How To: choose tech wisely, travel smarter

The past few months I’ve traveled a lot around Europe thus I tried to understand my traveling habits so that I can travel easier, more lightweight and possibly, faster. Packing always was easy for me, given the athletic skiing background (constant traveling in the winter time week-to-week from one mountain to another, 2-3 big bags, 2 ski bags (4 pairs) and extra stuff) but the problem isn’t in the packing. It’s about the backpack I carry and well, the tech.

And by the tech I mean one MacBook Air, iPad, iPhone 4S and iPhone 3GS (which is used only when I’m traveling to Greece – serves as the Greek digit.) Carrying both the Air and iPad is a lot of kilos in your backpack – I used to do that for the past couple of months. Especially because most of my flights were non-direct, I used the Air to work while waiting at the lounge for the next flight.

Naturally, I tried to understand my work/web browsing habits and needs so I could adjust between the Air and iPad. Despite not actually needing the Air on-flight, I needed it for my entire stay at my destinations. The epiphany came when I was traveling to Stuttgart, Germany for one weekend. I figured out that my Air was useless and took only my iPad. Boom.

So next fly (to Thessaloniki,) I experimented a little more. I packed only the iPad in my backpack, the Air in the big one. And the result? Just great. Backpack weighs now a lot less – carries only stuff I actually need. The iPad, iPhone, Moleskine, Passport, and the Power Pouch; you know, power adaptors and stuff. Hopefully the Air was in perfect shape after spending the flight in the big luggage.

What I learned from this small experiment:

  • You always can redux
  • Backpack really needs to have stuff you’ll need only while at the airport and on board
  • I love my iPad
  • You can make a blog post out of this

And a few tips for the best traveling iPad experience. Sync a movie or two, and an entire season of your favorite sitcom (or series) to watch while flying. Right now I have Scrubs, Breaking Bad (which is awesome,) Très Bonne Équipe – a ski movie from my favorite athlete, Kaj Zackrisson. Use BUZZ Player for that (and Air Media Center to stream media from your computer while you’re at home.) Also always pack your Instapaper with awesome articles, and be sure to install Longform.

That reminds me to do a list of must-have iPad apps – which I’ll do. And something really small but awesome that I can’t tell you right now. Surprise!

PS: I have to blog since 2011 (yeah, literally, since 12/2011.) It seems I’ve suffered a huge writer’s block. In the meantime I started a tumblr about computational cultures and other awesome stuff, have a look and follow it here. So, in other words this is also the first post of 2012. Props!

posted: April 5, 2012
under: Productivity

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