Types of Devices
There are a number of devices that people travel with today. Here’s a quick description of each so we have our definitions clear. You may choose to take one or more depending on the length of your trip. There are three basic kinds of phones for our discussion: Cordless Phone This is what you have at home for a landline used only within the short range of a single, private base station that is plugged in. Not for travel. A mobile phone (also known as a cellular phone or cell phone) is a phone that can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link while moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile phone operator, like Sprint or Verizon, allowing access to the public telephone network. A smart phone is a mobile phone with an advanced operating system. It behaves like a small computer. Smartphones typically include the features of a phone with those of other popular mobile devices, such as a variety of apps (applications), media player and GPS navigation unit. Most today have a touchscreen and are camera phones. Later smartphones add broadband internet web browsing, WiFi and 3G or 4G, and mobile payment mechanisms. E-Readers are devices like a Kindle or Nook. There are different price points of each. The benefits of an e-Reader is that the battery can last weeks so charging is not an issue, you can store thousands of books and share them between family members, and the screen is non-reflective which makes them wonderful in strong sunlight. They are also relatively inexpensive. They are also only show black and white. (I absolutely love my Kindle paper white!!) A tablet is a device like an iPad or Amazon Fire. They can be quite expensive but like a smartphone can connect to the internet. They can connect via 3G or wifi. When you buy the Amazon Fire, you need to pick the connectivity with 3G being more expensive. A wifi-only Amazon Fire is very inexpensive. On tablets you can download apps, email, access movies and TV, access any website. Because of all this power, the battery life is very short and you will be looking to charge them often. They can also be a bit heavy. Tablets are popular because of the portability and the nice screen size. They are great “babysitters” as there’s a lot of kid content you can access. A PC laptop is also a common device for travel. The smallest laptops called notebooks are light and very handy. I love mine as it weighs only a couple of pounds and I have my documents and apps loaded just like home. They can do all the things like a tablet but have more functionality. I find my notebook very useful if I stay in one place for a week or more and can just create a “station” and keep it there. I can bring things on flash drives. Notebooks also can fit in many hotel safes easily.