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Traveling with Technology

The CEO of CableWholesale recently took a trip to Hawaii and got a bunch of great pictures while she was busy checking out the Black Sand Beach in Punalu'u on the Big Island.

Hawaiian green sea turtle and black sand.

This particular turtle's picture was taken with a Nikon D700. This type of Hawaiian green sea turtle is known to the natives as "Large Honu." Many endangered green sea turtles call this beach home. This island has many amazing features; it is filled with exotic fruits and flowers, and even has its own rainforest.

Punalu'u is best known for its black sand, which is created when lava explodes from the island's volcanoes into the ocean. Many beaches in Hawaii feature the typical white sand that the state is best known for, but there are a few out there that offer different colored sand. Besides the aforementioned Black Sand Beach, there is the Red Sand Beach in Maui and the Green Sand Beach near South Point in the Ka district of Hawaii. These different colors come from the different elements that surround the beaches.

There are a bunch of different attractions to check out in the area. Visitors can tour the Big Island Abalone Corporation and the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory. There is also Hilo's Farmer's Market, which features over 200 local farmers selling their goods. Hawaii is known for its Kona coffee, and visitors can check out the coffee harvesting process at a few of the local coffee farms.

Vacations are the best example of how technology can really work for you while you are out and about. Virtually all the different types of technology that you use at home can be used when you are away from work and home. We will be exploring technology on the go, with tips on traveling with all the devices you need to get by.

For this picture, a Mini USB to regular USB cable was used to download the pictures from the Nikon camera directly to a laptop. These mini USB cables come in all lengths, and work with most cameras styles.

A laptop is essential if you want to upload your pictures directly while you are taking them, which is important if you are taking multiple sets. If you travel a lot, size is an important factor to remember when picking a laptop. There are a bunch of small, lightweight options out there; a 13" screen is a good guideline for portability. When thinking about weight, you need to remember to factor in the weight of the power adapter. If you are bringing your laptop in your car, there are travel power adapters that will plug directly into your cigarette lighter. Most of them weigh about a pound, and come with several different tips that fit the most popular brands.

Mini USB Cable

After you have all of your photos and other data uploaded, as an extra measure of security it's a good idea to back up all of your data to a portable hard drive in the event of a computer failure. These are so small and lightweight, you can get a good portable external hard drive that weighs only a few pounds and is smaller than a paperback book. Most external hard drives connect to your computer or laptop by USB. This way you can have access to all of your pictures, work documents and music too. It's always a good idea to back up all of your information to an external hard drive, even when you are at home.

Music is always important when you are trying to unwind, and wireless speakers are the perfect option for toting to the beach or bringing along on a camping trip. Most wireless speakers nowadays can connect straight to your phone through Bluetooth. Many models now have a solid sound, and the quality is just as good as any wired speaker. They work perfectly in hotel rooms too. As an extra feature many speakers can be used with your phone as a hands-free Bluetooth device.

Micro SD USB 2.0 Card Reader

The height of portability is being able to carry your technology in the palm of your hand. Micro SD USB readers are so small now they can easily fit on your keychain. This convenient USB card reader eliminates the need to hunt down a cable for data transfer from your PC to your phone. Simply take your micro SD card out of your phone, place it in this reader, and plug the reader into your USB port. You will be able to drag and drop files to the Micro SD card. When you are finished simply put the card back into your phone. This also works for SD cards from your camera as well.

A few years ago, a wall charger was the only option for charging up phones and tablets. Nowadays battery back-up chargers are really popular items for keeping in the car or throwing in your suitcase. You can catch a charge wherever you are, and most of these devices are a little bigger than the palm of your hand. These come in handy when your phone is about to die and you are not near a power source. Some battery back-up chargers are even solar powered, which are perfect for use when camping. You can leave the unit out to be charged by the sun all day, and use it to charge your phone or tablet at night.

Portable Power Banks

Phone charging cables are now portable and available in all types of lengths. Most chargers offer shorter versions of their regular charging cables just for traveling purposes. "Chargeable purses" are bags that actually charge your phone. This is some of the newest technology out there. You just have to charge the bags for a few hours; then they are good for a couple phone charges until the bag needs to be hooked up and re-charged.

When you are traveling by car in unknown areas, it's important to know where you are going. Long gone are the days of folding maps and pulling over to a gas station for directions. Now we have GPS to the rescue, with turn by turn directions getting us on track. Some people still prefer the in-car stationary GPS, but a GPS phone app is by far the most popular option today. Most of these apps are free, supported by Google or Apple and are updated constantly. You can also get walking directions and bus information, which is really helpful if you are cruising around an unknown urban territory. The only drawback to mobile GPS is that it kills your battery because of with its high power consumption. With updated technology this is a problem of the past. Now you can just take a backup battery charger with you, they are usually around the size of your phone, and connect by USB. This can get you by until you hit the next wall outlet you can connect with.

10 port USB 2.0 Hi-Speed Desktop Hub

If you are traveling with family or friends, A powered USB hub is the perfect companion to bring along. A hub will provide a bunch of USB ports, so there will be no need to fight over the USB charger. With a hub, everyone can keep their chargers in one place, without having to take up all the wall outlets. Another option is a USB dock. These units are slim and lightweight, and provide multiple USB ports, as well as a headphone jack. Most PC docks come with an added HDMI port as well, allowing you to watch TV in your hotel room in high definition. HDMI cables come in short lengths; a little over one foot is the perfect size for traveling.

When cruising around in your car, you may need to charge two things at once, which is where a cigarette lighter power splitter would come in handy or maybe a dual port USB charger. These splitters are super cheap, usually just a couple of bucks; and give your car an extra power source. They are also small and ultra-portable, perfect for stashing in the glove box.

USB OTG cables are made specifically for traveling. These work perfectly with most Android phones and tablets. This adapter cable is only a few inches long, and it converts your phone or tablets USB port from a "Device" port into a "Host" port, like what's found on the back of a computer. This allows you to plug a USB-enabled device directly to your phone or tablet. With this adapter you can hook up full sized keyboards and mice, allowing you to type documents directly to your phone with ease. You can also back up your phone's music and photos to an external hard drive or memory card reader. This adapter cable can basically turn your phone into a mini PC.

USB OTG Adapter

All of these things could easily fit in a small carry-on bag; most of these items are so tiny and lightweight they are perfect for traveling. With just a few items you can stay connected with your friends, family and even work if necessary. It comes down to personal preference when you pick and choose what will work best for your needs. This is truly technology on the go.

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