Travel Tech – Internet Travel Bookings (Airlines)

No matter how good your purchase price is, someone will get a better deal next week.

This small piece of wisdom should be printed on every receipt but open your mind to the subliminal message, the reason I quote it so often to travellers. A good price is still good even if someone gets a better deal, do not let another shopper’s good fortune ruin your enjoyment. Good advice when buying airline tickets online.

As your own travel agent, it is up to you to get the best airfare for your next trip, and these basic tips can help get you a great deal:

1. Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia provide a quick and easy way to review the market for your travel destination, and determine the median price.

2. Use Seat Guru to check out the airlines that service your route and select the ones that provide the level of service you require.

3. Check the airline’s own website, and see if they offer better prices there. I prefer to deal directly with an airline.

4. Sound Money Tips reports Wednesday night between midnight and 1am is supposed to yield the best deals but Wednesday in general is a good day to shop.

5. When you find an airfare less than the median price with a good airline, buy it.


Travel Tech – These Keen Shoes are made for Walking

Travel is good for the soul but your soles take a pounding as you wander the back streets of London or climb to the splendour of Machu Picchu. Modern workplaces are relatively sedentary and most travellers walk several more miles a day during a vacation than a normal working week. The comfortable shoes you wear to work can blister your feet and ruin your vacation.

After mangled feet almost ruined one trip, my wife researched walking shoes and finally settled on a pair of Keen shoes in a Mary Jane style. All leather uppers with a moulded sole and patented toe protection combined into a stylish pattern that became her shoe of choice all summer.

Keen Walking Shoes

While taking this picture, Colleen heard another traveller explain to her son, ‘See there’s another woman taking a photo of her sore feet.’

Colleen quickly corrected her, ‘Actually I’m taking a photo because my feet do not hurt at all.’

Keen‘s range include running shoes, sandals and walking shoes in a range of styles that are both comfortable and attractive.


Travel Tech – Archos 604 WIFI

Archos 604 WIFIPack light, it is my travel creed but I always needed a laptop to hold the hundreds of photos I take on a trip. It pulled double duty to check email or watch a video but mostly it is 4lbs extra to carry everywhere. I needed a smaller device that handled those tasks with at least a 20Gb HDD, and much lighter. Enter the Archos 604 WiFi.

Weighing less than a pound, the 604 WiFi can fit in the side pocket of my camera bag ready to download photos directly from the camera. The 30Gb hard drive can hold up to 40 movies, 300 000 photos or 15000 songs, enough to satisfy my entertainment needs and store all my photos.

Archos kept the unit cost down by selling the various connectors as accessories, you pick and choose what you need. I bought the docking adapter to download photos from our cameras, and it included a recharger for $30.

Video playback is excellent on its 4.3 inch TFT display, and the handy kickstand allows hands free use. My only gripe is that I had to buy additional software to play MPEG-2 files.

The WiFi connects easily with any available network and the Opera browser displays the majority of websites without difficulty. Navigation using the buttons is simple but some highlight on the icons would help in most lighting conditions. Alternately, the touch screen provides access to all functions as well as a keyboard for data entry. If you want to write long emails find an Internet cafe but it is adequate for short inputs.

Recommended retail price is US$449.99 but check your favorite technology supplier for better prices. Save up to US$100 by purchasing the standard 604 if you do not need a Web enabled device.