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Best summer tech for traveling to the Rio Olympics 2016

If you’re heading out to the Summer Rio Olympics 2016 games this year, you might want to pack your bag with some of the gadgets on this list.

Rio Olymp

If you’re heading out to the Summer Rio Olympics 2016 games this year, you might want to pack your bag with some of the gadgets on this list.

The Rio Olympics are nearly here (August 5-21, in case you didn’t know), which means athletes, friends and family, and spectators alike are starting to prepare for their trip to the southern hemisphere.

If you happen to be one of the lucky few with tickets to the Olympics this year, this list of tech gadgets is for you! With these tech accessories at your side, traveling to Rio, getting around, and keeping yourself occupied in your hotel room will be a breeze!



If you’re traveling to Rio de Janeiro this summer, you’re going to want to stay connected. But smartphones are becoming more and more obtrusive. Yes, they connect us to family, friends, and the world around us, but at what cost? It seems that everywhere you look, people are looking at their phones rather than the world around them.

A smartwatch, like the Moto 360 or Apple Watch, lets you stay connected while still remaining unobtrusive. You can actually live in the moment for once! And if you’re worried about data and roaming fees, don’t be; wireless carriers such as T-Mobile are offering free data and service for customers who travel to Rio for the Olympics. It’s a win-win!


Protect your tech! Pack a bikini and a bkeeni for this trip. For the iPhone users out there, bkeeni is the first-ever, two-piece phone case that you can mix and match – just like your favorite bikinis! This case is for people who want to protect their device, but don’t like the big, bulky cases that make it hard to slide in and out of pockets or small handbags.

Don’t be fooled by the small case, as this bkeeni packs some big protection. Check out this video of iPhones being dropped and thrown from more than 5 feet up. Currently offered in 4 colors, check out for more information.

VR Goggles

Gear VR

You may be wondering why you would want to take virtual reality goggles to the Olympics. And the answer is: the 10-hour flight to and from Rio de Janeiro! Brazil is a very large country in an even larger continent next to two even larger oceans. Needless to say, if you’re traveling from anywhere in the northern hemisphere or outside of South America, you are going to be spending a significant amount of time on an airplane to and fro.

Why not relax and enjoy yourself? VR goggles like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Samsung Gear VR provide an immersive experience that is not only engaging and enjoyable, but the perfect means to cut out the distractions around you (like the person next to you snoring).

Wearable Charger

If you do use your smartphone while in Rio, it pays to have a backup energy reserve in waiting, particularly if you’re using it for navigation or communication purposes. But your charger is going to be locked away in your hotel room or vacation rental. So what’s the solution? A wearable charger, like the stylish Qbracelet for iPhones.

Wearable chargers store an electrical charge within a built-in battery which you can use to charge your smartphone should it run low. In many instances, these wearable chargers can bring a phone from zero up to 50 percent charge, giving you much-needed power to text your friend, find your way back to the hotel, or call up a driver with your favorite ride-sharing app. And they’re inconspicuous, too.

Sunscreen Tracker

Rio de Janeiro gets a lot of sun, even in its winter months (and yes, August is a winter month south of the equator). To avoid sunburn and skin damage, it is important that you wear plenty of sunscreen. Keep a bottle in your purse or backpack at all times, and reapply often if you want to avoid a painful burn that will likely last the duration of your vacation. But when should you reapply? And how can you be sure you won’t simply forget?

Well, sunscreen trackers like Ultra Violet keep track of the sun for you, and warn you when it’s time to reapply. The Violet Plus can be clipped on the clothes or worn around the wrist, and gently vibrates to alert you that it’s time to put on more lotion.

Fitness Tracker

Gear Fit 2
Image: CNET

Is there a more appropriate venue for a fitness tracker than the Olympics? After all, if the Olympics don’t spur you to live a more active lifestyle, then perhaps nothing will! Use the Olympics as an opportunity to start monitoring your physical fitness. The odds are good that even with taxi cabs and Rio’s expanding subway system, you are going to be doing a lot of walking. Or perhaps you’ll hike to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, or play beach volleyball on Ipanema beach.

Whichever fitness tracker you choose – be it a Samsung Gear Fit2, Fitbit, Garmin, or Misfit – be sure to use it daily throughout your visit. Not only will you feel good about your progress, but it can set a precedent worth following when you get home.

Compact Digital Camera

digital camera

The Olympics is one of those events where your camera phone simply ins’t going to cut it. If you want memories that are going to last, invest in a real camera. You’ll thank us 10 years from now when you can look back on your photos and not be embarrassed by their graininess or lack of color. But what kind of camera should you get? Though you may be tempted, it’s probably not a good idea to bring a DSLR to Rio. Not only are they heavy and cumbersome, but they draw a lot of attention as well, which makes them at greater risk for theft. No, stick with a compact digital camera.

There are a lot of options to choose from these days. If you’re a camera novice, stick with a dedicated point-and-shoot; if you enjoy photography as a hobby, consider a mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses.

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Midwest girl, freelance writer/editor at UpwardOnward who doesn't mind getting a little dirt & grease under her perfectly manicured fingernails on occasion.

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