you have an old phone lying around that you want to use exclusively for travel.  Both options require your phone to be unlocked (well worth the cost!).

As for savings, aside from the free WhatsApp usage, unlimited data is available for $7USD/day in most countries.  This option is ideal for business people and bloggers that need regular connection to the internet and since it’s unlimited, it really is worry-free.  For other reasons to go unlimited and forget about wifi, see my other post here.

Finally, if you’re already with KnowRaoming, the unlimited WhatsApp option is already available to you.  No changes needed!

The New and Upcoming Little Tokyo/Japan Town (J-Town) of Toronto, Canada

Toronto, being world renowned for being highly multi-cultural and accepting of all cultures, has many famous pockets such as Spadina’s China Town and Little India in the Greenwood area.

Japan on the other hand, has never established a neighbourhood for itself until recently.  With the increasing popularity of Japanese brands such as Uniqlo and Muji (both now in/near the Eaton Centre) the Dundas Street and Bay Street area of Toronto is quickly establishing itself as the ‘Little Tokyo’ or ‘Japan Town’ of Toronto.

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Naturalvolcanic gas (CO2) Treatment, Mariánské Lázně, Czech Republic

Mariánské Lázně, Czech Republic is known for its history, healing springs and luxurious spa resorts.  These spa resorts not only focus on relaxation, but are proven to treat numerous other diseases and disorders, such as:

  • Locomotive system disorders (from back to joints to osteoporosis)
  • Kidney and urinary tract disorders
  • Respiratory tract illnesses
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Gynecologic illnesses (including infertility therapy)
  • Circulatory disorders
  • Oncological diseases
  • Digestive system illnesses
  • Nervous system diseases

One of the more popular treatments is the Naturalvolcanic gas (CO2) Treatment.  Slightly out of the ordinary, this treatment is said to improve blood circulation, kidney activity and sexual functions, in addition to having an anti-inflammatory effects.  Although the first time can be a little intimidating, it is pain free procedure and does not require much preparation (as the above video shows).  This procedure can be combined with multiple other procedures.  For a full list, see here.