Travel TechTip#1 – iPad

As a road warrior, travel writer/photographer and long-time tech reporter, I am a gadget magnet.

According to Encarta dictionary, a gadget is either (1) ingenious – a small device that performs or aids a simple task, or (2) trivial – a small device that appears useful but is often unnecessary or superfluous.  The French don’t beat around the bush in their words for gadgets – amusette or frivolité.

So clearly, what’s important here when your bags are packed to within a cubic centimetre of their burst plimsol, is to quickly distinguish (1) from (2).  Having learned from my mistakes, a few tips on why an iPad1 won its space in my kit.

There’s a law about computer chip capacity from a Mr Moore, but my law like Murphy’s says – your decline in laptop battery power accelerates in direct proportion to the square root of the importance divided by the urgency of the task you are trying to accomplish without mains power.  So my iPad’s battery life of almost 7 hours sure beats a laptop; it’s great for typing a story on iA Writer, handwriting with Bamboo Paper, or reading books on Kindle or Kobo apps.  And forget lugging magazines, Zinio is my offline mag reader, news is delivered by Pulse; world weather by WeatherBug, global radio by TuneIn Radio; using Skype it’s a cheap foreign phone; I can copy photos to it (*needs attachment) for a quick initial edit or file backup, while music and videos are apps on tap.

It is also a great travel organiser:  Kayak – book your trip; TripTracker – manage itineraries, air/hotel/car booking references; FlightBoard, real-time airport arrival and departure data; for airport pick-ups FlightRadar24 track incoming aircraft; while Lonely Planet still does the best destination guides.  Getting lost, which is fun to do in places like Paris, is comforting when iPad springs to the rescue as navigator using inbuilt maps with TomTom or Navigon, even Google Earth…but it could incur data costs unless you have a Wi-Fi connection…which is a whole other blog, along with my Android options!

Tell me how your iPad is apt apped to travel?

– Graeme Kemlo


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