Great items to take when travelling

Great items to take when travelling

Travelling is one of the greatest things that we can do. It broadens the mind, exposes us to a wonderful variety of cultures and is one of the best ways to really feel alive.

However, many of us will have experienced that occasional travel hiccup that can make us question why we ever left our homes. So with the summer holidays in the not-so-distant future, here are a few handy items to take with you to ensure a smooth voyage!

For the flight

Although flying is the quickest and easiest way to get to those far flung locations, it’s also becoming a bit of a chore with ever-increasing security checks and baggage limitations.

So why not invest in a compact electronic luggage scale that can accurately weigh your luggage. They’re so handy to have if you like to pick up a few mementos on your travels, and will avoid that horrendous overweight baggage fee on your return trip.

Lost luggage is something that most of us have faced. So eliminate that fear with the Trace Me Luggage Trackers that use barcode technology that links your luggage to a central database ensuring your bags will never completely vanish!

At the hotel

And likewise, we’ve all checked into a hotel that redefines the word ‘basic’. Whilst many of us will not exactly be expecting a comfortable luxury mattress, there are still a few ways that we can ensure some sleep.

Many firms offer deluxe travel pillows that are nicely compact and will offer you all of the sleep support you require, even if the rest of the bed doesn’t!

And the bewildering array of gadgets that we require to travel can lead to a headache when trying to keep everything charged in hotel rooms that frequently only offer a couple of sockets. This is where the roll up travel charger from Restoration Hardware steps in by offering the ability to charge four devices from one socket.

If you find yourself trying to sleep in a particularly noisy area, then having a compact Bluetooth speaker in your room playing soft, continuous music can also mask many noises.

In the bag

Being a frequent traveller will also require you to develop highly efficient packing skills. So why not get a little extra help with a self-sealing dry bag that ensures that the rest of your clothes don’t have to risk becoming waterlogged by a soggy pair or socks.

And if you’ve got a particular fear of getting soaked, then check out the a micro umbrella courtesy of Genius Pack that can be packed down into a mere six inches of height!

Solar power travel gear reviews

One thing I seek as a Nomad is the sunshine, and with sunshine comes energy, limitless energy.

I sit at home now with my Powermonkey solar cell sitting in my window charging up my mobile device, cool eh! It’s actually charging it pretty fast too!

Oh how I wish such portable energy sources were available back in 2005.

The Powermonkey explorer was actually a birthday present from a great group of friends of mine, who obviously know me pretty well. The other part of the Powermonkey is the main charger that is a small unti with a tail (lead) that can store about enough power to charge an iphone 3 times.

The main unit can be charged by solar or from mains electricity. Charging it up by solar does take a lot longer but that’s to be expected with such a small solar cell.

The great thing is that the solar cell is easily attachable to your backpack and you could run a small cable into one of the pockets where your mobile phone or charger is. I am planning on doing the Camino Frances in Spain during late August and the solar cell will be providing my camera and phone with energy direct from the Spanish sun!

If you would like more details and where to buy the powermonkey then check out the link below.

PowerTraveller Explorer Solar Power Charger Device 

Technology is making a Nomad’s life a joy

The backpack that I now pack for trips looks very different to the one I packed back in 2005. It also contains a lot more technology than it ever did as well as more expensive items for which good insurance is now an absolute must!

Things have certainly moved on. I no longer have to hunt around for wifi hotspots and internet cafes or carry flash drives to tranfer data from laptop to web.

As I sit here now I am connected to the web via my mobile phone which is acting as a wifi hotspot using my 3G mobile account.

I have visited a number of countries this year, such as Thailand, Indonesia, Spain etc and managed to buy a 3G simcard on a prepay basis allowing me to use the web on the move.

So things have certainly moved on.

More technology has also meant I can travel much lighter these days. The best example of this is the Kindle ebook reader which has been on the best gadgets I have ever owned. So instead of having to carry around numerous books to read and lonely planet giuides to refer to I instead have one kindle!

My next trip I will be trying out a rather cool birthday present that was bought me, a powermonkey for storing power as well as a small solar panel. This is expecially useful for multi day hiking meaning I can recharge ipods, smart phones, kindles etc

So being nomadic now and being able to stay online has never been easier and I can’t see that trend ever reversing!


I apologise for disabling blog comments on this site, but I am getting hundred of spam comments everyday and don’t have the time or inclination to go through them all!

Five ways to get your site back after a google penalty

One year ago one of my best perfoming websites took a hit from Google, meaning that it once featured on page one for some nice keywords and then suddenly no more. Some kind of penalty hit (I think because someone hacked into blog and added Pharma links!) and the site was gone, even when you entered the exact domain in google.

So I could have abandoned this site but it only costs around $10 a year to keep the domain name registered and much less than that to host on a ‘no limit’ hosting package.

I didn’t abandon and I am happy to say that the site is alive again and is creeping back to it’s former glory. The money generated from the site in the last few days has already more than covered the costs of hositng, domain and my time keeping it updated.

Here are five things you should do to help get your site back after a penalty.

1. The number one recovery strategy from any Google penalty is to  familiarise yourself with Google Webmaster Guidelines and then act upon them. Look and see if your site is following the guidelines and remember the golden rule of making a website for the human visitor, not the google bot!

2. Check for duplicate content around your site and most importantly do a search to see if anyone is stealing your content. If you find someone has copied you then put a complaint into google and email the site owner threatening to do this.

3. Now check to see if Google has blacklisted your site as unsafe for browsing. Go to with the domain you suspect is being penalised.

4. Correct the problem and then apply to be re-included in the Google index by submitting a re-inclusion request from your Webmaster Tools account (you should all have a webmaster tools account).

5. Now the important bit, you should keep your site going, even if it involves a fair bit of work to keep it updated. Do not let it sit and rot! Keep applying it with good content that can attract links, all the usual stuff.

If you follow this then there is no reason why your site shouldn’t claw back it’s rankings. It has happened to me more than once and I have always managed to get the site back into google. Never give up!

Research those keywords

Reading a couple of posts in the forums recently about people not researching keywords really got me thinking. There are many ways to make money on the internet. Some people create websites about their hobby or whatever they are most passionate about. Other people use keyword research to try and find niches that get a large search volume, but there are few competing websites and then they monetize that search traffic with affiliate programs or info products.

Both methods can work, and one way is not necessarily better than the other. The two methods do not necessarily have to be mutually exclusive. Say for example you are interesting in making a site about “surfing in bali”. Your keyword research shows lots of people interested in this topic and you find the niche has lots of competition. You go through the long tail search phrases and you find “bali surfing tours” has a significant number of searches, but has very few websites that compete for this phrase.

If you can find a suitable affiliate program that sells surfing tours in Bali, you could have found a great niche to make a website on. Of course there are other ways you could monetize your site.

My point is, just because you are making a site about something you interested in, it doesn’t mean you should ignore doing keyword research.

Keep hold of your old websites and don’t neglect them!

I gave some advice some time ago about dumping a site after a few months if it was not performing and not bothering with re-registering the domain name. Move on I said!

However I have change my mind. Most domain names cost just a few dollars a year and the age of a site does seem to matter.

I have been running a site about the Great Wall of China for a few years and nearly sold it off last year as I never bothered updating it, the traffic was low and it made little money.

The site now has a number one ranking on Google for which quite a few people seem to type in!

I have done little to promote or get backlinks for this site yet it is still pulling in over 100 unique visitors a day, which is not too bad for a niche site thats rarely updated.

So is it the age of the site or the quality of the domain name / relevant country extension that is important here?

Either way it is hard to tell but there is two things to learn from this. The more websites you have the better and the age of the site seems to be significant in ranking so don’t neglect or let go of those early sites.

Google PR updates and things

HouseFirstly here is a picture of my new (used) car that I purchased from the Internet auction site trademe here in NZ and my house in the background.

Things are going pretty well and I have a couple of people helping me out now on a casual basis. It will be a while before I can see if it has all been worth getting extra help but the additional productivity has been a welcome boost. It has also helped me focus more.

There appears to have been a Google PR update. To be honest I have long lost interest in the value of PR. It appears to only add value if you are selling links which is something I no longer partake in!

I think WN has gone back up to PR5. The site appears to alternate between PR4 and 5 these days. Traffic on the site is up and steady though but ebook sales have virtually come to a halt since the CNN boost in August.

As for me I have wheels now and off later to look for a surfboard and wetty so I can get out in the ocean again. Summer seems to be here now so its all good!