I am currently in Shepparton, Victoria, eagerly awaiting the start of the Slide2Learn conference tomorrow morning.
During my trip, I have been thinking about how much I rely on technology for my travel plans, and how much of a challenge it would be for me to go somewhere without it.
Here is a list of the technology I used to get from my door to the hotel in Shepparton.
1. My trusty iPhone – this is fast becoming my most crucial piece of technology. I seldom go anywhere without it. It is so much more than just a phone, with apps like these:
I used the fabulous (and free) Tripit to input all my travel arrangements – from flights, to rental cars and hotel confirmations. I didn’t print the majority of these documents. Generally speaking, I just held up the phone to show the relevant information. Easy as pie.
Dropbox stored my passport details, entrance tickets to the conference, and other information that is essential to have close at hand, no matter where you are.
Pocket First Aid & CPR has my medical insurance details, should any tragic circumstances ensue (I have my fingers crossed they won’t!), as well as first aid information that might help in an emergency.
Hipstamatic helps me create moody, artistic photographs that I can share with friends and family (reaching a level of sophistication well beyond the realms of my normal creativity!) – the photo to the right was taken using Hipstamatic, and is the view from the Olivehouse Restaurant, where I had a delicious lunch today.
Just Light Flashlight – my torch in the night
XE Currency – calculating exchange rates at the touch of a button is always a useful tool when overseas.
2. GPS – Without which, I would have quite literally, been lost. Traveling in an unfamiliar location is tricky at the best of times, and using the sat-nav to get to my destination took all of the worry out of my drive from Melbourne to Shepparton.
3. My iPod Touch – by no means a superfluous piece of technology when one already has an iPhone! I consider myself pretty handy with technology these days, yet for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to make the radio in my rental car go. I needed to make sure I didn’t run out of battery on my phone, and a 2 hour trip goes by ever-so-slowly without a little music to sing to… cue the iPod Touch! It sat happily on the dash, belting out my Glee favourites as we moseyed along the Victorian countryside.
4. My (aging) Macbook Pro – Although I realise this is beginning to sound like an advertisement for all things Apple, it was not my intention! The fact of the matter is they make good products! What the Macbook Pro lacks in portability, it makes up for in ease of use – particularly for blogging on the go. It is always quick and easy to connect to wireless networks too.
5. Skype – It would be remiss of me not to mention Skype as a travel tool, as I use it so frequently. I said goodnight to my kids tonight, saw the artwork my daughter had made, chatted to my husband, and made my son laugh. All for free (internet connection notwithstanding).
Technology I made use of at Changi Airport included a DIY immigration, where your thumb is scanned and matched against records in your Green Card. At the Melbourne end, NZ and Australian passport holders could use a fast track service in which you scan your passport (provided it has a microchip in it) and beat the queues at immigration. Thumbs up to these 2 leading airports!
Of course Bump is going to be useful tomorrow – especially at a conference about mobile learning!
I am sure I have forgotten some crucial tools here. What are your tech travel must-haves? I am keen to expand my repertoire…!