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Packing and travelling with tech

Travelling-with-tech

We all have different perferences on ways to travel or what our idea of an ideal holiday may be. But your gadgets and devices can offer you a safe and organised trip and help you get the most out of your time overseas.  If you’ve never travelled with tech before or if you have never travelled at all, we’ll cover some considerations and benefits to taking your gadgets on the road or in the air!

Get the down low and download!

Once you experience the convenience of a smartphone loaded with travel related apps, it will make you wonder how people ever managed without it. From translations, to maps, train timetables or activities schedules and hotel bookings, it is amazing what you have access to that would have previously required a book/pamphlet or extensive research.

Space and time savers

By now it should be clear that loading your smart phone with travel apps can save you a lot of time. It allows you to search, book and plan all on the go – but it also saves a lot of space. For every bit of information you have on your device, it is one less pamphlet or travel book you need to pack and take with you.

If you are like me, the inflight magazine on a plane isn’t going to cut it for a 10 hour flight – a long distance train or bus ride might not even have a magazine! (Although I guess you COULD look at the scenery.)

Reading

Sometimes reading material is a valuable travelling companion. Whether you feel the need to read before bed or if you have a long period of down time, a book is going to take up valuable space in your luggage.

An eReader, such as a Kindle or Kobo is perfect to travel with as you can fit many books into the 1 device. What is also great about an eReader, is the battery life – sometimes lasting weeks or even months. This allows you to use the precious battery time on your phone or tablet for tracking down a good noodle house and translating the menu.

We looked at some other E-Reader features in a previous blog article: To read or “eRead”?

Gaming

I give an honourable mention to handheld gaming devices, notably the Nintendo 3DS, excellent for when you need to kill some time waiting for a flight. The 3DS also offers some cool extra features, like a pedometer that lets you earn coins to spend in games and a social tagging feature which lets you interact with other users you may walk past (this is particularly cool if you ever travel to Japan).

Of course, thanks to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, smart phones have opened the door to a world of games. Be sure to download a few new ones – before you go overseas – to keep your data roaming bill manageable.

Tech-saavy considerations

Lastly, here are a few important things to consider whenever you travel with tech:

  • Always check what kind of power outlets and voltage are used in your destination country. If necessary, purchase the necessary adapters before you go on holidays. (You don’t want to be looking for an Australian adapter at 2am when your laptop has only 2% battery left…)
  • Make sure you pack all the power cables, batteries and chargers for each device
  • Pack your gadgets securely and tightly (if you are putting them in your luggage) to minimalise impact – there will be impact.
  • Pack smaller tech items (USB, SD cards, display adapters) in one of those clear zip-lock sandwich bags. They’ll be easy to find and are less likely to go missing.
  • Beware of pickpockets and thieves. Tech can be worth a lot of money, I always have a bag that can be zipped up and has multiple compartments.
  • Before you check out of accommodation – always do a last scout around for your cables and adapaters. They’re not always cheap or easy to replace while you’re still travelling.
  • If you do forget something, check with the reception/concierge at your hotel. Sometimes they can lend you a spare phone charger.

If this article has sparked your interest in travel but you have no idea where to start – check out our previous article for clever tips on how to plan your holiday using websites and apps.

Your gadgets are your friends, but they won’t do your travelling for you. So don’t spend the whole trip buried in your phone, tablet or laptop – get out there and have some fun! Thanks for reading my blog article and if you’d like to share some of your travel tips, leave a comment below.

5 comments

  1. Stewart Ross says:

    instead of carrying a heap of adaptors for each device carry one power adaptor for the country you are in and take an aussie power board with surge protection with you i did that on a recent trip through Belgium England and Canada and had no problems could charge up to 6 devices at once

  2. Robin says:

    I have found free Wi-Fi really available in coffee shops & public libraries in places such as Alaska.
    In Paris our apartment had free Wi-Fi available for my iPad and FREE telephone calls to Australia among many, many countries.
    On ships the charges were outlandish!

  3. Gerard says:

    Great idea Ross – just a little extra:

    make sure the power board has at least 3 metres, preferably 5 metres, of cable. Some hotels like to hide the sockets in strange places.

    Go and travel – even if things turn a bit funny at times.

  4. Stephen Leahy says:

    I can’t believe this article, which mentions the value of taking a smartphone on holiday, doesn’t make any warning about global roaming charges on mobile phone use overseas – hardly tech savvy writing

  5. Jan says:

    Way to go Ross, I have tried a similar system using surge-protected double adaptors (smaller and easier to pack into corners) with excellent results.
    With the roaming situation, an international sim seems to be the way to minimize charges and still retain adequate contactability when email is not fast enough.

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