Travel Tech Q&A: Airbnb's Nate Blecharczyk

Airbnb CTO and co-founder Nate Blecharczyk brings a lot of tech with him when he's travelling.

In this week's ZDNet Travel Tech Q&A, Airbnb CTO and co-founder, Nate Blecharczyk, goes through the swathe of gadgets he brings on his travels, his affinity for Evernote, and a handy tip to find cheap flights.

Airbnb's Nate Blecharczyk Image: Airbnb

Blecharczyk is based in San Fancisco, US.

What tech do you travel with and why?

iPad mini. It has great battery life, so I try to use it as much as possible on the long flights in order to save my laptop for the more critical things.

I load all my documents onto the iPad using Evernote, which makes it easy to sync across devices. I also load a selection of books and movies, in case the entertainment on the plane is lacking.

An international power adapter is obviously critical when travelling abroad, but the model I have is particularly great (iGo International Travel Adapter).

It can charge your phone via a USB plug while simultaneously accommodating your computer. The adapter glows blue when it is powered, which can be helpful when validating whether an outlet works at the airport.

There had been many times when I've shown up to a place to give a presentation that a working HDMI cable and adapter is not available. I always bring my own.

Noise-cancelling headphones (mine are from Bose) with extra batteries are critical for staying focused, being entertained, or even sleeping. Apps like White Noise can further mute your surroundings.

What's your favourite phone app for travelling and why?

I use Evernote on my desktop to maintain all my notes. It syncs with all my devices so that I have my notes regardless of which device I'm on. Additionally, I can embed PDFs and other documents into Evernote, and retrieve them across devices.

Personal travel advice or tip?

I do a lot of multi-destination trips internationally. I've found that searching for one-way tickets for each segment can sometimes reveal flights not otherwise visible and at a lower cost.

What is your one must-have piece of tech when travelling? What you never leave home without.

My laptop, a MacBook Pro, is still indispensable for me. I need it mostly for Excel, building presentations in Keynote, and for all my documents.

What was your biggest travel disaster?

A couple of times, I've booked flights for the right day, but wrong week. Each time, I didn't realise it until checking in 24 hours before or at the airport. That's a painful realisation.

What is the best airport you've visited and why?

Incheon International Airport in Seoul, Korea. Security is efficient, and the terminal is spacious and comfortable. Nice waiting areas, shops, etc. The whole place feels relaxed, which is not what most airports feel like.