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Eight tips for travelers

Jason Snell, Dan Frakes, Chris Breen, and Lex Friedman, | May 26, 2011
Whether you’re packing your Apple gear for business or pleasure, our expert tips can help

If you’ve got an iPad or iPhone 4, bring a $39 Apple Digital AV Adapter and an HDMI cable. If you’re staying in a hotel that’s upgraded to HDTVs, you can plug right in and play your own favorite videos right off your device rather than using the hotel’s pricey pay-per-view system to play some mediocre rom-com. Note that some hotel TVs are set up incorrectly—they’re configured to display a resolution such as 420p that’s less than they’re capable of. If the picture doesn’t look right, try to access the TV’s setup screen and increase the resolution.

Another option is to bring Apple’s $39 Component AV or $39 Composite AV cables, or Scosche’s $60 combination cable, which might offer greater compatibility with the range of TVs in hotels.


4. Minimize your adapters

Travel light: an iPad charger can also charge an iPhone, so if you plan your charging carefully, you need to bring only a single adapter to charge both. (Note that an iPhone charger can charge an iPad, but more slowly than the iPad’s own charger, so go with the iPad charger.)


5. Consider a travel-friendly cable kit

Travel kit
Dan Frakes' travel-friendly cable kit, ready to go.

Whether for charging or connectivity, you need cables in your travel bag, but they add both weight and clutter. Instead of paring down the number of cables you pack—which runs the risk of not having the particular cable you need for some vital task—you can make those cables smaller and lighter. For instance, instead of a 6-foot USB cable, try a 6-inch version; leave behind your iPhone’s long USB dock-connector cable and instead bring a 3-inch version.

By swapping all your cables for travel-friendly versions, you’ll have a bag that’s both lighter and neater. It’s also less of a hassle to pack, as you can leave the long ones plugged in at home, with the “travel kit” always at the ready. (You can get short cables from accessory vendors such as OWC, CableJive, Fruitshop, MonoPrice, and, as well as from


7. Sync with kids in mind

An iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad can be a perfect family travel companion whether you’re traveling by plane or car. (See Jason Snell’s story “How Apple devices saved me thousands on my new car”). But do you really want to pass one of them to the back seat and have your child fire up Scarface? Common sense though it may seem, parents busy with road-trip preparations often forget to pack their devices with kid-friendly content.


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