Saturday, February 17, 2018

Going to a Party with your Own Mix Tape

Madonna: Holiday (Drowned World Tour)

Subtitle: What do you take on Holiday?

Are you the sort of person who used to turn up to a party with your own mix tape? (Well I mean in the Eighties).  Not for self aggrandisement of course.  You were just truly worried that your hosts musical selection could be so awful and in the worst case you would rescue them from a popular revolt.

IRL  (In Real Life)
What we take on our Holiday is our normal mix of Paranoia and Comfort.  We may be unsure what our destination country can provide, and we are comfortable and very particular about specific food and technology products.

So here is a little list, hopefully after reading it, you'll be saying,  'yes we must take that too' and not 'those guys are totally weird'

- Leatherman

Because we always need to fix something.  A full size Leatherman Wave is our recommendation

- Internet Connection

If we need a serious more than Smartphone connection we take our ASUS 4G-N12 router and buy a local unlimited SIM  (researched ahead of time of course), for the duration

- Smartphone

Marcus takes a  Huawei P9 Smartphone with a UK SIMcard and a generous roaming agreement.  With multiple GB of roaming using Google Maps, answering emails, publishing our Internet articles is possible in comfort, without fretting about roaming charges.  It's about 2 years old now, so whilst precious; it is old enough to have to look after itself  (and not expect Princess treatment).

Agata takes her iPhone and this gives us the opportunity to bitch at each other if either of our phones has considerably better or worse Internet or Phone reception than each other.

For paranoia we will in advance load up a few GB of Spotify Music locally onto our phones which will serve as Music players to our Bluetooth headphones or Wireless Speakers.

- Bluetooth Speaker

We recommend  our wonderful Anker Soundcore 2.  Loud enough to raise a complaint from your hotel neighbour.

- Mikrotik Router HAP AC

This amazing router (er when properly configured) can take any or all of our Internet connections  (Smartphone, Agata's Phone, 4G router) and squirt them out under control to 2.4 and 5Ghz wireless networks that it creates.  Simply small and bloody amazing,  oh and arrive pre-configured else you will spend all the holiday trying to set it up :-)

- SportsWatch

We'd rarely leave our Garmin 935 sports watches.  After all, they perform constant Heart Rate and Step activity monitoring.  But we use them constantly for Activity tracking and they are invaluable for GPS routing whilst out on a run.

- MP3 player

We take at least a Swim MP3 player because if you are Swim training with laps,  well without music it is the definition of boring.

- Tablet

For  surfing at the cafe you don't want to hulk your laptop down do you.  A tablet is so much more civilised. Also our tablet contains no personal information, even Gmail logon needs authentication.  So in the case of a theft, we are safe.  And Marcus' giveaway Amazon tablet is just the ticket.  You all did buy one as I recommended right?

Before leaving home Marcus will use the Amazon Video and Channel 4 On Demand Applications to download (say) 10 -20GB of local films and series videos to watch on the plane or whilst bored.  To date we have never been bored on holiday so we never seem to get to watch even a small fraction of what we have taken with us!

- Powerbank

I am definitely not a fan of PowerBanks except for particular purposes.  Always carrying one around indicates to me that your choice of device was flawed!  But for specific long distance races, or times when you are off the Mains Grid they do have their uses.  Anker Power Core II

- BackupPhone

I always take my trusty Nexus 5X with me.  Like the primary Huawei phone it has a USB-C connection, and since it runs the very latest Security Patched Android 8.x Oreo it's quite secure.   We put a local SIM in this phone if our UK roaming SIMS are not sufficient, and if there is a decent unlimited local plan of course

-  Lentils, Porridge, Cinamon and Honey

We can survive on Porridge with Honey and Cinamon for Breakfast, and Red Lentils with tomato and curry infused sauce for an Evening Meal, indefinitely.  We only need Milk, Water and a cooker to complete the picture.  So we take these basic food essentials as emergency rations on any holiday.  With the added bonus that once eaten we have room for some presents on our return.

And now, back to the fabulous Madonna

Madonna: Music