Travel Gadget Reviews

This HappyFlyer is a self-proclaimed tech enthusiast with a passion for travel. She will be writing about her interest in travel gadgets and sharing her best travel tips and unique perspective on travel experiences.

When Your Seatmate is an Unaccompanied Minor…

In all my years of traveling, I had the experience of flying next to an unaccompanied minor only once. Granted, I didn’t know much about the unaccompanied minor program.  I loosely understood it to be a service offered to assist minors who are traveling by themselves without an adult.  As for the nuances of how it all worked?  I have no clue. I remembered I was traveling with my family with their confirmed seats up front, while I was rolling the dice with an upgrade request.  Before boarding, I knew my chance of an upgrade was shot.  I joked...

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Why I Decided to Cancel My AMC A-List Membership

The AMC A-List membership had already reached 750,000 members in its membership roll.  It’s quite impressive given that this new membership tier was only introduced in the middle of 2018.  It’s a movie subscription plan that basically allows you to see up to 3 movies every week, including premium formats (e.g. IMAX) at most AMC theaters for a flat monthly charge ($19.95 in my case). Worth it to upgrade from AMC Stub Premiere? I had been a long-time AMC Stub Premiere member, and that had worked well. While I am not a regular movie goer, I’ve definitely gone to...

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Opinion: Passenger handed out goody bags when flying with a Baby

A few months ago, this article made the news where a mom, traveling with her newborn, handed each of her fellow passenger a gift bag as an advance apology ahead of a 10 hour trip from Seoul to San Francisco.  It comes with a note, “Today, I am going to the U.S. with my mom and grandmom to see my aunt. I’m a little bit nervous and scary because it’s my first flight in my life, which means that I may cry or make too much noise. I will try to go quietly, though I can’t make any promises.....

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How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost?

  I have never been a big fan of travel insurance, but I always buy them for international travel.  Buying travel insurance is not as daunting as it sounds. I thought it might be helpful to step through how I shop for travel insurance, with an example of how much it cost for an upcoming trip. 1. Where Can I find travel insurance? Note: I have no affiliate relationships with any of the companies listed below. You can buy travel insurance from reputable sources, such as Amex’s Travel Insurance.  I tend to use a consolidator website called insuremytrip.com for...

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Opinion: The Grounding of Boeing 737 MAX – What Next?

I have been following the updates on the fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash, which killed all 157 passengers onboard. The accident followed on the heels of a Lion Air crash just 5 months earlier, killing all 189 passengers. Preliminary evidence suggested that a feature in the newly installed automated system on the Boeing 737 Max may be to blame.  When one of the sensors detect a potential stall, the pitch augmentation control law in the system (the MCAS – Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) kicks in and adjusts the plane. This article has great illustrations describing the likely scenario that resulted...

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How I Book My Flights to Save on Travel Expenses

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been price conscious when it comes to booking trips.  As anyone who ever has to book travel for yourself or family, we all know that travel expenses can add up quickly. That is not to say that I only book the cheapest flights.  I have my own reservations when it comes to booking low-cost airlines.  I generally don’t mind paying a little more for an airline that doesn’t nickel and dime the customers. In some ways, I might an airline’s worth shopper.  I’m not particularly loyal to just one airline,...

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The Buffet at Aria, Las Vegas

When my brother and I flew into Vegas for a quick trip late last year, one of the first things we wanted to do was to find someplace good to eat. Our base is the Waldorf Astoria and I wanted to walk to somewhere close by. Since it was a last-minute trip, I hadn’t looked into some of best places to eat on the strip. Lo and behold, we saw this sign when we stepped outside of the hotel: The place was beckoning to us.  We decided that we would visit Aria’s The Buffet.   Pricing We got to the...

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How $145 Million is “Gone” for the Largest Canadian Cryptocurrency Exchange

In a bit of a bizarre news: QuadrigaCX, the largest cryptocurrency exchange (by volume) in Canada, is in a world of trouble. The company  may have just lost $145 Million (CAD $190 million) of its customer’s money.  The company filed for creditor protection on 2/1/2019. How? The founder and CEO of QuadrigaCX, Gary Cotten, unexpectedly passed away.  He held the keys – quite literally – to the exchange. What happened? The short version:  The exchange kept its assets in offline storage systems, secured by cold wallet (think of it as your private digital key to protect your assets from...

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Disney FastPass+ Planning: Don’t Make This Same Mistake

Last month, my family and I visited Walt Disney World. We decided to visit the Animal Kingdom Theme Park, with its new Pandora World of Avatar attraction. FastPass vs FastPass+? Things have obviously changed since my last visit to Disney World over a decade ago.  I was familiar with the FastPass system, where you go to a kiosk to print out a slip and come back during the designated time for expedited entry to an attraction.  At Disney World, this is now called “FastPass+” (you can think of it as a  second generation of FastPass).  It’s the same system,...

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Remember the Motorola RAZR? It’s Coming Back as a $1,500 Foldable Smartphone.

Before the iPhone in 2007, there was the Motorala Razr. The RAZR was a thing of beauty. It was a thin, sleekly designed, fashionable clam shell phone with an aluminum body. While the RAZR can’t compete with the features in today’s phones, it was considered a revolutionary tech gadget in its heyday.  You can make calls (primary use), text message (yes, text emoji only), and even take pictures with the built-in camera. The RAZR, especially the V3 model, was so popular that Motorola sold more than 130 million units.  In fact, the RAZR is one of the most successful...

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