In this week's ZDNet Travel tech Q&A, Allocate Software general manager for Australia and New Zealand Peter Croft gushes about the Dell notebook he uses when travelling, how an oversized passenger almost ruined one of his flights, and his favourite airport.
What tech do you travel with and why?
I can't travel without my iPad, phone, and Dell XPS13. The Dell is small, fairly light, but still pretty gutsy and gives you more than seven hours of battery life. With a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD), 8GB of RAM, and an i7 processor, it has pretty solid specs, but also fits on my lap on the bus or in an economy class plane seat.
I also went for the cool black leather pouch because black is the new black.
What's your favourite phone app for travelling and why?
Mail! Like rust, it never sleeps. I also like Shazam.
Personal travel advice or tip?
Travel light and learn how to use an iron. If you can avoid checking luggage, it will save a ton of time at the baggage carousel.
How do you deal with jet lag?
Just push through it and don't go to bed too early on the day you arrive. It's a cruel irony that the best night's sleep you'll get on an international trip is the night before you leave to come home. Then the whole thing starts again when you get home!
Our head office in London is right next to Green Park, so no matter what time of year I'm in this city, I always try and take a walk or a run through the park and marvel at all the historic landmarks and buildings.
Getting out of the office or hotel and getting some fresh air (as far as it can be fresh in central London) is always a good idea.
What was your biggest travel disaster?
I spent a flight from Sydney to London unable to take my seat because of the size of the person in the seat next to me. I really felt for the person and the aircrew were very understanding and let me spend the flight, all except takeoff and landing, in one of their seats.
Is there one thing you must do before you leave home?
Check for the passport. And, of course, kiss the kids.
What is your dream travel tech to have on planes, in airports, and at hotels?
Noise cancellation for the whole seat. The airlines have been pretty quick to introduce noise-cancelling headphones (the closer to the pointy end, the better they get) but it would be pretty cool to have a reverse cone of silence that surrounds the whole seat.
Surely someone is working on that now?
Favourite destination city to work or visit and why? (In relation to technology.)
San Francisco. It's a fantastic city in its own right, but it is also bang smack on the doorstep of Silicon Valley.
It was the first US city I spent any real time in, has a very relaxed kind of feel, and resembles Sydney in both geography (dominated by a bay, hilly with a temperate climate) and mood. It is only about 10 years older than Sydney as well, so it shares an expectation that the best days are yet to come.
A lot of places in Europe have buildings that were already 1,000 years old when Captain Cook came to Australia. That speaks of deep history and long-developed national cultures, but also, subtly, a view that all of the identity is already formed and that the real greatness is behind them.
Which airport would you prefer to be stranded at and why?
Queenstown. In winter, of course!