How to Prep Your Tech for a Vacation to Europe

by Barrett

The last thing you want when you’re on vacation is frustration with your tech. Either you leave it all at home and go off the grid or do some easy prep…

Bon Dia! My family and I are back from our little trip to Barcelona, and as you might expect, I ran across a few learnings that might be useful for your next holiday overseas…

Eight Tech Tips to Make Your Tech Work For You in Spain

Before You Leave, Download Media for Local Viewing on Your iPad
I discovered that certain streaming video services didn’t work overseas. Amazon Prime Video failed the test. But Netflix worked like a champ! Before we left and without knowing which apps would work for sure, I downloaded a few episodes of my son’s current favorite video series… Amazon’s “Gortimer Gibbons Life on Normal Street.”
(My hedge paid off.)

Not All Streaming Music Apps will Work Either
Pretty much the same story as video apps. Pandora choked in Barcelona, but Amazon Music worked just fine.
(I brought along my portable Logitech Bluetooth speaker to stream some local tunes during my morning coffee.)

Avoid 3% Currency Conversion Fee When You Use Your Credit Card
The way to do that is pay in ‘Dollars’ instead of ‘Euros.’ I found that many of my MasterCard transactions in Barcelona offered the choice. You just have to tap the ‘Dollars’ option on the mobile terminal when it’s offered. (And sometimes for some reason, it wasn’t.)
Thank you, Mastercard for the suggestion.
(I had called customer service before I left to let Mastercard know I would be using the card in Barcelona.)

Don’t Forget to Bring Your Earphones Onboard for Airplane Screen Time
I think by now… most planes that offer seatback monitor viewing are outfitted to use standard mini audio jacks. So your EarPods will work just fine. In fact, they’re a far superior option than using the free earbuds the airlines hand out with your free drink and snack.
(Actually, Delta fed us very nicely… and the stewardess also gave our son his very own Delta wings!)

Clear Up Space on Your Smartphone for Vacation Photos and Videos
One quick way to find large files to remove is to delete a movie or two you’ve previously downloaded from the cloud.
(You can always reload them later.)
You really don’t want to run out of room on your smartphone when you’re snapping that amazing photo of la Sagrada Familia.








Take an Extra Memory Card for Your Camera
If you also carry a separate camera beyond the one in your smartphone, (good for you!) the same rules apply as above. You don’t want your camera to run out of space either! Better yet… treat yourself and start with a brand new memory card! You’ve spent how much on your plane tickets? I say add an extra twenty bucks into your budget for a fresh flash card!

Bring Portable Power to Keep Your Mobile Gear Going
Why risk it? Power stick for your smartphone. Extra battery for your camera. It’s a practical move but also designed to relieve stress. You’re on vacation… right?!

Don’t Forget to Get Your Smartphone an International Plan Before You Leave
If you don’t, your next mobile bill is going to shock you. Alternatively, I don’t recommend hobbling your smartphone and only using the occasional free Wi-Fi hotspot to check in with your world. Again… you’re on vacation! Enjoy your smartphone if you want. Give it full access and stay connected.
(I signed up for the International Day Pass plan for $10/day from @AT&T.)

Release Your Photos!
And when you get back from your big trip, I’ve got one more suggestion for you…

Start sharing your pictures!
(People don’t care about last year’s vacation!)