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Technology & Travel: What To Bring

Whether you’re a well-seasoned traveler or just setting off to sow your wild oats, make sure you get the most out of the technology you already own. Set off on your travels armed with these tips.

Young woman using her tablet in train

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Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, chances are good your laptop and smartphone will give you all the connectivity you need. Invest in an international SIM card for your smartphone to avoid costly roaming charges, or simply connect to Wi-Fi once you’ve reached your destination.

If you already spend hours a day on your tablet and use it as your go-to device to check email, browse Facebook, and keep your Angry Birds skills sharp, your tablet could be a resourceful replacement for your laptop while you travel, saving you a few extra pounds to haul around. Consider the ways you most often use technology now, including software that you need and apps that you require, and pack accordingly.

Cut Roaming Costs

Overseas roaming can be costly, but you have options:

  • Invest in an international SIM card for your smartphone. (Note: In some countries, such as Japan and Korea, American smartphones and tablets will not work, even with an international SIM card; check your destination before purchasing.)
  • More and more carriers are making it easier to stay in touch without breaking the bank. T-Mobile now offers free roaming in more than 100 countries. Sign on with a carrier that has lifted fees and made traveling with your device less costly.
  • The cheapest way to cut roaming costs when overseas is generally to switch off data entirely (usually a simple fix found in your device’s network settings menu) and just use Wi-Fi wherever it’s available.
  • If you’re set on sticking with a data plan, apps like Roamer (free on Android and the Apple store) help you find the least expensive roaming options to save up to 99% on international roaming charges.

Use Technology as an Extra Brain

Whether you travel with a smartphone or a tablet (or both), take advantage of various apps and features that will help make your travel the most efficient and enjoyable as possible. MSN’s travel department shares several suggestions on the best ways to use your technology while travelling:

  • Save an offline copy of a map of your location. This will keep you from getting lost, even when you’re far from Wi-Fi.
  • Take pictures to help you find your way back to your hotel, hostel or parking space. These landmark photos will keep you from wandering too far off-course.
  • Make your device’s background image a message: “If found, call or email XX.” Just in case you do replace or lose your phone, this could increase the chances of getting it back quickly.
  • Catalog relevant information like frequent-flyer numbers.


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