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NAVIGATING

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NAVIGATING Powered By Docstoc
					Travel Technology

I AVL SUPER H N E
TRAV

ING GAT

THE HWAY IG

allows you to surf the web from your seat with an Internet-enabled laptop or handheld computer.
ROAD TRIPPING

Once upon a time, going travelling meant packing the Holden and hitting the highway. Nowadays we’re more likely to surf the Internet for accommodation and pack a selection of high-tech travel gadgets along with the surfboards and sunnies. But if you’re more of a vintage tourer than a tech-savvy traveller, then it’s time we introduced you to the information super highway.
PRE-TRIP PLANNING

Start your holiday by researching your destination on the internet. For local information, check out the Travel section on the NRMA Motoring & Services website (www.mynrma.com.au/travel) for accommodation booking services and links for car rental, touring maps and distance calculators. There is also useful information on destinations in Australia as well as advice on international licences.
48 The Open Road

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If you’re heading off overseas, you can make use of tourist information websites for specific details on the country or city you’re planning to visit. Use a search engine such as www.google.com to find the relevant country’s site. These could include www. visitbritain.com.au, www.culturaltravels. com, www.tourismthailand.org or http:// top40.about.com/cs/touristboards. Websites such as www.globenettravel.

website where you can view the place before you book. If you’re wary of security, you can phone or fax your reservation. There are a growing number of sites where you can search, book and pay for flights online. Most offer follow-up email or phone confirmation after initial online reservation. You can also purchase travel insurance online through www.1cover. com.au or www.worldnomads.com.au, and shop for travel supplies at www.

Whether it’s the open roads of Australia or the highways of the world, a GPS (global positioning system) device helps you to navigate unfamiliar roads with maps and route tracking. The Navman iCN635 is an in-car GPS that can be loaded with maps for Australia, America or Europe, and comes with information on hotels, restaurants and points of interest in each region. It will even reconfigure your route if you take a wrong turn. Similar devices include the Garmin StreetPilot 2610 (www.gme.net.au) and Magellan land and sea GPS devices (www.magellan.com.au). If you’re going boating, a marine GPS will display land maps and sea charts, and record where you landed that great catch; some even have a sonar fish finder. Popular models include the Magellan FX324 Map Chartplotter, Garmin FF320C Fish Finder and the Navman Fish 4600. If you have a handheld computer with bluetooth, a feature which allows shortrange wireless connection, and want the added functionality of a GPS, purchase a bluetooth GPS receiver before you leave. The small device will receive the GPS signal and transmit to the handheld wirelessly via bluetooth for mapping and navigation. The Navman GPS 4410 for Windows Mobile OS handhelds and the Navman GPS 4460 for Palm OS handhelds will connect with any bluetoothenabled handheld device. The Pretec (www.pretec.com) bluetooth GPS will also work with Windows Mobile devices.
HOME AWAY FROM HOME

player pre-loaded with all of your favourite music. One of the most popular on the market is the Apple iPod that can store up to 40GB or 10,000 songs. Standalone speakers, such as those from JBL and Altec, will turn the iPod into a stereo system. There are also car kits, such as the Griffin RoadTrip, that enable the iPod to play through a car stereo. Other brands of MP3 players include iRiver, Sony, Creative Zen and Vivitar, and many have car stereo adaptors. See www.iriver.com, www.mrgadget. com.au, www.streetwise.com.au or www.smarthouse.com.au to purchase. If there’s a laptop in the family, take it along to view digital pictures and footage, connect to a TV or large screen for playing DVD movies, or as a gaming console. Some new multimedia laptops, such as the Toshiba Qosmio, have the added advantage of a built-in TV tuner, and will connect with separate monitors, speakers, TV and DVD players to become multimedia hubs for the home. If there’s Internet access where you’re travelling to, you’ll be able to check email and surf the net in your downtime. See www.tandy. com.au or www.dse.com.au.
SIGHTSEEING

MUST-TAKE TRAVEL GADGETS Digital camera Handheld computer MP3 player Portable DVD player GPS

com.au or www.itravel.com have listings for hotels and information on sightseeing, festivals and restaurants. Many guesthouses now have their own

menda.com.au or www.holidaypoint.com. au. And you might want to choose a carrier such as JAL, British Airways, Lufthansa, United Airlines or Cathay Pacific that

ARTICLE BY LEIGH ROBSHAW

Whether it’s the open roads of Australia or the highways of the world, a GPS (global positioning system) device will help navigate unfamiliar roads with maps and route tracking.

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If you’re staying in a motorhome, caravan or holiday house, you’ll want to enjoy some high-tech entertainment in your home away from home. A portable DVD player, such as the Palsonic PVD100 which has a seven-inch LCD screen, can be used to watch movies as well as view digital images and play MP3 music files. Connect to a TV and a set of speakers for better viewing with the added enjoyment of a stereo soundtrack. If you’re looking for portable music, but don’t want to carry a cumbersome CD player and speakers, take an MP3

Many travellers are now using handhelds loaded with electronic versions of popular guidebooks. The Lonely Planet (www. lonelyplanet.com — click on ‘mobile services’) and Rough Guides (www. roughguides.com — click on ‘E-Books’) have electronic guide books available on their websites. Other useful sites for eguides include www.handango. com, www.fodors.com and www.viamichelin.com. And if you’re short on space but still want a good read, you can buy electronic novels or ebooks from www.eBooks. com or www.ebookmall.com. No tech trip is complete without a digital camera, and they are now more affordable and offer high resolution. Digital photos allow you to edit, print and display your images on the web or as a digital slideshow from your computer or TV. If you use a film camera, have your photos scanned to CD when processed and you can still

edit and publish them electronically. If you have a handheld computer, the Pretec 1.3 megapixel Compact Flash and Secure Digital cameras will operate with most handhelds and gives you the convenience of a digital camera. If you’re purchasing a digital camera or camcorder, try www.camerastore. com.au, www.buyitsellit.com.au or www. pdaonline.com.au. Record moving images with a digital camcorder that can be edited, screened and viewed on your web-based photo album. Choose a camera with good storage capacity, battery life and focal length. Hitachi and Sony have even released camcorders that record straight to DVD, eliminating the need for storage cards. And with an MP3 player or separate hard drive, you can transfer pics or footage and reuse the storage card. The Verbatim 2.1GB Store ‘n’ Go USB hard drive is one of the newest high-capacity storage devices around. Try www.mrgadget.com.au for more USB storage options.
DIGITAL MEMORIES

When you get home, you can professionally print digital photos by uploading your files through a photo printing web portal, such as www.agfaphoto.com.au, Print@Kodak at www.kodak. com or Print@FUJICOLOR at www.fujicolor.com.au. To create online photo albums with captions and graphics that you can share with the cyberworld try www.picjar.com and www.imageevent. com. Or use a photo-editing program to produce a high-tech travel slideshow. Apple has easy-to-use software. You can visit www.apple.com.au for demonstrations, or search for freeware with the search engine www.google.com.
The Open Road 49


				
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