CM TRANSLATOR REVIEW // TRAVELING WITH A POCKET TRANSLATOR

Traveling with technology is an interesting thing. When I first began my adventures back in 2009 very few travelers carried any technology with them at all. On my first trip to Thailand I have very vivid memories of popping Thai Baht into the computers at internet cafes just to get 15 minutes of dial-up time. This was only ten years ago, but as you know world travel has changed drastically even since then.

During my first year of travel in Thailand, I found it incredibly difficult to communicate (even when both parties were speaking in broken English). Just a few weeks into my travels I began learning the basics of Thai so that I could both speak to, and understand the locals better. While I was learning, I also carried a ratty old Thai phrase book in my bag to flip through frantically when translation was needed.

Ordering food was easy because I could just point to menu items or photos, but asking for directions or simply striking up casual conversation was both difficult & incredibly time consuming. I remember thinking that one day (maybe in the year 3000 when we could teleport & pay for hotels using our fingerprints) we would be able to speak into some sort of technological contraption & have our conversations interpreted right on the spot. Little did I know that day was not so far away.

Earlier this month I received the CM Translator (pictured above) to take along with me during my adventures abroad & to test & review for TL Travelers like you! The CM Translator is not only small & chic with its “One Click. One World” single-button design, but it also features a battery life of up to 180 days (on standby) & 24 hours of continuous use for every charge.

The CM Translator supports six languages (English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean & Thai), but of course it was the Thai capabilities that interested me the most!

Now, being someone who is not incredibly tech savvy, I was slightly concerned that I would have trouble navigating the CM Translator App. I knew that it was my job to review the translator all by myself, but I asked my husband & fellow travelers to oversee the setup just in case I messed everything up from the get-go (as I often do with technology).

To my delight, there has never been a product easier to set up than this pocket translator. After downloading the “CM Translator” App from the Play Store on my phone, I simply held the button on the translator to pair it, changed my language settings to “English - Thai” & we were off!

Testing the translator with a language that I was already familiar with seemed like the best idea & it seemed that as long as I spoke clearly in English, the translations to Thai came back correct (for the most part).

I also found it incredibly helpful that not only was the translation given out loud (through my cell phone) but also shown in text (in both languages) through the App. With the translations being shown this way, it is much easier to identify those moments when the translator didn’t quite understand what I was saying, or when / if a word was missed.

With that said though, I am sure you are wondering just how big this piece of equipment is. As someone who already carries with me a laptop, photo & video equipment, a cell phone, a wallet & a phrase book, just how much valuable travel space will it monopolize?

Good news - not much space at all!

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Not only is the CM Translator small (much smaller than a phrase book & even smaller than your cell phone) but it is ultra-light & can easily fit in your pants pocket, side bag or purse.

As I continue traveling the world I will surely bring my translator along with me & continue to test its ease of use & accuracy for travelers like you! If you are interested in picking one up for yourself, you can do so online starting May 28, 2019 & be sure to leave us a comment letting us know which language you will be using the most!

Follow along on all of our adventures through Southeast Asia, Central America & beyond on Twitter & Instagram @TLTRAVEL, and find more inspiration for your next adventure right here on the Blog or on the TL Travel YouTube Channel. As always, stay great & travel safe, and we look forward to traveling with you soon!

Please note that the CM translator was provided to me pre-launch in exchange for my open & honest review. All opinions stated above are my own.


TIPS FOR HOLIDAY TRAVELERS // MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR HOLIDAY!

The holidays are upon us & we all know that with the holidays come travel days! While some of us may be flying across the country to spend time with friends & families, others may only be celebrating a couple of cities away. But regardless of where you are heading, use these five tips to travel stress-free!

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LEAVE EARLY OR LEAVE LATE

Arguably the most important tip for holiday travel is to avoid peak travel times & leave early or leave late. With the influx of tourists traveling around the holidays, you can avoid long custom lines, heavy traffic & travel delays by planning to fly (or drive) when others are not. If Christmas falls on a Saturday (for example) then plan to fly on the Thursday & enjoy an additional day off work … you won’t regret it!

TRAVEL LIGHT!

If you are flying then traveling carry-on only (that’s NO checked baggage) is the best way to guarantee a stress-free travel day. Not only can you check-in online & avoid baggage drop lines at the airport, but you will guarantee that your luggage does not get lost in the chaos.

If you are driving, try not to pack too much just because you can. Pack only what you need & prevent the anxiety that comes with an overcrowded bag (especially if you plan to return home with gifts!)

GIVE YOURSELF TIME

Whether this means checking in early at the airport or leaving an hour earlier for your drive, expect delays & give yourself more time than you would typically need.

PACK SNACKS

There’s nothing worse than being stuck in long weekend or holiday traffic with a car full of kids and just sitting & watching as the time on the clock creeps by. Whether you’re traveling with kids, or simply hoping to avoid “the hanger”, be sure to pack snacks & have them on hand for moments like these.

Flying? Having snacks on hand will not only help to avoid extra spending during your flight, but often times airport delays & extra long security lines leave holiday travelers without enough time to brave the line at Starbucks & grab a snack before boarding.

TRY TO RELAX

I know, I know, there’s nothing worse than being told to “just relax” but when you’re braving travel over the holidays it is SO necessary for a successful trip. Understand that as much as you do to prepare, crowds & delays are unavoidable. Remember that you’ve done everything in your control to ease your travels, but that some things are simply out of your control … & that’s ok. “Just relax” & enjoy the experience as it comes.

WHY TRAVELERS LOVE BLACKLANE // OUR PREFERRED DRIVING SERVICE

WHY TRAVELERS LOVE BLACKLANE // OUR PREFERRED DRIVING SERVICE

I cannot tell you how many times I have made the decision to catch a taxi on arrival, only to be overwhelmed by the added stress & confusion, or scammed into paying double by an unlicensed taxi driver. Blacklane car service is one of my favorite services for airport transfers, not only for the convenience but because they are available in more than 50 countries around the world at affordable prices.

PLANNING & PACKING FOR TRAVEL IN THAILAND // PACKING TIPS

PLANNING & PACKING FOR TRAVEL IN THAILAND // PACKING TIPS

From fast paced city streets to serene white sand beaches, Thailand is one of our most requested destinations & one of our personal favorites as well. Whether you are heading to Thailand this year with TL Travel or going it alone, below you will find just a few of our top tips for planning & packing for your trip. 

UNEXPECTED TRAVEL COSTS // 5 MOST OVERLOOKED TRAVEL EXPENSES THAT YOU MAY HAVE FORGOTTEN

UNEXPECTED TRAVEL COSTS // 5 MOST OVERLOOKED TRAVEL EXPENSES THAT YOU MAY HAVE FORGOTTEN

When you think of booking your next vacation, what are the things that you budget for immediately? Obviously flights & hotels are at the top of your list, perhaps ground transportation comes to mind & of course money for food/drinks. But what other expenses are out there that you are overlooking? Additional travel expenses can add up quickly & can easily put a damper on your trip if you are not prepared for them. Here are TL Travel's 5 most commonly overlooked travel expenses as compiled by you; our TL Travelers. 

WHERE SHOULD YOU TRAVEL TO NEXT? // CHOOSING THE PERFECT DESTINATION

WHERE SHOULD YOU TRAVEL TO NEXT? // CHOOSING THE PERFECT DESTINATION

There is never just one right answer when it comes to the question "where should I travel to next?" Every traveler is different, has different restrictions & wants different things. What I find thrilling may bore you to tears & vise versa, so how do you know what destination is right for you?

RENTING A CAR ABROAD // THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU GO

RENTING A CAR ABROAD // THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU GO

I learned lesson after lesson "the hard way" because every company & every country is different, but today I have finally got it all figured out! So here it is; for all of our travelers who rent cars abroad & crave the freedom that it brings you, these are our top TL Travel tips for SUCCESSFULLY renting a car for your next vacation!

WHY TRAVEL WITH A GROUP? // 5 REASONS WE LOVE GROUP TRAVEL!

WHY TRAVEL WITH A GROUP? // 5 REASONS WE LOVE GROUP TRAVEL!

Traveling the world is an amazing thing! There is no better feeling (in my opinion) than stepping out of the airport in a brand new destination & being welcomed by new sights & sounds. More often though, I find myself hopping into business mode; find a taxi, barter a price, locate the hotel, where should I eat? etc., & before I know it that feeling is gone. Group travel makes all of these things easy & allows you to make the most of each moment without having to worry about the logistics of where to go next, how to get there & how not to get ripped off. If you are a traveler (or soon-to-be traveler) who has never experienced travel as a group, here are a few reasons why you should try it out!

DOCUMENTING SOLO TRAVEL // GETTING THE SHOT YOU WANT

DOCUMENTING SOLO TRAVEL // GETTING THE SHOT YOU WANT

When you travel the world with a group or a partner there is always someone on hand to snap a photo & capture the moment for you. For travel bloggers especially, having yourself included in your travel photos adds a personal touch & element of engagement to your social media posts, so you can imagine the struggle that arises for solo travelers who want to document their adventures & still be present in their own shots.