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January 3, 2013
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Travel Technology: How to Stay Connected to the Internet on a Long Trip

For many people used to be perpetually connected to the Internet, the prospect of a period of time “in the dark” is something that not only makes them feel uncomfortable, but may also be extremely inconvenient from a business point of view.
So what should you take with you in terms of technology to be sure that you can remain connected on a long journey? This would depend on the nature of your journey. For instance, a long road trip may require different technology than a flight abroad.
In some ways, the holy trinity of travel technology is a good Smartphone, a small tablet PC and of course the ever-present laptop. Some people may well take all three items with them which may seem like taking a hammer to crack a nut, but in reality, each has its own purpose.

The Smartphone
Nowadays, a good Smartphone is an absolute prerequisite for the traveller who needs to stay in touch and up to date. With a Smartphone, not only can you make and receive calls and texts but you can also check and respond to emails and carry out basic internet browsing.
There are many apps that you can install on your Smartphone to ensure that your journey does not inconvenience you. Everything from GPS mapping technology, through to apps that will allow you to pre-schedule text messages and tweets, or stay in touch with your contacts on Facebook and Skype, as well as find you suitable local hotels and restaurants.
Many Smartphones even have tethering capability that will allow you use it to create your own Wi-Fi hotspot and connect to it with your laptop.
With all of this functionality, why would you need to take anything else with you? The simple answer is that the Smartphone has data input and screen size limitations. With all the best will in the world, trying to tap out a long email or document on a Smartphone keypad (even though some do have a qwerty keyboard) is quite a laborious process.

Tablet PC
The tablet PC takes up where the Smartphone leaves off. Giving you a much bigger screen size than a Smartphone, the tablet is still light, slim and very portable. Excellent for entertainment or even watching business podcasts, it can also be used as an electronic book reader and for taking notes in meetings. Once again data input is limited and not really suitable for composing long documents. It is possible to buy a cover with an inbuilt keyboard that will make life easier.

Laptop
In hotels or perhaps airports and other public Wi-Fi areas where you have a bit more time, the convenience of the larger screen and keyboard make it worthwhile to unpack the laptop. Working on documents, watching or listening to entertainment and business media and the availability of your full suite of programmes, puts you back in full control of your productivity.

Essential Tips to Stay Connected on a Trip
– First and foremost, do not forget your charging devices. We have all done it and hopefully learnt from it, but any form of technology with no power becomes nothing short of a useless chunk of metal all too soon.
– Make sure that at least one of your devices is 3g capable and that you have a data package to access it. To be sure, purchase and top-up a 3g USB dongle as a backup. WI-FI hotspot areas are now widespread but being 3g enabled means that you always have a backup to stay connected.
– If travelling abroad it is worth researching and pre-purchasing a data roaming package. There are many services that offer international data roaming and call packages at much better rates than your local provider. Having an international SIM card available may well save you inconvenience, time and money.
With the right technology and backup packages, the well-prepared, modern traveller has everything necessary to stay connected to the Internet on a long trip, Avoid the inconvenience and loss of productivity that being out of communication can cause by choosing the right technology for your trip.

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