The Advantages of Using DJI’s Osmo as a Travel Blogger/Content Creator

As travel blogging and content creation becomes more competitive and highly geared towards video, gimbals like DJI’s Osmo can provide a big advantage.  Gimbals provide on-the-go content creators the ability to create unbelievably smooth action videos that isn’t possible through exiting handheld devices such as smartphones and DSLRs.  By  combining anti-shake shock-absorbing technologies with electronic rotation axis points, gimbals are able to stabilize videos and keep the camera level and pointed at the intended target allowing the user to focus on the shot instead of trying to keep the video smooth.

See the with/without gimbal comparison video here.

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.

 

Quadruple Dip on Cash Back/Points

Are you a points junky?  Then you’ll love this hack!  When booking a flight, it’s possible to get quadruple the cash back/points depending on your credit cards and how you book.

Step 1: Sign up for eBates
When you go through eBates for your online purchases (not just flights), you get cash back on your purchases (more here) directly from eBates.  Sites like Expedia and FlightHub are part of this site so if go through eBates to one of these booking sites, you will get cash back.  FlightHub offers $7.50 – $22.50 on almost all flight bookings.
Dip #1:  Cash back
Ebates.ca

Step 2: Book Your Flight
Booking your flight will get you the usual airlines points, whether it’s Aeroplan, Sky Team, or others, regardless of who you book through.
Dip #2:  Airline points

Step 3: Book With a Rewards Credit Card
Make sure you book with a rewards credit card like the American Express Gold Rewards card to get points on your card.
Dip #3:  Credit card points/cash back

Step 4: Site Specific Points
Sites like Expedia offer their own rewards program.  Be sure to sign-up for these reward programs (usually free anyways) to get even more points back!
Dip #4:  Website specific points or cash back

So in one purchase, you can get a trove of cash and points by getting a little creative with how you do it!

 

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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Which is Better for Travellers? DJI Mavic vs. GoPro Karma. DJI wins.

dji-mavic-vs-gopro-karma

If you’re considering getting a drone to capture travel footage and comparing between DJI’s Mavic and GoPro’s Karma, which is better?  Here’s some food for thought.

Both are very similar in that they are both a lot smaller than previous drones on the market and fold nicely into a backpack.  The one thing that makes the design of the DJI Mavic brilliant is the thought they put into the weight.

Why the weight you ask?  Well the DJI Mavic is 1.64lbs/743g, well below the 1kg threshold, which means it does not have to be registered in many countries, such as Ireland and Belgium.  This list grows if you are planning to use the drone for commercial purposes.  In comparison, the GoPro Karma weighs 2.22lbs/1006g, which puts it over the 1kg limit set by many countries/regions.  This makes DJI Mavic more travel friendly in the sense that it requires less paperwork depending on where you plan on flying and filming.

Of course, normal flight restrictions still apply, alongside any insurance requirements.  For an unofficial list of restricted areas, use AirMap or visit UAV Coach.

KnowRoaming International SIM & Data Plan Review

knowroaming-international-roaming-data-plan

Get 30% off instantly here. Promo code: RAITA81

I recently teamed up with KnowRoaming to review its international unlimited roaming sim card/data plan throughout Europe (Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic and France). KnowRoaming has various plans, including its unlimited $7.99USD/day data plan. For context, the big cellular providers can cost $5+/MB when you’re overseas.

As anticipated, it worked well. At first, it was nice to be able to check email, tweet, and post like I was at home without the worry of overages or additional costs. But as I started to travel and move about Europe, it dawned on me that it was more than that. It’s not just about being able to check your email all the time, but more about piece-of-mind, safety, and being as efficient as possible while you travel.

That said, I decided to compile a list of not-so-obvious reason why a KnowRoaming international roaming sim is important for all travellers.

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New Social Media Video Tools for Bloggers

DubDub Video Editing App

Blogging is competitive.  No surprise there.  And with the rise of video use and consumption, more and more bloggers are turning to video for exposure.  So what tools are available to help bloggers stand out from the crowd?  Below are some must-have tools that all bloggers should use.

1. Enlargeify.com
Uploading videos to YouTube and Facebook is a pain.  Yet the advantage of uploading a video to Facebook directly is the larger video preview.  Luckily, Enlargeify has found a way around this.  Simply convert your YouTube link on Enlargeify and paste the new converted link into Facebook and BAM! big video preview!

Enlargeify Larger Facebook Vidoe Previews

 

2. DubDub.io
Take a lot of video on a smartphone?  Join the club!  See it. Shoot it. Share it. 12 tracks, drag and drop, point and click video, editing for creating and sharing high quality videos, on the fly. All entirely on your mobile.  Nobody has time to edit on a desktop anymore.  Get DubDub now!

DubDub Video Editing App

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Change the Size of Facebook Video Previews

Enlargeify Larger Facebook Vidoe Previews

Looking for ways to change the size of the Facebook Video Preview?  I recently discovered Enlargeify and use it regularly now for Facebook videos.  It’s a cool new free tool that allows users to take an existing YouTube link and convert it into a Facebook friendly format (i.e. larger Facebook video preview image) without the need to upload directly to Facebook.  So not only does it give you a larger video preview (which can lead to more views), but it also saves you from having to upload twice to YouTube and Facebook.

Enlargeify Larger Facebook Vidoe Previews

Two New Social Media Tools For Bloggers

Enlargeify Facebook Video Tool Social Media

Below are a couple social media tools that all bloggers should add to their arsenal.  Both give you more real estate in news feeds in both Twitter and Facebook and are easy to use.

1. Enlargeify

Enlargeify Facebook Video Tool Social Media Enlargeify Facebook Larger Video Tool Social Media

This tool coverts YouTube videos into native Facebook videos so your preview shows bigger when you post on Facebook. The great thing about this tool is it allows you to get the bigger real estate on news feeds without having to upload your video a second time.

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