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tech to take
auldtwa
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The last post on netbooks was in May, so I am here explaining why I am definitely taking mine for my three month trip to Europe. a) I plan on communicating with the folks back home by email, not phone b) I’ve got an itinerary planned but I don’t want to commit to every last day of it, so I want to be able to reserve at hotels and hostels a few days before I get to where I need a place to stay—ditto train reservations c) it is a 10 inch Asus and I haven’t weighed it BUT

It substitutes for guidebooks on the whole. First, you can scan in the fatter ones or the glossy ones like DK, save them as PDF, and all that interesting but heavy info is at your fingertips. (The ebook industry is WAY behind on good purchased guides).

Second and MOST IMPORTANT, if you use Microsoft OneNOte you can make your own guidebooks free (particularly useful if you plan on going heavy on museums or are into the history of where you are going). OneNote, you ask? Try it—the best organizing tool of the computer age. If you have Office 2007 you already have it. Otherwise, you can try it free from the Microsoft Website. In it you can organize info by everything from Country to City to Neighborhood, stick in all your reservations and phone numbers, even copies of your passport etc, do yourself your own “art gallery” of things you want to see in person, add info on history or biography neatly copied from Wikipedia amongst others, even copy maps to it. I have pages for artists, for cathedrals, for museum opening hours (cut/paste, there’s the most current info) for good spots to eat—and it is all reachable from ONE page.

It is super easy to use. From IE (or from Firefox with an add-on) you can simply send any web page you are looking at to OneNote. It saves itself so you don’t need to worry about losing it. AND once in Onenote you can annotate to your heart’s content. Rearrange if you change your mind.

OneNote is a MARVEL for travel planning. I first encountered it through work, where it has increased my productivity a zillion percent, but it is perfect for sorting and getting to information in a rational, EASY way.

At to netbook battery life—there’s a concept called “recharging” and since it comes with a 110-240 cord, all you need extra is the little do-hickey with the appropriate size prongs.

As far as other tech goes: All the docs on my netbook will also be on a flashdrive kept separate in case someone manages to filch it (it will be in my daypack and I probably will use same as a pillow!!). I’m also taking my Kindle because I read a whole lot and will be on trains a whole lot. And an MP3 player—there are a fair number of walking tours downloadable for far less than a bought tour.

I’ve done the “tear out the pages you want” and it works for shorter trips, but for three months I’m going to need a lot of info. And the torn out pages tend to fall apart…. I plan on taking only those few paper pages that guide to specific sights so I don’t have to fire up netbook on site (yes, that IS an interesting gargoyle up there), but the concept is to learn what you can about where you are going ahead of time (on that train ride) and then just _experience _it when you get there.

C’mon guys, rise to the challenge! I am, by the way, a medicare aged grandma, travelling solo and heading for hostels. If I can do it, anyone can.

PS I don’t work for Microsoft.

oldlady
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I haven’t decided yet about taking my netbook on the next trip. You make some good points, but it’s still a lot of weight and responsibility to tote around every single minute of every single day and to worry about when it’s checked with your day pack at the Louvre. Mine weighs significantly more than a copy of Let’s Go and I kind of like hunting up internet cafes

swill
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I took both my laptop and my iphone. I wish i only took my iphone. If I did not have my iphone I would have wanted my laptop, but since I had my iphone, i rarely used the laptop cause I could do everything i needed to do on the phone.

As a side note: I am hoping to build a printable guide into the trips application this summer that would allow you to specify your hostel, the places you want to see, etc and then you can print out all the details including directions from your hostel to the different sites and the like. The idea is that you plan your trip with the help of the eurotrip community and then you just print off your own custom guide book for your trip before you leave. Hopefully I can get this functionality ready for the high season, but we will see how quickly I can get through all the other stuff on my plate.

I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $1600 for 16 days
Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Florence, Nice, Barcelona, Paris

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Kayling05
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Will, that printable guide idea is brilliant! I would definitely use it in planning my trip.

I am leaving from Atlanta, GA with $1200 for 14 days
London, Salisbury, Cardiff, Manchester, Edinburgh, Inverness, Edinburgh, London
Requesting help with Nightlife, Food, Sights
I am leaving from Rouen with $1500 for 15 days
Venice, Cinque Terre, Pisa, Florence, Rome, Sorrento, Rome
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Sights
I am leaving from busan, SK with $1000 for 13 days
Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Bangkok

2008—Language study abroad in Paris, France
2009—Archaeological field school/dig in Lau, Fiji
2010— Birthday UK trip!
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2012— ????

swill
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@Kayling05: Since I don’t want to hijack auldtwa’s thread, I started another thread to get feedback for my Printable/City Guide concept. Let me know what you think…

I am leaving from Montreal, Canada with $1600 for 16 days
Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Florence, Nice, Barcelona, Paris

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elly_mac
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i started using one note last night, trying to work it out for my trip to usa this year. so confusing!!!! but i think maybe one day i will get it

I am leaving from Australia with $5000 for 26 days
Leighton Buzzard, Bucharest, Deva, Sighişoara, Braşov, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Banja Luka, Mostar, Sarajevo, Neum, Split, London
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Nightlife, Sights

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2009 – USA and Canada
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2012 – Europe and USA

Don
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Auldtwa, it sounds like you’ve really thought a lot about this, weighed the pros and cons and your own style and preferences, and have made a decision. The little Asus 10s are tiny, so if you’re comfortable using it, then I hope you enjoy! Let us know how it goes.

lhiester
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So would you consider it safe to bring an iPhone with you, if you use it with discretion? Did you have trouble getting Internet access on your iPhone in Europe?

I am traveling by myself for two months, and I am thinking about bringing my iPod (although I suppose if I brought my iPhone I wouldn’t bring an iPod). Is it safe to listen to music on an mp3 player on the trains and buses in Europe?

I am leaving from Seattle, WA with $7000 for 62 days
Athens, Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, Santa Margherita Ligure, Genoa, Venice, Verona, Turin, Menton, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Antibes, Nice, Barcelona, Toulouse, Barbizon, Paris, Salzberg, Munich, Frankfurt, Brussels, Bruges, Amsterdam
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
I am leaving from Houston with $1800 for 14 days
Dublin, London, Belfast, Kilkenny, Kinsale, Kenmare, Doolin, Galway
I am leaving from Houston with $1800 for 14 days
Dublin, London, Belfast, Kilkenny, Kinsale, Kenmare, Doolin, Galway
I am leaving from Houston, TX with $15000 for 185 days
Amsterdam, Utrecht, Bruges, Luxembourg, Paris, Lyon, Madrid, Lisbon, Seville, Valencia, Barcelona, Nice
augustin25
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Of course it’s safe. Europeans have cell phones and mp3 players too.