Tech Checklist When Traveling Overseas
Organizing travel plans can be a stressful experience, especially when it comes to what to pack. No matter how many times we do a mock pack run-through, we always tend to accidentally leave something behind. When it comes to the technology side of things, it's probably something we least care about. Hopefully this list provides helpful hints for your future travels.
This one is always overlooked but probably an important aspect if you're traveling to a country that's on high security alert. Register your travel itinerary and details with the government to receive information updates from the embassy in an emergency situation. There's Smartraveller (Australian citizens), LOCATE (British citizens), and Travel Registration (U.S. citizens).
Thoroughly check your travel insurance policy and see what's covered under your plan. Chances are, you probably need to pay extra to insure items like your laptop, camera equipment, smartphone, and other pricey gadgets.
With important documents like your travel itinerary, insurance policies, and scanned copies of your passport, you might like to have a virtual copy of everything. I ensure that these documents are password protected and have them on Dropbox. That way, I can access them whenever and wherever there's a computer and Internet. If you're going to a more remote destination, you might want to keep these documents on a USB storage drive.
Make sure all your devices are fully charged before you leave for the airport. A lot of public locations don't offer power points. There's nothing worse than needing to access your phone, camera, or laptop after a long flight to have it depleted of battery life.
It's highly unlikely that your current plug would be compatible with the power outlet overseas. If you are traveling to various locations (or if you are a frequent flyer), it's probably worth paying the extra and getting yourself a travel power adapter and converter.
Calling home from overseas isn't cheap if you're using a prepaid card or on roaming. If you're expecting to make a lot of calls, set up a Skype account and add value to it. This is great if you have a smartphone where you can download the Skype application. That way, anywhere that has a Wi-Fi connection, you can make cheap calls straight from your phone.
If you're heading to a big city, chances are that there will be a few Wi-Fi hotspots you can utilize. Do a quick search on sites like wififreespot.com, openwifispots.com, and wi-fihotspotlist.com. Also take a look at local telecom services that might offer inexpensive once-off or short-term Wi-Fi access. If you're traveling to the U.S., you might like to check out Boingo. For a small amount, you can have unlimited Wi-Fi access at major restaurants, hotels, cafes, and airports.