Always On The Go? This Will Make Your Life Easier

Photographed by Mark Iantosca.
Every day, it seems like there’s a new wearable piece of tech, or some supposedly game-changing app that will map all your comings and goings. But, with so many of these out there, it can be hard to find the right combination of digital products without going crazy. While I’d like to think I’m a know-it-all when it comes to these things, I’m always delighted to discover that there are even better products out there that I’ve never heard of.
So, I turned to my fellow ladies and asked: What traveling tips are you constantly sharing? What are the apps and gadgets you can’t live without on your commute? What’s that one amazing product I don’t know about? We put our heads together and came up with some pretty great recommendations to keep you going.
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Introducing LadyBits, an ultra-cool collective of tech journalists who look at the world with smart, lady lenses. And since we're always in the market for the best stuff out there, we'll feature its know-how on the regular. Below, check out one of LadyBits' innovator spotlights, prepared by Lauren Appelwick, especially for Refinery29.
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Photo: Courtesy of Pocket.
Pocket
Free for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, and more.

Pocket is hands-down the best app for saving content to view later. From your phone, tablet, or computer, you can save articles, videos, photos, etc. to view on your other devices — even offline. The Pocket suite of tools is integrated into more than 500 apps and works with devices like the Kindle Fire and Kobo as well. Instapaper is the OG in the save-for-later game, so check it out if you’re looking for a more classic approach.
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Photo: Courtesy of Timehop.
Timehop
Free for iPhone

I first signed up for Timehop just because it sounded fun. Each day, it pings you with a digest of the social updates, photos, etc. you published last year (and the year before, and 3 years ago, etc.) — truly a daily dose of nostalgia. But, now I find myself treating it as a sort of lightweight journaling app. Since Timehop is plugged in to my social networks, I find myself leaving my future-self notes via a Foursquare check-in, for instance, which makes me more thoughtful about my current experiences. As an added bonus, Timehop has also become a sort of personal growth tracker for me, as each day I get to look back at what my life used to be like. But, if anything, Timehop is just a great way to kill time while waiting in line, or during my commute.
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Photo: Courtesy of Dark Sky.
Dark Sky
$3.99 for iOS

There are a lot of weather apps on the market, and they all pretty much do the same thing. But, what if you need to know if it’s going to rain exactly 20 minutes from now? That’s where Dark Sky leads the pack. “There are a lot of weather apps on my iPhone, but none of them are as accurate (much less as gorgeous) as Dark Sky,” says Lindsay Kaplan, Vice President at King + Company. “It not only tracks hourly precipitation, it alerts me when the weather changes so I can. I haven’t carried an unnecessary umbrella or ruined a pair of suede shoes in months.” Looking for something a bit simpler but equally pretty? Try the Forecast.io mobile site, made by the same team.

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Photo: Courtesy of Bedsider.
Bedsider
Free

If you find yourself overwhelmed by smartphone notifications, then Bedsider reminders might be for you. Bedsider.org is a birth control support network with the goal to “help women find the method of birth control that’s right for them and learn how to use it consistently and effectively.” As part of this objective, they offer a couple of tools that help you remember to take your birth control, pinging you via email or text message. But, what’s interesting is that you can use their calendar to remind yourself of a variety of things, so you'll have your lady bits situation on lock.
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Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Tonight.
Hotel Tonight
Free for iPhone and Android

“Hotel Tonight lets you find last-minute hotel deals based on your current location and the app has helpful labels like ‘luxe,’ ‘hip,’ and ‘solid’ so you know what to expect," says Alexandra Dao, Community Development at Vimeo. "Thanks to the app I’ve scored hotel rooms in New York for $100 a night, which is practically unheard of.”
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Photo: Courtesy of TripIt.
TripIt
Free for iOS, Android, Blackberry, and Windows

“I couldn't handle traveling/conferences without TripIt," says Rose Eveleth, LadyBits' managing editor. "It reads your email and compiles all your travel info for you — hotel, flights, trains, rental cars, the whole shebang. It even interfaces with Airbnb, and gives you directions for how to get from the airport to where you're staying. Serious life saver.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Karma.
Karma
$99 + 1GB free

The Karma device is a pocket-sized, lightweight Wi-Fi hotspot that’s saved me from Internet-less horror many times. Upfront, the device is $99 (which comes with 1GB), and from there you can purchase data at a low cost as you need it. But, what makes Karma truly special is it’s built-in sharing feature, which means you may not need to purchase additional data anytime soon. The device broadcasts an open Wi-Fi signal, and each time someone connects to yours, you both earn 100MB of free data. Karma is especially useful at travel hubs like train stations or airports, or crowded concerts and festivals like SXSW, where smartphone bandwidth is scarce and plenty of people will log on to your hotspot, earning you all those glorious MBs.

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Photo: Courtesy of Magicstick.
Portable Power
$50

Because you don’t want to be that person crouched in the corner of a bar, trying to charge her phone via the outlet right next to the men’s bathroom, treat yourself to some portable juice. As someone who’s not so turned on by battery cases, I prefer the lipstick-sized Magicstick. It can charge my phone twice over, comes in eight colors, and at $50, it’s one of the more affordable options out there.
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Photo: Courtesy of Jawbone UP.
Jawbone UP
$130
App is free for iPhone and Android

Jawbone doesn’t bill its UP band as a fitness bracelet, but rather, as an “integrated system built around you.” It tracks your movements and logs your activities to help you reach fitness goals, and can also measure and provide insight on your sleep patterns. And, even if you’re not on a big workout kick, just having the bracelet on acts as a reminder to do a little better each day — you can even set it to alert you when you’ve been inactive for too long. While the UP is noted for being the most feminine-looking band, a great (and much cheaper) alternative option is the Fitbit Flex.
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Photo: Courtesy of Boobypack.
Boobypack
$58

When I first helped kickstart Boobypack two years ago, it was pitched as something for major party girls. But, I had another idea in mind: that it would be the perfect workout accessory. The Boobypack is a glorified tankini, with two zipper-enclosed, water-resistant pockets under each armpit. Sure, they’re great for holding your ID and some cash, but the pockets really come in handy for stashing your phone during a workout, which also minimizes the distance your earbud cords have to travel. I’ve found it’s perfect for the gym, beach, or hiking — anytime when you’re active and don’t want to be schlepping around baggage.
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Photo: Courtesy of FlipBelt.
FlipBelt
$29

If the Boobypack isn’t quite your style, the FlipBelt is also a great way to hang onto your phone when you’re sans purse. It’s basically a hollow Spandex belt with four openings through which you can slip your phone, keys, ID, etc. When I first went for a run with my FlipBelt, I expected it to bounce around from the weight of my stuff, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover it stayed put. Though designed for workouts, I’ve also worn the FlipBelt while traveling internationally, and it was much nicer to wear than one of those hide-your-stuff neck bags.

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