Too Many Gadgets can make your Vacation a Disaster
Our electronic age has made many of us so dependent on gadgets that we may have withdraw symptoms if we don't take the laptop, cellphone, Blackberry, MP3 Player, GPS among other things when we travel. One day without these devices and we could find ourselves looking through the yellow pages for the local GA meeting. No Not Gamblers Anonymous but Gadget Anonymous.
With todays security issues at the airport, the more gadgets you have in your carry ons causes you to have to prove that the unit will turn on and shut off without activating some Explosive devise. Want to be frisked by that hefty TSA official with bad breath? carry all of your favorites along with you.
The bottom line? Consider what you must have with you on the aircraft. When the writer travels overseas to mission trips in third world countries, that MP3 Player or Radio alarm clock is the most inexpensive money can buy, I sacrifice quality for safety and not being held up by TSA with Boom boxes that could be loaded with cocaine or other illegal substances.
Check with your Travel Agent for more tips. Have a great trip and leave your busy life behind.
exhausted and frazzled by my vacation that I need time to recover.
The hassle of air travel is often one reason. Anyone who has been through airport security with much more than a laptop knows the pain. Gadget freaks, er, lovers, can face delays. At worst, they could soon be undressing for strangers.
Let's approach this problem from two directions. First, for those who really need to travel with a bunch of high-tech devices, we'll talk about some things that will help. Veteran road warriors already know most of this but it may help those who only travel for vacations.
Get charged up: Every device that you carry should be capable of working when you go through security. Computers should compute, radios and MP3 players should play and digital cameras should be capable of taking and displaying photos.
Organization pays: If you have accessories such as ethernet cables, battery chargers, extra memory cards and other items with wires or batteries, put them in a single clear plastic baggy. Otherwise, the security folks may need to paw through your luggage to find all the little wires and gizmos that show up on the scanner.
Don't overexplain: Obviously you should answer questions if you are asked. But don't start explaining unless you are asked. It often sounds defensive or even suspicious. Believe me, the security person has seen plenty of electronic devices before the ones in your baggage. So don't assume he's going to be puzzled by your MP3 player.
Don't try to hide things: This should be obvious but I've personally seen it in security lines. People poke gadgets in hidden pouches of luggage. That, of course, makes the security person even more interested.
The other angle we'll look at it — and my favorite — is whether you can leave some of your technology at home.
By taking all your gizmos, you have more stuff to carry around. And if you carry high-tech devices you feel obliged to use them. Simple solution: Take a break from e-mail, texting and instant messaging if you can.
There are still other reasons. Expensive high-tech devices are magnets for thieves, for instance, and they can get left behind or lost on a trip.
Still, I realize the world has shifted and many of us — me included — end up carrying some gadgets along.
So here's a compromise: Multifunctional devices — say an iPhone or other small device with the same features — make enormous sense for travelers. A single device can handle the functions of e-mail, phone, GPS and even camera.