How Technology Saved Our Holiday
Don’t have all the travel documents you need.
I speak from experience! This happened to my husband and me.
We got to check-in and were shocked to be told we would not be allowed to board our flight. Online information we had relied on failed to specify visas given to Australians on arrival at our destination could only be obtained with pre-approved Consular permission. Whilst online agencies exist to help distressed travellers like us, it was the weekend so none of them were open. To make matters even harder we were in an overseas airport away from agencies and processes familiar to us.
After recovering from our shock, we sat down to see if we could rescue our holiday. Our rescue came down to technology!
There are five essential IT items we never travel without:
- Microsoft Surface Pros or iPad or any other similar product
- Smartphones and international SIM cards
- Charging cables
- At least 1 USB stick
And these are what saved us!
Still at the check-in counter, I was on my phone double-checking the facts and trying to get on to an agent who could help us. Missing our flight, we found a quiet spot in the airport lounge, tapped into the airport’s free Wi-Fi and logged onto Google with our Surface Pro’s.
Using Microsoft Windows and Outlook, we worked with an agent in Australia to send, buy and receive required paperwork. We then searched Google for available flights that day without having to spend our inheritance! A lightweight Surface with a12-inch screen and full website access made searching so much easier than using our phones. Within minutes we had our new flight booked and confirmed.
Now we just needed to print our new travel documents. What sounds so simple quickly became our next nightmare. Both the airline we had booked with and the Airport Information Desk, whilst helpful, had workplace policies against accepting external emails and printing documents on our behalf. This is where our USB stick became worth its weight in gold! I transferred our flight documents from my Surface to my USB stick, found a convenience store with printer and USB port and printed what we needed.
Thanks to technology we went from gutted to back on our way, and we only lost six hours of holiday time.