In this week's ZDNet Travel tech Q&A, D-Link Australia's managing director Domenic Torre talks about the importance of travel insurance, what technology he brings with him when abroad, and the time he lost his luggage in Taiwan, which made for an awkward visit to his company's headquarters.
What tech do you travel with and why?
I travel with my iPhone and iPad as a bare minimum. Combined, I am able to keep in touch with the business and access my email no matter where I may be. I still bring my laptop computer with me on most of my travels, particularly when I expect to spend longer periods of time typing.
What tech do you miss from home?
I don't know how we lived without it in the past, but access to fast and reliable internet would have to be at the top of my list. A close second, if it falls in the tech category, is Foxtel. I love my AFL, and go into withdrawal if I cannot see my team play live.
What tech do you love abroad, where and why?
My iPhone and iPad for a variety of reasons other than just work; from finding a restaurant to finding my way around town. However, what I really love is that I can say goodnight to my kids face-to-face using FaceTime no matter where in the world I may be.
What's your favourite phone app for travelling and why?
There is probably no one app that I would say is my favourite because it depends on where I am going. Apps that I do use more regularly include the Translator, Trip Adviser, and Lonely Planet
Most memorable travel story/experience
My wife and I were on a flight to Florence on a plane with landing gear problems. Basically, pilots could not tell whether the landing gear was engaging. We knew there was a problem when, just metres from the ground, the plane aborted landing and took off again. This was followed by a series of near sideways flybys past the air traffic control tower, who were trying to visually determine whether the landing gear had engaged. Eventually, the plane landed, but for 45 minutes, we did not know what was going on.
Personal travel advice/tip?
Get travel insurance if you are going abroad as you never know when you may need it. Learn a little about local customs and tipping edict. Most importantly, if you rely on tech gadgets, don't forget your chargers.
What travel websites do you use?
Qantas and Travel Adviser are pretty much that main website I use.
What tech is in your briefcase?
Laptop, USB sticks, chargers, and a variety of cables.
What is your one must-have piece of tech when travelling, what you never leave home without?
My iPhone. It is the bare minimum, and I rely on it every day.
What was your biggest travel disaster?
It was on my first trip back to our headquarters in Taiwan after being promoted to my current role. Unfortunately, my luggage didn't make it to Taiwan until 24 hours later, which was a bit of a problem because I like to dress down for comfort on long haul trips. Suffice to say, I got a few odd looks by top level management when I arrived in the office the next morning.
What is the best airport you've visited and why?
I would have to say Changi Airport in Singapore. There is a wide array of shops and restaurants for travellers waiting for their flights. Customs and baggage handling is one of the most efficient in the world, which to me, after a long haul flight, is fantastic.
Name one thing you wish your iPod/phone/laptop could do that it doesn't do now?
It would be great if we could securely keep electronic versions of passports, driver's licence, and other forms of identification.