Now here you stand great traveler, with all of the power in your hands, expertly wielded with your mind. Nature was subdued in Part 1 and nicking nicked in Part 2. But with great power comes great temptation on the journey we travel. You’ll need to make new allies and rely on ancient texts to guide your quest as lord of the wings.
Upgrade Your Tech For Free From The Inside Out
I really wish I could send all of you a few thousand dollars to buy a bunch of new fancy gadgets but until I can, let’s talk about upgrading what you already have. Remember, gadgets are hardware and software – and software is often you can do something about right away. When it comes to unlocking your phone – Android, iPhone, or otherwise I’ve got you covered with my complete guide to unlocking mobiles. You can do things like add multi-tasking, games, and other apps not available directly for your version of phone. On top of that, you’ll get the added benefit of being able to choose any carrier you want around the world and at home.
- Going Apple? – I’ve mentioned a few times before that several PC netbooks are compatible enough to run Mac OS X – with some modifications. If you’re up for creating a Hackintosh that’s one thing but when it comes to tablets it’s another.
- Talking Tablets – iPads aren’t the only tablets on the market – Samsung’s Galaxy 10.1 is a nice competitor – but basically the same price. Rather, if you happened to get a Kindle Fire or (in my opinion superior device) Nook Tablet over New Year’s you can root either (Nook Guide – Kindle Guide) to access to the full Android store. A solid tablet for $250 less than you might pay otherwise. (On a side note, the next version of the iPad will be released by April this year and it’s rumored that the current iPad 2s will drop $100. So, if you can wait until spring, your wallet will likely thank you.)
- Extend Your Battery Life And Wireless Range – Both are easier than you may believe.
- Get Better Alarm Clocks Across Timezones – These 3 methods work across laptops, phones, and other portable devices if you’ve been oversleeping one too many times.
- Take Better Photos With The Same Camera – Software can go a long way to improving your travel photos too.
Finally, if you’ve got a desktop at home, the office, or your parents house you can create your own mini cloud to backup, speed up downloads, and get around Internet censorship. Here’s how to make the most out of your desktop while traveling.
Airlines Beware Nerdy Ninjas Await
The airlines have money and can make metal tubes fly across oceans but you’ve got the world’s largest collection of knowledge at your disposal. First though, let’s go old school. Very, very, old school.
- The Art Of War – Whether it’s literally (don’t fight uphill battles) or figuratively (don’t fight uphill battles) Sun Tzu’s timeless advice can help you win many battles at the ticket counter. (And elsewhere, it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read; I highly recommend it.)
- Get More Frequent Flyer Miles – In 8 minutes for the reluctant of you out there.
- Weave Yourself Around Airline Fees – For free you can fly with baggage without the fee.
Now let’s bring out the big guns. Here’s how to use the entire Internet to stand up to the airlines when you need to.
Beat The Bling, Fight Temptation, And Shave Your Hairy Budget
When you’re already off on vacation or traveling it’s easy to dismiss the impact ATM, foreign transaction, and other miscellaneous fees can have on your budget. Avoid wasting your funds unnecessarily (imagine how many beers you could buy) by choosing the right bank before going overseas. In case that’s too late or you’re just extremely diligent, for all its faults, Mint.com does a heck of a job notifying you of fees you’ve paid but could be avoiding. From credit cards to coupons, Mint will also automatically suggest improvements based on your spending. Why think when a technology can do it for you – focus those brain cells on beautiful sunsets or amazing views – it’s what travel is all about.
- Miss Flights For Free – I have a tendency to never be on time and this is a skill I’ve perfected over a lifetime of being late and skipping college exams.
- Exchange Cash The Star Trek Way – Need to borrow a few bucks from a friend or perhaps want to payback your friend Pat Stewart for all of those Romulan ales? Well, Paypal for one lets you bump phones to give and take cash. It’s one of many apps using Bump Technologies.
How much would a week in Indonesia cost you? Budget Your Trip knows the answer to that and many other destinations. Remember preparation and anticipation is what makes the difference between a guy who gets beat up and Batman.