In this week's Travel tech Q&A, LogMeIn's vice-president for Asia Pacific Andy Farquharson talks about toilets in Japan, his unforgettable Cuban experience, and his love for Wi-Fi access.
What tech do you travel with and why?
My iPad 2 and HTC OneXL.
Both devices enable me to connect to any Wi-Fi connection and remotely access my PC's at work and at home. I am not a fan of being disconnected, so these two devices ensure I am always connected.
What tech do you miss from home?
Access to a consistent Wi-Fi connection. You don't realise how valuable a good internet connection is until you are trying to work when overseas.
What tech do you love abroad, where and why?
The toilets in Japan.
For the uninitiated, these dunnies are the height of sophistication and electronic wizardry, but which button to push? Even a simple flush is a complicated process. Who knew you needed such technology at that stage of your day? But once you experience it, it is tough turning back.
Most memorable travel story/experience
While travelling around Cuba, I was without accommodation in Viñales. A local taxi driver took me under his wing and showed me some great hospitality. He took me into his own home (against the law, I might add) and gave me a window into the Cuban way of life. We still communicate via email on the laptop that I sent to them after that very memorable visit.
Personal travel advice/tip?
Keep your passport with you, secure, and in good condition at all times. It sounds obvious, but it is the one issue that, if it's lost or stolen, that can absolutely ruin a trip.
What is your one must-have piece of tech when travelling? What you never leave home without
HTC OneXL. When travelling domestically, its 4G capabilities mean that I am always connected, and the camera ensures that no memorable moment goes uncaptured (naturally, I seem to feature in plenty of these when I am travelling).
What was your biggest travel disaster?
The day before I left for my first international business trip, I lost my passport. A disaster at the time, but I know have a passport photo as a visual reminder of that disaster for the next 10 years, needless to say, it hasn't happened again.
What is the best airport you've visited and why?
For accessibility to the city, speed through customs and to the gate, I would say Amsterdam Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands.
What tech do you expect in hotels when you are travelling?
Free Wi-Fi. It still amazes me when I come across hotels that don't have Wi-Fi, or charge fees for access. I think most people would agree with me, that access to the internet has become an essential part of both personal and business travel.
Favourite site to use while travelling?
TripAdvisor always has some good suggestions, regardless of which country you are in. The reviews by fellow travellers for both hotels and activities are generally very informative, and I would say they often influence what I choose to do with my time or where I stay.
It is definitely a resource I use every time I travel.
Name one thing you wish your iPod/phone/laptop could do that it doesn't do now?
I wish my laptop wouldn't run out of battery on a 12 hour flight.
I've recently upgraded to a Lenovo X1 Carbon Thinkpad, which almost gets me to the US, so I'm sure it won't be long before laptops can last the full length of an international long-haul flight.
Which airport would you prefer to be stranded at and why?
Although the prospect of being stranded at any airport makes be shudder, I would have to say Changi Airport, Singapore. It is a huge airport with all the facilities you require to while away the hours; shopping, massages, hotels, bars, a rooftop garden, and free Wi-Fi.
Much better than some cold, soulless, modern airport.