Going Places with Mac

        After reading the latest emails from Zee and Jim Hamm we wish we were going places with them! Oh, well. The next best thing is to peek over their shoulders, thanks to Mac.
        Jim started by writing, “On August 24 my wife, Zee, and I will fly to Paris, France to start a month-long river cruise. We will be accompanied by two other couples, all travel friends for many years. We will be going with a tour group: Grand Circle Travel. We've traveled with GCT previously and enjoy the way they host and organize trips, and they own the two cruise ships we'll be on. We cruise from Normandy on the north coast to Paris, spend a few days, then get on a smaller river ship and cruise to Nice on the southern coast. There are 140 passengers on the first ship and only 45 on the second ship. The rivers are smaller in the southern part of France so we have to be on a smaller ship. All meals are included, and there is wine for lunch and dinner. The three rivers we'll be on are the Rhone, the Seine and the Saone.”
        Never heard of that last river? Type it in the search box in Google and up comes 6 images for viewing. Oh, there it is.
        Jim continues, ““I'm trying this TravelBlog for the first time. In theory, I'll type comments about our trip as we cruise along. When we get to a village I'll try to find internet access in an internet cafe and publish my blog to this site. An email will be sent to you alerting you that I've published another blog. If you want to read it then click this link; http://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/SlimJim/ . You can bookmark this link for future access. My nick-name for the blog is SlimJim. After this trip, with all that French cooking and fine wine, I'll probably have to change my nick-name to FatJim...(grin)…”
        But, Jim, are you taking Mac? How does a person travel with Mac?
        Jim informs us, “If it's an international trip, we insure that we have a good, protective case to put our Macs or iPad in. I also take along a small backpack so I can easily carry my MacBook Air to an internet cafe if wifi isn't available in the hotel. Wifi isn't available on small river ships, so when we depart to tour a local village I take my MBA along in the backpack.  On our iPhones, we turn off all cellular roaming and location services so we don't incur horrendous charges from AT&T. We check for and install any current updates that might be available just prior to departing.
        “We make sure we have the proper electrical adaptor so we can plug our chargers into an electric outlet. We don't need a voltage regulator internationally because Apple products all take either 120V or 240V. This is nice because regulators are heavy.
        “On domestic trips, we carry along two wifi directional antennas that receive and boost wifi signals. Often in motels and RV parks the wifi signal is weak to begin with. We use the Wi-Fire antenna from hField Technologies: http://www.hfield.com/the-wi-fire/platform-compatibility/mac/ . We have found the use of the Wi-Fire helps significantly.
        “Last, don't forget to take along the charger(s)  and an extension cord. We usually leave the Mouse behind on international trips. Just something else to carry and mess with. That's about it. Bon Voyage.…” Jim
                            Let’s look at a few more helpful sites:
        Check out the travel company Jim and Zee like: Grand Circle Travel. http://www.gct.com/ The site lists trips, regions, ways to save, traveler discussions. Let’s see what seasoned travelers can suggest here:
        “How to Travel Light”: Wonder what we can learn? One writer announces she packs half of her wardrobe with clothes with a small stain or isn’t so up-to-date. After she wears that article she discards it. By the end of the trip she has room for the treasures she has bought! Another buys garments from 2nd hand shops and throws them away as she goes.
                              Well, what else can we discover?
        Avoid a large phone bill when traveling. http://travel.nytimes.com/2010/08/01/travel/01prac.html Get the right phone, Check data roaming plans, consider SIM cards, Look at the VoIP Option, don’t forget the old-fashioned calling card. (Anyone try this?)
        Next, I did a Google search and read a Macworld article.
http://www.macworld.com/article/45771/2005/07/augustmobilemac.html Then I noticed the date was 2005. I forgot to specify time range under More, so sites listed would be within the past year.
        Is that all? Oh, no. There’s a lot to read, and learn, and do! When you plan your next trip maybe your friends at PMUG would be interested in it. How did you use Mac to make it a successful trip? Anything you’d do differently? Jot down your info and send it to us.
        (This was my handout at the August 21 PMUG meeting.)