The height of summer is upon us, and with it comes our favorite activity: vacation. Whether you're taking a long weekend this Independence Day or prepping for a two-week getaway along the California coast, making sure you have the right gear will go a long way towards ensuring your trip goes smoothly.
We live in a connected world, but that doesn't mean you don't need to plan ahead regarding how you'll get online. If your smartphone plan includes tethering and you've unlimited data, that'll likely suit your needs -- even better if your tablet or laptop also has a data connection.
Still, there are instances where tethering might not be in your best interest, such as a low data cap or poor coverage in the area to which you're traveling. In that case, you can pick up a mobile broadband modem just about anywhere smartphones are sold. If you don't foresee using the modem much outside of your vacation destination, a prepaid model with solid coverage and support for several devices at once will work well.
A good travel bag will do several things: keep your gear safe, fit all your devices without compromise, and haul your gadgets around without interfering with your daily activities. The right bag for you will depend on what you're carrying around and where you're heading. Fortunately, we've already detailed everything you need to know in Travel gear: what makes for a good tech bag?
Nothing puts your gadgets at risk quite as much as traveling around, particularly if some of those destinations involve sandy beaches or treks up a mountainside. A dustproof and waterproof case will go a long way towards keeping your tablet and smartphone safe, with bonus points going towards a crush-proof construction. Many options exist, with the Otterbox iPhone 5s case being one such example.
Technology improvements have resulted in devices with increasingly long battery run times, but you'll still be hard-pressed to go more than half a day without an outlet if your phone is being used regularly. Unfortunately, walking the boulevard, touring downtown, or spending a night in a tent doesn't lend itself towards impromptu charging sessions, and being left with a dead battery is especially inconvenient. This is where portable battery chargers come in.
Hundreds of portable battery chargers are available, each coming with their own perks. Though higher-capacity battery chargers are more expensive and a bit heavier, they're often able to charge a smartphone more than once or to charge a couple different handsets, ensuring others on vacation with you aren't left with a dead device, either. Other alternatives include an integrated flashlight, handy for camping trips, and there's even one that can charge your car battery if needed.