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Travel Tech Q&A: CA Technologies' Vic Mankotia

Why would you pack $100 with a personal emergency first aid kit? CA Technologies' Vic Mankotia has a few MacGuyver-style tricks up his sleeve to help the modern traveller.
Written by Michael Lee, Contributor

As CA Technologies' vice president of security in the Asia-Pacific region, Vic Mankotia is always on the move and can sometimes find himself in some strange locations. Mankotia shares with us his tips for travel, including what he does if the worst happens in a less hospitable country.

Vic Mankotia. (Credit: CA Technologies)

What tech do you love abroad, where and why?

One can only admire the super-fast connectivity in Seoul and how it integrates with the daily life in a true Seoul business day. The crowded GPS screen on the taxi, the Wi-Fi in public areas, cabs with Wi-Fi, and effective and reliable connectivity across this city makes doing work and play very easy.

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

Zite is a very adaptive and informative app for news and entertainment that keeps me informed. It's great because it learns what I read and displays my personalised news from around the world.

Personal travel advice/tip?

Always pack to carry on. Pack in small bags and always keep a self-made emergency kit (to suit your needs). I always have shoe laces, band aids, and a disposable syringe in case I were to go to a hospital in a less hospitable country. With that I carry a $100 bill to give to someone to use my needle only for me.

How do you deal with jet lag?

Sleep for the time zone you are going to land in — this sometimes means staying awake. Also, drink a lot of water on the flight and go outdoors when you land.

What (if any) travel websites do you use?

I use four apps — one for weather, one for currency, one for news, and one for flight schedules. Websites are so 2010.

What tech is in your briefcase?

I have a satchel, a light notebook, an iPad, one spare smartphone, a spare SIM, a world power adaptor, and two AAA batteries.

What was your biggest travel disaster?

I once got caught up in a delayed flight following two missed connections from Melbourne to the East Cost of the US. By the time I got there, I had seven hours of work before I turned around. It was a complete waste of time and included very long layovers at four airports.

Is there one thing you must do before you leave home?

I always email my ticket and passport copy to my spouse and myself, just in case.

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

Singapore Changi, Terminal 3. It's quiet, efficient, and you can actually build a full day on the various activities available.

What was your last tech purchase?

A solar-powered phone charger. It seems to come in very handy.

What is your dream travel tech to have on planes/in airports/at hotels?

High-speed connectivity that is reliable, and then a very close second, disposable batteries for smartphones.

What is your favourite site to use while travelling?

The Smartraveller site for Australians travelling overseas is very helpful and a good place to visit if you have a few minutes at the airport or before you begin your travels.

Favourite destination city to work/visit and why?

Singapore, as it's not too far, is a melting pot of cultures, and a good hub to work in Asia Pacific. And Japan roles, as flights, hotels, food, and travel just get easier.

Name one thing you wish your iPod/phone/laptop could do that it doesn't do now?

Indoor navigation — especially in hotels, malls, airports, and most large convention centres.

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