I recently returned from leading a team of 25 high school students to South Africa. It was a fantastic trip. Being prepared for the tech challenges and needs of the trip was of huge help. I’m hoping to pass on 5 tech tips that might come in handy on your next trip.
1. Evernote’s offline notebooks
I can’t stress enough how much I love this feature of Evernote. Many of the places we take teams have brutal/no coverage. Evernote allows you to download select notebooks to your smartphone/tablet making them easily accessible at all times. This is a premium feature which cost $5/month. Upgrade the month before and downgrade when you get home.
I kept our team’s flight itinerary, passports, car reservations, hotel reservations, room lists, ground itinerary, insurance info, team devotionals, maps, meal plans, budget and receipts all in one notebook. I downloaded the notebook and wherever I went, that important info was right there with me.
2. Universal Outlet Adapter
This one is a given; however, I was amazed at how many students brought the wrong adapters this past trip. You will need to charge your phone, camera, laptop…etc. Most places you travel to outside your country will have different outlets than what your tech equipment needs. Make sure you have the right charger (even 2!).
3. Power Bar
As you’ll have multiple things to charge on your trip, it’s ridiculously helpful to pack in your luggage a 5 or 7 outlet power bar. You’ll avoid having students ’accidentally’ pull out your iPod from a charge and replace it with theirs!
4. Unlocked Smartphone:
If you have an old smartphone kickin’ around, unlock that thing. It makes it easy to use in foreign countries that run off different networks. You can purchase airtime or a SIM card in your host country and not get charged through the roof for data usage (my carrier charges $10/MB which is just stupid). If you don’t have an old smartphone than see if you can borrow a friend’s or purchase a cheap phone in your host country.
5. Mobile Juice Pack
I purchased a Mophie Juice Pack a couple years back. It’s an external battery for your mobile devices. Essentially if you run out of battery on your phone a juice pack will provide a full charge to your device. You don’t want to break down on the side of the road in a strange country with no way to get a hold of someone!