We live in an age in which we’re perpetually tied to our gadgets–when we eat, watch television, even when we sleep. When we travel, we find technology especially helpful. Whether you’re traveling for business or for pleasure, a tablet will be especially great to have on your journey.
But traveling with technology requires a little extra care, so take note.
Tips for traveling with your tablet
Tablets are perfect traveling companions because they’re designed with the intention of consuming media. While phones exist for communication, tablets are meant almost exclusively for accessing video, internet, and a variety of applications.
As such, its easy to forget that tablets do not have the same ability to endure as say, a hard backed book. While we use them for reading, we have to be careful where we’re putting them. The sand and the sea are both bad for tablets–as is hail, snow, rain. They aren’t waterproof, so don’t make the mistake of taking them through inclement conditions. To prevent weather damage, simply invest in a good case and bring a few freezer bags. The touch screen will be responsive through the bag, but you’ll prevent damage to your device.
When you’re using your tablet (especially abroad) remember that your internet connection (assuming you’re staying in a hotel) is tentative, at best. It’s also unsecure, so if you need to conduct a lot of business over the internet, you’ll need an alternative solution. You have a few options, one of which is to set up a private network. You can do this via wireless hotspot by way of your mobile phone or set up a virtual private network.
Finally, remember that travel is a great opportunity to meet new people, be it for personal or business. Take some time and put down your tablet to embrace these new opportunities with your full attention.
Tablet safety issues
If you’ve ever traveled with a laptop, smartphone, or tablet, you know that you’ve got to be extra careful. While we might wish the world was a friendlier place without theft, that simply isn’t the case. If you’re a tourist, you’re especially vulnerable to theft, so take care of your technology with these tips.
If you’re staying in a place you are unfamiliar with, keep your technology with you. Your tablet is light and meant to be portable, so store it in your purse or backpack to keep it safe. In case it is stolen, make sure that it isn’t filled with personal data. Don’t store your passwords on your device and keep your tablet especially close in areas where there are a lot of people.
You might also keep the tablet in a plain case that doesn’t overemphasize the content–simple is best. When you’re in the airport, don’t forget to watch your tablet on the conveyor belt–belongings are often not monitored after they’ve passed through the machine. Once you’re on your train or plane, continue to keep your tablet within site–don’t rely on overhead bins, but use the area provided under the seat.
Finally, make sure you check restrictions regarding technology before you fly, both at the airport and within the areas you wish to travel. You may have to pay an import tax where applicable. To make things as easy as possible, register all devices with US Customs before embarking on your journey.
Load it up
Tablets are the perfect device for travel because you can load them up with helpful applications to assist you in your travel. We’ve gathered a few of the ones we think you’ll enjoy.
Goby points out hot spots in the neighborhood you’re in, including hotels, restaurants, hotels, coffee shops, etc. This app will tell you where concerts, plays, local festivals, etc are, so you don’t miss out on exciting activities in the city you’re visiting.
Don’t worry, this app doesn’t do what you think. Instead, it works to find gas stations and provide you, the traveler, with the approximate price. Instead of looking for a station and driving around to compare prices, you’ll have them at your fingertips.
We hope you’re already using Google Flights, but you should definitely start now. Download the app for your tablet and start comparing flights. You’ll have to go to another site to actually purchase plane tickets, but this app provides a great look at the range of costs. Plus, the interface is easy to use.
City Guides, Offline Maps
The mobile app of stay.com, City Guides, Offline Maps has the ability to put together an itinerary for you based on where you’re staying, where you’d like to eat, etc. The itinerary isn’t perfect or super scheduled, which can be a nice way to organize your travel. It is best used in conjunction with the website (perfect for the tablet). It’s totally functional offline, allowing you to access maps even when you’re without service.
This app is perfect for trip planning as well, as it has over 40,000 attractions listed in over 300 destinations. It also syncs with the website, allowing you to work on your travel planning from multiple devices. Not everything is available offline (but much of it is) and you can’t save daily itineraries when you’re not connected to wireless or data. It makes a good companion to an offline app.
We’re so thankful that technology exists–traveling without it seems like a long lost relic of the distant past. While a phone can be a big help, it is a bit small and can be hard to navigate. Laptops are great too, but much more difficult to carry from place to place, and not overly helpful when you’re standing on a street corner and trying to find your way. Enter the tablet–the perfect blend of both, capable of making phone calls and navigating the internet with ease.
What is your favorite use for your tablet while traveling? Tell us about some of your favorite apps, share stories, tell us what you’re thinking! Share with us in the comments below!