Travel Technology

Fun on my Mac.










I like to keep it simple when I'm traveling, camera, one bag, no laptop, a local sim and my iPod touch. I'm tempted by the Kindle and the iPad but I'm living without them. However, having said that I like to make the best use of the things I bring, in particular I love traveling with my iTouch and every time I go away I seem to find another use for it.

Why don't I travel with my laptop or my mobile phone? 
It's a matter of cost and convenience. I don't want to carry or to worry about expensive equipment. I want to use the phone to make as many local calls as I need, without worrying costly per minute foreign rates or roaming fees. It's so easy to get an unlocked phone,  pick up a local sim card when you arrive and "topping up" with minutes where needed, we have done this with few problems all over the world.

Maximizing your iPod Touch for Travel
The iTouch essentially an iPhone, without the phone, camera and the monthly fees. So what functionality is left when you take all that away?

I can't make calls on it but I can access wifi where available which  means I can check email and confirm or make onward bookings easily. I use it to store information, for entertainment, photos, music and more. It helps me navigate when I arrive, decide where to eat and assists me in translating the menu, no wonder I don't want to leave home without it!

  • French/English Food Glossary - on a recent trip to France I made great use of PatriciaWells' comprehensive French to English Food Glossary. It's available as a PDF and is invaluable when reading a gastronomic menu. Her blog is a fabulous resource for all things foodie, with wonderful Parisian restaurant reviews in english. While I love the Italian/English food glossary in Maureen Fant's book,  next time I'm in Italy I'll be looking for something to download because the electronic version is more convenient to search and more discreet to use in a restaurant. Here's the free ibook app that allows you to view PDFs on your touch  http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ibooks/id364709193?mt=8
  • Maps - Obviously the iPhone is superior because of the built in GPS, but you'll have to pay a lot to use it abroad. On our trip to Paris I downloaded free street maps which were very easy to use and helped us navigate the city. I far prefer stand on the corner looking at the touch (which looks like a phone) than pulling out a guidebook. Search  the app store on itunes, some maps  are available for free including this one of Paris, http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/paris-offline-map/id388885957?mt=8 In addition, I like to download metro or underground maps prior to our trip which can make things much simpler,  http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/tube-map/id320969612?mt=8 
  • Entertainment - I always have movies or  a cheesy BBC series loaded onto my iTouch for the flight. I don't want to rely on whatever the airline thinks I should be watching, this after all was how I ended up seeing real rubbish.
  • Lectures and Podcasts - I've blogged about this elsewhere. I love bringing lecture and podcasts with me. How could I ever forget listening to This American Life on a camel trek in Morocco!
    YogaJournal.com : Yoga Practice Podcast
  • Yoga - There are lots of great yoga podcasts and I particularly like the audio casts from Yoga Journal. I have downloaded video in the past but I find the audio classes far superior, as you're concentrating on the teacher's voice rather than looking over at the video. You can find everything from a short  morning sequences to a full class for free.                                  http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/yogajournal-com-yoga-practice/id272050214
  • Tripit.com - This is a great website and I highly recommend it as a travel resource. You forward all your email confirmations (hotels/airline reservations etc.) and it automatically orders them in a customized itinerary. It's easy to use and a great way to share your travel plans online with family and friends.  With the app I can download the full itinerary to my iTouch and I have all the confirmation numbers, phone numbers and addresses I need for our trip.



Comments

Sue said…
Great stuff, notably the Tripit.com pointer. Will come in handy for the upcoming Sicily trip.

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