Suzanne Tindal heads up ZDNet Australia's news desk. She's been spending the last few years seeing the sights of Australia, but also likes European trips.
Suzanne Tindal checking out ZDNet Australia's stories while in Broken Hill. (Credit: Suzanne Tindal/ZDNet Australia)
What tech do you travel with and why?
I like to travel with my Kindle because you can carry hundreds of books on one small device, and its battery life lasts forever. When you're on a long train trip, you can also use the text-to-speech option (if enabled for the book you're reading) and listen to your book being read to you while you're looking at the scenery out the window. It's also good for long walks if you're travelling on your own. Just tuck the Kindle into your handbag. One downside is that text to speech does freeze my Kindle.
What tech do you miss from home?
Depending on what country I'm in, I really miss espresso machines. Germans seem to mostly have the machines that make the coffee and the milk automatically and spit them out a tube, which tastes horrid. I'll never understand why we can't manage to make machines that automatically froth the milk properly. I miss Australian power points too, because I hate bulky adapters. Universal power points please?
Most memorable travel story/experience
My favourite book of all time is Here be Dragons by Sharon Penman. It tells the story of Joanna, bastard daughter of King John, who married Llywelyn the Great, the Welsh prince. In 2006, I went to Wales and saw Llywelyn's castle, Dolwyddelan, and Joanna's coffin on Anglesey. The national park, Snowdonia, in the north of Wales is stunning. I walked up the highest mountain there, Mount Snowdon (which isn't very high).
Personal travel advice/tip?
Push-ups, lunges and sit-ups at the stopover airport on your way to Europe/St elsewheres make you feel less lethargic.
How do you deal with jet lag?
When I reach my destination, I make sure that I remain awake for the whole day until at least 9pm. If I don't think I'm going to make it, I allow myself a one-hour nap, but not after 2pm.
What was your biggest travel disaster?
When I was 14 I went on exchange to Germany. I'd already torn my anterior cruciate playing netball and had to wait until after the trip to get it repaired. Unfortunately, while playing in the snow in Germany, I tore the cartilage in my knee badly. When they finally operated, it was irreparably damaged. No more impact sports for me.
Is there one thing you must do before you leave home?
I have a trip coming up, before which I will definitely find out how to be absolutely certain my phone doesn't download anything while I'm away. I can't afford a $1800 bill for global roaming. I'll probably buy a European SIM when I get there.
What was your last tech purchase?
My iPhone. It was a bit of a cop out in the end. I had been so certain that I wanted an Android, but then Telstra stopped offering the sale price on the phone I wanted, so I decided that a phone in its fourth generation would be the way to go. Boooooring.
What is your dream travel tech to have on planes/in airports/at hotels?
Ideally, there should be tech that puts you through customs while you're on the plane — virtual customs officer perhaps? — so you don't have to stand in line at the airport.