"" Writer's Wanderings: Traveling With Tech

Monday, November 23, 2015

Traveling With Tech

It used to be that the most important gadget to take on a trip was an adapter for foreign outlets but now with all the tech gadgets we take along power sources become a little more challenging. We still need those adapters for international travel and they have become a little easier to handle. I remember the bag of plugs each labeled for the country or area of the world where it could be used. Add to that, an adapter if you were going to use it for a hair dryer. I have been known to fry a few because I forgot that little detail. There are some simpler answers today to those problems and with a little research you can find a one-size-fits-all adapter like the one offered by Conair on TravelSmart's website. 

Many hotels and even cruise ships lack enough outlets for all the tech charging that needs to go on especially if you are traveling with family. To solve some of that, take along a small power strip. We have been on some cruise ships that actually had a mini power strip in the room so the cruise industry is catching up.

Have you ever wondered where all the spam and junk mail comes from after you've traveled? A lot of it is because you use public WiFi which may not be entirely secure. One way around it I found was to make my iPhone a hot spot. I feel a lot more secure and I use it sparingly to save my data usage. Of course that's not always possible so just be wary of sharing your credit card number over a public WiFi that is not secure.

I remember several trips where we either took a zodiac (small inflatable boat) or a water taxi where we waded out through waist deep water to get on in order to get to our destination. I didn't have as many tech gadgets then as I do now but one way to protect them if you find yourself in that situation or traveling through a rainy period is to use a sealable plastic baggie. Pack some in your suitcase. They come in all sizes and you can protect a tablet/laptop, smart phone, e-reader, camera, etc. from damage.

Do you take lots of pictures? Uploading them to the cloud (whichever one you choose) can be a way of saving space on your laptop/tablet. Of course that's not always practical if you have a lot of pictures and a really slow internet connection. I carry a USB flash drive as a backup. I upload when possible, backup always, and keep the flash drive in a separate place from my camera and laptop so that if, horrors, one or both should be stolen, the flash drive is not with it and at least I still have my pictures.

All of this tech stuff can really make travel so much easier. Boarding passes are now stored on our smart phones and information for filling out the immigration forms is also stored there so we don't have to dig for our passports in flight. But would you believe that the one thing most people forget to take along on a trip is a pen? Just watch people scramble on an international flight as the immigration forms are handed out when they suddenly realize that even with all their technology, a simple ballpoint pen is probably the best tool to have around.

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