Clever Travel Tools You Can Use
Tracking Travelers Going Abroad via GPS
Travel safety is a big concern today. While the world is more connected than ever before, there are still parts of the world with limited communication access. So if you are concerned about a loved one trekking around the world, there is a gadget that will give you some peace of mind.
One concerned mother outfitted her son’s upcoming gap year trip across Australia, Thailand, and South Africa with a small GPS tracker to keep tabs on him from home. The 2″ thick (credit-card size) transmitter device, called Traakit, will track him within 15ft of his exact location and the system can even send her a text message alert if he goes anywhere he shouldn’t. So no need to check in by phone or by email.
The device triangulates its position by taking co-ordinate readings from four satellites, feeds the information back to a computer, which then maps out where it is in the world. The technology means it updates instantly so you can keep track in real-time.
It is not cheap. Traakit costs £279 plus £11 a month service charge or can be rented for £50 a month. Is there a price for a peace of mind?
New Website Calculates Fuel Cost and Carbon Use for Any Trip
Moblu may be your anwser if you are concerned with the rising gas prices and want to know the cost before your next road trip.
Enter your departure and arrival cities—plus the year, make and model of your car—and Moblu will provide your estimated fuel costs and climate impact along with printable Google Maps directions.
For example, on a trip between Boston and Montreal, Moblu predicts that you’ll cover 317 miles. Assuming you’re in a 2005 Toyota Sienna 4WD, you’ll burn through 14 gallons of fuel at an average cost of $37 total. Your climate impact will be to produce 271 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2). That amount of C02 would take 7 tree seedlings grown for 10 years to absorb from the atmosphere, according to the site.
Moblu can also be used to track the fuel economy of your car, but you need to sign up with the service.
“Can You Afford to Travel” Calculator
If you’re looking for inspiration, try TravelMuse’s Yaycations Calculator, which launched in April. You can discover hidden savings in your everyday life. By asking about discretionary purchases (the 20 painful choices include shoes, coffee, and gadgets), the calculator estimates what you could save yearly, turning that money into a vacation budget. Then you pick from a list of trip ideas, such as Outdoor Adventure, Ecotourism, and Experiential Travel, and it’ll give you suggested destination depending on your budget. You can even book an air/hotel package. You’ll probably want to sit down to do your own math before you jet off, but the calculator is a fun way to think about your vacation budget.