These days, most of us wouldn’t think of traveling without at least some of our digital devices. But there are pitfalls when doing so.
Here are a few lessons learned after a week on a Mediterranean cruise ship and five days touring Rome.
It’s true that travel broadens the mind and soul. And for a true technologist, taking along your smartphone, tablet, and/or laptop doesn’t necessarily detract from the experience. There can be good reasons to take your digital devices with you: communicating with those back home, posting updates of your travels, processing and uploading photos along the way, etc.
In the May 23 Top Story, I described my plans for an upcoming overseas vacation — and what preparations I was making for my digital devices. I’m happy to report that the trip to the Mediterranean was fabulous. I can also relate what worked — and what didn’t — when using phones, tablets, laptops, and their accessories overseas.
Getting Internet access while at sea
Surprisingly, using Skype to keep in touch with my dad while I was at sea was the only complete technology failure during the trip. It probably shouldn’t have been a surprise; following the May Top Story, I received numerous tips from fellow Windows Secrets Lounge members warning me about the use of Wi-Fi aboard cruise ships. They were right. Wi-Fi at sea was slow and expensive. My plans for regular video chats with Dad sank like a dropped phone.
A fellow Windows Secrets Lounge member had warned me that ship-based Wi-Fi would be expensive. On our cruise ship, rates were U.S. 75 cents per minute, and if you logged in for even a fraction of a minute, you were charged for the entire minute. I purchased a prepaid block of Internet time for $99, which brought the rate down to 45 cents per minute. Whenever I logged in, I was informed that I had to completely sign off when ending a session; and so I set up a bookmark for the sign-out page.
|CORRECTION: This story has been revised. The original text stated U.S. .75 cents per minute and .45 cents per minute. The correct amounts are 75 cents and 45 cents.|
Of course, one night we failed to sign out the iPad, incurring a $45.00 overage charge. Lesson learned; we didn’t use the ship’s Wi-Fi after that.