travel advice & savings
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Bringing Technology
jessica123's profile picture
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Hello there.

I am going to europe with my boyfriend next July for about a month.

Is it necessary if we bring a phone or Ipad?

Neither of us want to carry a lot… we will be using bacpacks as our source of luggage.

I don’t have an Iphone… but my dad has an Ipad I could borrow.

It would be nice to be able to look things up or make reservations online.

What are your suggestions?

I am leaving from DETROIT with $4000 for 31 days
Detroit, Dublin, Paris, Venice, Florence, Cortona, Rome, Corfu, Athens, Santorini, Paris
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights

:Live, Laugh, Love, TRAVEL:

luv_the_beach's profile picture
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Your iPad won’t be necessary, but at times, you’ll appreciate its convenience.

Like you, I too like to look things up while I’m on a trip, as well as keep up with email and maybe upload some minor pictures or videos to facebook. But first and foremost, being able to look things up is something that’s important to me.

If you plan to be staying in hostels, most provide computers for guests to use. Most hostels will have anywhere from 2 to 6 computers set up in a common area, where guests can access the internet. In most European hostels, you need to pay to access these computers, but the cost isn’t that bad for only a 30-60 minute use. Usually, there will be enough computers to meet demand, but there may be cases when they’re all occupied and you have to wait for a free one.

Many hostels also provide wi-fi, and this is where you might find your iPad convenient. I personally don’t have an iPad or similar tablet device, but I do travel with a smartphone that has wi-fi capability, so I can access the internet from my phone when I’m in Europe where I have no data plan. I have yet to encounter a hostel that charges for wi-fi use, but I believe they do exist. I also travel with a USB cable, so I can hook up my phone to the hostel’s computer, if I want to do something that my phone can’t do (it has issues posting pictures sometimes). But not all hostel computers provide a USB port. Just as an FYI, it’s quite common in some European countries for hostels to secure their wi-fi networks (to make sure that non-guests don’t take advantage), so just ask reception for the code.

Most of my travel buddies don’t travel with a wifi-capable device, and they’re perfectly fine without one. But IMO, it’s a very useful amenity, and when I got my first smartphone last year, I made sure to buy one with wi-fi capability so I can use it when I travel and have no data plan.

Since you don’t have a wifi-enabled phone, an iPad/tablet computer is small and light enough, that you may want to consider bringing it. Just always make sure to lock it away in the hostel’s provided lockers if you don’t feel like carrying around all day, and also lock it away at night. I bring both a large lock (like the kind you’d use on a high-school locker in the USA or Canada), as well as a small lock, in case the locker’s “keyhole” is too small for those big high-school type locks (so, basically, a travel-lock you’ll find at a travel store, or the travel/luggage section of any department store or big-box store).