“I get ideas about what’s essential when I’m packing my suitcase.”
--Diane von Furstenberg
Travel season is here, and with it, comes the art of packing. Tech makes it easier in many ways (check the weather, track your bags, etc.), but also harder in others! Now we have to figure out which technology to bring along with us!
Here are tips for maximizing tech and minimizing tech pain on your trip:
1) Leave the laptop at home. I know this might be old news for some seasoned travelers, but like a friend mentioned to me the other day, “Why do we still have land-line phones?” I guess maybe it’s for that feeling of having a fail-safe. But really with a tablet or a smartphone, you can access anything you need. No need to lug around another bag that’s also a security risk. And without that extra weight, you can pack extra clothes or other travel items.
2) Speaking of smartphones, who among us hasn’t had an important call – to a client or a loved one – just when the juice is failing? And of course it’s even more important when you’re traveling to stay connected. Get a portable battery charger. They’re small, they’re convenient, and they’re inexpensive. For just one example look at Rayovac's Phone Boost 800. It only boosts you up to two-and-a-half additional hours of talk time, but at lighter than two ounces it’s perfect for travel. Another benefit is that it doesn't need cables -- if your phone uses a micro USB, Apple Lightning or 30-pin port, you can just plug the charger directly into your phone. (This is just one example. You can find it at www.rayovac.com or cost compare many other portables at Amazon or just google them).
3) Avoid data roaming charges. Using data services on your smartphone outside of your home country can ramp up extra charges, which can get up to be crazily astronomical. Before you leave on your trip, contact your phone company for an international data plan, or turn off data roaming, or just use WiFi depending on where you are.
4) Remember to pack an international all-in-one travel plug adapter. Our American plugs don’t often work with other systems and can result in blowouts (and not the Brazilian kind!). Again these are inexpensive and worth every penny.
5) And finally, use your technology to keep you safe! When you’re in a new city it’s exciting, but it’s also easy to be distracted. With the React Mobile app, you can turn your smartphone into a great emergency contact. You can reach out to self-selected contacts any time, with a push of a button. Also, the app has a “Follow Me” feature, which allows you to tell your contacts where you are in real time. It basically makes your phone into a security device.
I hope these tips help you and your technology keep well on summer travels!