It’s June and the weather, as is traditional for a British Summer, is appalling. Sunny spells interrupt torrential rain, but only occasionally. Still, it’s good for the garden. It’s also good for hoteliers in sunnier parts of the world. The airports are telling us they need to expand to cope with the ever increasing traffic which goes through them as flying becomes more like commuting for more and more of us.
But this is a home tech blog, why am I talking about taking a flight to a beach somewhere?
Simple. Travel Tech. The stuff you can’t leave behind now that you are an online, connected individual.
While it’s great to travel light, just jump on a plane without having to worry about your luggage allowance, no waiting by the baggage carousel, no packing and unpacking, that’s simply not possible for everyone. It’s nice to get away from it all, to go completely under the radar and off grid, but in the age of nomophobia and FOMO many of us don’t want to disconnect, even when they’re on a beach, up a mountain or in the jungle.
There’s Always Something We Just Can’t Do Without
While it’s not a problem to fly out with a few changes of clothes and, if you can’t find a laundry, pick up a few extras from a local shop, tech is a different story. You’ll want to have your own phone, tablet, eReader and other bits and bobs because buying vacation versions is simply daft.
Smart Home Security Monitoring
If you’ve invested in Smart home security, such as CCTV camera systems or smart access control you’ll need to have your phone or tablet with you in order to keep an eye on who’s coming and going. If you’re using smart alarms you’ll need them to monitor the safety of your property and if you’re using smart pet tech you’ll need them to watch the dog, play with the cat and be certain that the neighbourhood kid you finagled into coming round and petting them and making sure they don’t get lonely is keeping up with their job.
First of all, to keep them all working they all need juice. You can get a basic travel adapter but these days you’re more likely to find that your devices charge via a USB. Not every hotel, B&B or guest house has USB sockets in all the rooms, so a multiport charger which has both British 3 pin sockets as well as USB charging ports is a must.
Take Your Own WiFi With You
Many places don’t have free wifi either. They’ll either charge a premium for service or, if you’re trekking or mountaineering, then there won’t be a hot spot for miles. So take your own. You can tether several devices to a portable hot spot, and so long as there is phone signal, you’ve got data. (just remember not to post pics and status updates on social media while you’re away as this is a HUGE flag telling potential burglars that you’re away for days or weeks.)
If you’re going to use the internet while you’re abroad, always use a VPN or ‘Virtual Private Network’. Not only does this disguise where you’re accessing the internet and posting from, but it adds security which simply may not exist while you’re in a strange environment.
Don’t forget to take universal power bank with you too. And keep them fully charged too. It may appear to be a First World Problem, but having your phone, camera or MP3 player die while you’re on a coach for 5 hours is no laughing matter! Indeed, if you get lost, get stuck or otherwise find yourself in a predicament, having enough power to make calls, use your phone’s flashlight and GPS to tell people where you are could be a lifesaver.
Keep Tabs On Everything
A new bit of tech which is really useful for the traveller who has everything with them are Bluetooth and GPS keyrings and luggage tags. Get a few and attach them to not only your keys but luggage and valuables too. If they do get lost, stolen or misplaced then you’ll get alerts if they travel more than a few metres from you, and where they are when you’re looking for them.
Keep Them Separated
If you see adverts for wallets or purses which promise to keep all of your cards, documents and ID together in one place, AVOID! If you don’t put your passport in the hotel safe, keep it about your person at all times. Keep your cards, cash and phone separated about your body too. That way if a pickpocket or your own clumsiness mean you lose something, you’ll always have another option. So if you lose your cash you can still make a phone call, if you lose your phone you can use a payphone and if you lose your passport you can call for help and have the cash to pay for any documents or fees you need to pay to continue travelling. A wallet which keeps all these things together is a boon to any thief as they get the jackpot in one dip, and you lose every contingency.
Ensure You’re Insured, Wherever You Are
And while you’ve got all that tech with you, don’t forget to add it all to your travel insurance. It doesn’t matter how lucky you are at home, if you don’t have insurance while you’re abroad you could be in for trouble. It covers everything from paying for hospital if you’re in an accident to reimbursing you for hotels if you have to add nights to your stay thanks to flight delays or cancellations. The company your home or car are covered by will usually have good deals for loyal customers, while there are usually deals to be had on single trip, multi-trip and annual cover if you’re not already with an insurance broker.
When you’re going away why not let Briant Communications take care of your home security? As well as installing CCTV cameras and access control we supply and fit intruder alarms and security sensors which can alert you, us, and the police in the event of a break in. For details fill in our contact form and one of our staff will call you back, or call us direct on 01273 465377