Technology and Travel

Keeping Connected

Well, the bookings have been done. I have booked all of my stays via Booking.Com to see how the site management does. Last year I had made various online bookings and had to keep track of everything which proved a bit difficult. Why? Because sometimes even though Internet connectivity is global, connections with a US based iPad can sometimes be tricky dealing with IP addresses identifying you. WiFi is available in many places, but can be spotty just time anywhere. Also, I like to try new  things and see how they do, and the travel management planning so far has worked really well. Now, I do not receive promotion from this site, it’s just the one I have used this year for booking and communications. Most of the features are very useful in connecting with places to stay, and there is an app with will be useful if there are no weird in another country issues that happen with function. What are those you may ask?

The UK and Ireland have better baud rates or connectivity that most US locations. Seriously, much of the world has better speeds for the Internet because in the US our connections are regulated by a bunch of private companies that squeeze out service at a very profitable rate. In other countries, much of the Internet is indeed faster. Now each city may differ, but if you contact your cell phone provider for example, they will probably have an app that will help you use WiFi hot spots while traveling. You still need to purchase a travel package fro your phone. I kid you not. While traveling in the UK and Ireland for example, you will be piggy backing on Vodaphone or another provider. You should budget $100 to $300 for a international phone plan while out of the states, depending on where you travel. Don’t go for the budget plan as I guarantee you will use up all data plan in a matter of days. Go for an unlimited, it’s cheaper than paying additional charges and all other data that will hit your phone while you travel. If you use the maps apps for travel, which you will, this eats up data and battery life. Check with your service provider well before the time you travel and tell them when you plan to travel. You don’t need surprises while on your trip.

Charging Up

Yes, each country has it’s own type of plug. Many Americans forget that the world is not America and assumes plugs are universal. Also, get used to having to turn on your electrical plug at each place you stay. Europe is very thrifty with it’s electricity.  Get a universal plug system. You can find these at travel sites and at the Apple Store and Windows Store. But save the money and shop online for one. They start at $19 or so. In some cases, if you are staying in a serviced apartment, there may be a curtesy plug kit for you, but remember to leave it behind, don’t get charged for it. If you forget to buy before you fly, you can pick one up at electronics stores. Backup batteries are very useful to carry because even though you can do low battery mode, many cities have huge amounts of push data and you will use many features to explore in your travels, the battery gets sucked dry very quickly. I found that especially in summer, when it is light out until very late, I was hiking and walking around cities late into the night and using the data a lot. Having to cut short travels and head back to the lodgings can be annoying. Oh, wait, you are on vacation, you should just turn the darn thing off. Well, we have become so addictive to our services that this is shocking to us! Try it, you will remember life before devices. It’s good for you. Or go back to the flat and have a kip while you charge.

Online Accounts or Binging While Traveling

Okay, we all have our habits. Staying in a apartment or hotel with smart TV, got HDMI cable and you can watch films and series while you relax. Not on your American or Canadian accounts. The IP address and your device will identify as foreign and not able to use your domestic account on Amazon, Hulu, and US cable channels. You can download apps for BBC and SKYE, other euro cable companies have  apps you can get while you are there. Warning, make sure your iOS is up to date. Also, read up on joining. They may charge monthly fees and if you run it and forget when you get back, good luck canceling services easily. The sam goes for Amazon. You will be forced to join Amazon UK may not have prime. They will not transfer or connect accounts for you. Run your music on Apple? Your US account won’t work. Find out from locals what they are using for internet radio access.

Or better yet, get out and have your vacation.

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