Travel Tips

The travel world seems to be agog at the prospect of T-Mobile dropping their international plans.  Can it be true?  Wait I could bring my phone – with me – while I travel?   And use it?  you mean actually use it without having to worry about receiving a bill equivalent to purchasing a small island?  Why yes!  T-Mobile just this May rolled out a business plan that allowed for 1Gb of data per month for only $120.  No more!   International data and texts are included for free.  Calls are a flat rate of 20¢ a minute.  What makes this plan absolutely stunning is when you compare it to other plans.  Sprint has an add on plan for $1 PER megabit.  Craziness.  Looking at just my cell data for the month so far I’m already at 600mb and it’s not the 15th of the month yet.  AT&T is a bit harder to figure out.  The top data plan is $120/month but then you need the separate texting plan also for $60/month as well.  Still better then Sprints but I think having to pay for messaging is ridiculous.

Yes you are able to turn the plans on and off when you need them.  With T-Mobiles you don’t have to worry about it.  This is definitely going after those business users that travel a great deal.  Also this should save those travelers that are traveling extensively or indefinitely.  This should save having to purchase SIM cards in each country they visit.

Great what if I don’t have T-Mobile?

There are so many apps out there that use wifi data for both talk and texting.  Google voice and Skype have very reasonable rates or free rates.  These are so common it’s almost embarrassing to mention.  Just remember to turn off your cellular data and only use wifi.

For texting Whatsapp is a great and hugely popular alternative.  Yes, even given the news about ‘some people might be able to see what your doing if you use public wifi’ news.   Really?  Everyone does realize public wifi isn’t secure right?  It’s free for the first year and 99¢ after that and it’s cross platform meaning you can even use it on any device.

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Hipmunk has an iPhone app! Woot!

by Scott on February 23, 2011

Ok I hadn’t intended this week to be mostly iPhone apps.

But this one is to cool to pass up Hipmunks new iPhone app!

Now you can take the agony out of searching for flight on your iPhone.  It doesn’t get much easier than this.  The results are very straightforward and  easy to understand.

Currently there is no in app purchasing of flights.  After you select a flight you are given a time sensitive link to complete the transaction on a computer.  I wonder if Apple wants 30% if you purchase through the app (gross speculation on my part, most likely not the case)

Get it app from the app store. Hipmunk should really have a landing page or a “we have an iPhone app” splash thingy (or acorn to stay within the theme) somewhere on their homepage.

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The best online storage – Dropbox

by Scott on February 18, 2011

This is a tip for everyone that uses a computer, whether it’s a Mac, Pc or Linux.  Get a Dropbox account.  It’s dead simple to use.  When you install Dropbox on your computer it creates a folder in your favorites.  Anything that you put in that folder is automatically uploaded to the cloud.  You can access your files from any computer that has internet access.  The biggest benefit is Dropbox will then automatically download those files to any other computer that you have installed it onto.

If you have reliable internet it’s the fastest way to transfer files from one computer to another.  Far faster then sneakernetting a thumbdrive back and forth from computer to computer.  I have Dropbox installed on my Mac, Desktop pc and my laptop. When I move something into the Dropbox folder by the time I get to the other computer that file is already there.

You can get a free account that has 2GB storage.  You can get extra storage by add inviting your friends, friending Dropbox on Facebook. Occasionally they will have a scavenger hunt which gives you more storage. There is an 8GB limit for free accounts.

Use this link to sign up for a new account.   Using this link will help me out by giving me a little bit more storage.

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The Big Airline App List

by Scott on February 17, 2011

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to most people but did you know most airlines have an app now? You can book flights, check your points, get arrival and gate information? Even many of the smaller airlines have them too!

The big exception is United, which for it’s size, is late to the game.

American Airlines Delta Airlines KLM Airlines Southwest Airlines
Continental Airlines British Airways Alaska Airlines Lufthansa
Air Canada Virgin Atlantic Swiss Air Air France
Singapore Air Thai air

And two Airline alliances

One World SkyTeam

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Get Faster Internet while Traveling

February 10, 2011

How often have you heard people complaining about slow internet while traveling?  Enter a website, click, wait on the blank white screen to load.  Sound familiar?  Here’s a tip for all those that travel with a WiFi phone, pad, netbook or laptop to squeeze all the bandwidth you can out of that hotspot you’ve connected […]

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Colossal Hipmonk Infographic!

February 9, 2011

Over at Hipmonks blog they have an infographic made by Shawn Sanders that is nothing short of mind blowing! All you can say is WOW!!! It’s an infographic visualizing baggage fees.  It is no surprise to anyone that baggage fees have gone up over the last couple years but once you make it visual it’s […]

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Keep your computer sync’d while traveling

February 2, 2011

This is a little know website that has huge benefits for the business traveler as well as the leisure traveler.  It’s Syncing.net (no affiliation). If you rely on a computer for your livelihood you will definitely want to check this out.  Syncing.net syncs one computer to another, live.  If you make a change to a […]

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Easily Forgotten Battery Tip

January 10, 2010

Several years ago I had worked as a baggage smasher handler at a major airline.  One tip that is often forgotten is to take the batteries out of your items that go into your checked bags. They have a tendency to turn themselves in transit.  You can put the item in ziplock bag along with […]

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Great RTW ticket planning tool

January 9, 2010

Here’s a helpful tool when planning a RTW ticket.  If you’ve ever used the planners from OneWorld or Star Alliance you’ll definitly appreciate this one.  It has a clickable map that gives you a price estimate.  It’s the AirTreks.com trip planner at BootsnAll. If you’re in the beginning stages of planning your RTW trip (as I […]

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The International Power Plug Map

December 27, 2009

I StumbledUpon this map a while back that is tremendously helpful if you plan on traveling internationally in the next year. There are a couple different maps on Wikipedia but I think this one is the nicest and the easiest to read. Amazon.com Widgets

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