Category Archives for "Technology"

Hip co-working work spaces in Paris that have everything you need and more

7 Hip Coworking Work Spaces In Paris Where You Can Get Some Serious Work Done

FB-Hip-Paris-CoWorking-Space

There are hundreds of coworking spaces in Paris but not all are created equal. Some are bare bones and depressing while others are hip, vibrant and offer additional amenities beyond basic WI-FI and printers. Those are the ones we care about. Whether you are a man or woman, artist or developer, ecologist, journalist, consultant or one-man startup, here are 7 collaborative workspaces with a little “je ne sais quoi”.

If you’re in Paris and need to find a place with WiFi where you can get a little work done, sometimes popping into a McDonald’s, Starbucks or similar will do.

The problem is those places are often loud, crowded, distracting- not a very peaceful or conducive environment to get some serious work done. If you need privacy, access to a printer, phones or other things usually available in an office, public places like McDonald’s or Starbucks just won’t do at all.

Instead head over to one of the many hip coworking spaces in Paris equipped with everything you’ll need to get down to business including coffee, snacks, desks, wi-fi, printers and more depending on which one you visit. Some even have lockers and cafeterias.

Not only can working in a co-working space help you be more productive but it can also help you increase your network according to the “2nd global coworking survey” conducted by Deskmag where over 1500 people from 52 countries were surveyed.

Here are 7 extremely cool coworking workspaces you can rent by the hour, day, week,  month or longer.

A coworking space is defined as a workspace where diverse groups of freelancers, remote workers, and other independent professionals work together in a shared, communal setting

1. DRAFT:

Is a co-working arts and crafts studio in Paris for budding designers and technology enthusiasts.

Draft is a coworking arts and crafts studio in Paris for budding designers and technology enthusiasts.

If you’re looking for a place that allows you to do more than type away on the computer, you’ve found it with Draft. You’ll pay € 15 and have access to the main coworking space for the entire day.

If however you are a budding architect, designer, crafter or creator and want to create a prototype for a client or for yourself, you can have access to their on site equipment at very affordable rates. The fees depend on the equipment you use. For example it’s €12 / hr to use the sewing machine and 3D Printer and €30 for the laser cutter. The carpentry workshop cost €65 / hour but considering you have access to saws, drills, sanders, dremmels and more, it’s still a great deal.

Draft Coworking website

Address:12, Esplanade Nathalie Sarraute, 18e Paris

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10am-8pm; Sat 2pm-8pm Transport:

Nearest Metro station: La Chapelle or Marx Dormoy

Price: €8 for a half day, €15 for a whole day and €120 for a book of 10 passes.

2. LE LAWOMATIC:

Is a trendy co-working office space in Paris which you rent by the month in the hip Canal Saint-Martin neighbourhood.

LE LAWOMATIC: is a trendy co-working office space in Paris which you rent by the month in the hip Canal Saint-Martin neighbourhood

For those nomadic workers who are spending more than a month in Paris, you can rent space at Le Lawomatic for an entire month. The founders of the space wanted a trendy co-working space where traveling professionals could find plenty of amenities. There’s high-speed connection as well as 24 hour access and a shared meeting room. There’s even a small cafeteria on location.

Le Lawomatic coworking website

Address:20 rue Jean Moinon,10e Paris

Opening hours: 24 hour access 7 days a week

Nearest Metro station: Metro: Belleville or Colonel Fabien

Price: €370 per month

3. HUBSY:

Is a peaceful pay by the hour co-working cafe space in Paris with plenty of snacks and hot drinks.

HUBSY: is a peaceful pay by the hour co-working cafe space in Paris with plenty of snacks and hot drinks

This coworking café space has soothing music as well as a cosy feel. It’s a coworking space with all the usual amenities and more- including wireless connections, plugs, printers and meeting rooms. Upstairs there’s also a small library for patrons. You can pay €5 / hour or a flat fee of €20 for five hours or more for the entire day. Everyone using the coworking cafe space is encouraged to help themselves to fresh coffee brewed in France, tea and various snacks like cookies, apples or cereal. There are plenty of great views at Hubsy too which is located directly across from the famous museum of Arts et Métier in the 3rd arrondisement.

Hubsy café coworking space website

Address: 41 rue Reaumur, 3e Paris

Opening hours: Mon-Sun 8am-11pm

Nearest Metro station: Metro: Arts et Métiers or Réaumur-Sébastopol

Price: €5 / hr and then €2 for each additional 1/2 hour after that. After 5 hours you pay a flat €20. Rent an entire month for €250.

4. BLUE OFFICE:

Is a great co-working space in Paris for someone who needs to be more professional or needs the quiet.

BLUE OFFICE: is great co-working space in Paris for someone who needs to be more professional or needs the quiet.

If you need a professional space for a day with everything you could ever need or want in an office Blue office might be for you. There are 5 co-working space across Paris to choose from. They have wireless connectivity, lockers, a small cafeteria, parking, telephones, printers and private meeting rooms for teleconferencing. This is  They are a bit more expensive than others on the list at €25 per day, but you also get separate parking spaces. Blue Office is located on 19 Rue de Vienne in Paris.

Blue office coworking website

Address:

1. MAISONS-LAFFITTE: rue 78600, 44 Rue Jean Mermoz, 78600 Maisons-Laffitte

2. MONTIGNY-LE- BRETONNEUX: 6 Avenue Gustave Eiffel, 78180 Montigny-le-Bretonneux

3. MASSY: 1 Rue Galvani, 91300 Massy

4. ALFORTVILLE: rue 94140, 5 Rue Charles de Gaulle, 94140 Alfortville

5. NOISY-LE-GRAND: 32 Avenue du Pavé Neuf, 93160 Noisy-le-Grand

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m. 7:30 p.m.

Price: €25 / day,

5. L’ANTICAFE:

Is co-working space in Paris for students and professionals who need coffee while they work but don’t want to go to a noisy, crowded Starbucks.

L’ANTICAFE: is a co-working space in Paris for students and professionals who need coffee while they work but don’t want to go to a noisy, crowded Starbucks.

There are 6 Anticafe locations, four of which are located in Paris, one in Rome and one in Aix-En-Provence. Customers pay €5 per hour or pay a €24 flat fee for anything over 5 hours. Each Anticafé has everything you need to get your work done- Wi-Fi, plenty of tables, plugs, printers, whiteboards as well as coffee, drinks and snacks which are included in your hourly fee.

Anticafé coworking space website

Address: 4 locations in Paris

Louvre Anticafé: 10 rue de Richelieu 75001 Paris

Olympiade Anticafé: 59 rue Nationale 75013 Paris

Bobourg Anticafé: 79 rue Quincampoix 75003 Paris

République Anticafé: 6 rue du Château d’Eau 75010 Paris

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-11pm; Sat-Sun 10am-00am.

Price: €5 / hr or  €24 flat fee for 5 plus hours. Book an entire month for €240.

6. L’ARCHIPEL CAFE:

Is a co-working cafe in a converted chapel.

L’ARCHIPEL CAFE: Is a co-working cafe in a converted chapel

In what was formerly a chapel and convent, the L’ Archipel Cafe is now a coworking and event space. Along with the cafe, there are workshops, visiting food trucks and a huge book swap event. For those who need a quick nap, there are even hammocks in the alcoves. All the profits from the cafe go to charity too. The cafe is only open from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. during the week. There are events at the cafe for those who are interested.

Address: 26 bis Rue de Saint Petersbourg 8e Paris

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-10pm; Sat-Sun 11am-6 pm.

Nearest Metro station: Metro: Place du Clichy or Europe.

7. La Mutinerie:

Is a dedicated co-working space in Paris where young freelancers can collaborate and be more productive and a place where you can host your next workshop.

La Mutinerie: Is a dedicated co-working space in Paris where young freelancers can collaborate and be more productive and a place where you can host your next workshop

‘La Mutinerie’ is was created by a group of young freelancers fed up with the solitude of working from home. Their goal was to create a co-working environment that would improve your productivity and be a space where you could collaborate with other like-minded individuals. Like most co-working  work spaces, it has all the usual amenities including WI-FI, a scanner, a printer and even has lockers and private areas to make phone calls so you don’t disturb other people trying to work. If you need a place to host an even, conference or workshop, you can do that here too. Located on the Rue de Meaux in the 19th arrondissement, subscriptions range from €30-€390 for the month.

Mutinerie coworking website

Address:29 rue de Meaux 19e Paris

Nearest Metro station: Metro: Bolivar or Colonel Fabien sira cha

Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Price: €25 for a day pass or €225 for 10 passes
Monthly memberships:  – €290 / month for full time access, €180 for 10 days access / month, €95 for 5 days access per month.

 

Thanks to wanderlust15.com/ for co-creating this guest post with me here at www.AnnieAndre.com

Photo sourced from the respective co-working websites. Feature Photo source via StockUnlimited

Awesome Streaming video sites that are not Hulu or Netlix

Beyond Hulu and Netflix: Other Streaming TV And Movie Sites To Watch

beyond hulu or Netflix. 60 plus sites that are just as good or better. Cutting the cord

If you want more than mainstream movies from Netflix and popular shows from Hulu or if you live abroad and have been region blocked- dont fret. There is a sea of lesser known but worthwhile fish streaming video sites for you to check out. Here are over 60 I recommend-all with free trial periods of 7 to 30 days and a few totally free sites. You are welcome!

Why would anyone need more than Hulu or Netflix?

One of the things I love about living in France is watching French movies. One of the things I hate about living in France is watching American movies dubbed into French at the movie theatres.  (Dubbed American movies represent the bulk of films in French theatres).  This is how I came to rely on Hulu and Netflix- I was sick of watching dubbed lips out of sync. That and the fact that dubbed movies get lost in translation and sometimes sound weird. Check out Homer Simpsons voice in French. He sounds like a drunk Forest Gump. (play video clip below).

Anyways, I was blissfully happy with Netlix and Hulu until slowly I realized I wanted more than just mainstream Hollywood so I started a new quest to find sites not like Hulu and Netflix. Dare I say better?  Maybe.

What I found astounded me- hundreds upon hundreds of streaming choices online. Some great, some good, some really crappy. I whittled what I found down to about 60 or so streaming choices. Before I share them with you, I would like to point out other benefits to watching more streaming video services and less cable TV.

5 Benefits to watching streaming video

  • More Diversity in shows and movies:
    Give me Indie, give me off beat, give me quirky, scary and the classics. Hulu and Netflix just don’t cut it for me in this respect.
  • No need to wast time channel surfing:
    I can never seem to time it just right. I always end up tuning in halfway through a show or just watching whatever is on channel surfing. Screw that. Streaming on demand video is way more efficient.
  • Different slants on world news:
    When you live in one country, you get used to the local and national news but when you travel, you get to hear world news from a different perspective and you begin to see things in a whole new light. There are a lot of streaming news from different countries available online.
  • Cut the cord & save money
    Watching streaming video gives you an alternative to cable. You can essentially cut the cord and untether yourself from expensive cable tv and get more value for your money.
  • Get Access To Streaming Sites That Will Not Region Block Me: Hulu is blocked outside of the US. I have to use a VPN or a Smart DNS to trick the site into thinking I am in the United States otherwise I can’t play or watch any videos on Hulu. Lately Hulu and Netflix US have gotten smarter about figuring out who is faking their IP address through a VPN and blocking them anyways. Myself included. Other sites don’t go through the trouble so it’s good to have other streaming sites a a fall back.  I have used several Smart DNS services. The one I currently use is called Overplay and It works great with Hulu and unblocks loads of other sites which you can’t view outside of the US without a DNS or VPN.

See Also: Websites And Streaming Video Sites Blocked Outside Of The USA and How to watch Blocked Streaming Video Websites Outside Of The US

My best recommended alternatives to Hulu and Netflix (This is a pretty big list of 60 + choices)

Below is a list of streaming sites handpicked by me. Some are membership sites like Hulu and others à la carte sites. I also included a few worthwhile Free streaming sites which are good if you don’t mind the ads which are similar to what you would see on YouTube.

For those of you region blocked from Hulu and Netflix (USA) despite using a VPN or Smart DNS proxy, these are excellent alternatives that all work with a VPN or Smart DNS. Guess their technology is not as high tech. 

Fandor

What: Independent, international and obscure foreign films

Subscription Cost: $10/month or pay $90/year up frontFandor.com

Fandor is without a doubt one of my most favorite sites to watch these days. I honestly did not consider myself an indie movie lover until I started watching Fandor. There are over 8,000 handpicked independent, obscure movies and foreign films for you to choose from in every genre you can think of and then some. Many you won’t find anywhere else. Think of Fandor as the Indie version of Netflix. You’re sure sure to get your fix with Fandor. Try it free for 14 days. Have you seen or heard of the movie called Melancholia starring Kirsten Dunst?

Shudder

What: Good and great handpicked HORROR FILMS

Subscription Cost: $4.99 a month or pay $49 up front per year

shudder streaming handpicked horror films

I was screaming from fear and for joy when I discovered Shudder because there is nothing but handpicked streaming horror films to die for from around the world and the price of admission is a scream at just $4.99 per month.  Shudder is backed and put together by AMC Networks (producers of Breaking Bad) and DramaFever. Yes you do see some of the usual free, public domain stuff but not the crappy quality and not the really bad crap because the sites library is curated by horror aficionados Sam Zimmerman and Colin Geddes.  If you’re not sure what to watch, there’s also a constant live stream of horror movies playing on the site. It’s almost like the old days of cable TV where you turn it on and see what’s playing. You never know when a movie is going to start or end, and you don’t know what’s coming next. There are plenty of foreign films too but you can easily switch on subtitles. I dare you.

Film Struck

What: Contemporary and classic movies from the criterion collection

Cost: Subscription price not published yetFilmstruck, streaming criterion movies, indie and more for film affecionados

If TCM (Turner Classic Movies) and the Criterion Collection had a baby what would they call it?  Film struck!  FilmStruck is made for die-hard movie enthusiast who love independent, foreign, cult and art house films.. It’s library will be constantly refreshed and as of Q3 2016, Film Struck will succeed Hulu as the exclusive streaming service for the Criterion Collection. I think this streaming video service may quickly become your favorite go-to site for always fantastic movies!

If you are not familiar with the Criterion Collection. It’s an American home video distribution company which focuses on licensing “important classic and contemporary films” and selling them to film aficionados.

Drama Fever

What: Asian TV shows and dramas, Latin American Telenovelas.

Cost: Starting at .99 cents /month with ads. $4.17 / month no ads.  If you want access offline its $8.33 / Month (7 day free trial)dramafever internation asian and latin shows with subtitltes

Watch Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Spanish dramas, variety shows, films and kids programs all with subtitles and available in more than 20 countries globally. Drama Fever was purchased in 2016 by Warner brothers so you can be sure that this streaming video service is only going to get better.  Af first I wasn’t sure about this site but after trying it out, I think it is definitely worth checking out especially for $.99 cents a month for the most basic plan.

Warner Archive

What: Warner Brother timeless classics

Cost: $9.99 / Month (Free 30 day trial)warner archives watch the classic movies online streaming and on demand

I was initially really excited about Warner Archive because I love the Warner classics. The product of 3 major movie studios, Warner Brothers owns a massive catalogue (maybe the largest in the world) of American movies and TV shows including westerns, film noirs, musicals, comedies, pre-code classics and more. Many of which are not available for purchase any more. The site works like a revolving door for their content. Their massive collection of movies and TV shows get rotated in and out each month to keep the site Fresh I guess. I love the idea but I think 10 bucks a month is too much for what it is. If it had all of it’s library available or most of it available to me at any one time then I could see the value of paying 10 bucks a month but as it is Netflix is cheaper and Hulu is cheaper and they have HUGE libraries available all the time. There are usually only 13 or so TV shows and 160 movies available at any one time (as of 2016). I could not find Gone with the wind, Casablanca, A streetcar named desire, The shining and a bunch more that are in the Warner collection. *Sad face. Check it out for yourself. Maybe you’ll get more value out of it than me which is why I did not rule this site out.

HBO NOW

What: All the same HBO episodes, original programming, theatrical films, seasons, episode as regular HBO plus more.

Cost: $14.99 / MonthHBONow

I’m not ashamed to say that I luuuuuuv “Game of Thrones” which is on HBO. HBO now is for anyone who doesn’t have a monthly cable subscription but still wants to watch HBO shows online. You can watch HBO NOW on most devices including your computer however you can’t sign up using your computer. You have need to sign up through an app or through a subscription provider as an add-on like Amazon, Roku or Apple. It is what it is.

CBS All Access Now

What:Watch almost any show it airs live or on demand.

Cost: $5.99/ mo limited commercials or $9.99 no commercials (free 7 day trial)CBS all access now free trial

CBS All Access, like the HBO now does not require users have a traditional TV subscription: You will have access to most of the old shows as well as the new shows aired as soon as the next day. All you need is an Internet. There are well over 6,500 Episodes for you to watch on demand. Give it a try for 7 days with a free trial After that pay just $5.99 per month with limited commercials or $9.99 for no commercials.

Online Video, Movie and TV Show Sites (Pay as you go –rent or buy)

If you would rather rent or buy movies and shows rather than subscribing to a monthly plan, here are your best options.

VUDU

What: latest big-name movie releases and TV shows often released on the same day as the DVD release.

Cost to rent: $0.99 special rentals up to $5.99 usually in HDX 1080p.  Cost to buy: $4.99 to $24.99 to purchase.

Vudu rent or buy videos online

Vudu is a solid pay-as-you go streaming video website. No monthly subscriptions here- you can rent or buy the latest big-name releases on the same day they come out on DVD whereas Netflix waits around 20 days or so. Prices seem to be determined by how new or old a movie is with newer blockbuster movies costing around $6.99. For you basement bargain hunters, there are regularly reduced videos for as little as $0.99 cents. Vudu occasionally offers content the competition doesn’t.

FandangoNow

What: latest big-name movie releases and TV shows

Cost: $1.99 to $19.99 for newer releases.Fandango now rent or buy videos online

FandangoNow used to be called M-Go and uses a pay as you go model like Vudu where you can rent or buy newer big-name release movies fresh out of the theatre however you can only buy TV shows not rent them. Their library is massive, they claim to have over 30,000 movies and TV shows so you are sure to find something to watch.

CinemaNow

What: latest big-name movie releases and TV shows

Cost: $1.99 to $19.99 for newer releases.cinema-now

If you are looking for new films, old films, scary films, cult films, indie films, you name it than CinemaNow is the place to go. It has an extremely large and diverse media library collection but it is pretty standard. It sometimes has HBO show which you can only get via HBO so that’s a plus.

Anime

Crunchyroll

What: Anime and Japanese dramas

Cost: $6.95/month – $11.95/month (14 day free trial)Crunhyroll streaming anime online

For anime lovers and Japanophiles, Crunchy Roll streams anime videos and Japanese dramas (legally) with professional subtitles (not the illegal/ bootleged version created by fans). There is some free content but it is very limited. They have 2 subscription plans. The higher priced plan has no ads so you can watch Naruto Shippuden, Attack on Titan, Sword Art Online, Skip Beat, and Shugo Chara and more ad-free.

FUNimation

What: Anime and Japanese dramas

Cost: $$4.95 / month (free 2 week trial)

Funimation streaming anime

Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z fan? Get access to over 8,500 streaming anime episodes and movies commercial-free in HD!

FREE

Crackle

What: Movies and TV, original web shows

Cost: Freecrackle free streaming movies online

Crackle is pretty descent for a site that is FREE if you don’t mind the commercials galore.  It has TV shows, Hollywood movies and some really good original web shows you won’t find anywhere else. It’s owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment which also means it’s library is going to work with Sony Platforms and devices. The site has expanded to produce and distribute originals since Sony has its own Hollywood studios.

Pluto TV

What: A little of everything, TV shows, movies, sports, cats.

Cost: FreeplutoTV

This site tries to mimic the TV experience. It has over 100 Internet channels instead of TV channels from mainstream news and stand-up comedy to TV shows, movies and and extreme sports. There is even a CAT channel. YouTube watch out.

Popcornflix

What: Independent feature films

Cost: Freepopcorn-Flix

– I believe this site has around 1,500 + independent feature films. You won’t see any current blockbusters here however it’s worth a look. It’s free to use and perfectly legal. The site makes money from ads.

LogoTV

What: New Music Videos, Reality TV Shows, Celebrity News, Pop Culture ..

Cost: FreelogoTV for gay and lesbian audience

Plenty of RuPaul here. This site focuses on lifestyle programming aimed primarily at LGBT.

ShoutFactoryTV

What: cult TV shows, movies, comedy, original specials

Cost: Freeshout factory TV

Here is an excellent alternative to major streaming services. The ShoutFactoryTV library has a fairly large curated library full of cult TV shows, movies, comedy, original specials and more. Think Godzilla, Elvira and Mystery Science theatre.

Watch most of your favourite channels on Amazon

Amazon is special and deserves a little explanation. It has 2 models. The pay as you go model, Amazon Instant Video where you can rent or buy movies on demand. It also has a subscription model which gives you access to thousands of movies and TV shows through Amazon Prime Video. Plus you get all the benefits of being a member of amazon prime. I’ve listed all the benefit below.

You can also add on certain channels to your prime video account like starz, shudder, Smithsonian Earth, Comic con and many more. I listed 48 addons but there are more. You get the convenience of watching all your movies, TV shows and various channels through Amazon rather than surfing to the individual sites. Pretty slick.

Amazon Instant Video  –

What: Rent or buy the latest big-name movie releases and TV shows.

Cost: Pay $3 to $20 for each movie or TV show depending on if you buy or rent the videos.

Amazon Prime members get Video plus + + + +

Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial to switch from pay as you go to a monthly membership which gives you access to all of the following

  1. Amazon Prime Video: Watch unlimited streaming of thousands of movies & TV Shows Anytime with Amazon Prime. The selection is not as good as Amazon Instant but it’s still pretty good.
  2. Amazon Prime Music: Unlimited streaming of millions of songs with Amazon Prime.
  3. Access to borrow over 500,000 eBooks. You can borrow one book per month and never pay any late fees.
  4. If you own a Kindle E-Reader, Fire tablet, or Fire phone, you can rent eBooks for free
  5. Unlimited photo storage on Amazon drive (this alone is worth the annual membership fee).
  6. Free 2 day shipping (on eligible purchases in the US only).

Platforms: Computers, Amazon Fire TV, some smart TV’s, Roku, Kindle Fire, Fire HD, Kindle Fire HD, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo, Android, iPad/iPhone

Cost: Amazon Prime is $99 per year which turns out to be $8.25 per month.

Subscription Channels you can add to your Amazon Prime Subscriptions

Pretty close to a la carte TV if you ask me. Sign up for a basic Amazon prime membership- $99 per year which gives you all the benefits listed above. Then choose an add-on subscription for a very reasonable monthly fee of 2.99 to 8.99 depending on which add-on you choose. You can subscribe through the website or through a mobile app.

Each individual subscription comes with a free trial, that ranges from 7 to 30 days. I have listed 48 channel add-ons below.

Horror

Monsters and Nightmares – $2.9 9/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
The creepiest, most terrifying horror films of the last decade.

Amazon-Monsters Nighmares

Full Moon -$6.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Horror, fantasy, sci-fi, comedy, cult, and decades of bizarre genre films.

Amazon-FullMoon

Fear Factory – $2.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
eerie, fun flicks that bring the bump in the night.

Amazon-FearFactory

Shudder –  $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Curated by horror aficionados devoted to all varieties of horror.

Amazon-shudder

Feature Shows

Starz – $8.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Captivating original series and hit movies.

Amazon-Starz

Showtime –  $8.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Award-winning Original Series, hit movies, sports, and more.

Amazon-Showtime

Cinefest –  $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free
A uniquely curated collection of films for the movie buff in everyone.
Amazon-Cinefest

Tribeca Shortlist $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Movies worth watching. a diverse selection of films and features handpicked by actors, directors and more.

Amazon-tribecashortlist

UMC- Urban Movie Channel  $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Quality urban content showcasing feature films, documentaries, original series, stand-up comedy and more.

Amazon Urban Movie Channel

Educational

History Vault –  $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Hundreds of hours of curated historical videos.

history vault from amazon

CurisosityStream -$5.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Nonfiction programs exploring science, technology, history, and nature.

Amazon curiosityStream

Smithsonian Earth – $3.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Captivating nature & wildlife documentaries, stunning Nature Scenes, and fascinating shorts.

Amazon Smithosonian

Nature Vision –  $2.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free
Hours of uninterrupted footage of the world’s most beautiful and pristine places.

Amazon NatureVision

Spacerip – $2.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Breathtaking collections of space and astronomy videos.

Amazon spacerip

The Great Courses – $7.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Video learning in science, art, and more.

Amazon great courses

Xive TV –  $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Exploring history, science, nature, adventure and mystery.

Amazon Xive

Documentaries

Docurama –  $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Award-winning documentaries.

Amazon Docudrama

Daring Docs – $2.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Thoughtful and provoking documentaries on hot topics and social issues.

Amazon Daring Docs

Dox – $2.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Award-winning documentaries from cutting edge filmmakers around the world.

Amazon Dox

Sundance now Doc Club – $6.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
A handpicked curation of award-winning documentaries.

Amazon Sundance

Quello Concerts – $7.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Thousands of full-length concerts and award-winning music documentaries on demand.

Amazon qelloconcerts

Fitness

AcaciaTV -$6.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Hundreds of fun and effective workouts for every fitness level.

Amazon acaciatv

BeFit -$5.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
The best workout solutions for every body. Transform Yourself.

Amazon Befit

 

Gaia – $9.95/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Yoga, meditation, documentaries, and original programming to expand your horizons

Amazon-Gaia

Video Game Comic Con Genre

Comic Con  –  $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free
Everything you love about Comic-Con, on demand and streaming online-anytime.

Amazon comic con

Contv –  $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free
TV shows and coverage from Comic Con events nationwide.

Amazon contv

Machinima – $2.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Get Machinima – original series, gameplay videos, animation, gaming news, and more.

Amazon-Machimina

Humor & Comedy

Comedy Central Stand-up plus  – $3.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Original stand-up specials and series from your favorite comics.

Amazon comedycentral

Seeso – $3.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Original and Classic Comedy: Series, Stand-Up Specials and more.

Amazon Seeso

Kid

Hooplakidz Plus – $2.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free
Nursery rhymes, yummy recipes, arts and crafts, educational videos, and lots more for parents and kids.

amazon Hoopla

Ameba – $3.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Kids shows, movies, music, and much more.

Amazon ameba

Family Friendly

Dove Channel –  $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Trusted and safe family entertainment.

Amazon Dove

Up Faith And Family $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
High-quality movies and TV shows for the whole family.

Amazon up faith family

 

Lifetime Movie Club – $3.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Featuring a great selection of new and classic Lifetime movies.

Amazon-Lifetime

Indie or Cult

IndiFlix Shorts – $2.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Award winning short films from 50+ countries and 1200+ film festivals

Amazon indieflixshorts

Acorn TV –  $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
World-class TV from Britain and beyond.

Amazon acorntv

Drama Fever Instant – $3.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Hit dramas from around the world.

Amazon-dramafever

Action

Warriors and Gangsters – $2.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
High octane action and adventure flicks that kick things into high gear.

Amazon-warriorsgangsters

All Warrior Network –  $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Military themed entertainment for Warriors, by Warriors.

Amazon all warrior network

Other

Cheddar – $2.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Tech, media, and business news and exclusives daily from the NYSE floor.

Amazon cheddar

Ring Tv –  $2.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free
Your all-access pass to world-class boxing.

Amazon Ring TV

Tastemade –  $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Food, travel, and lifestyle for the connected generation.

Amazon-Tastemade

Paula Dean Network –  $4.99/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Paula’s award-winning cooking shows, new lifestyle shows, vintage series, and more.

Amazon Paula Dean

Motorland – $2.9 9/ Mo – 7 Day Free Trial
Automotive anywhere anytime. The ultimate destination for gearheads.

Amazon motorland

Between the free trials and the free streaming sites, you should be good to go for a couple of months for free.

FB how to watch streaming video outside of the united states

How To Watch Hulu And Other Blocked Video Sites From Anywhere In The World

FB how to watch streaming video outside of the united states
Forget about watching Hulu from Halifax, Netflix from Nice or listening to Pandora from Paris. These and other sites are hiding behind locked doors the moment you try to access them outside of the United States. There are tools to get around these region blocked websites but before diving into those tools, it's useful to understand what is being blocked and why.

Who blocks websites?

There are thousands of websites blocked from being accessed by people around the world. Sometimes it's a country's government that censors websites and blocks it's citizens from accessing certain sites. Sometimes it's the sites themselves that block surfers outside a region from viewing their content and sometimes it's your company or school that blocks access to certain non-productive websites. I've discussed why sites get blocked here.

Over 25 countries worldwide block access to certain websites in their own country.

What do you mean blocked?

Let's clarify what it means to be blocked from these streaming video. In France Hulu is blocked to me because I am trying to view it from France or outside of the US. I will still see the Hulu website and I can surf around the site however the moment I try to actually play a video, the dreaded GEO-restriction popup message will appear. It usually says "Sorry, currently our video library can only be watched from within the United States. (see photo)

Websites that are blocked outside of the United States

The first time I saw the restriction pop up for Hulu, I was stunned. I had no idea what was going on. I actually thought it was a mistake until I contacted Hulu customer service and they explained to me that Hulu was not available outside of the United States. ​I cancelled my membership right there and then and forgot about it because I thought there was nothing I could do about it.

A few months later, by accident, I discovered that there was something I could do to watch websites like Hulu which are normally blocked to me in France.  More on that solution in a minute. 

HBO-Go-Blocked

Another scenario you may run into is a US based site which serves you up a localized version of the website. It may even be an inferior version of that site simply because you are located in another region. Take Netflix for example. 

Unlike Hulu, Netflix is available outside of the US in certain countries. As of 2016, it is available in over 190 countries worldwide. But the Netflix you see outside of the US doesn’t have nearly as many movies as the Netflix USA. Just ask Canadians who have half the amount of videos on Canada Netflix.

Netflix France

How do sites like Hulu know I am outside of the United States and block my access?

All your computers and devices that access the internet have an IP address. Your IP is kind of like your street address or GPS for your location.

In a matter of seconds, sites like Hulu, Pandora, HBO Now and Netflix are able to determine where you are located by using their sophisticated software to sniff out your IP address and your actual location. 

There is a way to fool those sites into thinking your in the US so that you can view blocked websites. 

How to access MOST blocked and region restricted websites from France, Europe, Asia and beyond

To access your favourite online streaming video website or any website that you are blocked from using for that matter, you will need to use a VPN or proxy which will essentially trick sites into thinking you are in the USA. 

  1. VPN (Virtual Private Network)
  2. Smart DNS Proxy​

Smart DNS and VPN are very similar however there are pros and cons to using one over another. Your needs will determine which one you should use. 

Is it legal?

I'm not a lawyer and I can't tell you if the country you are trying to use your VPN or Smart DNS from allows use of anonymizers and proxies to access blocked sites. 

Use a little common sense and research it. If I were in a country where the internet was censored by the government like Pakistan, North Korea or Mainland China, I would probably think twice about using a VPN especially since some countries might actually put you in jail if they catch you using a VPN.

On the other hand, I am pretty sure it's ok to use a VPN or Smart DNS in countries like France, the UK, Canada, the United States and many many more countries.  In fact many universities and businesses use them. I used to use a VPN to access my companies servers from home.

So yes, it is legal in some countries. Just make sure you don't do anything illegal while using a VPN or Smart DNS.

See Also: List of US streaming video sites which anonymizers can unblock for you))

Which one should you choose? Smart DNS or VPN?

As I mentioned before, Smart DNS and VPN are very similar in that they unlock region blocked websites however each one has advantages and disadvantages depending on what you want. The below comparison should help you decide. 

CHOOSE SMART DNS if:

If you are not concerned about encryption or securing your connection like me because you will be connecting to wifi at home with a password protected internet box and you simply want the fastest connection possible to access blocked streaming websites like Hulu, BBC iplayer or HBO NOW than a Smart DNS is your best bet. It's also slightly less expensive than a VPN. 

There is also nothing to install other than changing your DNS on your computer and devices. It's always on so you can set it and forget it unlike a VPN which is slower, needs to be connected and disconnected each time you use it. The Smart DNS which I currently use is called Overplay and I love it. 

smart dns is easy to setup

CHOOSE VPN IF:

If security is more important to you and you want to add a layer of security, identity & privacy protection or encryption security against the prying eye of the government and hackers than you should choose a VPN. Keep in mind that VPN's usually slow down your connection and you have to download software or an app which you need to turn on and off each time you use want to access a blocked website.  OverPlay has a VPN which is extremely easy to install and use. 

Below is a the same information as above only summarized in a chart showing you the pros and cons between a smart DNS and VPN.

What are the Pros and Cons between Smart DNS and VPN


Smart DNS

Unblock websites: Access your favourite sites from anywhere.


SMART DNS PROS AND CONS

  • No security online in public WIFI connectors and unsecured hotspots.
  • Surf is not private or incognito.
  • Not all blocked websites for a country are available only specified websites. (usually this is enough, at least for me it is because I only access a few blocked streaming websites like Amazon, Hulu, crackle etc).
  • Can see content from multiple channels/countries at the same time or switch instantly.
  • Much faster, no loss of download speed which is great for video streaming.
  • Works on all your devices unlike VPN. 
  • Nothing to download
  • Easier to setup than a VPN. No technical knowledge necessary. Simply follow directions to change your DNS settings on your devices. set it and forget it. Takes 5 minutes to get going.
  • Unlimited devices: Use on multiple devices as long as they have same external IP. Which you will have at home if you are all using the same wifi connection.

SMART DNS CONS

  • Usually cheaper than a VPN

VPN

Unblock websites: Access your favourite sites from anywhere.


VPN PROS AND CONS

  • Enjoy security online even on public WIFI connections and unsecured hotspots
  • Surf Privately incognito with no trace.
  • Unlock all every website for a country not just a specific streaming website channel. Good if you want to use VPN to get cheaper airline tickets on different country sites because it does matter where you are buying from price wise. 
  • Need to dissconnect and reconnect each time you use VPN and you have to switch from viewing one country content to another. Cannot have US Netflix and French Google for example.
  • DOES NOT work with all devices. Will not work with Apple TV, Smart TV, Roku and other boxes without a VPN router. (if you are technically savvy enough than it won't matter)
  • VPN's are slower than Smart DNS which might make videos choppy or laggy. 
  • Can only see content from one country at a time. You must dissconnect from from one country and reconnect to a different country to view different content. i.e. US hulu to Dr Who on UK BBC iPlayer. Not so with Smart DNS.
  • More complicated to get running. Need to download and install software to get it running. Can be technically challenging to get it up and running on a smart phone or tablet. Not so for smartDNS
  • Usually More expensive than Smart DNS

Conclusion

If you are heading abroad and want to watch your US based streaming video shows or listent to your streaming music on Pandora than YOU NEED to get a VPN or Smart DNS installed and running on your devices before you go. The last thing you want to be doing while on vacation is fiddling with your settings to get things up and running. You need to decide whether you want full encrypted protection (VPN) or just a faster connection to stream video (Smart DNS). Both of which will unblock region restricted websites.

Nothing is full proof. Results can vary based on your location, your connection the weather? I had to go through several services to find the ones that worked for me. I will list other services which I have tested and know work by linking to them here. (coming soon, I'm currently testing out a few dozen services. )

Overplay.net as I mentioned above, is the service I use at home and am extremely happy with. If you can't decide between a VPN or DNS of if you would like to have the option of switching between Smart DNS for a faster connection for streaming video at home and a VPN when connecting to an unsecured and or public hot-spot in hotels and airports, you can get both as a bundle package over at  Overplay for less than $10 USD per month. 

Websites that are blocked outside of the United States

Why Are Sites Like Hulu And Facebook Blocked Outside Of The US Region?

Websites that are blocked outside of the United States

Instagram in North Korea? NOT!    Hulu in France? PFFFFFT     Pandora anywhere outside of the US? In your dreams!   These are but a few of the websites which you are blocked from using outside of their region (The US). But where and what sites are being blocked and why?

Why are websites blocked?

If you live in the US, you probably take for granted the fact that you have access to websites that many people around the world wish they had access to but can’t. Not necessarily because they don’t have access to the internet but because they are being blocked from viewing those sites- like Hulu, Netflix, Pandora and Facebook to name a few. Let’s explore why, what and where sites are blocked.

1- Government Censorship Of Internet Sites

Freedom of speech in China doesn’t really exist, at least not in the way that most westerners think it should. No surprise, the government of Mainland China censors the internet drastically by blocking access to over 3,000 websites including Facebook, Instagram, Gmail, Wikipedia and the Wall Street Journal. Porn sites don’t stand a chance in China.

North Korea’s DOMESTIC ONLY intranet system called Kwangmyong offers no links to the outside world whatsoever. It only connect cybercafes, libraries, universities and various other institutions with websites and email. 

Then there is North Korea, described as one of the few remaining “internet black holes” which doesn’t allow it’s citizens access to the outside world at all. With the exception of a select few high ranking government officials and visiting foreigners, all North Koreans have no access to the world wide web.

But it’s not just Mainland China and North Korea that block websites.

British surfers are banned from viewing almost 100 websites, most of which are blocked because they contain or deal with illegal pirating of music and video or copyright and counterfeit sites.

France is also believed to block over 280 sites at the time of this writing. 60 or so are blocked because they relate to terrorism and more than 250 because they deal with child pornography.

Schools, universities and companies can block their users from accessing certain websites.

2- Streaming music and video websites that block their own content to anyone outside of their region / country for licensing or copyright issues

What you may not realize is that streaming video and music websites like Hulu, Pandora and HBONow are all blocked to you once you leave American soil. Blocked by the sites themselves usually due to licensing and copyright issues which do not extend past the American border. It makes no difference whether you are a US based paying customer trying to accesss Hulu while on vacation abroad. You will be blocked.

By the way, it’s not just sites from the US that block access to their content abroad. For instance, you can’t watch BBC iPlayer outside of the UK.

Related: How to watch blocked video streaming websites from outside the United States (legally). 

What does region blocked look like? The dreaded restriction pop-up

If you visit one of these region restricted websites outside of it’s region / country, you won’t get a scary notice with a menacing red hand threatening legal action. No one will come knocking down your door and take you away in handcuffs. Unless of course if you visit one of those countries where the gouvernement has banned that site. I’m just speculating here; my imagination goes a little crazy.

You will however get an annoying, and very frustrating geo-restricted message which looks different depending on which website you are trying to view. Here are a few examples of what you might see from Spotify and Hulu.

spotifyblocked.jpg

 

Websites that are blocked outside of the United States

Different version of a website (country specific version)

Netflix, Cartoon Network and a few other sites are the exception because they are available outside of their region (the United States) however the version seen in other countries is different.

For instance, in France where I normally access Netflix, I get the French version. I can still watch the shows in English if I want but I can also watch them in French if I want too. The main difference between the American version of Netflix and other country versions is the selection. There are far more shows available on the American version of Netflix than there are on the French version and other country versions. I am not sure how much more but it could be as much as 50 percent.

Websites that are blocked outside of the United States

Is there a workaround to access blocked US websites like Hulu and Netflix and is it legal?

Yes there is a work around which is legal in most countries except maybe in countries like China where the government censors the internet but I know people who still do it. However in most other countries like Canada, the UK and France, there are no law forbidding the use of tools/ software to access these sites blocked outside of their region. The US may have laws but I have never heard of anyone being arrested from accessing Hulu outside of the USA. In fact there are hundreds of services you can use to circumvent these restrictions which will give you access to most if not all region blocked websites.

If you want to learn more about how to watch region restricted and blocked video streaming websites abroad, you can read about it here .

Exactly which streaming video and music sites are region blocked abroad?

To keep this list somewhat short, I compiled a list of streaming sites which you can’t view outside of the United States. It’s in no way complete but it should give you an idea of all the sites which are not available to people around the world.

Read it and weep!

Online Video, Movie & TV Websites

Hulu
Netflix (USA version)
Fandor
Shudder
Amazon Instant Video
FandangoNow
CinemaNow
HBO NOW
Crackle
Pluto TV
Popcornflix
LogoTV
ShoutFactoryTV
VUDU

Anime

Crunchyroll
FUNimation

International TV & Movie websites

Drama Fever
Telemundo
MundoFOX
SoompiTV

Websites as part of cable package

FYI Network
Oxygen
USA Network
HBO
GO
HGTV
DirecTV
SyFy
Lifetime
Showtime
Showtime Anytime
DirectTv

TV & Cable Channels

ABC
Bravo TV
CBS
NBC
Spike
FX Networks
TNT Drama
TV.com
CWTV
TV Land
CNBC
AMC
A&E

News, weather traffic

CBS News
ABC News
FOX
WBTV

Educational TV And Movies

Smithsonian
History
National Geographic
PBS

Kids TV And Movies

PBS Kids
Disney
Cartoon Network
Nick
TeenNick
Nick Jr
Disney Junior
Disney XD

Comedy

Comedy Central
Adult Swim
Simpsons World
TruTV
ConTV

Music

CMT – Country Music Television
Pandora
MTV
Radio.com
Playlist
iHeart
Rhapsody
Spotify
Slacker
Samsung Milk Music
VH1
Vevo
ZUUS

Sports

CBS Sports
Eurosport
Tennis Channel Everywhere
FL GamePass
NBC Sports
PGA Tour Live
Golf Channel
FOX Sports
NCAA March Madness
FOX Soccer 2Go
ESPN
WWE
NHL Vault

infographic French texting: 20 must know common text abbreviations

French Texting: 20 Common Text Message Abbreviations For Phone, Emails and Facebook

infographic French texting Abbreviations 20 must know and common internet and texting abbreviations for phone, Facebook and email

Let’s face it, texting or using text message abbreviations like LOL or ROLF to communicate is no longer restricted to totally cool hipster adults or tweens anymore. The same is true in France, so if you’re going to live in France or you have French friends you want to stay in touch with via Facebook, email or text messaging, I highly recommend you learn a handful of useful internet text abbreviations. Here are 20 common ones to get you started.

20 of the most common French texting abbreviations

Even if you never plan on texting in French or insist on using whole words rather than abbreviated words to communicate, it doesn’t mean other people (read other French people) will do the same.  I finally caved and learned a few of the more common French sms and internet abbreviations because I was sick and tired of logging onto Facebook or reading text messages from my friends and not understanding what they were saying .

For example, QDN is something I would see from time to time from one of my friends but had no idea what it meant until I finally asked her what it meant. I wished I had asked her sooner because she was asking me “Quoi De Neuf” or “What’s new”.

After that, I decided to learn this texting abbreviation language and I’m glad I did — French texting abbreviations really do come in handy when you are in  a rush and need to save time on your keystrokes. Plus I can understand what my friends and my kids are talking about now.

A text message in French can be called “Un texto” or “Un SMS”. An email is usually called “Un Message”. Ask your friends to text you: Envoie-moi un texto or Envoie-moi un sms . Ask your friends to email you or send you a message on Facebook- Envoie-moi un message……(by email or Facebook).

Here is a useful infographic with 20 of the most useful or common text message abbreviations. Below the infographic is a more detailed explanation for each one.

infographic French texting Abbreviations 20 must know and common internet and texting abbreviations for phone, Facebook and email

Below are the same text abbreviations in the above info-graphic just explained in more detail. 

French Text abbreviations To signify something is funny

If something is funny in English, you would probably use the text message abbreviation LOL (laughing out loud). If something is even funnier than you would most likely use ROFL (Rolling On The Floor Laughing) or LMAO (laughing my ass off). In French, just like in English, there are different text abbreviations you would use to express different degrees of amusement or funniness.

 

1- MDR:

If you could only remember one French text abbreviation, it should be MDR.  Above is a screenshot of one of my French friends using MDR.  

MDR is short for mort de rire  and is used like you would use LOL.
MDR literally means <<dying of laughter>> and in my opinion is one of, scratch that. It is THE most used French text message abbreviations around. People use it everywhere, email, phone text, social media sites, T-shirts…

note* You can use LOL when texting with a French person. They will understand that is means something funny. They probably have no idea that it stands for Laugh out loud though. LOL LOL LOL.

2- PTDR:

PTDR is short for Pété de rire and means you are laughing so much that you just can’t laugh any more.
Use it like you would use LMAO; when something is even funnier or more amusing than a simple LOL.

3- EXPDR:

EXPDR is short for eplosé de rire and literally means <<exploding with laughter>>. Use like ROFL or LMAO when something is funnier than a simple LOL.

10 French pronoun text abbreviations

Here are 10 abbreviations for French pronouns that I have seen friends use and have used on occasion myself.

4- C:

C is short for c’est which means <<it is>> as in “c’est magnifique”, ( it’s magnificent).

5- C Ca:

C ça is the abbreviation for C’est ça which can mean anything from <<that’s it>> and <<there you have it>> to <<there you go>> and <<you got it>>.

6- CT:

CT is short for c’était which means <<it was>> or <<that was>> as in c’était fun ( that was fun or it was fun).

7- G:

G is short for j’ai which means <<I have>> as in J’ai beaucoup d’amis (I have a lot of friends).

8- GT:

GT is short for j’étais which means <<I was>> as in j’étais son amis ( I was his friend).

9- JC:

JC is short Je sais which means <<I know>> as in Je sais tous (I know everything).

10- TT:

TT is short for t’étais which means <<you were>> as in t’étais avec lui (you were with him).

11- Chuis:

Chuis is short for Je suis pronounced (shwee) which means <<I am>> as in je suis content (I am happy).

12- QQC:

QQC is short for quelque chose which means,<<something>> as in je veux quelque chose (I want something).

13- QQN or QQ1:

QQN or QQ1 is short for quelqu’un which means <<someone>> as in quelqu’un t’aime (someone loves you).

Other descriptive and useful French texting abbreviations

14- BIZ:

BIZ is short for bises or bisous which means <<kisses>>. You use this much like you would use xoxo or hugs at the end of a message. Possibly the second most used text abbreviation in French?

15- STP or SVP:

STP is short for s’il te plait which is the informal way to say <<please>>. If you want to text using the more formal way to say please than you would use SVP (s’il vous plait).

16- PK:

PK is short for the very useful question pourquoi which means <<why.>> as in pourquoi est ce que tu ne m’aime plus (why don’t you love me any more?).

17- DSL

DSL is short for desolé which means<< sorry>> as in je suis desolé (I am sorry).

18- ENTK

ENTK is short for en tout cas which can mean <<in any case>> or <<anyways>> as in en tout cas, je t’aime (in any case, I love you).

19- DAC

Dac is short for d’accord which means <<ok>> or <<all right>> as in d’accord, j’y vas avec tois (all right, I’ll go there with you).

20- MPLC:

MPLC is short for merci pour le cache. MPLC is not really that common unless you do geocaching in France. My husband Blake first came across it when he took our daughter to find her first geocache. Someone left a note marked MPLC which simply means <<thank you for the cache>>.

Other French Language Guides

These were but a few of the hundreds of text message abbreviations you might see your French friends using. My son uses a whole bunch more which I can’t be bothered to learn.

See Also: 15 Funny French Expressions Involving Farm Animals And Bugs That Don’t Make Sense To English Speakers But Will Make You Sound Like A Native!

Watch: Video of my daughter showing you 20 Useful French Words and Phrases To Learn Before You Travel To France.

PLEASE, share this post on Facebook and on Pinterest.

Merci beaucoup!

travel with a tablet

Should You Bring Your Tablet On Vacation? 10 Reasons My Tablet Is Indispensable When I Travel.

should I travel with a tablet

Can a tablet be a useful travel device to bring on your next vacation or road trip?

YES! A tablet is not only a fun and entertaining gadget BUT it can also be a an extremely convenient and useful tool to use while travelling or while on the go.

10 things I use my tablet for the most when I’m travelling or when i’m on-the-go.

When we first decided to  live in France for a year, I was skeptical about the practical uses of a tablet, especially for travellers. That was then and this is now.

Now after two plus years of field testing my tablet for both travel and my daily on-the-go needs, I can honestly say I am no longer a skeptic. In fact, thanks to it’s versatility and portability, my tablet has turned into my go-to device that travels with me everywhere.

Find out the top 10 things I use my tablet for while travelling.

#1 – I never ever get lost anymore. 

use your tablet as a gps device when you travel

I turned my tablet into a voice enabled navigation device that gives me turn by turn directions. (Without an expensive roaming or international data plan). This feature alone makes my tablet indispensable because it has gotten me UN-LOST more times than I can count.

Application I use on my tablet:

There are quite a few navigation apps for tablets but the one that I use is called OsmAnd.  Like most Navigation apps, it takes  advantage of the embedded GPS chip in your tablet.

WARNING**Not all tablets have built-in GPS. Make sure the tablet you buy has GPS that works without a DATA and Without a WiFi internet connection.

Some of my favourite features of the OsmAnd navigation app are that it works online (fast) or offline (no roaming charges when you are abroad). It automatically re-routes whenever you deviate from the route. There are loads of useful options like the voice warning when I go over the speed limit and oh so much more.

OsmAnd is strictly for the Android.  If you have an Apple tablet than you can use an APP called Co-pilot.

#2 –I can carry as many books as I want without weighing down my luggage.

use your tablet as an ebook reader while you travel

Even though I prefer to read actual paper books, there are times when the convenience of having all your books at your disposal anytime you want comes in really handy. Like when you have an unexpected long wait or you forget to bring a book or cant’t find an English bookstore while travelling.

Even if you don’t read books, you can still use your tablet to carry travel guide books, language dictionaries and children’s books

Application I use on my tablet: 

You’ll need to download an e-book reader app. I use an app called MoonReader which costs less than 5 dollars. It can read multiple file formats such as  e-Pub books and books purchased on Amazon which are in Mobi format. It can also read PDF files. If you only plan on reading books from Amazon then you can download the kindle app for free. 

#3 – I can easily make video calls from any room in the house.

use your tablet to skype while you travel

Because a tablet is lightweight and small, it’s easy to hold and carry to places where a laptop might be less optimal such as on the couch,  in bed or for those times you want to give someone a virtual tour of your home or garden. For this reason, I actually prefer using my tablet over my laptop to make video calls

Application I use on my tablet:

I use Skype which is absolutely free to use but you will need a WIFI connection to use it.

#4 – I can quickly update my friends and family using social networking sites. (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)

use your tablet for social networking on sites like facebook

If you use social networking sites like Facebook or instagram then you are going to love using a tablet. No laptop or desk required. Just head over to a comfy couch or your favourite reading chair and hold your tablet like you would a magazine or book.

Application I use on my tablet:

I use the Facebook app and Facebook messenger app. Even though you can access any networking site via the browser on your tablet, I tend to use apps because they are optimized to work best on the smaller screen size and can notify you of new messages and updates with a soft sound or beep.

#5 – My tablet helps me in the kitchen with recipes and measurement conversions. use your tablet like a portable cookbook and cooking conversion tool while you travel

I like to cook a lot but I don’t use physical cookbooks mainly because we try to keep our possessions to a minimum while living abroad. (No sense in accumulating things that you can’t carry back home). Instead I use the internet for my source of inspiration. Thanks to my tablets small form factor I can easily use it in the kitchen because it doesn’t take up much counter space. Also I can hold it in my hands like a regular cookbook if need be.

My tablet also allows me to convert cooking ratios which is useful when I have to convert U.S.A. measurements to European such as how many grams are in a 16 ounces can of tomato or when I have to convert cooking temperatures between Fahrenheit and Celsius.

Lastly, let’s not forget all the great cooking apps from site like the food network an Epicurious which have loads of recipes or calorie counter apps which help you stay the course during your diet.

Application I use on my tablet:

I use a wide variety of apps in the kitchen. There are just too many cooking apps to list . I almost forgot to mention that I also use the Youtube app on my tablet to do searches for recipes. I really love watching how certain things are cook, especially something that involves more technique. And finally, for converting cooking ratios, I normally just use search google for how free online conversion tools but you could just as easily download an app to do this too. 

#6 – I can watch any TV show in any room on my tablet.

use your tablet to stream and watch American and British TV shows while you travel

There may come a time while you are travelling or living abroad when you will want to watch your favourite American or British TV show in “ENGLISH”.

How to watch TV on the internet using your tablet.

There are lots of ways to watch TV on your tablet. I however choose to download TV network apps. For instance if you want to watch the mentalist which is on CBS, just download the CBS App. If you want to watch Hulu or Netflix just download their app. Pretty simple if you are travelling within the U.S.A. however If you are travelling outside of the United States then you will be blocked from watching. BOO!

The good news is there is a way to get around geographic restriction like this but it involves fooling the TV NETWORK sites into thinking your tablet is actually in the U.S.A.. All you have to do is change your foreign IP address to a U.S.A. IP address.

I am sure there are many ways to do this but the way I change my IP address is by using a VPN service. (VPN stands for virtual private network.)  It took me about 30 minutes to set up my VPN and cost me 40 dollars per year which is still cheaper than cable TV. Everyone in the house can use my VPN to mask their IP address and watch any of the network shows.

Application I use on my tablet:

I use several apps including Hulu, CBS, BBC, Netflix etc.

To change my IP Address using VPN so that I won’t be blocked from watching TV network shows via the internet, I use Private Internet Access. You can try it for free before you buy it. 

There are more questionable ways of watching TV via the internet but I won’t get into that today.

#7 – My tablet keeps the kids entertained in the car and during long trips with movies, games and books.

use your tablet to keep the kids entertained in the car and on long trips while you travel

A tablet is perfect for keeping the kids occupied and happy in situations where you want them to sit quietly like on planes, on long road trips or even at boring dinner parties. Just load the tablet up with movies and games and be amazed at just how quietly your kids sit for long periods of time.

I think what I like most about tablet games over DS games is the affordability, choices and ease of purchasing new games and even movies via the internet. No need to carry cartridges or dvd’s.

#8 –I never miss a photo or video opportunity.

use your tablet to take photos and video while you travel

I used to get so annoyed when a good photo-op presented itself but my camera was nowhere to be found either because I did not want to lug it around or because I forgot it. That never happens anymore.

Thanks to my tablets slim and lightweight form factor, my tablet is ALWAYS IN MY PURSE WITH ME and ALWAYS EASILY ACCESSIBLE which means I can take a photo or video anytime I want.

For example check out the photo above of my husband Blake driving Catherine and I to the airport. I wanted one last shot of us in the car but my camera was in the boot. Rather than let the opportunity pass, I pulled out my tablet, plopped it on the dashboard, set the timer for 2 seconds and voila! I’ve captured a pretty funny moment. ahhh memories!

Application I use on my tablet :

All tablets are pre-loaded with the ability to take photos and video so there is nothing you need to download to have this feature work. You can download apps like instagram to edit your photos and post to social networking sites. 

#9 – LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE

Use your tablet to learn a language while you travel

A tablet is the perfect tool to help you learn a few key phrases and words for your next trip.  Many language learning apps even have audio so that you can hear how foreign words are actually pronounced. The language apps for children often seem more like games so even the kids will enjoy learning to speak a new language.

#10 – I can keep all my travel plans organized in one spot

synch my calendar with my travel itinerary

Our family of 5 does a lot of travelling and it sometimes gets hard to keep track of it all. I used to keep it all written down on paper but recently I have been putting all our important travel informationon on  Google calendar. This works find but this method has it’s flaws.

Then I learned about Tripit. Not to sound like a TV commercial but Tripit is like a master Itinerary and it’s pretty amazing.

In short, Tripit is a web based site where I put in all of our travel details from our trip including transportation details, hotel details, times, dates. It even has some other useful things like maps, local weather, restaurants and a ton of other things that any self respecting traveller would find handy.

That’s not all though. TripIt can synch to my google calendar which makes my life so much easier. I can see on my calendar when my son is arriving or when my husband is scheduled to fly out and all the detail concerning their trip.

Wait there’s more. I can even keep my friends, family and colleagues in the know about upcoming travel itineraries by clicking the “Share” button on my itinerary from within TripIt. Or you can post your travel plans on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter with one click.

Application I use on my tablet:

Google calendar app and the TripIt app.

Don’t Forget To Protect Your Tablet

protect your tablet with a SNUGG tablet cover case

A tablet is never going to replace your laptop, after all it is a “content consumption device” which makes it more efficient and convenient to consume media (songs, movies, etc), participate in social networking, et directions etc . That’s okay though because much of what you will use it for while travelling are content consumption activities anyways.

If you do decide to buy a tablet, I can’t stress how important it is to buy a cover to protect your tablet especially if you plan to bring it along for travel. After all, it is going to be shoved in purses, crammed into bags, sat on, dropped by the kids and examined at airport security.

Which tablet case do I use?

I have tried several cases but my favourite to date is a case made by SNUGG.

What I like about the SNUGG tablet covers is that they are fairly thick compared to other tablet cases I have owned. It just feels like my tablet is better protected with this thicker exterior. My SNUGG tablet cover also has an Integrated hand strap which comes in handy when I want to read.  For those times where I want to watch the screen hands free, like on a train, or in the kitchen, there is a little kickstand in the back.  There is even an integrated stylus holder which I don’t actually use but it’s nice that it is there.

SNUGG makes tablet cases for Apple iPads and iPhones, Google Nexus, Motorola zoom, Amazon Kindle, Microsoft surface and the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

QUESTION:

Do you use a tablet while you travel.

Store coming soon Dismiss