We all love using our gadgets at home. They make our lives easier, entertain us and connect us with friends. So it’s no surprise that research conducted by SCTI found that only 39% of travellers surveyed would consider taking a technology-free holiday. We take a look at some do’s and don’ts for travelling with your tech toys.
Do: Watch the world go by
Sitting on a train can be dull and it’s very easy to get caught up scrolling through your social media pages. But part of the charm of travelling is having the time to just sit back and relax, watching the world pass you by. It’s a luxury we don’t often get at home and some of the best scenery in the world is viewed traveling by train.
If you ever get the chance, the Canadian Rockies Mountaineer train travels through some of the most breathtaking, neck swivelling scenery. Glacier fed lakes, sheer snow-capped mountain ranges and scenic towns you’ll want to move to.
The picturesque Bergen Line through Norway has been voted one of the world’s most scenic train rides. The seven hour journey takes you through Europe's most inhospitable terrain, passing mountain plateaus and countless waterfalls. The only tech you will need on trips like these is a good camera.
Did you know? Travellers take on average just under five technology devices with them on holiday, including smart phones, e-readers, tablets, cameras, laptops and headphones.
Don’t: Be a book worm
A good book is one of the best forms of escapism and holidays are a perfect time to get stuck into a new novel. But if you’re interested in meeting new people, do yourself a favour and put down that e-book. All it says is “leave me alone”! On the other hand if you do want some ‘me’ time, it’s a sure way to get it.
Do: Live in the moment
Take time to experience and enjoy what’s around you. A picture is worth a thousand words but don’t get too engrossed with recording every moment. If you’re too focused on that little screen you might miss out on the actual experience.
Don’t worry, your family and friends are already jealous that you’re on holiday, choosing the best filter for that great photo you took and posting it on Instagram can wait until you’re back in your hotel. Remember it’s a holiday, so live in the moment.
Did you know? 67% of travellers surveyed said they use their gadgets overseas for taking photos or recording videos, whilst 25% use their phones to take selfies. Just remember to be careful when taking photos. Look at your surroundings and check that you aren’t too close to the edge!
Do: Look on the bright side of life
Think ahead and use apps to check your flight details and safety warnings at your destination. Being organised is the best defence against the unexpected. And don’t worry too much if the weather lets you down. After all, you’re on holiday so make the most of it and find a rainy day activity. Sometimes spending a few hours exploring a museum or relaxing in a quaint little café can provide an unforgettable experience, plus a chance to mix with the locals.
Don’t: Check in too often
Checking in with friends and family once you’ve landed is a good idea, but after that try checking out for a while and leave your worries at home. If you spend all of your downtime checking work emails and Facebook updates you might return home feeling like you never left.
Did you know? 59% of travellers surveyed said they use their gadgets more than once a day whilst overseas.
Do: Get your bearings
Smart phones and GPS are a great tool for travellers and if you download the maps you plan to use in advance, you’ll save on data. If you have a map but you’re still lost, try showing a local, they may be able to help.
Did you know? 49% of travellers surveyed said they use their device to try and find their way around their destination.
Don’t: Be afraid to go off the grid
Believe it or not, there are still some places in the world that don’t get Wi-Fi or power. These remote locations are often serenely beautiful so if you’re not really ready for a digital detox or you just want to take a few photos, remember to take a portable power supply.
Out’n’About is a ‘treehouse treesort’ based in Oregon, USA, where you stay in a log cabin treehouse and experience the great outdoors. Ultima Thule Lodge in the far north of Alaska is run by the Claus family. It’s so remote that they generate their own electricity and build the cabins themselves.
Did you know? Smart phones and cameras are the top two devices that travellers take overseas.
Do: Ask around
If you’re on the go and don’t have much time in one place, why not search for the best local attractions and food on your device. Check out the ratings and read the reviews to help you make a decision. Also, look out for destination apps that have handy tips and discounts on local attractions.
Did you know? 39% of those surveyed use their tech gadgets to search for restaurants, bars and attractions whilst on vacation.
Don’t: Pack your tech devices in your checked luggage
The last thing you want before you’ve even started your holiday is to lose your luggage bag containing your beloved technology, or a bag full of damaged gear. Make sure you read your travel insurance policy to find out exactly what you’re covered for. Remember that your tech devices are not covered if they are in your checked luggage so make sure you carry them in your hand luggage.
If the unexpected happens and your bag is stolen, make sure you report it to the police or relevant authorities, such as the airline or hotel lost and found. You’ll need a police report to make a claim.
Note: The statistics quoted in this article are sourced from an SCTI commissioned survey from August 2015.