6.23.2015

My first glacier

Svinafell Glacier, Iceland

8am at Svinafell Glacier.  Epic is such a small word to describe this place.

Read more about Glaciers in Iceland and see a video my Middle Sister and I made HERE.

**This is part of my Iceland adventure in June 2015.  Read more about it HERE.**

6.20.2015

Velkomin a Iceland

Sun Voyager, Reykjavik
Sun Voyager, Reykjavik






























Welcome to Iceland! The Middle Sister and I are in Iceland with Mo for the next twelve days. We are on a trip with GeoTours and I am looking forward to seeing this country for the first time.
Icelandic water on IcelandAIR

We started a day early and had a great time going to the Blue Lagoon and then exploring downtown Reykjavik.
Blue Lagoon, Iceland- face masks

The tour officially started today with a walking tour of Reykjavik and tomorrow we leave the "town" and head to the country and start our counter clockwise loop of Iceland.

Tours are not really my thing, but I am excited to see Iceland with Mo and the Middle Sister. I am not sure what the wifi will be like but still look forward to sharing some of the adventures of Iceland soon. So far, so good! I know how to say "yes, no, and thanks" in Icelandic. As soon as I learn how to say "Where is the bathroom" I will be good to go... Wish me luck!

-elizabeth

**This is part of my Iceland adventure in June 2015.  Read more about it HERE.**

6.07.2015

Travel Technology and Apps

Travel Technology and Apps

The departure date for Iceland is quickly approaching and I am getting my travel technology and Apps all in order for the trip. The photo above is the technology I took with me last summer to Italy.

My old iPhone was "unlocked" when I purchased my new iPhone and I was able to get an Italian SIM card and Italian phone number for the trip using it. I am pretty sure I went with a TIM SIM card and purchased it at the Milan Train Station before getting on the train to Florence. THIS blog post has some tips on getting a SIM card in Italy. It seems like packages are always changing in the cell world, and on our trip last year I think I paid about 20 euros for a set number of minutes and data. It was a package especially for travelers who were not going to be needing the number for more than a month. I never needed to add minutes or data on the trip and it was nice to have an Italian phone to call the apartment managers before we arrived and to have an Italian number when we were making restaurant reservations. Not to mention having text messaging when we needed it.

**SIDE NOTE: In Italy most people use WhatsAPP for text messaging. The guy who sold me my SIM card told me about this and it was true! WhatsAPP doesn't use SMS so it doesn't count toward the number of text messages you can have. Instead it uses the same internet plan as email on your phone.

I also took my newer iPhone and had gotten an international plan for a month just in case I needed to use it. I ended up keeping that phone on Airplane Mode the whole trip and just using it for pictures and when we had Wifi.

**SIDE NOTE: I don't usualy travel with phone service, but becuase the Italy group was bigger than normal and had a lot of coordination involved, I decided to try it out. I was glad I had it for that trip, but am not sure if I will need it again for the trips my sister's and I usualy do.
In 2012 I stopped traveling with a laptop and graduated to traveling with an iPad. That was a tricky year. I was trying to find a way to blog with the iPad and 2012 had some trial and error.

One thing that worked for me really well was the ZaggMATE Aluminum iPad Case. I was looking for a case with a keyboard that would also protect my iPad during travel. A review I read on this case was spot on and I am so glad I purchaced it. It is rechargable and protects my iPad while not creating any bulk. And it looks good too!
It was a little bumpy trying to find an APP to blog with. I use blogspot as my blogging platform and the Russia trip really showed me I need to find an APP that didn't need internet to work properly. I eventually found Blogsy and love it. The only downside, no spell check.... but other than that, I am a pretty big fan. I can embed images and links easily and work on posts until I have wifi to upload them. So far, this is the APP I have used for blogging since 2013 and I am really happy with it.

I do use some other APPs when traveling in addition to having the important information printed out and kept in a travel notebook. TripIt was an APP that T found for the group to use when we were in Italy. It worked well because each person could forward their flight info and it would show up for everyone to see in TripIt. Additionally we had train schedules, apartment addresses, ferry schedules, and even restaurant info in it. With people coming and going through out the Italy trip, it helped to make sure we all could meet up at the same time. I am using it for the Iceland trip and have shared the trip with a few family members who have TripIt accounts so they can see flight info and other travel information if they need to get in touch with me.

Another thing we did in Italy was create a PhotoStream account (Apple iPhone) that everyone uploaded photos to. We emailed the link to family and friends so they could see new photos each day from the trip. Of course that led to comments that all we do is eat in Italy, but what else is there to do....?

I am testing out a few more APPs on the Iceland trip, but think I have my travel technology down for the most part. I know it sounds silly, but I do try to be a minimalist with technology when I travel. I want the trip to be about the experience, not about trying to find a place to charge my phone...

Any travel technology tips? Please share them in the comments!

Bon Voyage....!

-elizabeth