You learn a lot while traveling. It’s almost always a great experience, and most of the time you’ll learn from various mistakes you make somewhere in between spontaneity and adventure. It’s important to go offline.To, you know, “shut down”, but preparation is key when traveling abroad.Here are a few must-haves that saved my ass abroad.
If you’re taking care of business (or checking out an AngelHack event) abroad, get a good laptop! It can make or break your experience if it takes you twice the time to find wifi, send out emails, or hop from document to document. It’s also very important to work with your mobile service provider to unlock your smartphone. This will give you the ability to purchase data plans, or SIM cards in various countries. Having cell service and data while working in another country can sometimes make all the difference when trying to behave professionally abroad.
There’s nothing as stressful (well yes, there probably is) as when you’re phone runs out of juice when you’re on the road in a foreign place…. On my way from Tokyo to Vietnam, I got stuck in a Chinese terminal without the ability to exit because, well, you need another visa for that… While stuck between borders, both my iPhone, and laptop ran out of battery. With no way to contact my AngelHack team in Vietnam who were waiting at the airport, I whipped out my handy-dandy Mofie and got my phone charged just enough to send them a message with the help of airport wifi. This external battery back is nice to have during day to day operations, but I swear, it can save you when traveling as well.
Don’t waste your money on multiple adapters when you can buy an all-in-one. Keep it in your backpack so you can charge your gadgets at a local Starbucks, or as you rest on a rickety pillow underneath your head in that place you call a hostel.
- Pen & Notebook
Writing with pen and paper is clutch when trying to unplug abroad. Traveling is not only about the photos you take or the stamps in your passport. Entering a new location and new mindset requires you to pull away from the world you’re used to. Take a few moments to write about your travels on some ol’ notebook paper, and not a Facebook wall or Twitter feed.
While traveling for your startup, or perhaps a far away hackathon, Wifi hotspots come in clutch. When traveling I’ve had way too many issues with bunk networks, premium providers, and the act of dancing from hotspot to hotspot due to time constraints. Don’t be me…get yourself a personal Wifi hotspot like this one, https://www.brck.com/, before your next adventure. Make sure you’re always able to jump online while “offline”.