In this week's ZDNet Travel tech Q&A, Kronos Vice-President for Asia-Pacific Peter Harte talks about his love for Apple products, why he would love to be stranded at Singapore airport, and his interesting experience in Saudi Arabia.
Kronos is a workforce management software vendor.
What tech do you travel with and why?
I carry the Blackberry, laptop, iPad, and iPhone when I travel. I’ve kept my Blackberry and laptop, but have become more of an Apple advocate, having started to use the iPad around a year ago and also getting myself an iPhone just a month ago. The amount of applications that are readily accessible and the general marketing around the Apple devices makes them quite desirable.
The iPad is light weight, stylish, and versatile, making it a great travel tech.
What is the best airport you’ve visited and why?
Dubai is the best airport I have been to recently, but when it comes to airport amenities, Sydney’s first class lounge actually ranks top on my list.
Which airport would you prefer to be stranded at and why?
I would be happy to be stranded in either Singapore or Prague because I would just leave the airport and explore the city. Singapore has a lot of interesting things within close proximity of each other, and Prague is just a great place to get lost in.
Most memorable travel story/experience?
Arriving in Saudi Arabia about 20 years ago and stepping right in the chaos and excitement of their Ramadan celebrations. The airport was colossal and there were live wild animals on display, and even an aquarium with sharks right beneath your feet. Having travelled around most of Europe back then and then coming into Saudi Arabia in the middle of Ramadan was, for me, quite an interesting cultural experience.
What’s your biggest travel disaster?
I missed a flight from London to Johannesburg, and you might think we’ve all missed a flight before, but I didn’t just miss the flight — I ended up getting to my destination a whole day late and actually missed the wedding I was supposed to attend as the best man.
Is there one thing you must do before you leave home?
Yes. I always make sure to write a personal card for my wife and leave it by her pillow.
Personal travel advice/tip?
Like most, I would say travel lightly because there is nothing you can’t buy from the destination you’re going to. However, number one on my list is to definitely take along a good book that you can recede into. I can’t quite let go of the paper just yet, but I’m quickly transitioning into downloading digital books onto my iPad. This is great because you can carry an entire library with you and won’t ever get into the position where you’re reaching the finale of a good story, only to find the last pages ripped out by someone — this has happened to me before, but luckily only once.
How do you deal with jet lag?
For me, I like to prepare myself to get into the time zone of my destination the day before. So depending on where I’m going to, I will try to adjust my sleeping patterns by either holding back from sleep or taking a nap on the plane so that I can wake up as closely to the start of the business day of my destination as possible.
What (if any) travel websites do you use?
I like to make sure I mix a bit of work travel with pleasure wherever I can. I use Trip Advisor to keep on top of special events happening in the city I’m travelling to and what people recommend as the top ten things to do locally.
What tech do you expect in hotels when you are travelling?
Wi-Fi should be a standard in hotels, no matter where you are. Aside from that, it is definitely important to have good service from the staff and good linen because it helps for getting a good night’s rest.
Favourite destination city to work/visit and why?
London or Dubai. They’re both technology hubs with advanced Wi-Fi systems readily available throughout the cities in local cafes or shops. This means that we can access the information we need at anywhere and any time. Anything less than that tends to frustrate us. This is where Australia is lagging behind at the moment, but I think we’ll slowly get there.