Technology on the Fly: Travel With Your Computer

Here is a handy New York Times technology blog about tech tips for travel. Travel life is now more than taking your laptop — it’s about iPad, Droid, iPhone, BlackBerry and Kindle (more?).

My travel life includes schlepping my MacBookPro, iPhone, iPad, portable LCD projector, Mexican cell phone, Nikon D40X camera and two huge lenses, extra batteries for each device, chargers for each device, data sticks, connectors, adapters, portable external hard-drive for back-up, and now I can’t think of what else, but there must be more!  With my back-pack full, I make my way through airport security and then down the concourse onto the plane like an overburdened mule.

Technology Daydreaming: I can’t wait for the day when Apple makes a laptop that looks/feels like an iPad, has an expandable telescoping screen, comes with 4G (maybe 10G) and a cell phone fits into a slot that can be activated by voice and connected by earbuds.  Or some such configuration.  Then,  all my devices can be integrated.  MobileMe and the soon to be iCloud are not enough!

Here are my tips that coincide with those put forth by David Pogue:

1.  Keep your cell phone and laptop chargers, ear buds, and other necessary devices always packed and handy to reach in your carry-on luggage.  Charge up full before you get on the plane!

2.  Download any documents attached to emails that you want to work on while you are traveling before you leave home.  You don’t know whether you will have airport Wi-Fi access, if it will be free or available for a cost, or if there will even be time to get the document before your plane boards and takes off.

P.S.  There is no free Wi-Fi in RDU or in Houston.  There IS free Wi-Fi in San Jose, California (of course) and Mexico City. I’ve never had it on any Continental flight I’ve been on.  I did have it on an American flight from ORD to SJC recently.)

3.  Use your record locator as your flight record to access the information.  Put this into your handheld in your calendar.  The record locator can then be punched into the airport kiosk quickly to get the printed boarding passes.

4.  I always confirm my flights 24-hours in advance via email and pre-pay baggage fees, saving time and a few dollars.  I have my boarding passes emailed to me, but find the airport personnel are still used to the printed document and always ask me to check in at the kiosk first.  This is how they print out the luggage tags, too.

5.  Because I’ve been traveling to Oaxaca so much this year and last, I have reached Silver Elite on Continental.  I’ll get bumped up to first class if its a light load.  What a treat!  Do I feel guilty?  Yes, a little bit, because my bags come off the plane first and I’m in the upfront cabin which guarantees a fast exit.  This is the benefit of being a loyalty traveler — using only one airline as your preferred carrier.  I’m not certain I’ll be able to sustain this level, but I’m certainly enjoying it while I have it.

6.  Do I track whether my flight leaves late and arrives on time, and do I care?  No.  There is nothing I can do about it.  Once I enter the realm of air travel, they have captured me and I am theirs body and soul.  All I want is my music, my computer and my iPad to read my “book” in peace.

 

 

 

 

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