The Digital Traveler

June 27, 2018

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I have had a subscription to International Travel News since the turn of the century (a little Irish hyperbole). Seriously, this monthly publication – with its down-to-earth b/w newsprint format – started in Sacramento, California way back in 1976. It covers everywhere in the world EXCEPT the United States. All of the information is very practical. I’ve decided to take excerpts from a column that ran in March 2018 by Mark Gallo. It is titled The Mindful Traveler and it’s very relevant because we’re heading for the summer travel season.

RIDING WITH UBER

  • He writes that he’s a big fan of Uber because “you tap a button a get a ride that’s often quicker and cheaper than a taxi
  • Uber in Mexico: it already knows where you’re headed so you avoid the struggle to convey critical destination information in a foreign tongue
  • There’s no fumbling for payment and tip because they are made automatically from the information you’ve already set up in your profile
  • There is no Uber in Japan, but their taxis are incredibly clean and efficient; they also have a “no tipping” policy

SHOPPING WITH APPLE WALLET

  • This is an operating system that comes with the iPhone. It allows you to make purchases with your phone at retail stores that accept this form of payment: it’s known as Apple Pay
  • Apple Wallet also stores your boarding pass for ease of scanning at boarding time.

ORGANIZING WITH TRIPIT

  • The basic TripIt app is free and in one convenient location, it keeps track of all details for transportation and lodging for each trip
  • It captures flight numbers, arrival/departure times, seat assignments, hotel and rental car details (including confirmation numbers) and maps of your destination

TRANSLATING A LANGUAGE

  • The author says that he uses Google’s Translate feature to remind him of everyday foreign phrases and pronunciations

The ancient Inca ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru. Photo courtesy of National Geographic. Note the visitors exploring on the lower left and upper right

SUPPLYING POWER TO YOUR MOBILE

  • One really appreciates the value of a smartphone when the battery dies and your phone stops working. Gallo advises to “pay a few bucks for a decent mobile charger so you don’t have to worry”
  • He says that one should buy a charger that has sufficient capacity to fully recharge your phone. The iPhone has an 1810 mAh battery; the Plus has a 2915 mAh battery
  • Gallo ends by saying this, “I’ve just scratched the surface of iPhone utilities for travelers. There are even more creative ideas, I’m sure.”

In another article that appeared in the International Travel News of August 20, 2017 he notes that the most common adapters for US travelers to use for smartphones, tablets, digital cameras and many models of laptops are dual-voltage with 2-prong charging cords that work with non-grounded adapters.

To sum up, if you’re going to France or Germany, you need the Continental Europe adapter plug. However, if you’re traveling to a country where two or more different adapters are used (e.g., China, India, parts of Africa and South America) you’ll need to do more planning for wall-socket specs. CLICK HERE for useful info on this subject.

Shaun Nelson-Henrick

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