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10.03.2014
Education,Technology,Travel,Travel Tips

Travel Tips: Traveling with Technology

Traveling with Tech

In the 21st Century we tend to travel with a lot of technology at our side to make our trips more efficient and more pleasant. So today I would like to share a few tips to make traveling with technology a little more convenient.

Top Off Your Batteries

The evening before you leave for your trip make sure you plug in all of your devices to ensure they are fully charged for your trip. Some airports may require users to power up their devices to prove they work before they will be allowed into security.

Tech1It is always safe to bring along extra power just in case. A number of companies make external batteries to charge your phone or tablet in case you run out of power.

Pictured to the side is the Jackery 12,000 mAh battery pack. With two USB connector you can charge any device. This device packs enough power to recharge an iPad once and an iPhone can be recharged twice with just one charge of the Jackery’s internal battery.

Other manufacturers also make larger units that carry more power. Depending on how frequently you find yourself looking for a power outlet to recharge and how much weight you mind carrying in extra batteries will help determine the right size of external battery for you.

Store Data on the Cloud and Multiple Devices

If you plan on renting movies or listening to any audio-books on your trip make sure you start the download early so you have plenty of time to download them before it is time to go. Also, make sure you download enough for the whole trip.

If you are giving a presentation or taking documents with you on your trip be sure to save a copy of them on Dropbox or another cloud service. It is also a good idea to copy these documents to more than one device so that they are available to you should internet access not be available. That way you will always have access to the content that you need.

Keep Cables Organized 

Tech4Keeping organized when traveling is critical. I have collected a few handy tools and gadgets to make keeping the pile of cables and plugs organized and easily accessible.

The first item I use is the cord taco. This is a great device that keeps your headphones from getting tangled while traveling. Just wrap your cables in your hand, slide them into the cord taco, and snap it shut. This will stop your cables from becoming tangled in your pocket. The Cord Taco is $29.99 for a three pack on www.thisisground.com.

Tech2It is also a good idea to keep all USB power cords and wall plugs organized. For that, again I return to my friends at www.thisisground.com for the Cordito. At $45.00, this handy bag has three slots for USB cables and a small bag with a snap to put your wall plugs in; just wrap them all up, and you are ready to go.

Finally if you carry dongles for your laptop and random other bits of tech that don’t fit cleanly into a slot in your bag or tend to be lost easily, www.thTech3isisground.com also has the pouch. For $79, it is a little more pricey, but is a nice well made leather bag to keep your video adapters, ethernet adapters and cables from getting lost in your bag and keeps the bag nice and tidy.

I have also started keeping everything in my Scottevest. Instead of a traditional bag I toss my phone, iPad, possibly my laptop, extra battery, Cordite with cables in my Scottevest for safe keeping. The travel vest has 24 pockets that can hold all of your devices; this is great because it can free you up from having to carry a bag at all. When going through security I leave all of my devices except for my laptop in the vest and place the jacket in a bin and run it through the x-ray machine. On the other side I put the laptop back in the vest,put the vest on, and head onto my plane. www.scottevest.com carries a number of styles of vests, jackets, full length coats, shirts, and pants to hold your electronics when traveling. The vest and jackets utilize magnets to keep the clothing shape even so that you don’t look like you are carrying pockets full of gear.

Boarding Passes

One of the most convenient things I have found in the last couple of years is the electronic boarding pass. This option allows for a paperless travel by keeping boarding passes stored electronically. This has been rolled out very quickly in the past couple of years, and it seems to be supported by most airlines and airports now. In addition to keeping your electronic boarding pass in the app, it may also be a good idea to take a screenshot of the boarding pass to save in your camera roll, just in case you lose internet access. If you have a phone and tablet copy the photo to the other device as well just in case your battery goes dead you have a backup on another device.

Internet and Calling in Foreign Countries

Sometimes gaining access to the internet can be expensive when traveling. If your phone is not locked to a carrier, it might be a good idea to get a SIM card that can transfer to other phones with a local carrier. Typically you can get a SIM card for $10.00 and a data plan that provides up to 5 GB of data for $30 – $40 for a month. When you arrive in your destination, pop in the local SIM card and you have local data access at much lower rates. This will change your phone number as well while you are traveling.

Another option would be buying a Skype account for the month; it costs about $13.99 and will allow you to call from your Smartphone Skype app to landlines around the world without long distance charges. Some restrictions apply on calling mobile numbers so check ahead of time to make sure you can place calls to your mobile phone. There are other apps such as CFC, HiTalk, and Viber to allow you to bypass expensive long distance calling and place your calls over the internet. Apple iPhone users can also use FaceTime for calling and Android users can use Hangouts for calling over data networks instead of using traditional telephone calling.

A Final Tip: Never be without ID

As a rule I keep a scanned copy of my drivers license and passport along with important information stored securely in my phone and backed up onto a secure server online where I can get to it in a pinch should my identification be lost while traveling.

No matter if you are traveling a short distance or around the world remember it is always best to be prepared for anything.

– Paul Scott, Manager of Technology

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