Anne Majumdar

In an ever more technological age, travellers need to be packing more than just a toothbrush and a few pairs of clean underpants.

But the key to nailing your holiday technology requirements is surprisingly traditional, according to technology expert Charlie Brown.

“Planning as much as you can before you get there is so important because once you get there it’s infinitely harder to plan,” he tells KarryOn.

Researching details such as the weather, the best way to get from the airport will enable you to hit the ground running, setting you up for a successful trip.

And in that planning process, there are a few things you need to consider.

Here are the top tech tips for ensuring smooth travels:

 

It’s time for a VPN app

Image: pio3/Shutterstock

Image: pio3/Shutterstock

Free wifi is increasingly commonplace all around the world and is set to become even more so. But connecting to a free wifi network can sometimes be a dangerous choice.

Why? Because there’s a chance that someone else may be intercepting the data you’re sending to apps and websites leaving you vulnerable to a range of cybercrimes.

Here’s where VPN apps come in, Brown explains.

“It encrypts all the data between the device and the provider service,” he tells KarryOn. “You’re still using the free wifi, but none of your data going over that is at all visible – the encryption means your data is completely safe.”

 

Ponder your phone provider

karryon_mobileusePost

Want to stay connected while overseas without needing to remortgage your house to foot the bill? Then you need to give some thought to which service provider you’re using.

Brown uses Vodafone’s $5 roaming offer which enables him to make calls and use his data allowance while in 50 countries around the world using his Australian number.

“When I’m overseas, it’s like I’m in Australia – I’m on my phone, absolutely smashing my data usage,” he says.

Buying a travel SIM is another good option, giving you a pre-agreed rate although you will likely have to use a different number.

“It’s a really good idea to have an understanding of what providers are out there and which one best for you,” Brown advises. “You can save a huge amount of money.”

 

Cherry pick your apps

Travel App, Karryon

Travel app, Karryon

The app store is filled with apps that claim to make your travels easier than ever, so it can be tempting to download them all. But the key is to be selective, according to Brown.

“Choose three or four that do different things and that you’re going to get the most value from,” he suggests.

Learning how to use an app properly can be a time-consuming process which is why it’s best to focus on just a handful.

“Get good at using them, then you’re going to get more value out of them whether that be saving money or being more efficient with time,” Brown says.

 

Choose your devices wisely

Frustrated woman using laptop

Frustrated woman using laptop

It can be easy to just grab your favourite device or whatever’s nearest as you walk out of the door, suitcase in hand. But it’s worth giving the matter a bit of thought. Where are you going to be using it? What do you need it for?

For example, one rule when flying is that on take-off and landing, use of laptops is not allowed, but you can use a tablet.

“So, if you’re always on short-haul planes, it makes sense for you to get a tablet with a keyboard so then you can use it all the time,” Brown suggests.

Notebooks which allow you to unclip the screen are a great idea for these types of situations, he added.

 

An adaptor that does it all

shocked traveller

Travel plug adaptors have been around for yonks, but now you can buy plugs that work for all different countries, enabling you to be always prepared without having to buy a new adaptor every time you travel.

More importantly, however, the new generation travel adaptors also contain an electricity surge protector – particularly useful when visiting countries such as China or India where the power can be inconsistent.

“By using a power surge protector, you’re going to protect your device from shocks,” Brown says.

 

Keep the noise out

kids

Noice-cancelling headphones have long been considered a travel essential by people in search of a peaceful flight, uninterrupted by snoring or the racket of raucous children. But they’ve changed a lot in the last 10 years.

Spending a little extra on a superior set is well worth the investment, according to Brown, particularly if you want them to last long distances.

“Don’t complain about crying children, get a set of noise-cancelling headphones, then you won’t care if they cry,” he says.

Although some of the newer aircraft such as the Airbus A380 are a lot quieter than older models, the headphones are still “really helpful”, he adds.

 

Wearable your way to fitness

Apple Watch Header

Unless you’re travelling for work, it’s likely that you’ll want to stay as active as possible during your trip, and the new range of wearables can be the ideal way to keep you on the move.

In addition to tracking activities such as swimming and cycling, there are even devices that can help you relax with breathing exercises.

“Staying fit is one of the hardest things to do when away particularly when you’re eating lots of different kinds of food,” Brown admits. “At least, if you keep your movement up, that’s going to help.”