You probably have a vision of what your Costa Rican vacation will look like: relaxing on the white-sand beaches under the swaying palm trees. Your version of a Costa Rican vacation is all relaxation and adventure, with none of the stress from home. You’ll put an out-of-office message up in your email account and will leave your work computer at home. Time to literally unplug and get some well-deserved R&R.
While technology probably didn’t play a big role in your Costa Rican fantasy, there are some high-tech gadgets that will actually help enhance your tropical getaway. Concentrate on these 6 gadgets and leave the rest of your technology at home for a relaxation-guaranteed vacation.
Bringing a smartphone along might seem obvious, but we want to stress how much you’ll actually use this little device during your vacations. If you’ve been planning an update to your cellphone, now is the time to do it. When you hit Costa Rica, you’ll want the top-ranked smartphone camera, plenty of space for applications, and a good set of speakers.
Regardless of whether you’ve planned an extreme sporting vacation or a tropical spa retreat, you’re about to see views that will take your breath away. Your cellphone will be the handiest camera you have, and you’ll want to document your journey. Don’t forget to send off a couple beach-side snapchats to your jealous at-home supporters.
The speakers of your phone will come in useful as well. After a long, active day, you’ll hit your hotel’s courtyard with a beer in hand, ready to relax and enjoy the sunset. Ask the receptionist for suggestions on some famous Costa Rican musicians. Let relaxing music stay in the background every time you find yourself enjoying your hotel’s viewpoint.
And above all, make sure the active applications on your phone are perfect for your vacation. Turn off email notices and any work apps, and let the useful ones enjoy your home screen for a while. Use Waze for directions and keep Google Translate open, the rest can be put to rest.
Leave your paperbacks at home and bring along an e-reader. E-readers with non-backlit screens used to be a costly new technology just a few years ago, but now you can get a quality reader for less than $100. And you’re going to be using it.
Not only do you have flights, layovers, and buses in your future, you’re going to want a relaxation book as well. You have an entire week planned of lounging on the beach in a hammock. Nothing goes better with this scenario than a local beer and a good read. Load all the books you could foresee needing onto your light, compact e-reader, and save the luggage space. It’s convenient, easily visible in the sun, and will be the perfect way to kick up your feet and enjoy your vacation.
#3: Huge USB
It’s not possible to exaggerate the beauty in store for you in Costa Rica. You’ll be taking pictures from the plane, and probably won’t stop until you’re back in your home country. You have volcanoes, tropical beaches, mountains, rain forests, and valleys to discover, and each microclimate brings its own array of both flora and fauna. The exotic flowers are amazing, as are the sloths above them.
If you plan to bring along a camera aside from your cellphone (which is highly recommendable), you’re going to quickly run out of space. You don’t have time to go through all your photos while you’re still on the ground, so bring along a large USB for storage. If you don’t have a laptop, the hotel will lend you a computer to use. Throw all your photos on the USB every night and have a free memory card ready for your morning hike.
#4: Power Bank
Head to your local tech store and buy a large power bank, also known as a portable external battery. This should come with multiple USB outlets which will work with your original phone charger. Without a doubt, you’re going to lose charge before you get back to your hotel at night. You’ll be using your phone to help with navigating the confusing roads, you’ll be snapping pictures and videos, and you’ll probably be using it to look up nearby attractions and restaurants. This will all take its toll on your phones battery, and you don’t want a dead phone when the first monkeys show up around sunset. Find a powerful portable battery and keep it in your travel pack. Your phone, camera, and e-reader will thank you.
#5: Tile Mate
This useful gadget may need to be ordered online, if you can’t find it in a local tech store, but it’s well worth the $30 you’ll spend on it. The Tile Mate is a GPS tracker put onto a small, light-weight key-chain. You can stick it in your luggage, on your phone, or keys, anything you might lose. You then log into an app on connected phones and can see the location of your belongings worldwide. Don’t let lost luggage ruin your trip, keep your own tabs on it. While you’re at it, keep the Tile Mate in your car when you wander around the city so you can find your way back. This little gadget may be a convenient way to keep track of your car or hotel, but it may also help save your vacation by retrieving any missing belongings.
#6: Hand-held Camera
Your iphone camera is top-notch, but there’s something to be said for bringing along a handheld camera. The professionals among you will bring an expensive, top-of-the-line camera, but the rest can go for a basic, high pixel digital camera.
There are going to be some points during your vacation where you don’t want your phone on you. If you go deep sea fishing or attempt to scale a volcano, bringing your phone may be too risky. Use your hand-held camera to get great shots with less risk.
Having an inexpensive camera on hand can be a great bonus. You’ll be less scared to lose it in the rain forest, and you can ask a stranger to take a picture of your travel group without the fear of him running away with your whole life in his hands. A camera that takes great shots, is less expensive, and can handle a tumble or two will be your best friend during this vacation.