Air Archives - foXnoMad

Category: Air

DroneMate Premium Shows You Local Drone Laws As You Travel

A drone can provide you incredible shots from you vacation but traveling with a drone, especially internationally, can be a bureaucratic nightmare. A patchwork of laws, regulations, and registration forms that might not be clear or well-defined can get your drone confiscated or you fined. Not to mention that in some parts of the world authorities may not know the rules well enough to enforce them properly. (Or rely on your ignorance for ahem *cough* a bribe.)

DroneMate Premium Features

DroneMate, the app that puts all of the world’s drone laws on your phone (available for iOS/Android) also has a Premium version that unlocks the following features:

  • Track Specific Localities: Select countries, states, and other localities you want information on and receive notifications any time there’s an update to the drone rules there. When there is an update, DroneMate displays a notification with the complete updated drone laws, including links to any documents, forms, or registration materials needed.
  • Personalized Support: DroneMate Premium users will also get personalized support for any questions they have regarding specific drones laws, rules or regulations. Premium users are notified of responses by a DroneMate administrator to their questions in the comments section. Premium users can ask about specific rules, drone hardware, or travel experiences with a drone in a given locality.
  • Automatic Notifications: DroneMate Premium users will get a notification of whether they can fly their drone, need registration, or other restrictions on drone use upon arrival at your destination. The complete drone laws, including links to any documents, forms, or registration materials needed will be displayed and it works completely offline!

All of the Premium enhancements come with all of the regular DroneMate features including the built-in traveler network, specific drone requirements, and of course, offline mode!

dronemate     wifox ios app store     wifox google play android
How To Get DroneMate Premium FREE

DroneMate Premium is an upgrade you can select from within the DroneMate app. It’s a yearly subscription you can try 30 days for free and connect with other drone pilots, just in time for your next trip!

Of course if you have any questions about DroneMate you can send me a message here. Have a safe and legal flight!

How To Get To Caye Caulker From Belize City

Caye Caulker is an idyllic island paradise off the coast of Belize City, Belize. It’s only 35 kilometers (~21 miles) away but it can be confusing to find out the best ways to get to Caye Caulker from Belize City. Fortunately, there are multiple options on getting there for various budgets and personal preference.

Water Taxi

There are two water taxi options: Ocean Ferry and San Pedro Belize Express taking off from two small ports in town. To get to either port you can either grab a taxi from the airport (it should cost roughly $25-30USD) but be aware that official taxis have green license plates. Otherwise they look a lot like every other car. Secondly, you can arrange a shuttle in a private car using Viator, which ends up being cheaper (~$16) and more convenient. You just need to book it in advance.

caye caulker beach

  • Ocean Ferry: Takes off every 90 minutes or so throughout the day but as it is with either ferry, if you’re arriving to Belize City after around 5pm, you’ll have to book a hotel in the city and wait for the morning ferries. Ocean Ferry runs large semi-covered speedboats. They’re not the most comfortable but the least expensive of the two ferries and if you like the feeling of wind in your hair, it’s a good choice.
  • San Pedro Belize Express: These are larger, covered boats that run every hour. Belize Express also has multiple boats so it’s less likely they’ll be too full for passengers as they can run a second one if needed.

Both ferries are roughly the same price (about $20 one-way or a discounted $37 for round trip) and take about 45 minutes. You’ll be able to keep your hand luggage and backpacks but larger suitcases are checked-in at the port and stowed away separately.

By Air

Roughly $200 for a one way to Caye Caulker from Belize City, you may prefer taking a flight if your arrival time into Belize doesn’t match with the ferry schedules. Flying is faster and the only additional step is to go from the international to the domestic terminal. As is usually the case, going by air is more expensive than by boat.

Flip It And Reverse It

Going back to Belize City from Caye Caulker, it’s basically the same process in reverse. The ferry docks in Caulker are not far from anything (nothing – not even the airport is far away on this 8km long island) and you can arrange the same car ride back to the airport from the port in Belize City. (It’s easier than getting a taxi there.) Tanned and relaxed one hopes, the departure is the hardest part so some just buy their own islands nearby.

Airtags vs. Tile: What’s The Better Bluetooth Tracker?

Tracking your lost luggage for finding house keys you’ve misplaced is made a lot easier with Bluetooth trackers. These small, electronic homing beacons let you locate items in your home or far-flung locations through their smartphone apps. Until recently, Tile was the biggest Bluetooth tracking network. Now that Apple has joined the market with Airtags, which one is better and for who?

Comparing Trackers

At their core, both Tile and Airtags work to accomplish the same goal: help you find lost things. They also work in similar ways, via Bluetooth and by leveraging their user networks. Right now, in both regards Apple has an advantage.

Let’s look at the two problems trackers attempt to solve. The first is finding things that go missing locally, like around your house. These aren’t so much lost items but more misplaced ones. Chances are they’re going to be in one of a few usual places or at least within the walls of your home. Both Tile and Airtags have chimes you initiate through their respective apps and using those beeping tones, lead you to the tracker.

apple airtags

Airtags though use ultra-wideband (UWB) technology which is more precise in close range. Tile is rumored to be working on a UWB version of its trackers this year but for now, you’ll have to rely on the chimes. In other words, Tile can tell you lost keys are in your house but not show you where exactly.

Stitched Through Networks

Now when things gets really lost, like blocks or across a city (or further) the Bluetooth signal on your phone (about 10 meters of range) isn’t going to do you much good. In these cases, what Tile and Apple do is leverage everyone else’s Bluetooth connection to geo-locate a tracker marked as missing.

With Tile, you have to be using their app. With Apple, if you’ve got an iPhone, you’re already part of their network. In both cases as you walk by (within Bluetooth range) a tracker marked as missing, your phone sends back an anonymous, encrypted location of that tracker back to Tile or Apple. The person walking by has no idea this happened but you will get to see a location of the missing tracker on a map.

What Recovery Is Like

Once you’ve got a location you can retrieve the tracker (and lost items it’s hopefully still connected to). Getting that location in the first place though as you may have guessed, comes down to the size of the network. Tile says they’ve got 26 million users (potential people running their app who might happen to walk near a lost tracker).

Worldwide however, there are a billion iPhone users, according to Apple. A network of users 42 times the size of Tile is a major advantage, as is the use of UWB. Tile for their part does make trackers in different shapes (some flatter, better for wallets) but otherwise lose out to Apple’s massive user-base advantage for most people.

You Can’t See The Curve Of The Earth From Your Airplane Seat (Mostly)

We know the Earth is definitely round but the view from your airplane seat at cruising altitude isn’t good proof of it. Using math from the 4th century B.C., the ancient Greeks were able measure the curve of Earth at sea level. Taking those same formulas, it turns out most commercial jets aren’t flying as high respective to the size of the earth as it seems.

You’ve probably seen a curved horizon at 10,000 meters during a flight but as you can see in the video above, it’s not what you think.

How NFTs Could Change Travel

Everydays: The First 5000 Days

The digital photo above sold for $69.3 million dollars. It’s called Everydays: The First 5000 Days by the artist Beeple and although the digital art was auctioned off at Christie’s, you can see I was able to easily copy and paste it above. That does not mean though I’m the owner of the NFT, a concept that may revolutionize how we travel.

What Are NFTs

NFT stands for non-fungible token, in other words something that is unique and can’t be duplicated. NFTs are in a sense akin to rare baseball cards like a 1952 Mickey Mantle that sold for 5.2 million USD. A baseball card is something tangible however, you can hold it in your hands, you buy it and it’s yours. With NFTs the digital file like the image aboven can still be copied like any other file except the NFT, like a public certificate of authenticity, belongs only to one individual.

To get more detailed: the only way to own an NFT is to buy it through a transaction that’s recorded on the blockchain. Blockchain is a way of publicly documented translations. The person who bought Beeple’s artwork above has a public record of that transaction. You can listen to a more thorough explanation of NFTs on the foXnoMad Podcast but your two main takeaways should be: NFTs establish authenticity and chain of ownership.

Wild West Of NFT Trading

Imagine your favorite musician minting songs from their new albums to sell as NFTs. Everyone can still listen to the music but only one person will own the NFT. Think of it as sort of an autograph: you can get the album anywhere but there’s only one Britney Spears signed limited edition.

listening to music

The same concept can be applied to a driver’s license or passport. Fakes are possible but when you check the authenticity of the document against the records of the government who issued them, the frauds become evident. Right now, NFTs are making headlines with high price sales of NBA video clips selling for $240,000 and the grumpy cat meme selling for $83,000.

So why would anyone want to buy one? Well, NFTs have made it possible for specific digital assets to be rare – a rarity people are so far, willing to pay for. The market for NFTs is a rapidly evolving on sure to make even more expensive headlines but aside from the art trade, it has implications for travelers.

True Digital Passports?

Given how digital everything is these days, it does seem a bit odd to carry around a paper book you get stamped when entering a new country. Of course those paper passports are authenticated through centralized computer systems but NFTs could solve that middleman process. Being one of a kind authenticated digital assets that are publicly documented could mean an eventual end to paper passports.

An NFT-based passport and visas would be much, much more difficult to forge and if you lose the device containing your NFT passport, regenerating one through a digital portal is a lot faster than today’s snail mail methods. Of course, how this will all look (an app on your phone?) isn’t clear since it’s the very early days of NFT popularity. The reach into the travel industry for NFTs though is wide from everything to plane and event tickets to yes, maybe your passport too.

5 Ways To Use Frequent Flyer Miles (Other Than Flying)

air force one replica

You might not be flying as much lately – global pandemic or otherwise – but your accumulated frequent flyer miles don’t have to go to waste. Although many airlines have extended frequent flyer programs so your miles won’t expire any time soon, you can put the miles you have now to good use.

Here are 5 ways to use your frequent flyer miles for everything that’s not a flight.

1. Shopping

Most airlines have online malls with a number of retailers including Apple and Best Buy. You’ll find these online malls through the airline mileage website and can use any miles you have for discounts or to purchase items outright. Additionally if you’re using a credit card with mile perks, they most likely will have an online store as well.

sydney australia mall

2. Take A Road Trip

Frequent flyer miles can be used for car rentals or hotels so don’t limit yourself to the sky. As a general rule you’ll get more bang for your mile using points in the travel industry as opposed to a new iPad (see point 1 above).

3. Convert To Cash

You can trade in frequent flyer miles for cash, especially if they’re accumulated through a credit card. NerdWallet breaks down Marriott’s award program (.3 cents per point) but according to Alex Miller, the CEO of Upgraded Points, you want to aim for conversions of a cent per mile.

trove wallet

4. Donate

You’re a good person, I’m sure but just so you know, unless you bought your frequent flyer miles donating them won’t be a tax deduction in most cases. You can though donate your miles, in case you didn’t know that. (Works for random currency you’ve accumulated traveling too.) There are a number of good causes most mileage programs have partnered with and your miles can help others escape political violence or make ends meet (by converting miles to cash).

sunset flight

5. Give To Friends And Family

There’s often a fee to transfer miles to another account (if you’re married though maybe not so contact the airline) but for those people who need to fly, your miles might help them get what they need for a free flight. Like many of the points already mentioned, the best way is through the airline’s online mileage program site, then call to see what better options they might offer you.

While You Wait

Most people haven’t checked up on the miles they have recently or when they might be expiring. If that sounds like you, check your frequent flyer miles right now to make sure they aren’t (or haven’t) vanished. Contact the airlines to see what extension plans are in effect since when travel does resume, you’re likely to get some great deals with the miles you have. So, unless you have a good reason not to, it’s best to stash your miles until you’re ready for sky time since they can protect you from flight cancellations as well.

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About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutHi, I'm Anil. foXnoMad is where I combine travel and tech to help you travel smarter. I'm on a journey to every country in the world and you're invited to join the adventure! Read More

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