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[February 22, 2014]
Gadgets top holiday packing lists ; TRAVELNEWS [Hull Daily Mail (England)]
(Hull Daily Mail (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Once upon a time, holidays were all about getting away from the real world and switching off. But now, it appears, they are about switching on.
Alongside the sunscreen and city guide books, electronic devices are now firmly at the top of travellers' holiday packing lists.
A poll of 4,000 people conducted by phone company Nokia revealed that almost half are packing two or more gadgets when they travel - and that doesn't even include their smartphones.
Laptops, tablet computers, digital cameras, e-readers and MP3 players are the usual suspects, plus handheld games consoles for kids - add to that all the associated chargers, batteries and adapters and that is a lot of excess baggage.
Nokia also estimates that more than 10 million electronic products will be taken on vacation this year.
Thomas Messett, head of digital marketing and advocacy, Europe, says: "Our research clearly indicates that the pressure to bring multiple devices on holiday is a real problem for a lot of people." That pressure primarily comes from the workplace, with a quarter of those polled admitting they check their work emails more than twice a day on holiday.
And then we all know the culprits who post endless poolside "selfies" and smug look-at-me-I'm-inparadise Facebook statuses while they are away.
But they may well be feeling less smug when they get home and face an unexpectedly huge phone bill - because using your phone while abroad might now be normal, but it can also be extremely expensive.
If you are taking your mobile overseas, make sure you find out what the roaming costs are, (especially outside the EU, where roaming charges are capped). Buying a "bundle" deal from your operator may be more economical too - where you buy a specific amount of "extra" data to use while you are away.
Remember, too, that even within the EU, you are generally charged 7p per minute to receive calls, and outside Europe, you will probably charged for receiving picture messages and even listening to voicemails, too. Check with your provider before you go to make sure you know any possible charges like this.
Another option to avoid sky-high phone charges is to buy a local SIM card from the country you are visiting. It may seem like a hassle, but if you know you will be using your phone a lot, it will be a hassle worth accepting.
As well as saving money with your electrical devices, you may well want to save packing space too, in which case a tablet computer is the obvious multitasking solution.
"The benefit of travelling with a tablet is that it combines work and play easily," says Messett.
"It allows the user to travel light yet have everything they need in one device." An internet-enabled tablet allows you to browse the web, check emails and store hours of entertainment for during holiday downtime or to keep the kids occupied on flights. Load it up with films, ebooks, music and games before you go so that you do not have to worry about grappling with a pricey or intermittent wi-fi.
Or, of course, a good oldfashioned paper book.
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