Travel Gadget Reviews

An IT professional by day, this HappyFlyer is a self-proclaimed tech enthusiast with a passion for travel. Hailing from the East Coast, she will be writing about her interest in travel gadgets and sharing her best travel tips and unique perspective on travel experiences.

What to Expect When Your Bags are Selected for a Customs Inspection

On a recent trip, my family and I were chosen for a “random” customs inspection.  I had never been flagged for one before. Since I have Global Entry, coming back home had always been a smooth process. I suspect we were selected because we had a cart full of luggage to inspect.  We weren’t worried about it. In fact, I had already consumed and given away the packaged roasted pork jerky that I purchased at another airport. What to Expect: Expect to open up all your luggage for inspection. Be prepared to answer questions about what’s in your luggage....

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TSA PreCheck or Global Entry: Is it Worth the Money?

If you are on the fence about whether to join a trusted traveler program, these are some interesting numbers from the TSA PreCheck website.   Are Trusted Traveler Programs Worth the Money? The TSA PreCheck is $85 for 5 years, or an average of $17 per year.   Global Entry costs $100 for 5 years.  Personally, I considered Global Entry “TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry: Which is Better?”  to be the better program since TSA PreCheck is included.  I tend to break down the cost-benefit this way: TSA Entry or Global Entry? If you don’t plan or expect to...

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Headphones Review: Humixx Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Even though I love technology, I’ll be the first to admit that writing a review on wireless earphones didn’t strike me as high in terms of content sexiness. Especially since I already purchased the AUKEY Wireless Headphones, which I got earlier in the year to pair with the Apple Watch.   Yet, for whatever reason, I just never got used to it.  It just wasn’t that comfortable to me. Humixx Wireless Earphones I was looking for something more comfortable, so I was glad when I was offered the opportunity to review the Humixx wireless headphones. (Same price range as the...

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Hotel Review: Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund

One of the things that I was excited about my first trip to Shanghai was the stay at the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund.  I wanted a centrally located hotel near the bund. Waldorf Astoria Collection is “positioned as the flagship brand within Hilton’s portfolio”.  Since I’ve not stayed at a Waldorf Astoria property, I wanted to see how it differs from other properties. I also thought it was an opportune time to test out out my Hilton Diamond benefits (thanks to the Hilton Aspire card). Getting to the Hotel We landed at the Shanghai Pudong Airport (PVG),...

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Can You Bring Beef or Pork Jerky back to the United States?

Just two weeks ago, I was wandering through the Hong Kong International Airport when I came across an Aji Ichiban outlet store. It’s a unique confectionary brand selling snacks.  Like a moth to a flame, I quickly darted over to check out the store.  As someone with a sweet tooth, all the snacks in the store may as well be glistening like diamonds.  I was like a kid in a candy store. The Case of the Jerky After some deliberation, I settled on buying the roasted pork jerky.  I still have an onward trip and figured that the snacks would work in...

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Hotel Review: Intercontinental Hong Kong

I recently stayed 4 nights at the Intercontinental Hong Kong. If you have IHG points, you can redeem 70k for a night at this hotel.  The rate can be anywhere between $300-$500 USD/night. Check-In I checked in at the front desk and was helped by a friendly and professional staff.  I didn’t realized that they have a separate check-in area for IHG ambassador and elite members. The staff thanked me for being a Spire member, and walked me over to the Priority Check-In desk to complete the check-in. The concierge desk is just to the right of the entrance....

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Review: Hainan Airlines Business Class on Dreamliner 787-9!

I recently flew Hainan Airlines Business Class on Dreamliner 787-9 from Shanghai (PVG) to Boston (BOS).  This was actually my first flight with Hainan Airlines, and it was a long 14-hours international flight at that.  I’m happy to share that it was a fantastic flight.  Hainan Airlines blew my expectations out of the water! Booking At the time of booking, I was looking for a stopover city.  I was considering either a city in Japan or Shanghai.  Since I visited Japan a few years ago and I had never visited Shanghai, it was an easy decision.  I decided to...

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Airport Security: Do you chug or throw away your beverage at the airport?

Most of us know that we can’t bring liquids through airport security.  This includes bottles of water and other beverages.  In those cases, your best bet is to buy them at the airport after the security checkpoint.  You can also bring in an empty or reusable water bottle and fill it at a water refilling station. But, what if you got to the airport and realized you still have beverages with you? Do You Throw Them Away or Chug Them All? On my recent transit through the Shanghai Pudong International Airport, a “bag screening” was required at the airport...

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Can I Take My Power Bank or Portable Charger in My Carry-On?

I had a reliable battery pack that I’ve used for years.  I passed it on to my sister for use and it was recently confiscated by airport security in China.  The reason?  The power bank doesn’t have any marking “stating the power bank capacity”.  I had no idea it was a requirement. What Are The Rules for Power Banks? You should always check with your airline for the most up-to-date information. Power bank generally falls under the “batteries” category. I included the basics for some of the major airlines below. (Note: Items in bold are mine) American Airlines Link...

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Is Agoda a legitimate booking engine? (Buyer Beware)

Two years ago, I tried to use the  travel booking engine, Agoda.  I had such a poor experience that it prompted me to write a piece on “Why I Would Not Book with Agoda Booking Engine Again“.  It turned out that others had related experiences and shared them in the comments section.  Their customer service is virtually non-existent when you run into problems. Is Agoda a legitimate company? My first consideration when I decided to use Agoda was whether it is a legitimate company.  Since Priceline acquired Agoda back 2007 and Priceline is relatively well-known, Agoda is legitimate by...

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