Do you feel lost without your iPhone or tablet? Are you a big tech lover who can’t stand being disconnected while traveling? If this sounds like you, then listen up.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to nurture your love of technology while traveling. Here are five tips to keep in mind to make your trip planning easier.
The presence of Wi-Fi makes it much easier to stay connected these days, and many hotels, restaurants and airports have free Wi-Fi. If you need your Internet access, you will still want to research your hotels and airlines in advance to make sure that Wi-Fi will be available.
While some airports still require you to pay for Internet access, more and more of them are offering free Internet and most airport lounges have Wi-Fi networks. Most domestic flights offer Wi-Fi options, as do many international flights.
Major U.S. airlines such as Alaska, American, Delta and U.S. Airways offer Gogo in-flight Internet and others, like United, are installing satellite-based Wi-Fi. Be sure to check with your preferred airline for specifics before you book your flight.
When you are traveling, you may want to pack a back-up charger for your phone so you have an extra on hand just in case. If you are going abroad, it’s important to check if you will need a plug adapter to charge your devices.
With so many options on the market, deciding on the best adapter can be a challenge. Lifehacker offers a review of five adapters that are highly recommended by their readers.
One popular option is the Kensington International Travel Plug Adapter which features adapters for USA/Japan, Australia/China, the UK and Europe. As an added bonus, it also includes two USB ports so you can charge up to three devices at once.
Pick the Right Sites
If you love all things tech, check out your destination to see if there are any sites where you can pursue your interest. For example, if you have the chance to visit Silicon Valley, you won’t want to miss The Computer History Museum.
If you are heading to Manhattan, the Hayden Planetarium is a great place to visit. The planetarium houses the Digital Universe, a 3-D atlas of the cosmos, where their Astronomy Live programs are held. While in New York, also stop by the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum and of course, the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue.
If you planning a trip to Europe, some sites to check out are the German Museum of Technology in Berlin and the National Museum of Computing in Milton Keynes, UK.
Lugging around a heavy laptop is the last thing you need when you are traveling. An iPad is a much lighter, more manageable alternative, but if you absolutely need a computer, a netbook might be a better option. It is both smaller and easier to transport, typically with an average weight of two pounds.
Since netbooks have fewer features than laptops, they are also less expensive, often retailing for $300 or less. Though their size, slower speed and limited capacities make them impractical for more complex tasks, they are ideal for performing basic functions while traveling.
Use Travel Apps
These days, travel apps are leading many to ditch the destination guides. While sites like TripAdvisor and Wikitravel offer alternatives to the traditional travel guidebooks, there are many valuable travel apps you should consider. A few ones to check out are BreadcrumbsHQ, TripIt and Guides by Lonely Planet.
BreadcrumbsHQ is an up-and-coming travel app that displays your location and nearby attractions, along with reviews and recommendations from people in your social networks. It lets you know about places to visit wherever you are in the world and provides reviews from people you trust.
TripIt allows you to organize all your travel plans for one trip into a single Master Itinerary. You simply have to forward your various confirmation emails to firstname.lastname@example.org, and the app will add those emails to an itinerary that you can access from any device.
Guides by Lonely Planet is an app that allows you to access valuable information about any given location. It contains offline maps, expert recommendations, audio phrasebooks and more, and is an excellent alternative to a physical guidebook.
If you are a tech aficionado with a passion for travel, we’d love to hear from you. What other tips would you recommend? Write us a note in the comments section and let us know!