More is Less When You Travel with an Ereader
Take the Leap welcomes monthly posts from The Unknown Reader. Her posts give writers a chance to learn how this avid reader uses her ereader. Today she shares preparations for yet another travel adventure.
It’s happening again! I wake up in a cold sweat and must breathe deeply to calm down… I have to remind myself it was only a bad dream! Every time the departure date for a long journey draws ever closer I have the same dream—I am at the airport about to check-in and realize I forgot my passport! However, last night’s dream had a new twist! I see myself clearing security and a look of panic overtakes me… “Where is my Kindle?”
I suspect you are wondering, “So what’s the big deal if you forget your ereader?” Please read on and learn how I have transformed a Kindle into my personal tour guide and why this new pre-trip nightmare justifiably turned my blood cold!
I have spent the past eight months reading samples of travel books, which I downloaded on my Kindle as possible resources for our upcoming trip to Peru and Ecuador. I have purchased three: Moon Handbooks: Peru by Ross Wehner and Renee Del Guadio, Lonely Planet: Discover Peru, and Moon Handbooks: Ecuador & The Galapagos Islands by Ben Westwood.
Whenever I plan and research a trip, I take copious notes on my laptop on important information specific to the countries we will be visiting. For example, while we are in Peru we will be hiking the Inca Trail and it is mandatory that you hike the trail with a guide. I wanted to familiarize myself with the appropriate tipping protocol, so I created a document, which explains proper tipping amounts in a variety of situations we might encounter—taxis, restaurants, guides at historical sites, and, most importantly, the hard working guides on the Inca Trail. This time I downloaded the Send to Kindle application on my computer and then sent the document directly to my Kindle (detailed instructions on how to do this are available on Amazon at Manage My Kindle). Now I will have this important information at my fingertips and will not make any tipping blunders!
I also joined Amazon Prime and every month I have borrowed a new book from the travel section of their library. I narrowed my search and found books that focus on Peru, Machu Picchu, Ecuador, or the Galapagos Islands. I am currently reading and gleaning information from the book Machu Picchu Travel Guide: What to See & Do in 2012 by David Thompson. I have found great recommendations for dining and even a few suggestions for additional hikes in the Machu Picchu area. I plan to upload my notes from these books to my Kindle, too.
In preparation for any trip I immerse myself in the history and culture of that country. I have downloaded three excellent books: The Conquest of the Incas by John Hemming, Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams, and Lords of Sipan, A Tale of Pre-Inca Tombs, Archaeology, and Crime by Sidney D. Kirkpatrick. I have started to read two of these books just to whet my appetite and discovered the books also provide me with a different voice than one finds in a travel book. Best of all, since we have a seven-hour layover in San Salvador, having a variety of books to read will be a Godsend.
The final items I have uploaded to my Kindle are books that will assist us with the use of our cameras. I love David Busch’s Compact Field Guide for the Canon EOS 7D and his more in-depth book on the Canon EOS 5D. I refer to these books constantly and will now have access to them while I am traveling.
So all my bags are packed, I am ready to go, and my Kindle and passport are safely tucked inside my daypack—I know this because I have double and triple checked! When I return from South America I will share some of our adventures and let you know if my ebook personal travel guide did the job! Please let me know how you are using your ereader to lighten your load and enhance your travel adventures.
I am in the process of reviewing a variety of ebooks that will assist us with our study of the Spanish language, but haven’t found the perfect one to add to our travel repertoire of ebooks. Do you have any recommendations? Planning any exciting trips this summer to locations near or far? Share about your vacation adventures or offer recommendations in the comments.