In the age of technology, travelling light is easier than ever. Gone are the days of carting around heavy, baggage-sapping books when you have an e-reader; the time has come and gone for CDs, game cartridges and camcorders. Even the laptop has become too unwieldy to take on long-haul adventures. Enter the traveler’s new technological best friend: the tablet.
Discover Europe with your tablet tour guide
When navigating Paris, Barcelona or Berlin’s teeming cultural hotspots, there’s nothing like having your very own mini tour guide stuffed in your backpack to help you pick out the highlights. Most major European cities have excellent walking tour apps and informative guidebooks, often for free. You can download a subway guide to help you navigate your way from neighborhood to neighborhood without squinting at a tiny screen, or use your tablet to read about the history of a monument.
North America: share your kicks on Route 66
Heading out on the highway? If you’ve always wanted to do a Hunter S. Thomson or Jack Kerouac jot down your road trip ramblings with your tablet — it’s more interactive than a travel journal. You can write your own mini-review of the Blue Man Group on TripAdvisor, or tweet the haiku you were inspired to write by the majestic Niagara Falls. Whether you’re traveling the states in 50 blog posts or Instagram-ing your trip in craft beers, a tablet helps to keep your American dream alive for your social media audience.
Unleashing your inner artist in South America
Some visions are too beautiful to leave behind. Day of the Dead, Machu Picchu, the Rio carnival, the Iguassu waterfalls — they’re all marvelous subjects for a sketch. If you can’t draw for toffee, just snap a picture and add some cool effects.
A food-lover’s odyssey in Asia
Asian food is varied, inspirational, and may well include ingredients you just can’t get at home. Use your tablet to keep a food diary. Whether you choose to evidence the day you crunched on a deep-fried cockroach in Thailand with a snapshot or to write a bucket list of 20 dishes to try before you die, you can look back on your mouth-watering trip with a grin.
Video your safari story in Africa
If you’ve travelled to the heart of Africa for a safari break, don’t leave your tablet in your suitcase. Most tablets now come with video capture features as standard, so when your battery-heavy DSLR packs up in the middle of the Masai Mara, you’ll have backup.
In-flight entertainment in Australasia
It’s a long haul to down under, so let down your drinks tray, plug in those headphones and indulge in a little in-flight entertainment. Most tablets are a lot bigger than the screens on commercial flights, and with your own device comes your own choice of movies and games. Take in a blockbuster, ping open a game of air hockey or mellow out with some solitaire. You’ll be landing in Brisbane before you can say Snakes on a Plane.
Traveling around the world is an experience. You’ll always have the memories, of course, but isn’t it nice to document it as well!
Image by Randy Heinitz, used under Creative Commons license.