My 2018 Year In Travel Review

When I first began putting this post together, I had thought 2018 wasn’t the busiest in terms of travel for me. I didn’t realize how much I actually got to see and although it’s been over 10 years now, was amazed to be so incredibly amazed by one place in particular. You can see my 2018 year in travel in the video above, where I’m also running another giveaway for you too.

Of course more travel videos in 2018 meant a lot more bloopers. Below is a super-cut of all the bloopers from the past year – there are occasions where you have to embrace your mistakes so I hope you enjoy!

Thank you again for a wonderful 2018 – I hope this look back gives you some travel inspiration in the coming year for destinations you might not have considered, weren’t sure about, or may have been putting off.

Review Of The Google Home Hub And A End Of Year Giveaway For You

Hello and welcome to the end of the year! I’ve got a full post coming up looking back on 2018, but here’s a preview of a small announcement for 2019. I’ve got a lot to be thankful for and so much of it is because of you. Your support of this blog over 10 years has made what was a crazy dream into a continuing crazy reality. Commenting and sharing blog posts, spreading the word about my travel apps like WiFox, and giving me great local advice – I can’t say thank you enough.

2019 Year Of Giveaways

One way though I’ll try is by making 2019 the year of giveaways – and I’m starting a bit early. If you’ve watched the video above, you know I’m currently giving away a Google Home Hub. To enter, all you have to do is subscribe to my YouTube channel and leave a comment on the video here. To get even more chances to win, here’s a page I set up to earn additional entries.

The next giveaway will happen by the end of the year so that subscription on YouTube might win you a trip, bag, and well, hopefully provide some travel and tech entertainment as well. Many of you let me know on Facebook what you’d like to win and I’ll be working on getting some of those for prizes as well.

Thank you again for 2018 and cheers to 2019. From me to you, a Happy New Year with a lot of travel and the pursuit of one crazy dream, no matter how big or small. If in some way I can help be a part of it, my inbox is always open to you. It’s the least I can do – certainly you’ve done the same for me.

travel smarter,

A Galapagos Review Of The ABOX Budget Action Camera

There are a lot of budget action cameras on Amazon averaging less than $200 of GoPros that were new in 2016. Unfortunately, the last GoPro clone I reviewed left a lot to be desired, except for the price tag. Recently I got my hands on the ABOX 4K and wondered what would happen if I took a budget action cam to the perfect place. Under ideal conditions, how good or bad would the footage look?

abox 4k action cameraABOX 4K Action Camera

buy from amazon

So I decided to take the ABOX to the Galapagos Islands. You can see the results (and sea lion pups!) in the video above. Let me know what you think of the footage in the comments below!

The Ridge Wallet Is Slim Titanium RFID Blocking At A Premium Price

A slim wallet can help you avoid the attention of pickpockets but what if the wallet itself is worth stealing? The titanium-encased Ridge Wallet presents this conundrum in a sleek, RFID-blocking package.

You can watch my full review in the video above or read on.

What’s The Ridge Wallet?

The Ridge Wallet is more of a money clip than a wallet, measuring 12.5 x 8.9 x 2.5 centimeters (4.9 x 3.5 x 1 inches) in a slick design of matted black, silver, blue or pink metal. There’s a solid feel in the 141 gram (5 ounce) Ridge Wallet, which blocks RFID – but more on that in a bit.

Although it doesn’t look like it, the Ridge Wallet fits about 12 cards in its main compartment with an additional side clip to hold even more cards or a bit of cash. Personally, I found the clip to be cumbersome, getting caught on my pocket each time I took it in or out, so the optional money strap seems the better purchase choice.

Otherwise the Ridge Wallet is fairly simple in build, though it comes with a small screwdriver you can use to adjust the tightness or change out the side money clip if you want.

Premium Problems

The Ridge Wallet is really good at what it does. Being thin, looking nice, and blocking RFID, which brings me to the central thought I have about the Ridge Wallet: what’s in the price? For most passports around the world, there isn’t a lot of sensitive information on the RFID chip. There are certainly other RFID-enabled cards you may be carrying (e.g. metro card) but probably none with critical data on it.

rideg wallet

RFID scanning has limited range but what’s much more practical and likely, is someone targeting the wallet itself. In other words, someone getting close enough to attempt an RFID scan would be in range to snag the Ridge Wallet. And the Ridge Wallet might be nice enough that you wouldn’t want to take it out in some places.

Bigger Threat

I’ve talked about uglifying your travel gear to deter thieves, something you need to do in some parts of the world. Decoy wallets, carrying only a few cards across pockets are two good strategies to setup your own personal security system. Money clips are often a good tool to implement, the problem being the Ridge Wallet becoming the target. (Not to mention all of the cards attached to it.)

The Ridge Wallet runs around $80 for a premium design with a lifetime warranty. The loss of the wallet itself is going to set you back at a minimum that much. I’m not saying don’t have nice things but in parts of South America for example, valuables stay out of sight or might get stolen… and the Ridge Wallet looks valuable.

In short, if you’re looking for a money clip as an alternative wallet to slim down your pocket profile for pickpocket deterrence, the Ridge Wallet might not be ideal depending on where you’re traveling. But if you’re looking a premium, futuristic, minimalist wallet without those considerations, the titanium Ridge Wallet won’t look bad on anyone.

How To Travel Blog? Q&Av4!

How to travel blog seems to be a question that keeps popping up in my inbox. Recently a student sent me some of their questions about blogging for a living and while I was in Best City 2018 Granada, Spain, I answered them in the Q&A video above. Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions in the comments below and you can subscribe here to see my latest video from the Galapagos Islands.

Thanks again Christian for the questions!

How To Ensure You’ll Always Find A Parking Spot In America’s Busiest Cities

The only thing worse than bad traffic is having to look for parking in a busy city but some destinations are just close enough that it’s faster to drive than deal with airports or you’ve got an occasion bringing you to downtown. Whatever the reason, searching for parking can be a frustrating, stressful, and time-consuming quest but there is an app that solves all those problems.

One Day Before

The free app SpotHero (available for Android and iOS) let’s you search and reserve a parking space anytime in advance of your arrival, but the earlier, the better. (I would recommend a week if possible.) SpotHero works with thousands of parking garages and lots across the largest cities in the United States letting you reserve a spot with a tap. The search function finds your hotel, venue, etc. then using the map you can scroll around to see prices plus options nearby.

Costs Bundled

All of the additional costs are bundled into SpotHero. Garages and lots pay to be listed in SpotHero to get your business. Certainly there are costs passed on to you but I was able to find parking in Times Square for $30 in a closed garage (not valet) – a bargain for New York City. You also don’t need an account to use SpotHero.


Once you get to the parking lot or garage, you show the reservation on your phone and that’s it.

Even Better Features

This isn’t a sponsored post and nobody paid me to write about SpotHero; it’s just an app I found very useful with several incredible features for travelers. For instance you can check times, restrictions, user reviews and photos of the parking spaces to see if your car will fit or how well lit a garage is at night.

new york city parking

Perhaps the best feature however is the free cancellation. In most cases you can cancel your reservation up to the last minute if, for example, you happen to find a cheaper or closer spot somewhere else. SpotHero also has options for monthly parking, extending a reservation, and offers $7 off when you refer a friend. (Your friend by the way also gets their first $7 off as well.)

Hopefully SpotHero will add locations outside of the U.S. like Spain to Andorra or even car-friendly Bahrain. Until they do, remember this taxi trick in Serbia and no matter what, keep your feet off the dashboard.

About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutI'm the blogger and computer security engineer who writes foXnoMad while on a journey to visit every country in the world. I'll show you the tips, tricks, and tech you can use to travel smarter. Read More

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