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Travel Tech Q&A: NewsGator Technologies' Cuneyt Uysal

The enterprise social networking software company's director of business development for Asia-Pacific shares his travel tech wisdom.
Written by Spandas Lui, Contributor

In this week's ZDNet Travel Tech Q&A, NewsGator Technologies' director of business development for Asia-Pacific Cuneyt Uysal shares his thoughts on what phone apps to use to make travelling easier, his personal travel advice, and the perils of being too careful.

NewsGator's Cuneyt Uysal
Image: NewsGator

NewsGator deals in enterprise social network software.

What tech do you travel with and why?

I'm a minimalist when on the road, so I leave the bulky tablets at home. I can do everything from my iPhone 5, but Apple does need to make a larger form factor like the Samsung range. And no, I'd never wear Google Glasses!

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

Über lets you instantly book vacant executive limos instead of waiting for taxis. The booking experience is unrivalled, and you can't beat the service and certainty of a professional driver.

It goes without saying that I can't survive without TripIt for organising all my travel itineraries. I wonder how much wasted paper TripIt alone has saved the environment. Finally, convince your IT department to get a mobility solution in place for your road warriors. At my company, I can access all of my content and collaborate with my teams straight from my mobile.

Personal travel advice or tip?

You always packed more than you really need. Bring less — it's liberating.

How do you deal with jet lag?

Only two things work for me: The first is to exercise the day you arrive, no matter what. Second, get in as much sleep on the plane as you can. Others recommend adjusting your diet to the destination's meal times, but that's never worked for me personally.

What was your biggest travel disaster?

I had booked a holiday to the World Cup in South Africa and was so dedicated to a flawless trip that I made copies of all my travel documents. However, I left my original passport on the copy machine and had to fly out a day later than planned. Sometimes you can be too careful.

Then there was the time we had to evacuate during a take-off in Denver. Yes, in case you were wondering, it is really fun to slide down the yellow escape rafts.

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

Kiss my fiancé goodbye. I often travel for two weeks at a time.

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

Easy. An iPhone 5 docking stations in hotels instead of the older connection! There must be millions of obsolete docks around the world right now going unused.

As for the on the plane, it's a low-tech solution to fighting jet lag. Instead of serving free-flow alcohol at a shared lounge space, I'd love to see a set of pull-up bars for exercising on the aeroplane. There's only so much champagne you can have on a 17-hour flight to New York.

Favourite destination city to work or visit and why?

The South Koreans in Seoul amaze me. Fast fibre, good coffee, and an incredible culture that is light years ahead. It is the world capital of technology, and it's probably the second city to San Francisco in terms of switched-on web entrepreneurs.

Which airport would you prefer to be stranded at and why?

Definitely one winner: Sapporo Chitose airport, which is an hour from Tokyo on the northern island of Hokkaido. There's a three-floor mega mall built into the airport that has an area dedicated to tech gadgets like a mini Akihabra, and an entire floor of providores, seafood, and patisserie.

I could spend uncounted hours roaming and trying the free food samples fresh from the countryside. I highly recommend the Hokkaido cheeses!

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