Travel

Travel with the VinniBag, and Get Your Wine Home Intact!

It never fails: I travel somewhere that is known for its wine, and I find myself with a bottle to bring home. Packing the bottle safely can be tricky, though. I’ve had bottles break that were inside the bubble wrap bags that some wine stores sell, but I think I have found a solution in the inflatable VinniBag travel accessory! It’s marketed for wine, but you can also use the 22″ x 8″ inflatable VinniBag to safely transport anything that fits inside — things like camera lenses, coffee cups, and other small breakables. Think outside the box, too; the VinniBag floats, so you can…


Altego Lunar Mirror Messenger Bag Totes the Load

When selecting a messenger bag, especially to actually use on a bicycle like they were originally intended for, balance is everything. It’s important to maintain a proper balance between being big enough to hold your stuff and not too bulky to ride with. And the actual balance of the payload is critical. The Altego Lunar Mirror Messenger has it all!



Lumsing 5 Port USB Travel Charger Review

Can you ever have too many USB ports available? That’s a silly question; of course you can’t, and that applies whether you are at home, at work, or traveling. So here’s something that’ll help take some of the burden off of your laptop’s ports, allowing you to travel with just one power source: the Lumsing 5 Port USB Travel Charger. Measuring approximately 5.3″ long x 2.75″ wide x 1.25″ thick, the Lumsing charger is compact enough to fit into a pocket in your laptop bag, gear bag, larger purse, or briefcase, but it is powerful enough that it can charge up to five devices at once using USB…



The Calypso Crystal Calypso Tag Review: Travel in Sync

You have a luggage tag on your carry-on or your checked luggage, right? But can your luggage tag attract attention because it’s so brightly colored, tell you when your bag is nearby, alert you when it has been moved away, tell you where it last was, or tell you the temperature? Because of the Calypso Crystal Calypso Tag, mine can.


VinGarde Valise Wine Suitcase Gets Bottles There Intact

A press release recently came across the Gear Diary email transom announcing a new wine suitcase from Wineline that they call the VinGarde Valise. This prompted a discussion among our editors about who would possibly ever need a suitcase for their beverages. As usual, I had a real-life anecdote about something I did while traveling that proved the case for the case.


Wireless Traveling Convenience Comes with the XCOM Global Hot Spot

When traveling internationally, you won’t always have the luxury of a secure and speedy WiFi connection at your destination. One of the most reliable ways I’ve found to make sure that I’ll be able to get online with all of my devices — including my laptop — is by traveling with a hot spot rental from XCom Global.



T-Rex Runner Launches Ramblen, Resource for Traveling Runners

With the huge number of sites like RunKeeper and Yelp to give opinions and options for eating and finding routes, you might think it is easier than ever for a traveling runner to hit a new city. Sadly this is not the case, as recommendations of routes often lack context, and definitions of ‘healthy dining’ vary wildly. In this light the new site Ramblen has launched to provide curated recommendations for eating and exercise for travelers. One of my favorite running blogs is the T-Rex Runner – I appreciate the humor and randomness, but also the way she immerses herself…


The Nokia Lumia 1020 Is the Only Camera You’ll Need When Traveling

I use an HTC One, but its camera is subpar, and I take a lot of pictures. When the Nokia Lumia 1020 was released, who wasn’t intrigued by its camera? I sure was, and so I bought one. But could the 1020 function as my only camera while on a dream vacation in Paris and Dubrovnik? I would soon find out. From the moment we arrived in Paris, I started snapping pictures predominantly with the Lumia’s Pro Cam app set to 5 megapixels, which is oversampled for lossless zoom. About midway through the trip (or about the time we moved on to Dubrovnik),…


Come Explore King’s Landing (Dubrovnik) During Game of Thrones Season 4 Filming

Do you watch Game of Thrones on HBO? Kev and I love the books by Gorge R. R. Martin as well as the television series based on them, so an added bonus to our recent trip to Dubrovnik (arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the world) was that we knew we might recognize some of the locations from the show. Are you a fan? Then this post is for you! Dubrovnik’s Old Town is a medieval walled city located on the coast of Croatia, and since season two it has been used for various locations in Game of…


2014 Kia Cadenza Stylishly Conquers the Pacific Coast

Last week I was invited to test drive the 2014 Kia Cadenza along with a small group of other bloggers and auto journalists. The location Kia chose couldn’t have been more beautiful; we arrived in San Diego on Wednesday afternoon and took a short ride 20 miles north to Del Mar, an oceanside resort town. We stayed at the L’Auberge Del Mar, a 120 room boutique hotel on a hill overlooking the ocean. Our views were spectacular. I heard repeated apologies from Southern Californians for the “May Gray” (overcast skies) we were experiencing, which made me laugh; I was steps from…


Ziplining Through the Jamaican Jungle

Our time in Jamaica is over… for now… But the memories of our week down there won’t end any time soon. Had had a great time having a beachfront villa for the four of us but were happy to mix some fun excursions in with the lazy days reading, eating, playing cards and… eating. I posted the other day on our visit to Dunn’s River Falls. If you go to Jamaica it is an absolutely must. Check out the post. Then, this past Thursday, we headed toward Ocho Rios again but stopped short, this time. We stopped at Chukka’s Cranbrook,…


Discovering Jamaica’s Dunn’s River Falls

My family and I are here in Jamaica, mon — enjoying the sun, the warmth and the beauty of this lush tropical island. Yesterday we ate breakfast and then set out for a trip to Dunn’s River Falls – about 45 minutes from our villa. Dunn’s River Falls is in an area the Spanish called “Las Chorreras”, or “the waterfalls or the springs”. Over time “Las Chorreras” became “Ocho Rios” or “eight rivers”. This despite the fact that there are just four, rather than eight, rivers here. Those four rivers are Cave River, Roaring River, Turtle River and of course Dunn’s River….


Dunn’s River Falls Survival Gear

Dunn’s River Falls is awesome, and it is a visit I encourage anyone going to Jamaica to make. There was some gear that made the trip even better, and I thought I might share some of the items; so here’s a rundown of my Dunn’s River Falls Survival Gear. Dunn’s River Falls Survival Gear #1: Vibram Five Fingers I wanted to make sure I could run while here in Jamaica, but I also wanted to pack lightly. That’s why, when all was said and done, I brought my Vibram Five Fingers shoes. They are great for running, but they are…


Hyundai Takes Social Bloggers to Coronado for the New Santa Fe!

As I had written previously, the folks at Hyundai took a group of ‘social bloggers’ to Park City, UT last August to introduce the new 2013 Santa Fe Sport. My review was highly favorable, but what was missing for me was the full-sized Santa Fe 6/7 passenger model – Hyundai teased that model, but we weren’t allowed to take pictures, get in or even touch the pre-production model they brought. However, they told us that once it was ready to launch we would be able to get a hands-on look. This weekend the made good on that promise, as Hyundai…


Preparing to Check Out the New Hyundai Santa Fe

Last August the folks at Hyundai took a bunch of non-auto-centric bloggers to Park City, Utah to check out the new 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. I described the experience here and the drive test here. It was a great experience, and the only thing missing was the full-sized 3-row Santa Fe. Now that is ready and today I am preparing to check out the New Hyundai Santa Fe ! This time the folks at Hyundai are taking us to Coronado, California. For those who don’t know, Coronado is “an affluent resort city located in San Diego County, California, across…


What’s Coming with Us to CES, the 2013 Edition

Every year we make the trek to Las Vegas, and every year we try to strike the perfect balance between the gear that we’ll need and a few extra things that will make our lives easier; the trick is to not forget anything vital or to too seriously overpack. Sometimes we get it right, and sometimes we fail miserably. Here’s what’s coming along this time … Judie: I’ve been going to CES since 2002, and you would think that by now I’d have a perfect kit prepared … but technology keeps changing, and so does my gear. I think I…


Phiaton PS 300 NC Premium Noise Cancelling Headphones Review

I’m into a period of time that will see me on planes rather frequently, and while I’ve tried various noise canceling headphones over the years, I’ve never found a pair I loved to use. For example, I was impressed with the Sennhauser MM 450s when I reviewed them, but when I bought a pair on sale a few months ago I found myself disappointed with the buzz created by the noise cancellation system. It wasn’t bad, but it was noticeable, and I just couldn’t see myself using them longterm. Most recently I had purchased a pair of inexpensive Sony in-ear…


Amazing Aruba!

Aruban Iguanas are everywhere!  Dan and I just got back from a week in Aruba. This was our second year to enjoy a shared vacation there with our spouses; Dan and Elana have a Divi Village timeshare in Oranjestad, and they have been visiting the island for 20 years. This was Kev’s and my second time, so we are still learning about all that Aruba has to offer; we were really looking forward to exploring more of the island, enjoying the beaches, and trying some of the local tours. If you have ever considered visiting Aruba, then you might enjoy…