Let’s talk travel tech

I am a #VZWBuzz Ambassador, as such I have or will receive product &/or compensation, however all opinions are strictly my own.

iphone on ipad

If I could reach you by pen & paper…I would love it, but in the world of blogging it’s not possible (although I do still carry around notebooks & pencils). Since my work is housed completely online, and I travel so much, I figured that I’d give you the inside scoop as to what I bring along with me on my travels and how I work.

A. The Phone


It’s probably my most important piece of equipment that I carry. Yes, I bring a DSLR, but when I’m spending a long day out exploring…bringing a smartphone is so much more…well…SMART. My device of choice? Lately it’s been my trusty old Apple 5S, instead of my Galaxy. WHY?

  1. I can stay in contact with Mr. S, Ben & friends when I’m out of the country without paying texting fees by using iMessage.
  2. I hate taking notes on a phone. I use the recording feature when I’m interviewing, or SPEAK my notes using the microphone.
  3. Photos – with the Camera+ app, I can take amazing photos as well as crop, edit & upload them to ALL of my social media accounts
  4. Essentials – I keep apps for subway routes, currency conversion, and of course maps to get around.


B. The Tablet

Remember how I said above that I hate taking notes on a phone, well I can actually take any notes on my tablet with a fair amount of ease. I download movies before I fly, and watch them on the plane. I keep my books stored for reading before bed, and of course all of the same apps that are on my iPhone (I love the fact that it all syncs). I currently use an iPad Air (128 GB) that I won in Thailand for my “best video” win while I was on a press trip. I also use the camera for videos (I get a larger view with the screen), especially when reviewing hotel rooms. I find that because I have to hold it in two hands, that the videos are less shaky than when I use my phone.

C. A Hotspot –  my NEXT purchase

When you travel as often as I do, you learn VERY quickly that hotel wifi…SUCKS (no mincing words).

I was recently in South Beach at a luxury hotel, ready to do a twitter party when I realized that I couldn’t get online…not from my room, not from the lobby, not even from the business center. It made me think about ALL of those times that I’ve struggled to get internet or trudged all of my belongings down to the nearest Starbucks, because my hotel’s wifi was insufficient.

Then, while in The Outer Banks last week, my PR rep had a Verizon Jetpack Mobile Hotspot…IN HIS CAR! All of the bloggers & journalists that he picked up at the airport were able to WORK for the 1½ hour drive from the Norfolk Airport to Kitty Hawk. As we traveled around, he drove, and we worked. The connection was stable & the hotspot could easily accommodate up to 15 devices at once.

While those are the basics, I also bring my camera, a portable power pack, and if I can wrangle it out of Ben’s hands…our GoPro.

I love learning what others bring with them when they travel. What are YOUR go to devices for your upcoming summer vacation?


Cruising along at 6o+


While we may have more time on our hands at this age, Mr. S and I DEFINITELY have less disposable income than we did when we did when we both had full time careers. Mr. S retired early, as did I…both due to unforeseen circumstances. After a few years of trying to fill my time with activities, I began blogging. I just wasn’t cut out for retirement. Mr. S on the other hand, is content with playing golf, going to the movies, etc.


At this point I’d say that we’re both happy with the choices we’ve made, but we did take a HUGE hit to our yearly income. Thankfully, even though I may not be a frugal blogger, or an extreme couponer, I have learned how to cut corners on both necessary and non-essential household items and services such as…

  • Dinner out
  • Vacations
  • Insurance
  • Health care
  • Entertainment
  • Clothing
  • and more

How do I make it look so easy? It’s actually simple, especially for those of us in the over 55 set. Ever since I became a member of AARP about six years ago, I’ve been scoring discounts that can’t be had ANYWHERE ELSE!

A few weeks ago I got to dig in a little DEEPER into what AARP Member Advantages has to offer when I was their guest at the AARP Life@50+ event in Miami. Not only did I get to hang out with some of my favorite people (like Broad A from The Review Broads), but I had the opportunity to chat with a few of the vendors on the expo floor and check out the BEST OFFERS available to ALL OF YOU who are AARP members.

For example:

Monday is our anniversary. Mr. S could easily spend a small fortune on flowers & other goodies for me. Instead of running around looking for a florist, he can simply shop online through the AARP Member Advantages site and order my arrangement from 1-800-Flowers. He’ll score a 20% discount across ALL of their brands (including Harry & David…one of my faves).


Remember that trip through the Canadian Rockies that I took on the Rocky Mountaineer a few weeks ago?

You could book it directly, but WHY, when Vacations by Rail via AARP Member Advantages will get you an EXTRA 5% off? The best part, discounts combine so that you get the BEST DEALS!

If you’re more of a cruiser


Check out the Norwegian Cruise Line specials, and when you’ve found the one you’ve been dreaming of (for me it’s one of the Glacier Bay routes) you can get up to $100 or 5% off of the best price. There are also specials you can bundle in with the discount. Right now you’ll also get shore excursion credits, free onboard credit, specialty dining credit or a free wifi package when you book an oceanview or higher cabin.



All it takes is $16

Join today: AARP – and you could be scoring the same deals that I do.

NOTE: I was a guest of AARP Member Advantages at their recent Life@50+ event in Miami. I have been a paid member of AARP for over 10 years, even before I began blogging. All opinions are my own.




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