Travel Technology – Lessons Learned

Our family recently spent spring break in beautiful Hawaii. It was a delightful time together with my husband’s daughter and her family  – a vacation full of activities. This vacation has been in the works for the better part of the last year. The planning and organization involved in bringing six people together from opposite sides of the country and handling housing, transportation and food for the group took a lot of effort.

Fortunately, Evernote helped make the planning effort a lot easier. I discussed this recently in Evernote on the Road. In that article, I mentioned that the offline notebook feature might come in handy . . . Boy did it! Wifi availability was spotty at best on the islands we visited and having all the itineraries, reservation confirmations and such on my iPad at all times made life a whole lot easier. We also had lots of information on activities, interesting sites and even restaurants in that notebook which served as our own personal tourist guidebook.

Sometime back I bought an Airport Express wifi router. In situations where a hotel room provides only wired Internet access, the Airport Express gives you almost instant wifi access. Just plug it into a power outlet then plug in the ethernet (data) cable. You’ll probably have to sign into whatever Internet service your hotel provides, but that’s about it. Now all the family iPads, tablets, e-readers, or whatever can connect.

Speaking of connecting, trying to move two carloads of people to various locations required lots of coordination. Texting made that a lot easier, worked even in low signal areas and also provided a quick way to share photos when our group split to go in different directions. And, texting our claim number to the parking service as we got off our last flight insured the van was waiting to pick us up when we walked out of the airport.

While our trip was just a family vacation, these same things are even more useful for a research trip. In addition to trip details, your Evernote trip notebook can include interview questions, research checklists, local sources to investigate and so much more to insure you take full advantage of your time on the road.

One last note . . . This was my first experience using power line networking. Instead of installing ethernet cabling throughout a home or facility to provide network/Internet access, these devices use your home’s electrical wiring to transmit data. A commercial version worked quite well in the newer condo we stayed in, but was slower and spottier at the older condo. It was impressive enough that I would consider using it at home to extend our Internet connection to the other side of the house – especially now that prices are coming down to a more affordable level.

We all had a great vacation and now it’s time to collect all the photos, memories and ephemera to build a story that insures none of us will forget this trip.

 

 

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