For two decades, I’ve traveled overseas on vacation with lots of paper: guidebooks, journals, maps and more. But this year, I wanted to travel lighter and less obtrusively — and that meant going smartphone.
It was easier than I thought, at least in France. Over at GeekWire, I detail the five steps I took that pretty much any motivated European or other international traveler can replicate, if the country that’s being visited has the right supporting infrastructure for WiFi and recharging. And if a traveler’s comfort level isn’t too compromised by going smartphone.
- Public WiFi is easier to find than I expected. From the smallest hotels (including those in the Loire Valley and on Mont-St-Michel) to the largest public spaces (such as the park behind Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral), WiFi was plentiful.
- Voice call necessity is overrated. I was initially concerned that, by putting my smartphone in Airplane Mode and only using WiFi connectivity and not cellular phone or data service, I’d have problems. Not true: I was able to do everything by email from my phone. I never used the full version of the Skype app I had downloaded (and never mind considering the crippled pre-installed “Skype mobile” version). Even the telecarte I purchased for backup use at public phones stills holds its full value.
Want more details? Read, “The Geek’s Guide to International Travel,” over at GeekWire.