Travel Tech Q&A: MediaMind's Carolyn Bollaci
Carolyn Bollaci, country manager for MediaMind in Australia and New Zealand, explains why it's so vital that she has her iPhone when she travels, and also reveals the importance of learning some of the language of the country you're visiting, in order to avoid any embarrassment.
What tech do you miss from home?
Not a lot, as all my tech is portable these days. It's more the people you miss — my son and husband.
What tech do you travel with and why?
Enough to cause a bit of a queue through security — so, my iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry and laptop. The two phones are because I use a BlackBerry for work and iPhone personally, so I can FaceTime with my son when I don't necessarily have the iPad on me. This small device means I've been able to show my two-year-old some genuine Chinese dragons parading through streets, and an incredible feat of knives and food at a teriyaki restaurant.
What's your favourite phone app for travelling and why?
FaceTime, for keeping in richer contact with my son. There's nothing like seeing that swirling mass of blue crayon that is a picture of him with me to properly "wow" over it. I also love Urbanspoon for getting a quick lowdown on the best places to eat in whatever major city you're visiting, and TripAdvisor for organising any trip to start with.
Most memorable travel story/experience?
On my most recent visit to Bangkok, a colleague and I went to a local massage establishment and ordered two separate massages. We were taken on a long walk through to the back of the building, and put in a room together with robes and asked to get into them. We were both embarrassed and confused. Upon further pressing, they thought we were a couple and wanted a couple's Thai massage. It helps to learn some basics of the language of the country you are visiting!
Personal travel advice/tip?
Download apps that teach you the basic greetings and exchanges in the language of the country you're visiting. It can help save a lot of frustration and embarrassment.
What was your biggest travel disaster?
Getting my luggage stolen as I was heading to London, and leaving my iPhone in the back of a taxi in New York. It's the usual nightmares that happen to most people once.
How do you deal with jet lag?
As soon as I land, I try to get out and about in the city I am visiting. So, I'll take a walk and get some sun in my eyes. If it is evening, I make sure to go out and grab dinner and get on track with the local time zone. It's never easy, though, but pushing through is really the only way.
What (if any) travel websites do you use?
Aside from Urbanspoon for food, I go to Leading Hotels of the World to find some good places to stay, and TripAdvisor, Expedia, Zuji and LastMinute for a mix of flights and travel package deals. It's really a matter of shopping around, which is so easy online. I also try to visit Daily Candy to see which fashion deals I may be able to find in each city.
What is your dream travel tech to have on planes/in airports/at hotels? (Stuff they don't have yet, but boy it would make life so much easier on the road.)
Wi-Fi!!!! Connected TV and better, healthier food.
Is there one thing you must do before you leave home?
Make sure I leave plenty of time to kiss my family and download all my shows from my Apple TV to my iPad. I like to check in early so I don't have to deal with any surprises at the airport.