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Before You Travel With Tech: 3 Tips You Must Know

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 by | Filed Under: Android, Hardware & Peripherals, I've Always Wanted To Know..., iOS

Tech like tablets or a GPS unit can make a great travel companion, but you have to know how to make the most of them.  I had this message from a reader in my inbox today:  “My mini IPad was a gift, with no instructions. I should have read this page prior to my trip tp Peru. When a person travels, they pack the minimum. and I could not access the IPad just to send a small message back to Canada to say “everything is ok.” I am VERY DISAPPOINTED with my gift- a useless gift!”

An iPad mini is far from useless, but if you don’t know how to use it, it’s about as useful as a car with a manual transmission is to someone who has no clue how to drive a stick shift. It’s really important to familiarize yourself with a piece of technology before taking it on the road.


For example, did you know that complete instructions for any Apple device are always only a few taps away? Apple maintains an extensive database of instructions for their devices.  Clicking or tapping here would take you to a very useful guide that would answer many of your questions.

But the time to look for instructions is not while you’re on vacation, but before you depart. If you plan on using a tablet to stay in touch on vacation, here are few things you need to consider:

1. Do they have WiFi where you’re going? WiFi service is so common in many countries that we take it for granted when traveling. A tablet is basically a WiFi appliance. Without WiFi, it’s like a care without gas. It won’t go. (Some tablets can connect to your phone’s data plan, but that needs to be set up before you travel. Your phone plan may not be available when traveling abroad.)  Check ahead to see if the places you’re staying offer WiFi. The same is true for a GPS system.  It might be fine and dandy for driving in the USA, but if you’re heading into Mexico, Canada, or Central or South America, your device might not have maps for those regions installed.


2. Practice using the device. If you’ve never received mail on an iPad before, you’ll want to make sure your account is set up and you know how to do things like send and receive mail or attach photographs. If you plan to post to Facebook, make sure that app is set up properly and running. If you’re in Peru and realize you don’t know your password, the fact that it’s on a notepad in your office won’t help much.  For an item like a GPS, take trial drives before hitting the road.


3. Check your power!  Make sure you have both a wall and a car charger for your device. If you’re headed to another country, check to see if you need a power converter for charging. Plugs and voltage vary from country to country.

~ Cynthia


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