Travelling without a laptop

8 05 2013

I must confess to being nervous about traveling without my laptop but my fears were unfounded. After speaking to a few hardcore travellers on Twitter it seemed it was doable with a tablet. Armed with a trusty Nexus 7 and complimented by a Nexus 4 both devices has worked seamlessly on the road. In fact our biggest problem has been finding WiFi and reliable 3g network.

I would recommend buying and “on the go” cable – about 1.5 GBP to use with the tablet.

My only real problem has not being able to use a spreadsheet for expenses without WiFi – using Google drive.


Technology And Travel

19 04 2013

Our travel technology consists of the following:

Nexus 7 tablet
Nexus 4 unlocked 3g phone
1T Samsung portable drive
USB On the Go Cable
2no Fuji compact cameras

Why have we taken the above?

I was banned from taking the laptop because the temptation to drift into work mode would be too great. The Nexus 7 was taken as the next best thing to keep in touch email etc but it lacked 3G. Nexus 4 was duly purchased to cover this shortfall and it has been truly indispensable on our trip to new Zealand.

On the go cable was purchased to allow connection to other USB peripherals. So far it has been successful with mouse, a wireless keyboard and camera. It won’t work with the Samsung portable drive. Apparently the device needs to be rooted to work.

The portable drive contains backup of travel documents and some work files. I do have drop box but was semi reluctant to put some personal information online in case of a breach.

So far we have been able to do most things on the phone and Nexus. I am glad we made this decision as it has saved a lot of weight being unnecessarily carried.

Auckland New Zealand – On a budget with family

19 04 2013

This is what we have found so far

A taxi ride, with the lovely Raj79, cost 75 NZD from the airport to the Best Western in the Central business district.

The Best Western is a good place to stay with a family. The family unit has separate accommodation for the kids and adults. There are two supermarkets adjacent so you can buy fresh croissants in the morning and keep costs down. 12 NZD was the average cost of a day for breakfast. There were two food courts nearby one above Countdown supermarket (which had excellent Chinese steam dumplings) and another a little walk in Queens St. We dined out on 22NZD in one evening and were full!


Skytower is 61 NZD for a family ticket. To date this has been our most spectacular outing. We also had tea and cake for an additional 6 NZD each 🙂 Staff in the tower were lovely also.

If your missing loved ones or cant withdraw yourself from the internet you can keep in touch with Vodaphone Smart 19 data package which cost 30 NZD. It gives you 500MB of data, 50 min talk and 5000 texts. You will needs an unlocked phone. We took a Nexus 4 and it has been utterly priceless this week for directions and email.

We wanted to explore the North Island and hired a car via Apex Car Rentals. A mid size saloon costs
61 NZD day with the collision damage waiver. The staff were a joy to deal with a made the process painless.

Auckland Museum has been our second most favorite attraction. It is 10 NZD (donation) for adults and free for kids. It was very educational re the Maoiri culture and the history of the country. It is set in a magnificent building in spectacular grounds. Parking on the road is cheaper than under the museum.

Things I learned travelling this week

19 04 2013

Don’t rely on reviews on well known review sites – remember everyone’s expectations are different.

Singapore airlines are really good with kids, unfortunatley their choice of children’s meals are not so good.

Don’t make kids eat airline food in the early hours.

You can buy oysters in Heathrow airport but you can’t easily get a bag of chips (fries).

How to plan your holiday, your life or anything else

10 02 2013

Follow on from the “plans of mice and men” comment yesterday, I would say that we did actually start planning the trip last year, albeit we did not know where we were going at the time . Most of our planning and day to day strategy is usually done one on the back of an envelope, such as this one:


However, we do have the occassional flashes of inspiration and also use a free bit of software called “freeplane”. Freeplane is what they call a mind mapping tool where you can put down your ideas, dates, questions etc in a graphical form. You can revisit and revise as you go along.

Here’s one we did earlier in the initial stages:

Fullscreen capture 10022013 095938

There’s lots of lovely colours you can colour in with to make the whole thing fun.

Another tools I have used extensively is Pearltrees to bookmark websites. It’s great when you browsing to be able to bookmark and sort either there and then..

Fullscreen capture 10022013 104431

Another good tool for collecting info is Evernote, particularly when combined with another tool called IFTT (It this then that), which enables you to bookmark you tweets.

Fullscreen capture 10022013 105436

However if Evernote and IFTT seem too complicated you can always try Wunderlist which is a simple list making tool. Most of these apps also work on Android and iOS so you can have them on your phone as well 😉

#iPhone / #iPad resources for travel and education #elearning #edtech

19 01 2013


These links might be handy if your educationg your kids whilsts travelling or at home.

What Students Can Actually DO With An iPad
50 Impressive iPad Apps to Fuel Lifelong Learners
5 iPhone Apps for Students With Disabilities
One iPad in the Classroom? – Top 10 Apps
How to Load Games Onto Your iPod: 7 steps
50 best free iPhone games on the planet
What to know before giving kids an iPod touch – Tips and Advice for Parents and Families
The Big Problem With iPads In The Classroom
The younger generation doesn’t do boredom – it must have an iPad or iPhone to hand
The iPad joins comics and the spinning top as a ruiner of childhood: more tales of total bollocks | intercourse with biscuits
iPad for Teaching & Learning
15 Reasons To Use Your Apple iPhone
5 Simple (But Hidden!) Tricks All The New iPhone/iPad Owners Should Know


19 01 2013

Working When Travelling

Family Travel Blog for Nomadic World Travel with Kids: 5 Best Professions for Permanent Travel
Adapt your Profession so you can Work Anywhere | Life Remotely
Tips for the digital nomad: Staying in touch in Western Australia | NuNomad Location Independent Living, Lifestyle Design, Independent Travel
Can a Digital Nomad be a Ski Bum? | NuNomad Location Independent Living, Lifestyle Design, Independent Travel
How To Charge More As a Freelancer
Success Stories | Career change advice at
Veteran Entrepreneurs | Under30CEO
Anywork Anywhere – Jobs & Resources For Work & Travel Worldwide