Category: Tech

The Best Travel Case For The DJI Mavic Pro Drone Is A Toiletry Kit

The DJI Mavic Pro drone is ideal for travelers because it’s extremely portable with folding arms that covert it into the compact size of a liter water bottle at its smallest. Unfortunately though, nearly every case made for the Mavic is bulky at best, taking away the Mavic’s main advantage for travel. The Mavic Pro is one of the tech gear I travel with and after testing numerous cases, found the SwissGear Hanging Toiletry Kit to be the best soft case for Mavic.

swissgear hanging toiletry kit  SwissGear Hanging Toiletry Kit – Black

buy from amazon

You can see in my full review why the the SwissGear Hanging Toiletry Kit might be the ideal case for your Mavic, in the video above.

The Best Wireless Sport Headphones For Under $100: NuForce BE Sport3 Review

There’s a niche between high-end Bluetooth wireless sport headphones well over $100 and the ultra budget variety, less than $30. The NuForce BE Sport3 fills the void by taking the best of both ends, here’s why they might be the ideal wireless headphones for you, especially if you exercise frequently when traveling.

nuforce be sport3

The BE Sport3 earbuds weigh 13 grams (.45 ounces) and pair over Bluetooth with your phone. They also come with a small carry case plus a variety of colors of wingtips, which help keep the BE Sport3 in your ear during exercise, particularly running. The BE Sport3 aren’t as small as the higher end sport headphones, but fit very comfortably for a set of earbuds in the $80 range. Cheaper Bluetooth headphones tend to be bulkier, cutting costs in the physical design, so running on pavement or on hiking trails tends to be a problem with them after you get sweaty.

nuforce optoma be sport3  Optoma NuForce BESPORT3 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

buy from amazon

Speaking of sweat, the BE Sport3 are IP55 rated, meaning they are highly water and dust resistant. The Sport3 also have about 10 hours of battery life on paper, surprisingly in my tests I was able to get this much out of them as well. It takes about 50 minutes to charge completely (over a micro-USB port in the remote controller of the earbud wire).


That remote controller is on the right side of the earbud cable and one of two small issues I have with the BE Sport3. The weight of the remote on the right side means it’s the right side that tends to fall out of your ear on occasion. But, let me be clear, these are the best wireless headphones I’ve used when running in terms of comfort and ear placement. In my opinion, for sport headphones, especially wireless ones, staying in your ear is the most important feature.

nuforce optoma be sport3

Sound quality is good but tends to highlight mid-tones, so you don’t get a lot of bass or treble. NuForce probably keeps the price down by not developing an app to go with the earbuds, meaning you can’t make any audio adjustments. Otherwise, the pairing is solid, never choppy during my use, and the Sport3 do provide good seal from outside noise.

Is The BE Sport3 For You?

The NuForce BE Sport3 are excellent earbuds for runners. For the best audio quality, particularly on flights, you’re better off looking at the Bose QuietComfort, but they’re wired, for walking, and triple the price. On the lower end, a pair of TaoTronics for $20 will serve you decently, though have trouble staying put during heavy exercise.

As you can see in my full review video at the top of this post, the BE Sport3 often though go on sale (I post those here daily) for $50 or $60, and at those prices with this quality, you shouldn’t be looking at any other wireless sport headphones.

All The Tech Gear And Gadgets I Travel With (And Why): Sept. 2017 Update

foxnomad travel tech guide

The electronics I travel with allow me to run a business (not to mention have a lot of fun while doing it) from anywhere in the world. Being so mobile though means the gadgets I carry have to be portable, powerful, plus durable. Reliability is also important which is why I often use electronics that are one, if not more, model behind the latest version.

Frequent travelers often have to make some compromises with their technology, sometimes exchanging power for reliability, plus at the same keeping in mind that shiny scuffs fast and gravity loves to show off on hard airport floors. When I am in one place long enough, I use and test a lot of products sent to me and out of pocket, to find the travel-tech-sweet-spot for common gear so you don’t have to.

Here’s a look at all the electronics that have made it into my backpack in the photo above that yes, all fit into one ScanSmart 1900 carry-on bag.

Laptop: Macbook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015): 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7; 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 memory; 500GB SSD; AMD Radeon R9 M370X

macbook pro mid 2015

Main Video Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G85 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds

panasonic g85

As I mention in the video above, the main weakness of the point and shoot Lumix I carry, is the video quality. For the price, the Panasonic Lumix G85 is the best 4K camera (that records without time limits as many 4K cameras have) in a mirror-less body that’s smaller than a standard DSLR.

Point And Shoot Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS45 [Here’s my full review.]

lumix dmc-zs45

  • Recommended SD Card: 32GB SanDisk SDHC
  • Case: No link for the case, just a cheap one I grabbed at a shop somewhere.

Tripod: Joby GorillaPod Focus with Joby Ballhead

joby gorillapod

On top of the Lumix G85, I’m using a Rode VideoMicro for recording audio and an Aputure AL-M9 Amaran LED Light when needed. When I need to use both at the same time, the Movo Photo HVA20 Dual Shoe Bracket does the job well.

Headphones: Bose QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones [My full review.]

bose 20i headphones

Phone (Daily Driver): iPhone 6s (64 GB)/Space Grey

iphone 6s 64 gb space grey

I also travel with a Nexus 5X, primarily because it’s stock Android and gets updates from Google before most other phones, making it ideal for testing development versions of my WiFox and DroneMate apps. Speaking of app development, I also carry an iPhone 5s, 5, and 4s, all for app testing.

Drone: DJI Mavic Pro

dji mavic pro

Backpack: SwissGear 1900 Scansmart Laptop Bag

swissgear smartscan 1900 laptop bag

Cable Organizer: Cocoon Grid-It 10.5 x 7.5-Inch Organizer

cocoon grid-it

  • This is a major time-saver when going through airport security because you can pull out all of your cords and adapters at once. I’ve also noticed having cables organized like this means less time waiting for additional bags checks at security – a clump of cables often means re-scanning your backpack.

Portable Batteries: PowerStick+ (2300 mAh) PowerTrip (6000 mAh).

powertrip powerstick

These batteries have a standby time of up to a year so you’re much less likely to be on a train and realize your batteries died on the road. Read my full review here.

Connectors, Converters, And Other Accessories

For reading books or when I need a larger, mobile screen in general, I use a 64 GB iPad Air 2 protected by an Apple Smart Case.

You can see from the progression of the gadgets in my backpack from 2012, earlier this year, to now, that the larger electronic purchases are usually one or two off from the latest version. The longer a product is on the market the more time there is to see how well it was or wasn’t designed *cough, 2016 Macbook Pro* but being just behind the newest version means specs are still quite good. Most often, there aren’t major jumps in improvement between a version or two of phone or laptop these days.

Also, the cases I use are also more adapted to protecting electronics when they’re in a backpack, not from falls when they’re out and in use. This means I’m generally using sleeves and prefer a good fit (even from improvised cases like the lens case for the Mavic controller or SwissGear toiletry kits) than cases specifically designed for a given product.

When traveling, the best technology is often potent, portable, but not precious enough that your travel budget (or mental state) can’t handle a loss from damage or theft that might require a replacement. What are some of the electronics or gadgets you travel with and would recommend? I would be very interested to hear so let me know in the comments below!

Double Your Macbook Storage: A Review Of The Coin-Sized TarDisk Expansion Card

tardisk storage

The amount of storage space on your laptop is something most people think about twice: when first purchasing a machine and after warnings start popping up that your storage is nearly full. Frequent travelers often need larger storage capacity for their laptops while at the same time trying to minimize the amount of bulk in their backpacks. The TarDisk storage expansion card is designed to expand your laptop’s hard drive space in the absolute smallest form factor possible.

What The TarDisk Is And Isn’t

The TarDisk is a piece of technology that’s evolved into a very, very specific niche. TarDisk come in two versions, 128 and 256 gigabytes (GB), both of which are only designed to work with either the Macbook Air or Pro line. (A TarDisk needs to be specifically ordered for your particular Macbook Air or Pro model.) About half the size of an SD card, the TarDisk fits right into a Macbook’s SD card reader, giving you 128 or 256GBs of additional storage.

tardiskTarDisk 256GB Storage Expansion Card for MacBook Pro 15″

buy from amazon

Small But Integrated

Clearly, one of the main advantages of a TarDisk is its size. Traditional portable hard drives for travelers, a primary option for getting more space on your laptop, are bulky. Portable hard disk drives (HDD) are also a lot more vulnerable to damage, depending on whether or not you’re willing to shell out some extra cash for a solid-state drive (SSD). Durability, speed, and ease are all problems the TarDisk tries to solve, with varying success.

tardisk 128gb

The TarDisk is small, as you can see from the photos and video above, tiny by any standards, especially when compared to a portable hard drive. Though this tiny size does come with some big limitations, mainly in terms of storage space. Most portable hard disk and solid state drives give you an additional 500GB to several terabytes (TB) of additional storage space.

A Seagate Backup Plus, about the size of a pack of playing cards, is 4TB at less than half the cost of a TarDisk. You’re saving money to give up durability, speed, and size for an external HDD. SSDs like the Samsung T5 with double the storage capacity of a TarDisk are aren’t quite as fast but nearly as durable, though still an added accessory with cable to carry around. Compared to a typical Macbook Pro however, a TarDisk is going to double your storage capacity.

You might be thinking you could simply swap out a few TarDisk to compensate for the size restriction but one advantage of the TarDisk has a downside. By modifying your Macbook’s (MacOS 10.12, OSX 10.11, and 10.10) operating system configuration, a TarDisk integrates with your existing storage drive. In other words, once you run the TarDisk software, it becomes a part of your Macintosh HD.

Convenience For Some

Before installing a TarDisk using their ‘Pearing’ software, you’ll need to do some prep. A Time Machine backup is required and if your laptop’s drive is encrypted, you’ll need to turn off FileVault. (Both processes can take a few hours.) Once the Pearing software has done its job, the you’ll notice your disk space is now 128 or 256GB bigger. No need to worry about ejecting an added disk or trying to remember where a file is stored.

tardisk pearing

Being integrated like this means you won’t be able to pop the TarDisk out of your SD card slot without going through the entire Pearing process in reverse. Doing so can make your entire laptop inoperable so know what you’re getting into first. Despite the drawbacks, the TarDisk is small, only steals an SD card slot (which you can replace with a HooToo or Satechi adapter), and is faster than most external drive options.

The TarDisk probably isn’t for people already traveling with a large capactity external hard drive or two because in most cases, those are travelers who are prepared to fill up a lot of disk space with high resolution photos and videos. But for business travelers or those of you whose disk space on a Macbook Pro or Air slowly arrived at critical, the TarDisk can conveniently expand your storage.

DroneMate App Has All The Current Rules For Traveling With And Flying Your Drone Worldwide

dronemate app

DroneMate is an app I created that shows you the international rules for flying a drone in every country in the world. Available for iOS and Android, the DroneMate map is updated regularly from official sources, to make sure the information is as current and accurate as possible. DroneMate also includes U.S. state laws as well as the specific rules for various tourist sites around the world so you fly your drone without breaking any rules.

dronemate  wifox ios app store     wifox google play android
Why I Created DroneMate

Earlier this year I bought a drone small enough to comfortably travel with, but quickly realized finding out the rules, regulations, and laws to abide by internationally were difficult. There’s a lot of online hearsay, misinformation, and people who tell you convincingly what the local recreational drone laws are but are often (very often) wrong. Filming with a drone might seem innocuous but flying a small aircraft and breaking the rules, even unknowingly, can get you in a lot of trouble.

I created DroneMate to make all the recreational drone laws around the world accessible in one place, on your phone or tablet, so you can fly and film legally. Also, several countries, even those popular with tourists, outright ban the import of drones. DroneMate can help you plan before a trip, letting you know whether or not to leave your drone at home.

The recreational drone use rules around the world change frequently, which is why DroneMate is updated continuously.

DroneMate Features

It took me months of research to compile the proper contact information of official sources in every country to get the data for DroneMate. Still, anecdotally, many people’s experiences differ in some countries, where the rules aren’t enforced, or enforced incorrectly. DroneMate has a comment system where users can leave their experiences to share with other travelers and ask questions.

  • User-Rated Comment System – DroneMate lets users rate comments so the most useful ones are shown on top.
  • Check Rules At A Glance – The app categorizes national drone laws into one of four categories/icons (allowed, limited, restricted, no data/legislation) making it easy for you to quickly get an idea of what to expect. The details view lists all the applicable rules, registration forms, penalties for violations, plus comments from other drone operators.
  • Available Offline – The map is available offline so you don’t need an Internet connection to use DroneMate when you’re traveling. You can view the free, basic version of the map online here.
  • Specific Drone Information – Find out if your particular drone falls under the weight requirements of a given regulation.

DroneMate only covers recreational, not commercial, drone use and ultimately you’re responsible for knowing and following the right rules. The goal of DroneMate is to put the proper drone rules in one place, provide you with the appropriate contacts if registration is required, and save you from the hassle of drone confiscation or problems at customs around the world.

Available For iOS And Android Now

You can download DroneMate from the App Store for iPhone and iPad for $4.99. There are no ads or in-app purchases in DroneMate and you get a lifetime of free drone regulation updates, access to all the comments, additional information, as well as offline use for your travels. DroneMate is also available for Android devices here for the same price, with the same features, for $4.99. Purchasing DroneMate helps support me as I update the app, add features, provide speedy service, plus keep up with drone legislation to ensure DroneMate’s as useful as possible.

dronemate  wifox ios app store     wifox google play android
I appreciate your support, as well as feedback or feature requests – also if you’re happy with DroneMate, your 5 star reviews on Google Play or the App Store!

This Map Shows You The Drone Laws For Every Country In The World (Updated Regularly)

drone sofia bulgaria

This map is now available in app form! DroneMate is available on the App Store and Google Play.

wifox ios app store     wifox google play android
Many travelers buy a drone to shoot videos of the places they’ll be visiting but when you’re crossing international borders, not being aware of the local laws can cost you fines, hassle, the loss of your drone, or worse. Some countries, even those very popular with tourists, prohibit unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs e.g. drones) from being imported at all.

Many travelers have been caught off guard at customs and having traveled around the world with my drone, can say the rules are often confusing. A big part of this is due to a lot of hearsay and misinformation floating around online, so I got in touch with the appropriate governing bodies in every country in the world to put together this map of official laws for recreational droning worldwide.

  • Last update: November 20, 2017

You can also bookmark the map or this page to keep up with any future updates.

The map is updated regularly and only applies to recreational drone use – commercial drone use requires a permit in practically any country you can think of. I’ve also included links to registration forms and any other relevant contact information you may need before you fly your drone in a given country.

U.S. States And Special Circumstances

Several U.S. states have additional (to the Federal Aviation Administration; FAA) rules governing drone use, those have been included in the map above as well. Additionally, some specific tourist sites, parks, and other areas have their own rules concerning drone use, those have been noted as well.

Help Me Clear The Grey Areas

I’ve tried to organize the map into four main categories:

  • Green: Drone use is generally allowed.
  • Yellow: Drone use is limited or may require cumbersome registration processes.
  • Red: Drone import or use is prohibited or otherwise heavily restricted.
  • Grey: No data or there are no defined or applicable UAV laws.

Of course, not all drone regulations fit neatly into these categories so please feel free to comment if you have any questions – and in many countries, the law may say one thing, but travelers experience another. I hope that you’ll help add to this map by commenting about your experiences below. Lastly, although I’ve done my best to get the most accurate information but it’s informational and ultimately it’s your responsibility to know the rules and not get in trouble. I hope this map helps serve as a valuable guide as you travel with your drone around the world!


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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