BerndtCanada Travels
Travel smart...Travel frugally...Travel often!

This is the personal website of Erich and Carol Berndt, two avid travelers from Calgary, Canada. We have created this travel information site to offer our insights and ideas to fellow travelers who wish to travel frequently; exploring, learning, and appreciating the geography, culture and history of the places being visited.  We hope you will find this website useful in imagining and planning your travels.

 

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Learn about some of our Travel Destinations

by clicking on any picture or label found below:

North America

Asia Pacific

Scotland & Ireland

Mexico

Austro-Hungary

Mediterranean

Hawaii

Spain & Portugal

Baltic Cruise

Caribbean Collection

Panama & Costa Rica

European Excursions

Australia & New Zealand

Asia Collection

 

 

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                                  Gadgets and Apps
 

The advent of many new electronic devices, various travel gadgets and a range of mobile apps has made traveling more convenient, more organized, safer and more fun. The websites listed below offer some suggestions about travel accessories and gadgets. While some are just good geeky fun, others are quite essential; the accessories that add comfort while in flight or on the road, the packing tools that help keep clothing, toiletries and electronics organized; and, the electronics themselves. While many people do everything with their phones, we still travel with a digital camera, a tablet (with downloaded e-books and music), a laptop with photo-editing software and Skype installed, a noise-cancelling headset, a flash drive, and a variety of electronic chargers and adapters.  See:


The 27 Best Travel Accessories To Save Space, Time And Money In 2021

27 Travel Gadgets That Are Too Cool To Resist

57 Brilliant Travel Accessories Every Traveller Must Have In 2021

 

         Keep a detailed list on file of essential items to pack


We also travel with a GPS on the trips when we rent a vehicle. There are many good options  depending on the destination and the features you want. Smartphone GPS apps, like Google Maps and Apple maps offer comparable functionality but have some downsides to their use.
 


What is the Best GPS for Europe Travel?

Best Car GPS 2021: Sat Navs for Automobiles

 

 

There are hundreds of possible travel apps for Apple and Android devices. Some are better than others. They can be categorized as: mapping tools, including tools for finding WiFi hotspots, public washrooms, and recommended restaurants; booking tools for airlines, accommodations and land transport; and tracking tools for such things as walking routes, bus schedules, and shareable maps and journals.  The writers of the articles below have identified some of the best:
 

The Best Travel Apps for iOS and Android

The Best Travel Apps for 2019

 

             Samples of CityMapper and XE Currency Converter apps


Particularly helpful apps are those which assist with communication and language translation.
The articles below provide excellent advice about translation tools that are available via website interface or a mobile app.

The 8 Best Translation Apps for 2021

Essential Translation Apps You Need for Travelling 

 

                                                    The Google Translate tool


Two other suggestions we would make are to have a means for secure internet connections, and a means for making phone calls and using WiFi without excessive roaming charges. We  recommend having a VPN (Virtual Private Network). It provides security for your personal information such as passwords on web browsers and apps, allows for torrenting, encrypts data, and helps to get around internet filtering. We use NordVPN, but there are many to choose from. We also use Surfeasy, a paid subscription service that essentially creates a VPN. We can be assured that when we do online banking or other sensitive activities we are secure.
 

Everything You Need to Know About VPNs for Travel

How To Stay Online When Travelling (And Avoid Roaming Fees)

The Best International Phone Plans for Travelers

Best International Cell Phone Plans 2021


In addition to these suggestions, there are some simple definitely low-tech items that we find essential for travelling: zip-lock bags in various sizes, twist ties, extra batteries and sim cards, hand sanitizer gel to be used copiously, a microfiber face cloth (not all accommodations supply these), a swiss army knife with multiple tools (in checked luggage only), dryer sheets to keep luggage smelling fresh, a refillable water bottle, and small packets of food seasonings. Some camp soap or laundry pods are also helpful.

 


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