Top 5 Pre-Overseas Travel Tech Tips
When I studied in France in 1983, I turned my photos into slides instead of photographs and I sent letters home instead of making expensive phone calls. How times have changed! During my upcoming trip to Bangladesh and India, I expect to use web apps to call my husband and other family members back in the U.S. for pennies per minute and I plan to upload my digital photos to the web so that I can share my experiences while I’m still there. Here’s what I’m doing to prepare my technology for the trip:
1) Bring the right gear.
I’m bringing electronics to help entertain me on the long plane flights, communicate with home, and take photos and videos. I’m being careful not to bring too much, however. I don’t want to have to carry or keep track of too many items. I’m leaving my laptop at home, for example. Here’s what I am bringing:
- iPad Mini
- Earbuds and headphone splitter so that my friend and I can watch movies on the plane
- Camera (Sony A6000) with extra battery and extra SD card
- Electrical outlet adapter (Bangladesh and India have 3-prong outlets)
2) Download as much as I can before I leave.
I’m downloading movies, books and apps while I’m at home with unlimited, reliable wifi. Here’s what I’ll be downloading:
- Movies: Before I leave, I’ll download some movies from iTunes and Amazon onto my iPad mini. I’ll consult my Pinterest board of Movies I Want to See before downloading anything.
- Viber & WhatsApp: I’ve downloaded and set up the Viber and WhatsApp apps on my iPhone so that I can make calls and send messages via wifi. I’ve also strongly encouraged my family members to do the same. An added bonus is that Viber works better at my house than Verizon does, so I’m already using it for outgoing calls. It costs 2.3 cents a minute to call between India and the U.S. I set up a reminder to turn off roaming on my phone as soon as I board the plane.
- TripIt: I’ve uploaded my flight information to the free TripIt app so that it’s easy to access on my phone and iPad.
- Other: I’ll be on a tour, so I won’t have a lot of free time to explore, but I do plan to find some apps with maps for each city we’re visiting and with some language translation capabilities.
3) Prepare to keep my belongings and information secure and backed up:
- Passport and Driver’s license: I plan to carry a printed copy of each with me, separate from where I keep the originals.
- Passwords: My husband has my passwords so that he can see the photos I’ve uploaded to the iCloud account and can help access other accounts if needed.
- Labels: I used my Brother P-Touch label maker to create labels with my email address and cell phone number for my electronic devices and chargers.
- RFID Protection: My travel purse & underclothing passport belt have sections with an RFID shield so that a hacker can’t access my credit card or passport info.
4) Practice using my camera.
I got the Sony A6000 so that I could have a powerful DSLR camera that didn’t take up too much space or weigh too much. I attended a class about it at my local camera store last night and I’m blown away by how much it can do. I’m trying to get comfortable using as many of its features before my trip as I can.
I purchased an adapter that allows me to upload photos from the camera’s SD card to my iPad and iPhone. I also set up my iCloud account so that when I take a photo with or upload a photo to one of those devices, it’s automatically updated to my iCloud account. I also made sure to put the strap on my camera so that it will be more difficult to swipe while I’m using it and less likely to drop.
5) Learn as much as I can about where I’m going.
- Pinterest: I’ve found many blog posts and articles about India & Bangladesh, as well as traveling there and traveling in general, on Pinterest. Here are a few of the Pinterest boards I’ve created for my trip:
- Feedly: I also added content about recent India and Bangladesh news to Feedly.
I hope this helps you in planning your next trip. Please let me know if there’s anything I forgot!