10 Nightmares When Traveling With Tech--and How to Prevent Them
6. Lack of Decent Charging Options
Charging options are limited at best at some airports and well-hidden under seats that have old chewing gum stuck to the bottom of them. Charging stations that are offered through airports could theoretically be used to hack into your smartphone, so turn it off before plugging it in.
[Related: Travel smart: The best gear for the road]
Check out the iDapt charger, which will let you charge two separate devices using one plug. You can use it in your car or at home, eliminating the need for separate charging accessories. If you need more outlets, check out the Targus Travel Power Outlets with surge suppression, which helps protect your tech from dirty power while offering four separate outlets for your various devices, one of which could be for your charger.
7. Overpriced Tech Essentials at Airport Stores
Have you ever forgotten a charger or other important accessory and been forced to buy something at an airport store? If you have, you’ll already know the importance of checking your bags twice before you leave to make sure you’ve got everything. Prices at these shops are not likely to go down since they are playing to a captive audience.
8. Not Having the Right Power Source for Your Device
You’ll want to pay attention to power adapters and the voltage of your destination country if you are traveling internationally. Many European and other nations outside of North America are on 220 or 240 volt power, which will instantly fry your device if you try to plug into it. To prevent harming your precious mobile devices and yourself, research the voltage of your destination country in advance and ensure that you have the appropriate adapter for it. If you buy it in your destination country of choice, you may get a substandard adapter for an exorbitant price.
8. Hotel Wi-Fi Issues
Make sure you ask when checking in about everything you need to know about Wi-Fi. Many hotels do not leave this information in an easy-to-find spot in the room, and calls to the front desk are much less productive than asking a clerk face-to-face. While the hotel that doesn’t offer free Wi-Fi is rare, they are still out there and you should double-check before you book, especially if your hotel is out of the way or not part of one of the major chains.
9. Late and Backed Up Public Transit
While many travelers take taxis, a great majority of people will use local transit and train services in densely populated urban areas. When public transportation snafus hit, the website fixmytransport.com allows European transit users to report issues. It even keeps you up-to-date on the cleanliness factor of station bathrooms. How awesome would it be to have a North American version?
10. Charging from your airplane seat
SeatGuru by TripAdvisor offers travelers a free guide to the kind of power available on your aircraft. It breaks down the available power ports and locations, so you can look up the seats you should be booking for any trip you’re taking that is over a couple of hours in length. They also recommend power adapters to ensure that your 110-volt device works on the airplane in question.
Angela West dreams of opening a Fallout-themed pub featuring wait staff with Pip-Boys. She's written for big insurance companies, small wildlife control businesses, gourmet food chains, and more. Follow her on Twitter at @angelawest and Facebook.