Your Top 14 Tech Travel Tips – Part 2
As an entrepreneur, you are definitely aware that it takes a lot of “tech” for you to run your business and your life. We are on the road every month talking about marketing to groups of business owners and associations. That means, we need to pack 2 laptops, 3 phones, quite often a projector, a variety of cords and various other tech hardware in order to make our presentations run smoothly.
To make your life easier when you have to travel for business, as well as pleasure, here is The Marketing Checklist of our Top 14 Travel Tech Tips that will keep you up and running.
Tech Travel Tip #1 DO NOT FORGET YOUR CHARGING CORDS.
It goes without saying that our tech products will not win without power, but how many of us have left the house, gotten to where we were going, sans power cords and would have SWORN that we put them into our bags. Check them one more time before you leave the house. I was in that situation in Venice, Italy. I was SURE that I brought the charger for my camera battery. Turns out, I did not check it before the trip and brought the wrong charger. We got to go find a camera store while we walked the streets of Venice (and eating gelato, by the way) and found the last charger in the city. The result was I got to shoot another 1,000 photos on our 10-day trip.
Tech Travel Tip #2 Make sure your devices are backed up before leaving.
That Incudes your laptop AND your phone. If you use your phone for most of your vacation photos, periodically back it up to your laptop (and/or the cloud) during your trip. You cannot replace those memory photos. If you are going to use your phone to video your presentation, then you will want to make certain that you have plenty of space on the device’s hard drive. If you have backed them up to your desk top and the cloud, you can then delete them off your phone with a high certainty that they are safe. When we are going to video our presentations, we always bring a separate video camera and wired microphone. You can purchase those video cameras inexpensively ($200 to $300 is common) and they will perform quite well.
Tech Travel Tip #3 Charging Cords Revisited
Just like when you leave home for your destination, ALWAYS make sure you have put your hand physically on your charging cords before you leave the hotel for home. Nothing like having a great trip, getting home, going to plug in your tech and realizing you left it in the hotel room.
Tech Travel Tip #4 Investigate thoroughly the internet connection situation of each place you will visit.
How much will it cost you to connect? Going on a cruise ship? A non-business hotel? THAT is going to be expensive. And there are many places, that do not have the same speed that you are used to. This is why when we are speaking to a business group, we will either embed the videos for our presentation into our presentation, or have a version without videos.
Tech Travel Tip #5 Do not assume your phone will work where you are going.
This does not mean your service provider isn’t IN the area, but they may not work as well. The last time we switched providers was when we lived in Los Angeles and there were many places where we KNEW our call was about to drop.
Tech Travel Tip #6: Find out how much you will be charged for your phone to be used wherever you are going.
EVERY phone carrier has something called an “Out of home area” fee schedule. It is often quite expensive, especially when you are traveling internationally. You may decide to get a burner phone when you are traveling.
Tech Travel Tip #7 If you are speaking at a presentation out of town, always make certain you have your Powerpoint ™ slides on a flash drive – do not assume they received or did not accidentally delete your slide deck. We have had it happen to us. We sent our slide deck ahead to a speaking engagement in another state for a business group, only to find that every speaker’s presentation went “poof” due to a technical glitch caused by the Audio Visual team the group had hired. Sharyn reached into her bag, pulled out the flash drive and we were back in business. That was a great $12 investment that continues to pay dividends. In fact, both of us have copies in our bags – a double back up. On a side note: if you are bringing your own projector to the event, keep track of the number of hours that the bulb has been lit. Right now, we know we are getting close to the end of this bulb's lifetime so we have added a new bulb to our Tech Travel Bag of Goodies!
Tech Travel Tip #8 Use a well padded travel bag for your tech items.
Your tech is about to be jostled far more than when it is on your desk, so keep it well shielded from shocks. We even add extra padding to our bags in addition to what they came with. By the way, that extra sweatshirt I use as padding has come in handy when the temperature has unexpectedly dropped more than I had planned for.
Tech Travel Tip #9: Before you leave the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) section of the airport, check to make sure all your equipment made it back into your travel bag. Every time we travel we hear the “will passenger Jingleheimer Schmidt please report back to TSA for your computer” announcement. TSA gathers hundreds of tech products each day from passengers like you and us who are so focused on getting to our travel gate, that we forget to repack our stuff. I was THIS CLOSE to losing my computer in Heathrow London as the security person almost completely emptied my carry-on bag. EVERYTHING was strewn about the table.
Tech Travel Tip #10: If you DO forget or lose your charging cords, BEFORE you go buy a new one, check with the Concierge desk of the hotel where you are staying.
Quite often they have a box FULL of cords left by past guests. Recently, we were on the road speaking to a professional association and had a power cord die on us. We were able to use a charging cord for 4 days while were at the hotel and then returned it to the same front desk person. She smiled and said we were the only people who had ever returned a borrowed cord.
Tech Travel Tip #11 Keep your hands on your tech.
The best way to describe this one is with a story. We were celebrating 30 years together by going on a cruise from Rome, Italy and around the country. To get from the hotel to the ship we were using a taxi service. Normally we would drive wherever we were going, so by being in a taxi, we were changing out habits. Here is why that is important. When we were in our own car, we have a pattern: Stop the car, gather our things, check for the phone and keys, and move away from the car. But now we were in a different vehicle. And we have luggage to grab. Things were different. So different, in fact, that when I got out of the car, I forgot my phone sitting on the back seat of the car because I was taking photos while we drove – something I would not normally do because, I would be driving!. Luckily our travel agent was in the office in the US, and she was able to call the company and the driver came back to the ship, with my phone. Losing my phone would have put a damper on that trip.
Tech Travel Tip #12: While you are packing, make sure you have plenty of ‘digital film.’
That is all the digital storage cards: USB flash drive, flash memory, external hard drives, and all the other ways you store your information. We strongly suggest you look at using solid state external hard drives because they are more robust than regular drives. It is also possible to back these up, on a nightly basis, to your hard drive or to the Cloud, so you begin each day with a full availability of space. You never know when the Mayor of Los Angeles is going to want to take a selfie with you. What if you were out of space on your phone? Are you going to make Mayor Eric Garcetti wait for you to delete a few photos? I think not!
Tech Travel Tip #13 As we prepare for a trip out of the country later this year, I am reminded to remind you to make sure that you have the proper electrical current plugs and adapters. Do not assume that because you are staying at a ‘brand name’ hotel that they use the outlets you are used to at home. Same is true on cruise ships.
Tech Travel Tip #14: Let’s talk old school, batteries.
Start with fresh ones from home and bring extras with you. It is amazing how much the battery availability varies from country to country. Especially all those little, round ‘watch’ type batteries. Long ago, I got to watch as my sales manager LEFT a cruise ship (the top 10% of sales people had won a cruise) before we left port in Miami because he had forgotten camera batteries. It took him over an hour and 3 stops (yes, he used a cab) to find them and he got back on board with just minutes to spare.
We hope these Tech Travel Tips have helped you prepare for your upcoming events and will help you to make them an even bigger success. If you want help in preparing your travel, please don’t call Yuloff Creative Marketing Solutions. But for a free assessment of your marketing program, you can get a free half hour with us when you go to www.FreeMarketingConsultation.com