Using Technology to Travel and Save Money
Smart Phones and Accessories
We all have mobile devices and they are here to stay. Even our parents and grandparents are connected! You may not think about all the internal components of your mobile devices, but many have an accelerometer, GPS, flashlight, camera, music and so much more that can easily be put in a pocket and carried worldwide. With the multitude of applications (apps) these devices are limitless in the ways they can help the traveler.
We strongly encourage you to bring one of these devices on your travels, since it can help in so many ways. However, as we mentioned before, never use them as your only means of staying connected.
Our inReach Explorer, allowed us to use our iPhones to text our family and friends in the middle of the ocean! We opted for the unlimited text plan that was only around $65 a month. Every time we texted, our friends and family received our GPS coordinates, speed, course, etc. This was a great safety feature. We used this device in Alaska and many other places as well.
Mobile devices are so prevalent that when we were in Bali, our driver had a cell phone, yet he had no idea how to use a microwave. When you consider that microwaves have been around 30 years longer than cell phones, that’s pretty crazy.
Bring International Adapters & Transformers
With all the technology, you will also need to charge everything so bring an adapter for international plugs. A transformer may be needed to step down or step up the power requirements to ensure you don’t overcharge your device. These adapters can be expensive or not available at all, so plan ahead to spare yourself a lot of headaches.
Don’t Rely on Technology and Learn Old School Travel
Mobile devices break, lose power, get stolen and just plain fail. Do not count on your GPS, google or texting. Always have the knowledge and written resources to get you out of a jam. We suggest carrying a recent road map of your location as a backup to your electronic devices. Getting lost can be extremely expensive because of unforeseen expenses. Make a pit stop at a gas station, small market or even order your maps in advance on Amazon.
A TEACHING MOMENT: Always have a hard map. When Melissa and I traveled to Costa Rica, it was late and getting dark. We were slightly concerned because our phone GPS wasn’t working. After getting our bearings and eating a good meal, we stopped and purchased an old fashion map. Even the map was challenging to understand. We should have purchased a map and planned out our route on paper. The hotel was in a very remote location, so we were a little nervous about getting lost at night. Melissa speaks Spanish pretty well, so we managed to find our hotel after hours of searching!
Small Devices are Easy to Steal – Beware
Of course, thieves want these devices for all the reasons you do. They are easy to grab and run . Your device has so much personal information on it, so you should treat it like your wallet or even cash. Of course, try not to text or check email in a sketchy public place. You need to pay attention to your beautiful surroundings anyway!
Backup and Use Security Software
We try to backup our devices and computers as much as possible. We have opted for the extra iCloud backup for our Apple devices and we use Norton Antivirus, or AVG to protect our computer from hacker attempts.
If you have a blog or website, ensure you back it up and have a reliable web hosting company like HostGator. Both Melissa and I have several websites and we have been using GoDaddy for our domain registration for over a decade.
WiFi-Phishers, Hackers and other Slime
A TEACHING MOMENT: Cell phones can be hacked: I’m sure you are aware of the many tricks and covert operations of hackers. Melissa was using the public WiFi at the local library and her iPhone and iCloud account were hacked. She had to totally restore her phone. Public WiFi is so hard to find when you are traveling, but in the case that you must log in on a public network, have a privacy procedure in place to help avoid hackers. We suggest NEVER facing your screen to any open space. Use your phone or computer so the screen is facing a wall or corner. Check out this site to learn the latest tricks scammers are doing and you may save yourself some grief out on the road.
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