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5 of the best health gadgets for travelers

Aug. 02, 2020
6 min read
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As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials’ guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare, whether it is next month or next year.

Whether you're interested in health apps and technology to get fit, to enhance your performance or you just want to keep tabs on your general well-being, there is something out there for everyone. For most people, a simple fitness tracker will do the job but there are many more health aspects you can track with the various technology and apps that are being developed.

You can use gadgetry to assist jet lag recovery by monitoring sleep performance, to keep an eye on your blood sugar so you can adapt your diet or simply to remind you to take a moment to breath properly on a long flight. Below are some of the best options out now.

1. The Oura Ring

(Image courtesy of Oura Ring)

What is it? It's a ring that you wear all the time that tracks your sleep, body temperature and heart rate. It syncs to an app on your phone to give you a better understanding of your health data and you can also set health goals. It reads your body temperature every minute and detects any activity and inactivity during the day.

Pros: It's one of the biggest health tech innovations out at the moment and does an incredible amount of work for such a little piece of jewelry. The tracking is very precise and gives accurate sleep stage tracking as well as telling you if you should be training or not. It also alerts you if you're being a little too lazy so might prompt you to go for a walk after a long-haul flight.

Cons: The price point isn't easy on the wallet and you have to wait four weeks to receive your ring. You will also need to get your ring size before ordering, which can be a chore. You may not like wearing rings or it may clash with other jewelry.

Price: Between $350 - $1,180

Where to buy: ouraring.com

2. Freestyle Libre

Image result for freestyle libre
(Image courtesy of Freestyle Libre)

What is it? Essentially it's a tool to track your blood sugar. It's designed for people with diabetes so that they can monitor their blood sugar levels by measuring the glucose concentration in interstitial fluid. You wear the patch on the back of your arm for 14 days straight. You can use it also to track your blood glucose response to certain foods.

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Pros: It's the first "wearable" tool that can track blood sugar. You can also use it to see what individual responses you get from specific foods. It's waterproof so there's no problem wearing it while enjoying a dip in the pool.

Cons: It can draw unwanted attention as you have to wear it on the back of your arm. The device is also often sold out.

Price: $75 for a patch lasting 14 days.

Where to buy: www.freestylelibre.com

3. Nima Sensor

(Photo courtesy of Nima Sensor)

What is it? A pocket "food detective" to see if your food contains either gluten or peanuts. You place a small sample of the food you want to test in a disposable capsule, then insert the capsule into the Nima sensor to run the test. In a few minutes it will indicate whether or not the presence of the ingredient you're trying to avoid was detected.

Pros: It's perfect for those worried about food contamination or if you're traveling and don't trust the food in a restaurant. In the light of recent food allergy scares, it's a must for those traveling with a nut or gluten allergy.

Cons: It's expensive to get the kit and keep testing your food as you have to keep buying packs of capsules. Stock can also be sparse.

Price: $233 for the sensor and $30 for a pack of six test capsules.

Where to buy: nimasensor.com

4. Heart Math

(Image courtesy of Heart Math)

What is it? A gadget for the stressed out individual who can't seem to just meditate by closing their eyes. You attach a clip to your ear and use an app on your phone to "turn your stress into resilience, to achieve higher levels of performance."

Pros: It works as a mini game to help you destress. You practice each day and it mimics meditation which has huge benefits on the mind and body. You can even take it with you on the plane and play when you need mind rest. It takes just five minutes three times per day to have an effect.

Cons: It's an expensive meditation tool and you may get the same effects by breathing in for five seconds and out slowly for five seconds.

Price: $208 for the sensor which connects to an app on your phone

Where to buy: www.heartmath.co.uk

5. Apple Watch Series 5

Image result for iwatch series 5
(Image courtesy of Apple)

What is it? A smartwatch that links to your phone and also tracks your health. It also helps you keep track of your heart rate, menstrual cycle and taps you if noise levels rise to a point that could impact your hearing.

Pros: It can keep track of your heart health whilst traveling as there is an ECG (electrocardiography) app that measures your heart rate. It also tracks noise so can tell you if the nonstop crying baby in 10A poses a risk to your hearing. There are apps to remind you to drink water, take a breath and even track food.

Cons: An expensive gadget and a newer model will be probably released in a year's time.

Price: From $399

Where to buy: www.apple.com

Bottom line

With all the developments emerging in health technology, now is the time to invest in a nifty gadget that can keep track of your well-being while traveling. There are options for all budgets, too.

Featured image by Getty Images/EyeEm

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TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more