THIS piece is inspired by my recent sojourn outside the country, a nine hour journey to be precise. Besides the exhausting journey, I had many issues to contend with including phone batteries, entertainment and how to avoid boring neighbors.
Next time you are going on a long journey;do not go through what I went through. Read this guide and save yourself un-necessary drama. Should you have the misfortune of sitting next to a boring person on the bus or plane, you will need something to help tune out the annoying neighbor.
Besides, inflight entertainment has a tendency to be boring. Buses are even worse. They play all kinds of annoying music or movies at the loudest volume.
Without much ado, here is the guide.
Tablet computer e.gipad
A tablet would be an invaluable travel companion, for reading books, watching videos, listening to music or playing games. But I understand that not everyone is privileged to own one. There are other alternatives if a tablet is out of your reach.
The ipod classic has plenty of storage space for all your favorite music and a battery life to match. Though the ipod classic hasn’t been updated in a while, it still reigns supreme in terms of battery life and storage. This device is the perfect companion on a long journey.
For obvious reasons, your fancy phone will be the first causality of a dead battery. So, have a second low end phone to quickly swap your sim-card. In case you are going out of the country, you may inevitably need to buy a local sim-card to take advantage of lower local call rates.
In my experience calling home can be cheaper than calling local numbers or roaming.
Extra Phone battery
If you can, get a spare phone battery. Sorry iphone owners, you cannot replace your battery but there are external batteries for iphones. By the time you get to your destination, you may have no battery left. Imagine having no way of reaching your hosts. You wouldn’t want that.
Universal multi-plug electric adaptor
Your gadgets will run out of juice .if you are travelling to a different country, you may not have similar power plugs. So this little guy will come in real handy. Trust me on this.
Noise cancelling/isolating earphones
Basically, these earphones block out external noise such as engine noise or annoying neighbors, so you can enjoy your music or audio-book in peace.
Your smart-phone or tablet is a capable ebook reader if you install the reader application such as aldiko or nook reader. You have access to thousands of free ebooks at Project Guttenberg (www.guttenberg.or). However, stand-alone ebook readers cannot be beaten at what they do. Besides having battery lives measured in weeks, they also have e-ink displays which are suitable for reading in any lighting conditions, including reading under direct sunlight. E-ink technology simulates real booksand is easy on the eye compared to backlight displays on smart phones or tablets.
Turn your smart phone into a hotspot
Most smart phones are capable of tethering to your laptop or tablet. Hotel internet tends to be expensive, so rather than getting ripped off, why not opt to turn your smart phone into a hotspot.
You need something to capture those moments. Though your smartphone may do a job of taking quick snaps, I would carry a stand-alone camera for the moment when the phone runs out of charge or nigh scenes.
This is obvious. Why would you carry a gadget without any content? Remember to load as much content (music, videos, photos, games) as your gadget can hold to keep yourself entertained.
Back up your contacts
God forbid your phone should get stolen. Do not wait for this to happen. Have a backup of all your contacts online or printed on a piece of paper. Android phones automatically store all contacts online and they are accessible through contacts.google.com. Neat ! If owning an android phone is what it takes to have your important contacts saved, then go ahead and get one.
Protect your gadgets
Sounds like a no-brainer but you don’t know how much danger until you take them on a road-trip. Do not forget to carry protective cases to protect your devices from falls, dents, dings, scratches, sweat and curious hands.