Know How...

Mar 8th 2018

Know How... 372

The Secrets of Geek Travel - Part I

Travelling with technology, universal power, international travel, portable power
New episodes every Thursday at 2:00pm Eastern / 11:00am Pacific / 18:00 UTC.
Category: Help & How To

From the content of Padre's inbox, a lot of our KITAs are planning trips in 2018. Of course, travel for the TWiT army isn't as simple as dropping some clothes in a bag. We need our GEAR to truly enjoy a trip, be it across the country or across the pond! Megan and Padre take a look at some practical tech for you to bring on your next jaunt.

"I’m planning a 6-month adventure and I need some tech advice. I’ll be spending two weeks each in Dublin, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Rome & Venice, Barcelona, Mykonos, Seoul, Tokyo, and Manila. I’m really good at packing light as far as clothes are concerned, but I need tech that will work everywhere so I can upload stories, pictures  - and videos. I’ll be bringing my 13” Macbook Pro (2017) to write and edit videos. Also, a dozen USB-powered devices, including my unlocked iPhone 8S, Plantronics Backbeat Pro, Apple watch, and an international hotspot through which I plan to use my phone. I'll also have a few AC-powered gadgets, like my electric tea kettle and a UV water sterilizer, that can support all voltages. Suggestions for travel efficiency? Secrets you've learned over the years that you can share?" - Seamus from San Diego, CA.

Let's break this down:
1. The equipment he's bringing:
   - 2017 Macbook Pro (2017)
   - iPhone 8s (Unlocked)
   - Apple Watch
   - USB-charged headphones
   - USB-charged Hotspot
   - (Total of a dozen USB devices)
   - AC Tea kettle
   - AC UV Water Sterlizer
 
2. This is what he needs to do:
   - Power ALL his devices, no matter what country he's currently in
   - Stay connected
   - Stay Mobile
 
3. These are the maxims that I follow when I travel:
   - Flexibility (I like to bring tech that can be used in many different ways)
   - Portability (I like tech that lets me REDUCE the amount of tech I have to bring)
   - Redundancy (I assume that gear will break or be lost. Do I have a critical point of failure? Can I fix it?)
 
4. So these are the things that I see him needing:
   - Power (Charging)
   - Power (Portable)
   - A connection fallback
 
1st Issue: Power (Charging)
* Seamus' itinerary has him traveling to 11 countries using four different power standards.
 - Denmark, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Greece all use 230volts, 50Hz.
 - South Korea & the Philipines use 220 volts, 60Hz
 - The United States uses 120 volts, 60Hz
 - Japan uses 100 volts 50 & 60Hz
* Some of those destinations will have power grids that can be a little unpredictable.
* It sounds like he's got gadgets that all use the US standard and plug.
 
* Will operate on voltages from 100 to 240. (So it works in ALL countries he'll be in)
* Provides 6 outlets that use the US standard plug + 4 x 2.4amp USB ports
* 18-month warranty (Good... b/c this thing will get some use!)
 
* Will operate on voltages from 100 to 240. (So it works in ALL countries he'll be in)
* 10,050 mAh of capacity
* Integrated Lightning and micro-USB cable
* 1 x 3.4A (shared) USB Port
* Fold-out-prongs
* This unit will do Pass Through!
 
* 60 Watts of power
* 4 x 2.4amp USB Ports
* 1 USB-C PD Power
 
2nd Issue: Power (Portable)
* Seamus now has TWO different ways to get power INTO his devices (the power strip and the Wall Charger)
* It sounds like he'll be on the road, A LOT, and he's going to need some portable power.
 
* 6,700 mAh
* 1 x 1A USB Port
* 1 x Magnetic pad for charging the Apple watch
* Charges via micro USB port
* Enough to charge your phone 3 times, watch 8 times
 
* 2 x 15W USB Ports (3A max)
* 1 x 30W USB-C Port
* Comes with a 27W USB-C Wall Charger
   - Lets it charge at 27W (Zero to Full in 4 hours)
* Supports PowerIQ for compatible devices (fast charging)
* Weighs just under 600 grams (1.3lbs)
* Includes an additional PD Charger
 
3rd Issue: Connectivity Fallback
It's all about the Airport SIM!
 
Here's what all this gear gives him:
1. The Power Strip allows him to bring a SINGLE Universal power adapter. All his other devices plug into the strip and are PROTECTED from surges and dips.
2. The Premium Wall charger also charges his Macbook, so he can leave that adapter at home.
3. myCharge gives him a separate charging source for all his USB devices
3. The two battery choices give him PORTABLE power. Go with the Belkin if he needs LIGHT - The Anker if he needs capacity AND a portable power source for the Macbook.
4. Redundancy: FOUR power sources for his USB devices. Three for his Macbook. If he loses, breaks anything, it's not a show-stopper. Also... he has a backup connection plan in case his hot spot is lost or broken.
 
Organization:
 
iOS app for travel:
Trainline App - All the trains in one app. Mobile tickets. Get the best prices, etc. (best for the UK)

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