Travel Tips for the Gadget Inn Traveler

On our last road trip, it occured to write down a few travel tips for inn travelers like ourselves that are overloaded with technology. These tips came from spur-of-the-moment revelations on the road, but now I can present them to you in a more organized form. If they are of help to you, pass the link onto a friend.

Gadgetry:

  • To save battery power turn off mobile phones – being connected to or looking for the network drains the battery. The same is true for laptops and wi-fi signals. Keep them turned off while not in use.
  • When you get to a bed and breakfast room, open your laptop computer and search for an unsecured wi-fi signal. I’m often surprised at how many are available, even when the inn I’m staying at wants to charge me to connect to their signal. (In Iowa most B&Bs that offer high speed connection, do not charge for access!)
  • Carry two batteries for all your technical gadgets, except maybe your laptop.
  • If you want to be able to charge a gadget in the vehicle, get a travel charger that fits into your cigarette lighter. We have one for the laptop and a separate one for the cell phone. They both work great.
  • Always think redundancy – back up often and send home DVDs of your pictures.
  • If you are going to be on the road for over a week, back-up your photos on CDs or DVDs — DVDs hold a lot more pictures than CDs for back-up purposes – 3 times the amount. Most internet cafes offer DVD burning services.
  • Invest in lots of camera memory (lSD cards, memory sticks). You do not want to consistently be hamstrung by a camera that is full of pictures. We have a 2GB card.
  • If you have a laptop, move photos from the camera to the laptop daily. Always leave the room with 4 charged batteries and an empty memory card.
  • If your B&B doesn’t offer Internet access, take your computer to the Internet cafe and plug it into their network with the Ethernet cable. The employees will know how to assist you.

Hope these little suggestions are of assistance! If you plan to travel in Iowa, visit www.iabedandbreakfast.com, when Minnesota is your destination plan your lodging at www.minnesotabedandbreakfasts.org, and if Nebraska is in travel plans visit www.nabb1.com for accommodations.

Staying Healthy While Traveling

Because my husband and I are often on the road visiting Bed and Breakfast Inns across the country, we are very cautious when it comes to our health. We’ve learned many lessons the hard way, so maybe I can help just one of you readers avoid a few pitfalls as you make your travel plans this summer. Here are a few simple, but important tips:

  • If you have any food allergies, make sure you inform the innkeeper prior to your arrival. Innkeepers are very anxious to know how to serve you and make your stay better. They want your food to be memorible on the positive side!

  • Find out what types of diseases are common to the area you’ll be visiting and take actions to prevent your exposure to those diseases. In the midwest we must be very careful about mosquito bites in order to avoid the West Nile Virus. Prevention is your best weapon. Carry OFF with you and make it a point not to be outside when the mosquitoes are most likely to feed.

  • You should consider a dental appointment if you haven’t had a check up in a while. Being on vacation with a toothache can become very expensive, not to mention how it takes all the fun out of the experience.

  • Be careful what you eat and drink.

  • Carry complete health information with you on your trip. My husband and I both have typewritten sheets we carry in our wallets that give the names of every medication we take, how often we take it and the dosage. It also gives all our physican information and the name of a relative to call in case of an emergency.

  • Consider joining Medic Alert or IAMAT, the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers. My husband an I belong to Medic Alert.

First Inn Traveler Blog on the Internet

The Iowa Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers Association is the first in the nation to launch an “Inn Traveler’s Blog” and it is now up and innkeeper’s are posting hot deals, special lodging packages, and information about local events and attractions.

This state B&B association is the first in the country to give blogging technology a try.  It is an experiment that state B&B associations have watched closely, and will continue watching.

The Minnesota Bed and Breakfast Association will soon launch their own “Inn Traveler Blog.”  Work on it began shortly after the Iowa blog was placed into a testing arena prior to the innkeepers being given access.  Blog developer Amelia Painter says, “Iowa and Minnesota are leading the nation in their efforts to empower their members with Internet tools that are cutting-edge and ahead of the curve.”

Visit http://iabedandbreakfast.com/blog to view the Iowa blog.

Bed and Breakfast America

There is a new consumer’s magazine showcasing America’s Bed and Breakfast inns, it is called Bed & Breakfast America.

On September 20, 2005, it will hit bookstores nationwide!  You’ll be able to find it Barnes and Noble, Borders and Hastings’ stores.  Every issue highlights premier Inns with room descriptions, meals and amenities offered, and a listing of area attractions to help you plan your next get-a-way.

Bed & Breakfast America
also features informative and delightful articles from unique recipes to discerning wine and product reviews, plus a handy Bed and Breakfast directory.

In the September 20th issue you’ll find two innkeeper interviews from Amelia Painter, one features the Hannah Marie Country Inn in Spencer, Iowa and the other gives readers a peek at the William Sauntry Mansion in Stillwater, MN.