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The Masked Tulip

Internet Access Travelling Advice

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A friend is about to go on a 3 month trip to the US, Oz and NZ.

She has been asking me repeatedly for months whether she should buy a netbook, an iphone or a notebook in order to be able to do some writing and save photos whilst travelling. She is fixated on this and on also being able to use Word and access her email.

I have been advising doing neither and, instead, pushing her to use:

1. Her web access for her emails - she has two accounts and both have good web access.

2. Google docs for her writing - she can create a free Google account, write in a format that can be saved in Word format and can save them online.

3. Create an account with someone like Flickr, Photobucket, even Facebook, for the uploading of her photos.

To me this is sensible, takes away the stress and worry of carting a netbook or notebook around the world and saves on the expense. All she needs is internet access which she can get in any internet cafe, most libraries, etc.

So, a couple of questions:

1. Does the above sound more sensible?

2. Anyone have any thoughts on Flickr, Photobucket, etc as to which is the best to use?

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I understand that mobile internet in Aus is stupidly expensive, whatever she buys it will be dwarfed by the mobile data charges if she starts uploading pictures... Make sure she has lots of money for her phone bills... (£1000 may do it?). However if you want a funky phone that does it all look at the Samsung Galaxy S, its a 1Ghz android phone, all the office, excel, word and web stuff you expect running at break neck speed with a HD camcorder built in... Buy an extra 32GB SD card, and a solar power charger and spare battery for it

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A friend is about to go on a 3 month trip to the US, Oz and NZ.

She has been asking me repeatedly for months whether she should buy a netbook, an iphone or a notebook in order to be able to do some writing and save photos whilst travelling. She is fixated on this and on also being able to use Word and access her email.

I have been advising doing neither and, instead, pushing her to use:

1. Her web access for her emails - she has two accounts and both have good web access.

2. Google docs for her writing - she can create a free Google account, write in a format that can be saved in Word format and can save them online.

3. Create an account with someone like Flickr, Photobucket, even Facebook, for the uploading of her photos.

To me this is sensible, takes away the stress and worry of carting a netbook or notebook around the world and saves on the expense. All she needs is internet access which she can get in any internet cafe, most libraries, etc.

So, a couple of questions:

1. Does the above sound more sensible?

2. Anyone have any thoughts on Flickr, Photobucket, etc as to which is the best to use?

Seems to me a smartphone that runs Word Mobile would suit her needs. With a decent-sized SD card, she could save all her photos, and write to her heart's content on the phone. See the one I'm selling on eBay, for example.

Mobile internet is as cheap or dear as your phone co makes it, so choose wisely. Orange wasn't so bad last time I was in Oz and purchased an international world traveller bundle.

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I think it would be OK to take a small ~£200 Netbook on this trip.

Wi-fi is plentiful so it would definetly be possible to save a few pounds per day their instead of spending money in Internet Cafes or hotel lobbies checking mail.

She could also look at PAYG dongles, though I would obviously avoid uploading images over 3g if possible.

Spending 3 months on the road, she may also appreciate the opportunity to use MS Word, watch movies, review pictures just from an entertainment perspective.

From a security perspective, I would definetly look at backing up to CD or SD Card, and keeping it seperate from the laptop.

Dropbox is a good online backup service.

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We have a netbook we take on holidays. It's easier to use than a phone/ipod touch for anything longer than a quick e mail, and weighs considerably less than a full size laptop - in fact, it fits in my (not as big as some people's...) handbag - which makes it easy to keep with you when you're taking flights, as it easily fits into carry on luggage.

With free Wifi in hotels, coffee shops (even McDonalds nowadays...) it's cheaper than using a phone tariff for uploading stuff. I second Kyoto's suggestion to back stuff up separately if they're precious memories.

I have a flickr account, and am happy with it, and it seems to be the choice for a lot of bloggers I follow. It links in with Yahoo IDs, if that's any use...

A cousin who travels a lot has a picasa account, which inks into her googlemail account - she can share pictures with others easily on that, and I believe you can have public and personal albums (so if there's stuff you don't want to share, you don't have to - unlike flickr, which I understand to be all public access...)

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We have a netbook we take on holidays. It's easier to use than a phone/ipod touch for anything longer than a quick e mail, and weighs considerably less than a full size laptop - in fact, it fits in my (not as big as some people's...) handbag - which makes it easy to keep with you when you're taking flights, as it easily fits into carry on luggage.

With free Wifi in hotels, coffee shops (even McDonalds nowadays...) it's cheaper than using a phone tariff for uploading stuff. I second Kyoto's suggestion to back stuff up separately if they're precious memories.

Good move! Netbooks are great, and many places have free of cheap wifi access! ;)

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Good move! Netbooks are great, and many places have free or cheap wifi access! ;)

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>A cousin who travels a lot has a picasa account, which inks into her googlemail account - she can share pictures with others easily on that, and I believe you can have public and personal albums (so if there's stuff you don't want to share, you don't have to - unlike flickr, which I understand to be all public access...)

I use both Picassa and Flikr and with Picasa you can change the sharing / privacy options. Think I'd go with the netbook option as easier to use the interweb than a smartphone.

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How long is a piece of string?

The minimum I would take is my pocket-'puter (which is one of these). If weight is not an issue (no extensive backpacking) and I were staying at places with power most nights, I'd take the macbook.

If I were going truly into the wilds (as might be the case in Oz) and anticipated having neither wifi nor decent 'phone connections for extended periods, I'd take that as a cue to look into getting a satellite phone.

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The minimum I would take is my pocket-'puter (which is one of these). If weight is not an issue (no extensive backpacking) and I were staying at places with power most nights, I'd take the macbook.

I did a two month backpack trip and took a 17" MacBook.

I cursed a few times, but was worth it for all of the reasons above.

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I did a two month backpack trip and took a 17" MacBook.

Erm, I expect you don't mean the same by "backpack trip" as I meant by "backpacking".

Since I use a backpack for all travel (except cycling), anything involving backpack + houses, hotels, hostels, etc isn't backpacking, it's just plain travel. Backpacking is going up into the mountains[1] with sleeping bag, cooking gear, and food for at least a weekend and preferably more without ever going near human habitation.

I might take the macbook on a two month backpack trip. I'd feel more comfortable about that if I had confidence leaving it somewhere rather than carry the weight if I did some backpacking during that trip.

[1] or other wild country, in those parts of the world that still have any.

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Erm, I expect you don't mean the same by "backpack trip" as I meant by "backpacking".

Since I use a backpack for all travel (except cycling), anything involving backpack + houses, hotels, hostels, etc isn't backpacking, it's just plain travel. Backpacking is going up into the mountains[1] with sleeping bag, cooking gear, and food for at least a weekend and preferably more without ever going near human habitation.

I might take the macbook on a two month backpack trip. I'd feel more comfortable about that if I had confidence leaving it somewhere rather than carry the weight if I did some backpacking during that trip.

[1] or other wild country, in those parts of the world that still have any.

Yes, more of a hotel man personally :)

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I understand that mobile internet in Aus is stupidly expensive, whatever she buys it will be dwarfed by the mobile data charges if she starts uploading pictures... Make sure she has lots of money for her phone bills... (£1000 may do it?).  However if you want a funky phone that does it all look at the Samsung Galaxy S, its a 1Ghz android phone, all the office, excel, word and web stuff you expect running at break neck speed with a HD camcorder built in... Buy an extra 32GB SD card, and a solar power charger and spare battery for it

Not often I disagree with anyone here but....

Don't get a Galaxy S ffs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just taken one back to carphone stealhouse cos the GPS is absolutely effin useless and it lags like a basterd. Each click lags by half a second which is very very very annoying as you end up double tapping and making lots of mistakes.

HTC Desire is the way forward there or an iPhone4 32gb

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It depends how non-stop you want your net connection to be. When I was in Europe recently I off I turned off my phone's data connection, and checked wifi when in a built up area. I got a connection several times a day and could get my email, send photos, check the web, etc.

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If anything more than WiFi is needed then pick up a 3G dongle locally in each place.

DO NOT buy a dongle and then use it abroad. The overseas roaming charges for this are unbelievable, a bit like the old roaming phone call charges when people first started to use their mobiles abroad and got a shock bill on their return. I think it will be a few years till this improves.

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If anything more than WiFi is needed then pick up a 3G dongle locally in each place.

Have you done that? How does it compare to subscribing to a worldwide satellite-based service? Obviously satellite comes out a lot more expensive than single-country 3G, but with a lot of travel I expect that could reverse.

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  • 244 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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