Passwords

1Password or another password manager makes it easier to repeat-visit a site that requires you to register. 
Your passwords are all at hand but they remain secure.

Offline files

  • At the very least you should have copies of your key files on your portable devices.
  • You can also save copies in Dropbox or something similar so you can always retrieve them if you can connect.
  • You should also read Google’s Help files on how to make your maps available offline.

Email tip

Add every place that matters to your email “whitelist” to guarantee that email from it will reach you. You can’t always guess their sending address, but it’s probably safe to list *@hotelname.com or equivalent (the * is a wildcard signifier).

If you ask for something by form or email, set a reminder to check for a reply if you haven’t had one after a while. 

Your phone/tablet

Tablets are easy, If you have cellular, see below; if not, you can usually find wifi, or use your phone as a hotspot.
On public wifi, remember it’s not secure; try to find a service that at least wants a login with password.
Maybe save your online time for your hotel, or a coffee shop.

If you’re leaving your country, expect HUGE roaming and long-distance fees if you use your phone as-is.  

Roaming package from your provider:

  • Many service providers now offer a roaming package at a fixed price per day, using your existing data allowance. Most only charge you for the day if you connected to the network that day – but it’s really easy to do that inadvertently if you don’t remember to turn everything off. 
  • Check your calling plan if you will be phoning friends or restaurants; you may not have many local or international minutes.

Get a local SIM card:

  • Most phones can swap SIM cards. It’s easy to get a cheap prepaid SIM card after arrival, and use it for all your calls and data. If you look helpless the seller will probably swap it for you except at really busy locations. Swap back when you get home.   
  • I said it’s easy to GET a card, but it’s not so easy to CHOOSE one. 
    • If you’re staying in one city or area, it’s not so bad. But in 2019 we did four countries, and it was difficult to find a good plan that covered all four seamlessly. Even then, we spent six hours on the road between coverage areas one day. 
    • You will find many providers, and they will have a baffling array of options with varying terminology. 
      Use Google or TripAdvisor to make a shortlist, then maybe hit the TripAdvisor Forums for advice. 

Other technology

E-reader: Most of these are so lightweight that if you have one you might as well take it. And every book on the reader is one you didn’t pack.
Also they do well in most light conditions, and you’re not draining your phone/tablet battery. Don’t just buy one the day before your trip, though. It takes time to hook up with the suppliers and libraries, and you need to decide whether to go Kobo, Kindle, or something else – and which model.

Headphones: In-ear buds are good, but most don’t block external noise. Your big noise-cancelling superstereo cans are great on the plane, but after that you’re carrying them. Maybe this choice depends on how much you’ll be moving your luggage on this trip.

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