In this week's ZDNet Travel tech Q&A, Compuware's application performance management regional director Kevin Ross talks about his travel apps folder, what you should always bring with you when you're out of the house, and the only remedy to jet lag.
What tech do you travel with and why?
I travel with an iPad and iPhone on short one or two day trips, as the information I typically need is available in real time or online. However, they have their limitations on longer trips. This is being overcome a little by the introduction of the cloud, but when travelling longer or overseas, I still take my laptop.
What's your favourite phone app for travelling and why?
Actually, I have a travel folder rather than one app. There are so many useful apps — some I keep permanently, and some I use for specific trips, like the Lonely Planet City Guides.
The apps I use all the time are for Australian flight, train and tram schedules, like TripView and TramTracker, and, of course, TripAdvisor. Another app I use all the time is the Maps App on my iPhone. I head out to see customers every day, and it helps to navigate around a city I am not familiar with.
Personal travel advice/tip?
Technology is your friend. From online check-in to booking a taxi, smart use of your phone can save a ton of time. Tip? Don't leave home without your power cord.
How do you deal with jet lag?
Lots of coffee. Sorry, but there is no easy way. I am one of those people who can't sleep on the plane, so in order to sync up with the local time, I stay up and try to get my first sleep on the first full night in the local time zone.
What was your biggest travel disaster?
Arriving at Dallas airport with 35 minutes to get through US customs, and onto my next leg to Costa Rica. I made it, but my bags did not!
Is there one thing you must do before you leave home?
Yes; the two hours before I head to the airport is reserved for my family.
What is your dream travel tech to have on planes/in airports/at hotels?
I like the idea of being able to ask my phone a question, and have it provide a contextual answer. Apple is starting down this path, but there is a way to go. Imagine uttering rather than Google-ing a query, and have your phone answer with situational, contextual information. It would be based on where I am, data from my diary and emails, and integrated perhaps to the different apps I have.
Favourite destination city to work/visit and why?
I have always enjoyed Japan. In all facets of my life, both professional and in my hobbies, technology plays a big part. Japan is the one place I love to visit and browse all the tech stores.
Which airport would you prefer to be stranded at and why?
Beijing. It is massive, and with a lot to do. The "International Kitchen" in Terminal 3 is amazing. The airport is busy, and I love watching people. There are plenty of places to shop, or simply head to the lounge and get work done.