6 Useful Hotel Travel Gadgets to Appreciate

Starwood guests can use their iPhones to unlock their hotel rooms.
Starwood guests can use their iPhones to unlock their hotel rooms

Six Hotel Gadgets You’ll Love

By Andy Christian Castillo

starwood spg keyless
The SPG Keyless app allows guests entrance to their room from a smartphone.

I’m certainly not a cushy traveler. I don’t need the Ritz Carlton to have a good time.

Some of my fondest travel experiences have been in run-down hostels and mediocre situations. I’m a strong believer in adventure over comfort. That being said, it is nice to have a few useful gadgets available when you need them.

And sometimes, speed supersedes adventure. Sometimes, you don’t have the time to smell the roses; you’ve got a job to do — and you must do it well, and quickly.

Technology can be a huge help. And it can also be a refreshing relief after a day of business meetings or a long flight across the continent.

Here’s a list of 6 trending technologies to be on the lookout for while traveling this summer:

1. SPG Keyless (Starwood Preferred Guest)

Here’s something that you need to know about me: I forget everything. Literally, everything. Especially my hotel keycard.

SPG Keyless removes those pesky cards and allows guests (of the Starwood Preferred Guest program) to unlock their door with a smartphone. All you have to do is download the SPG app, which is available for iPhone and Android.

Guests have to book the room through typical channels, but the app allows mobile check-in once you get there. So you can bypass the check-in counter entirely.

The Kube System lets you wirelessly charge your cellphone.
The Kube System lets you wirelessly charge your cellphone.

2. Kube Systems

Now, this gadget is just plain cool. Have you ever noticed that in sci-fi movies, the characters never seem to run out of power?

Perhaps they had access to Kube Systems KS Portable.

I don’t know about you, but I usually forget to charge my phone before big trips. My mind has a zillion other things to think about, and charging tech isn’t at the top of my list.

So if you’re like me — ‘one of those people’ who’s constantly searching for an outlet to plug your phone into before it dies, then Kube Systems is the answer to your prayers.

It’s easy; the system boasts wireless drop and charge capabilities. Just place your phone on top of the charging station and zammo! – watch it charge. The cube also has additional power outlets so that you can plug in the other stuff that you forgot to charge, like your laptop and portable phone charger that you bought so that your phone wouldn’t die.

Basically, it’s the forgetful person’s dream come true.

No more plug and play. Look for this gadget in hotels.

3. Electric Mirror

First off- this is something that you’ll probably find in a hotel, as opposed to taking it with you. Unless you’d like to lug around a huge pane of glass.

The future is here. This gadget is a mirror and a TV; you can put on makeup AND watch the season finale of Game of Thrones, at the same time!

The technology seamlessly integrates digital imaging into a vanity mirror; you’ll never know it’s there until you turn it on. Some of them are even waterproof and Bluetooth compatible.

4. Karma Go

With Karma Go, you can transform cellular devices into Wi-Fi hotspots.
With Karma Go, you can transform cellular devices into Wi-Fi hotspots.

Here’s another thing about me; I’m not the most organized person. I don’t always think ahead.

In addition to scrambling for power outlets, I’m usually in search of cranking wifi. You’ll usually find me pulled over at a Mcdonald’s siphoning off free Wi-Fi for a last-minute project. But sometimes, overloaded cafes and the red and gold just can’t cut the bill.

That’s where Karma Go comes in; it allows you to transform up to eight cellular connections at once, into crazy-fast, personalized Wi-Fi.

Yeah, there are other devices like it on the market; but Karma Go is sleek and relatively cheap: the device itself is $149, but after that, it’s pay-as-you-go with no monthly contracts – $14 per 1GB.

According to a press release, “Prepaid wireless hotspots are in people, get with the times.”

5. Ravi Ratan Cufflinks

6 Useful Hotel Travel Gadgets to Appreciate 16 Useful Hotel Travel Gadgets to Appreciate 2When it comes down to it, I’m a pretty old-school and analog kinda guy. I’m not easily impressed with gadgetry that’s cool but doesn’t actually serve a purpose.

That being said, one of the most useful gadgets I’ve ever used, is a free flash drive I received at UMass orientation, which clips together into a bracelet.

As a photographer and writer, I’m often charged with delivering digital files in conditions where I might not have Wi-Fi, or be able to bring along my computer.

I’m also a college student, and can’t tell you how many times the drive has saved my butt when papers didn’t save or emails didn’t send.

In the digital world, it’s always good to have a backup.

Ravi Ratan Cufflinks “integrate technology into your wardrobe.” They’re cufflinks that double as flash drives.

So the next time that someone asks you if you remembered that work project, or printed off that paper, instead of scrambling for Wi-Fi and desperately searching through emails that you sent to yourself three weeks ago, take off your cufflinks, roll up your sleeves, and show them the files. Ravi Ratan Polished Silver Oval WIFI and 2GB USB Combination Cufflinks6 Useful Hotel Travel Gadgets to Appreciate 2

6. Trakdot Luggage Tracker

6 Useful Hotel Travel Gadgets to Appreciate 46 Useful Hotel Travel Gadgets to Appreciate 5Last August, I traveled through Mexico. I was on a video assignment and had all of my lenses and extra cameras packed and checked. I had my main camera and a few lenses with me in anticipation of a lost bag; which of course, happened at the most out-of-the-way airport that I could imagine.

I arrived at around 10 p.m., and everything was closed. The attendants had absolutely no idea what happened to my bag; they thought it was in Texas, but didn’t know.

Luckily, it came in the next day after a lot of running around and a few dozen frustrating phone calls.

I sorta wish that I had used the Trakdot Luggage Tracker.

It’s a palm-sized device that you drop into your luggage before you leave, and use your phone to track along the way. No more headaches and midnight scrambles; Trakdot Luggage Tracker lets you know where your luggage is all the time. And they’ll provide help in getting your luggage back to you if it’s ever lost. Trakdot Luggage Tracker, Black/Orange, One Size6 Useful Hotel Travel Gadgets to Appreciate 5

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