When it comes down to staying connected while on the go, it isn’t always easy to power up without being chained to an power socket in the airport. Sure some flights now have power outlets available for every seat on certain flights (Thanks Delta) but for those times where there’s no power outlet in sight, these essential power packs could be the lifeline you need on your next trip.
For the charger connoisseurs
This isn’t your ordinary travel charger, in my opinion, it is the mother of all things chargstastic! Most portable power packs only put out 5 volts via USB because the only carry enough power to meaningfully charge smartphones. But this one offers 5-, 9-, 12-, 16-, 19- and 20-volt output so it can charge notebooks, digital cameras and other portable devices. Its 23,000 mAh capacity is enough to charge an iPhone 12 times and a tablet several times or bring a notebook back to life. $99.99 ravpower.com
For the iPhone Fashionista
The Everpurse Mini not only charges your iPhone, it ensures you’ll never need to riffle through your purse for it again because the phone docks nearly on the outside. The built-in charger has enough capacity to recharge your phone three times for up to 48 hours of typical use. The design is simple and elegant, right down to the clasp doubling as a USB connector to charge the purse. $129, everpurse.com
For the practical traveler
Tylt Energi + Backpack
This no-nonsense carry-on hides a secret battery capable of recharging your smartphone four times or powering up your tablet at least once. What’s more, the rucksack’s cleaver design lets you route the cables to any of its fave external pockets or two external pockets. The backpack also has a slot hidden in the back panel for attaching it to a roller bag, a headphone compartment on the strap and a full-length zipper pocket on the front for airline tickets and passports. $199.99 tylt.com.
If you’ve ever wandered about the glitz and glory that is the Kentucky Derby – did you know you can place your bets on finding the hottest fashions, prettiest horses and all the fun at a track a little closer to home? Recently, a few of my blogger friends and I were guests of America’s Best Racing and visited the historical Saratoga Race Track in Saratoga Springs, NY. Check out some of the racing fun and fashions found at our day at the races below.
On your mark, get set, GO! In addition to the beautiful stables filled with race horses trained to win, the racing experience begins way before you step foot inside of the racing center. You can’t just show up for a fascinating day of racing without the right fashions from head to toe. That’s why my girls and I made our way to Dora Marra for luxurious fascinators to kick our day at the races off right. Dora Marra offered a variety of stylish head pieces for our big day at the races. We were like kids in a candy store looking for the perfect fascinator for Saratoga [Check out our hilarious behind the scenes video and more photos from our Dora Marra shopping day.]
The fascinating fashion: Picking the right attire for the races isn’t an easy feat. I wanted a dress that wouldn’t show up my amazing feather fascinator, but I also wanted to dress for the weather (which is unusually hot and humid for this time of year in upstate New York). I opted for this coral and cream number which got it’s fair share of compliments while at the races.
Necklace & Accessories: J. Crew / Michael Kors
The fascinating horses: There were plenty of thoroughbred horses on display at the Saratoga Race Course grounds, many of them were seasoned pros just waiting for their next chance to prove themselves on the track. This beautiful runner was not only very active, he practically made posing for a selfie impossible. Every time I got in close enough for a good selfie, he’d move in for a kiss (or headbutt) and I freaked out. Eventually we settled on a topic of conversation that made us both calm, happy and ready for our candid photo.
Place your bets: Did you know that you can enjoy the races with or without placing your bets? With bets starting at $1 – I couldn’t see why you wouldn’t want to get your feet wet with a little wager. Tickets to the races start as low as $5 (that’s cheaper than a movie ticket!) While there, guests enjoy the sun, shopping, food and up close and personal thoroughbred moments throughout the 350-acre racetrack in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Although the season has come to an end, visiting the Saratoga Race Track next summer should definitely be on your to-do list. It’s the perfect opportunity to grab your girlfriends, dress up and enjoy a fabulous day of fun! For more information on Saratoga Racing and to plan your next trip visit NYRA.com. In case you’re looking to get into some racing fun before next summer, you can also check out the fall racing schedule throughout at Belmont Park in Hempstead (Long Island) NY below:
Huge thanks to Dan, Victoria and the entire NYRA team for a lovely day in Saratoga Springs, I can’t wait to do it again soon!
Have you tried packing for a vacation or business trip recently? With stories of TSA thefts, airlines magically misplacing luggage and more – packing for an upcoming trip can be stressful. Trying to pack up accessories, make up and toiletries for a weekend trip has become more cumbersome than ever …and those TSA liquid restrictions don’t help out at all. I once had to dump out three bottles of my favorite moisturizer, body spray and shampoo because of the liquid restriction being enforced. That’s why I was thrilled to step up my travel with a little organizational help from the EMME bag.
The EMME Bag is a compact nylon travel bag that’s perfect to replace your beauty bag, jewelry bag and toiletries bag on your next trip. The compact design comes with an easy to carry handle and second zipper to expand and increase capacity to handle all of your travel essentials.
Want to travel with your favorite mouthwash, coconut oil, lotion or more? The EMME bag not only has the capacity to handle what you want to pack but has containers for it all.
The EMME Bag comes complete with 14 containers and miniature bottles for eye creams, sprays, balms and more. The 7 interior pockets come with suggestion inserts that help guide you with easy packing suggestions and 2 zip out pouches that can easily be removed and reattached during the TSA screening process.
The clear three panel design makes it super easy to store your items, securely while the zip-out design allows you to keep all your toiletries and jewelry in one place. The EMME Bag is the ultimate travel accessory to suit frequent traveling needs. This high quality, compartmentalized bag is not only for toiletries, but it’s my new favorite frequent flyer supplies bag. Not only does the optimized design makes going through security at the airport as simple as possible but it makes unpacking and settling in your hotel a breeze with the easy unfolding design.
With a quick unzip, you can easily store everything you need using the built-in hanger on a towel rack or door handle for easy access, while freeing up the limited vanity space you need. If you want to take control of your travel packing potential the EMME bag is the ultimate travel accessory for you.
The EMME Bag is available online for $75 at EMMEbag.com. Want to save $15 on the next travel accessory that you’ll ever need? Save 20% and pay only $60 when you enter our special readership discount code - “DIVA” at checkout. Get social and stay in touch with EMME bag on Twitter at @EMMEBag and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/emmetravel today!
Your next business trip or vacation will only be as great as your next hotel stay. A hotel room with alleyway scents and views, bad plumbing or noisy neighbors can potentially ruin an entire travel experience. One of the most asked questions I’ve received is “How to score upgraded hotel stays?” I’ve discovered what travel insiders have known for years, upgrading your next hotel stay is a lot simpler than most people think. From rooms with spectacular views to complementary meals, beverages and more – uncover four insider secrets to upgrade your next hotel stay recently shared on Essence.com today.
Upgrade Your Hotel Room
There are many ways to request complimentary room upgrade, but you’ve got to be smart, stealth and polite about it. Typically, guests checking in later in the day have a better chance at scoring an available room upgrade. One of the best ways to score a complementary upgrade is to greet the front desk agent with a smile and tip up front. By simply walking up with a smile, id, credit card in hand and greeting the front desk agent with a $20 tip you open up a world of upgrade possibilities. Make sure you’re assertive and let the agent know “This is for you. Whatever you can do for me, I’d appreciate a room upgrade, late checkout, wine, whatever…” and watch the hotel experience upgrades come rolling in.
Upgrade Your In-Room Ambiance
Celebrities like Beyoncé, Mariah and Madonna upgrade their hotel room ambiance with signature essences like flowers or candles all the time. Nothing makes a hotel stay feel more like home than adding unique touches that appeal to the senses to ensure a more relaxing stay. That’s where a pre-planed hotel travel kit with lavender bath salts & pillow mists become essential when packing for your next trip. Packing satin pillowcases, scented candles & a Bluetooth speaker for your favorite music are also great additions to include in your hotel travel kit. For less than $20, you can create and pack your essential hotel room kit filled with your favorite scents, sounds and even sweet treats that will make your next hotel stay a great visit.
Looking for more insider secrets? Check out my full article on Essence.com HERE.
A few weeks ago, I received an amazing invitation for an experience of a lifetime compliments of Lincoln Motor Company. Excited for a weekend introduction to the all new Lincoln MKC, I embarked on a cross-country journey to Santa Barbara, California with a very special invited guest… my mother.
Sure I’ve gone on family vacations with my mother, siblings, nieces and nephews – but never have I journeyed on a first-class travel experience like this with my mother before. A luxurious retreat at the Belmond El Encanto, a technologically advanced drive up the coast in the new Lincoln MKC coupled with moments of relaxing and reflecting in lavender fields and more filled our days of bonding and exploring while visiting California together for the first time.
First stop in beautiful Santa Barbara, our first west coast road trip to the beautiful Clairmont Lavender Farm in Los Olivos, CA. During our experience at the Clairmont Lavender Farm, my mom and I walked the fragrant lavender fields, sipped on lavender lemonade and basked in the beauty of the Lincoln MKC with interior designer, Dillon Blanski .
Next stop, a sweet date with mom at Birkholm’s Bakery & Cafe in Solvang, CA. Known for a striking resemblance to small towns found in Denmark, this Danish bakery found in the middle of the tourist attraction of Solvang offered mom and I a great afternoon of delicious treats in a unique town that we’ll never forget.
[Must Read: Five Ways To Live Like A Danish Native In Solvang]
Final stop of the Lincoln MKC experience, Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Santa Barbara, CA. Established in 1911, the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club is the third oldest polo facility in the United States and is world renowned for its four lush polo fields and international outdoor competition.
Want to see more of our mother/daughter Santa Barbara adventure? Discover more from behind the wheel of our unique Lincoln MKC experience on the auto channel, DivasDriveInHeels.com and check out the stories behind our entire travel adventure on DivasOnDestinations.com. Thanks Lincoln Motor Company for a life changing experience that this mother-daughter duo will never forget.
It’s that wonderful time of year again — when you grab up your girlfriends, family and start planning your next amazing road trip! To help get you on your way, I’ve gathered six of the best road trip travel apps out there. They’ll all help you narrow down where to go and, once you’ve picked a killer spot, what to see and do. Once you’re packed and ready to go, make sure you download these 6 travel apps to kick off your summer road trip right – start your engines and get ready to hit the road!
If you’re on the road then there’s nothing better than having a good strategy on planned pit stops. The Rest Areas app shows rest area locations throughout the US highway system. The app shows your distance to the nearest rest area, includes street views for better navigation and to make sure it’s not a super creepy location there are Flickr photos available to give you a good look at the rest stop grounds. (Free)
For over twenty years, the SAS Survival Guide has been the definitive guide to surviving any situation, anywhere in the world. From First Aid essentials to hunting and even a guide to prepare you for an unexpected disaster – former SAS soldier and instructed, John Wiseman puts the elite survival training techniques of Britain’s toughest fighting force right in the palm of your hand. ($5.99)
Looking for a last minute place to stay during your road trip? Airbnb has you covered! Make travel planning as mobile as you are with the Airbnb iPhone app. With over 450,000 listing in more than 34,000 cities, Airbnb connects you with the experience that’s right for you. Discover and book long-term or short-term sublets, legendary properties, vacation homes and more right from your iPhone or iPad. (Free)
If you wandering into a city for the first time, live like a local with the Triposo app. Triposo is the best travel guide right in the palm of your hands. The app includes a city guide with information about all the major sights, a list of great restaurants and different nightlife options. It even comes with a currency converter (Hello Canada), weather and local phrases that’ll have you speaking like a local in no time. (Free)
Since the last thing you want to do is end up stranded because you ran out of gas, the Gas Buddy app is a no brainer! This app is tried and true with over 35 million users saving money on fill-ups everyday. GasBuddy uses crowd-funded gas price information (provided by users) to bring drivers together to support the common goal of saving money on gas. You can find cheap gas near you via gps or you can enter city/zip/postal code to plan your road trip route accordingly. (Plus GasBuddy offers points and prizes for gas reporters and a chance to win $100 of gas everyday.) (Free)
In case you need to build your itinerary with “things to do” off the beaten path, the Peek app is the only travel advisor you’ll need. Peek is your one-stop shop to discover and book amazing activities. Whether it’s going swimming with the sharks or eating you way through a local culinary walking tour, Peek has selected the highest quality activities at the best prices guaranteed. Once you take the quiz to discover your travel persona, you’ll receive personalized activity recommendations, handpicked by Peek just for you! (Free)
With all the road-trips taking place this summer, these are the best apps that’ll keep you prepared, safe, entertained and even save you some cash. Now that you have a roundup of travel apps to prepare you for your next road trip, where are you heading to first?
Traveling on the go can be cumbersome if you’re not prepared. Travel interrupts our naturally scheduled programming and is an easy scapegoat for not maintaining a healthy lifestyle as well as being out of touch with our friends, families and jobs. Don’t let a change of scenery spoil your New Year’s resolutions – gear up for 2014 with these 10 apps and gadgets to help make your travel experiences exciting and productive.
1) Tile your passport
Tile, one of Kickstarter’s hottest projects of the year, is a matchbook-sized, thin, white plastic square. This self-adhesive device, equipped with GPS, allows any item to be tracked using the owners smartphone app and Tile’s low-Bluetooth technology. Can’t find your passport? If prepared and equipped with a Tile affixed to the passport’s back or case, the owner can located the passport on a map and remotely send the device a signal to emit a sound, hopefully putting an end to the search-and-rescue. This simple device is the “find my iPhone,” for all physical items. Tile, which does not require battery changes or charging, can be pre-ordered for summer 2014 delivery. Tile for travel could keep your passport and checked-luggage always in your pocket. ($19.95 for one Tile, $59.85 for four Tiles, thetileapp.com)
2) Rove hands-free, with your automated travel diary
This free app is an automated timeline, which tracks users’ movements through GPS, estimates the method of travel, and inserts pictures, maps and locations into a timeline. The result is a beautiful visual travel journal– no inputs required. Next time relatives ask to hear all about the trip? Just “Share” from the app and Rove will email a link to the trip’s timeline- allowing the traveler to enjoy the moment and not spend time recording it. Want to keep Rove personal? The app is 100% private unless users choose to share. (Free in the iTunes store)
Best Gadgets And Apps To Simplify Your Weekend Travel
3) Viber App + (friend with) Viber App = Free Calls
The Viber app allows users to make free phone calls, video calls or send text messages, over 4G or WiFi, anywhere in the world, free of charge (as long as both users are connecting through the Viber application). The app is available on all mobile devices and with 200 million active global users, has become one of the largest disruptors in the online global communication space. (Free; runs on: Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Windows Phone)
Best Gadgets And Apps To Simplify Your Weekend Travel
4) Caught with a dying phone? Bring extra juice
There are many options on the market to pack power for on-the-go charging. Dark Reservoir’s sleekly designed device is on the higher end of the price rage, but the pocket-sized device will provide up to five charges for an iPhone, 1.5 charges for an iPad mini and will charge anything with a micro-USB charger ($129, mydarkenergy.com). Innergie has a wide range of prices and products for back-up batteries, including laptops. (Prices start at $54.99,myinnergie.com/store)
Best Gadgets And Apps To Simplify Your Weekend Travel
What are some of your favorite gadgets and apps that simplify your travel? Feel free to share your favorites below.
This is Detroit. Not bad huh? No, the city isn’t burning down in despair – as a matter of fact, it is alive, well and bursting at the seams with rich art and re-defining style everyday. While in Detroit, I decided to visit one of my favorite open art installations in the city – The Heidelburg Project. Known for its colorful backdrops of bright hues, political messaging and plenty of mixed media – this area has been around and re-defining how we look at art since 1986. Armed with a camera (a little extra time on my hands) and a crisp, sunny Spring day – take a look at my interpretation of the bright side of art and style below (…and let me know what you think!)
Dress: Von Vonni Transformer Dress – VonVonni.com
Jacket: White Moto Jacket – Forever 21
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Aviator Flash Mirror Lenses
Earrings: Cushion Set Neiman Marcus
Necklace: Private Designer
Watch: Michael Kors
Shoes: Peter Pilotto x Target
[For more on the Heidelburg Project visit DivasOnDestinations.com]
The survival of our species on planet earth is largely going to be determined by what happens in our cities. By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in them. Today’s cities demand 21st century solutions to accommodate their growing populations in ways that not only maintain the quality of life, but also improve it. That’s where smart cities come in. Smart cities find ways to become more efficient, to deliver more services via mobile technology, to optimize existing infrastructure, and to leverage citizen participation to create better land-use decisions and to break down bureaucracy in order to stimulate a creative, entrepreneurial economy. In short, smart cities are innovative cities. Are you living in America’s smart cities?
More than half of people in the U.S. have smartphones. We use them like they are attached to our body. We talk, text, game and socialize. The trend is that consumers need more than that. We need smartphones to perform more personal and efficient tasks that relates to our everyday life – to keep us informed. The Internet, smartphones, and technology innovation plus social wants, have become an integral part of our lives and smart cities are taken notice.
Cities are starting to invest more in smart technology. Our physical surroundings are already captured by services like street cameras, Google Earth, and apps like Yelp. Smart Cities can make extensive use of the information and technologies they have to improve the quality of life of its citizens. Sensors and cloud apps connect transportation, healthcare, and street lights. How does this work? Cities are looking to placing sensors around cities to provide information about your physical environment to transmit information to your smartphones like the bus schedule at the street location where you are standing. Smart street lights that can detect movement, monitor and display temperature, collect data on traffic patterns, and sense gun shots detection to alert law enforcement. From GPS-enabled school buses sharing locations with a parent’s smartphone to sensors that monitor and report on building conditions, smart cities and their systems are becoming increasingly connected with their inhabitants with a promise of urban intelligence and resiliency like never before. This network of connections is known in the market today as the Internet of Things.
8. Portland, OR
5. New York
4. Washington D.C.
3. San Francisco (tied)
2. Boston (tied)
In 2009, the Boston Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM) developed a smartphone app called Citizens Connect that allows residents to quickly report public works and service needs. Bostonians can inform officials of infrastructure and service problems (using the SeeClickFix App) such as potholes, streetlight failures, or graffiti via their phones, allowing the city to be far more responsive to its citizens’ needs and eliminating paperwork. As workers finish projects they record the date and time of completion, allowing residents to verify the city’s responsiveness to their requests. source
Do you live in a smart city? What smart tech services do they provide?
It’s so hard to please a techie with tech products. They know it all and seen it all. So if you want to impress them with some awesome tech gifts you got to go big. Well we can help you with that. Here are 3 innovative gift ideas for a techie that we love.
(Big Spender) Samsung 8000 Series Smart TV
You are winning if you gift your techie with this smart TV. The 65” LED smart TV has all the bells and whistle you expect from Samsung, including searching for TV shows and movies, connections with Netflix/Blockbuster, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Pandora, and social media updates through web services like Twitter and Facebook. But what really set this smart TV apart from the rest are the features to chat with friends, apps, and interactive TV content. With full HD 1080p display you can watch 2D and 3D quality content using 3D glasses to “immerse yourself in the picture.” But this is what your techie will love – the Smart Touch Remote with a built-in microphone and gesture control. Use your voice and gestures to control key features on the TV. Oh, and the remote control has facial recognition to log you into the smart hub. Your techie is going to geek out!
(Modest Gifter) TrakDot
Travel much? Then you should have this. Make sure your valuables never get lost while traveling with this handy little tracker. The Trakdot system, which includes a small sensor placed in your luggage and an app loaded on your smartphone that tracks the location of your luggage throughout your travels. The Trakdot sends to your smartphone text messages reporting the position of your luggage, so you know exactly where your items are at all times.
“Trakdot™ employs newly patented mirco-electronics and ground-based cellular telephone technologies to track and report its position on the ground even while inside metal containers, such as cars, hardened suitcases, and parked aircraft.”
The service can be linked to several smartphones.
Trakdot luggage Sensor $59.99
One-Time Activation $8.99
Annual Service Fee $12.99
(Budget Baby) Window Solar Charger
Save energy and use a solar panel to charge your phone. The Window Solar Charger charges mobile phones and MP3 players at home, in the office, or in your car – just stick the charger to a window facing the sun and the solar panel will soak up those rays.
Colors: silver, black, and green