My dad is an avid backpacker. No, not the hippy traveling Europe type, he has hiked over 1,800 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail type. He is going to be hitting the trails this summer and was hoping to do some journaling from the trail. We were discussing some different options for devices and services he could use so I thought I would post my suggestions here as well. What are your thoughts? Please comment below if you have any suggestions. Thanks!
|1. iPhone ($200, $90 per month for phone and internet)||
|2. iPod Touch ($299)||
|3. Any other smart phone (similar to iPhone)||
|4. iPad ($429 Wi-Fi, $579 Wi-Fi + 3G)||
|5. Netbook/small laptop/MacBook Air||
Tags: Backpacker, Cell Coverage, Free Wi Fi, Geocaching, Hippy, iPhone, Iphone 4, Key Board, Mobile Internet, Pacific Crest Trail, Pct Hike, Phone Contract, Pros Cons, Screen Keyboard, Second Choice, Similar To Iphone, Smart Phone, Starbucks, Traveling Europe, Uncle Tom
Here is the first full article in my new travel planning series. As I mentioned in the last post, I thought what better way to introduce people to our travel planning process, than to allow you to follow along, step-by-step, as I plan our next big trip. I hope you enjoy this series and would love to hear any opinions or recommendations you have along the way.
The first step in the process is to learn. Learning about you and your travel partner’s current travel desires and how they align is an important first step.
Next, learn about what destination make the most sense to travel to right now. I consider two things when making this decision. Which destination makes the most sense given the time I have to travel? Second, which location makes the most sense give the amount of money I have?
Unfortunately for many of us, both time and money are finite. I have found that I have the best time on a trip when I have considered these two factors and have maximized each.
It has been two years since my wife Becky and I took our last major trip. Next year, 2010, will be our ten-year wedding anniversary. We have always thought we would go to Africa on safari for our tenth anniversary, but given the current world and local economy, as well as all of our other commitments, we figured that a less expensive destination would be the wiser choice at this time.
Following our own advice, we ran through our list of places to travel to next, and France quickly came to the top. France is on the short list for a number of different reasons, not least of which is that Becky has been to Paris and I have not. Most importantly though, France also fit the previous criteria we mentioned.
It fit the amount of time we had to spend on a trip, two weeks, and is more budget friendly than a safari to Africa. The next step is to develop an outline of our trip. I will cover this in the next post.
Until then, what are your thoughts? Where are you going or where would you like to go in 2010? Post you thoughts by responding to this post in the comments section below. Thanks, and for now, travel smart.
Tags: Africa, Economy, France, France Image, New Travel, Paris, podcast, Time And Money, Top France, Travel, Travel Desires, Travel France, travel itineraries, Travel Partner, Travel Planning, Travelogues
I will be starting a new travel planning article series this month. I will be walking you though the process I really use when planning our travel. My wife Becky and I have another big trip in the late spring of 2010. Over the course of the next few months, I will be posting articles in which you can follow me through the steps I take when planning a trip. This is your opportunity to see the “Learn, Plan, GO!” methodology in action.
The first step in the process is to “Learn” a few different things. Learn where you would like to travel next. Learn where your travel partner would like to travel next. Finally, learn where is make the most sense to travel right now.
In the weeks and posts to follow, we will explore all three aspects of our travel planning process, “Learn, Plan, GO!” For now, thanks for reading, and as always, travel smart!
5. The GPS
I have had a hand held GPS for a number of years and I cannot honestly say that I would consider it an essential travel tool. However, I now consider a GPS when traveling by car to be an indispensable item. I love to travel by car. It is relaxing to get out on the wide open roads of the western US and just take a drive. What does not relax me is when I get off the interstate and have to find my way to the hotel or restaurant in an unfamiliar town. All the relaxation of the last couple of hours goes right out the window as I realize I have no clue whether to go left or right at the bottom of the off-ramp. Now that I have a GPS in the car, my bliss can continue all the way, until I take the key out of the ignition. In this final installment of this series, I will cover a few of my experiences with GPS systems.
I am one of those people who love to know exactly where they are at on this planet. For this reason alone, a GPS would be a good investment for me. Even if you are not obsessed by your precise location, a GPS in your vehicle allows you to answer the most dreaded questions of traveling with kids… Are we there yet and how much further? No longer do I have to make anything up (although I still do just for fun), I just look at the display and read what it says. Seriously, I do find comfort in seeing I am making progress towards my destination and that I can measure that progress.
We own a Honda Pilot with a built-in navigation system and I have a portable Garmin Nuvi for our Ford Ranger. For the most part, they both work in the same way. You can define your destination in a number of different ways, by entering the address directly in or by using the variety of search methods for finding your desired destination. The screen on the built in system is larger that the Garmin Nuvi, but I find the Nuvi display to be acceptable. One advantage of the Nuvi is that system and program updates are as easy as plugging the system into my PC. To update the Honda system you are required to buy an update DVD each year. We have owned the Honda for a couple of years now and we have found a couple of times there have been new roads that the system was not aware of.
The next feature I have found useful is finding conveniences along the route. Forgot some travel essentials and need to find the nearest Target, just type it into the search and you are on your way. Another great feature on GPS systems are turn-by-turn directions and voice navigation. Not all portable GPS devices have this feature and I would recommend that if you buy a portable unit you buy one with this feature. I have found the ability for the GPS to recognize your voice is not a super useful feature. The technology is not quite there yet and I have found myself more focused on trying to get it to understand what I am saying than staying in my lane, which is kind of the whole point.
One advantage of a traditional road map or atlas is the ability to see a level of detail of a whole state or region at one glance. A 3.5 or even 7 inch screen can only hold so much information at one time so I still always carry a road atlas with me in the car. However, as technology advances I believe GPS units will become more a standard feature. The ability to see real-time traffic and weather are already here and who knows what the next year or even six months will bring.
In summary, I hope you have enjoyed this series. I would like to invite you to post a comment to this article below. Let us know what your favorite tech tools for travel are. Thanks for reading and remember to travel smart!