In this week's ZDNet Travel Tech Q&A, Australian Communications Exchange (ACE) CIO Tony Bennetts talks about his love for in-flight wi-fi access, the neat collection of tech toys he brings when travelling, and his favourite airport.
ACE is a not-for-profit organisation that provides services for deaf and speech-impaired individuals.
What tech do you travel with and why?
An iPhone 5, a Seagate wi-fi hard drive loaded with MP3s and MP4s for entertainment, an iPad 4 with a navigation app for driving directions, the Flight Track app for managing flights, and the OpenMi Connect VoIP app for making phone calls via an Australian VoIP gateway. I also carry an HDMI cable and iPad connector to output MP4s to large-screen TVs, and Bluetooth audio receiver to access any hotel entertainment equipment.
What tech do you miss from home?
Big-screen TV and surround-sound system.
What tech do you love abroad, where, and why?
In-flight wi-fi access on US flights. The internet access keeps me connected and productive when travelling. It is a must when travelling.
What's your favourite phone app for travelling and why?
The GPS Nav Free app provides turn-by-turn navigation when I'm driving. It's the app I use most when travelling, as I prefer to drive wherever I go.
What (if any) travel websites do you use?
I only use the Qantas website when travelling to book flights and for flight check-in.
What tech is in your briefcase?
I don't have a briefcase. Everything I need is stored on the iPad.
What is your one must-have piece of tech when travelling — what you never leave home without?
The iPad 4 with the apps outlined above. With the iPad, I can access everything I need to stay connected and travel effortlessly. The ability to access other apps as needed and make phone calls via an Australian VoIP gateway means I can deal with any situation that might arise.
What is the best airport you've visited and why?
The Dallas airport in Texas. It is a large, modern, hassle-free airport that is easy to get around and has a good range of restaurants and bars. The Hyatt is directly in the airport, so it is the perfect accommodation stop when travelling to or from the US.
What tech do you expect in hotels when you are travelling?
Large-screen TVs with HDMI access and plenty of easy-to-access power points.
Which airport would you prefer to be stranded at and why?
The Dallas airport for all the reasons above, and if stranded, the on-site access to affordable car hire, so that I can get out and about if there are extensive delays.