If your first thought this New Year was of seeking out some winter sun or just a nice break to get over the post Christmas depression, then your PC can be a handy traveling companion. Not only can it help you plan a vacation, but it can also ensure that your software and files can be securely transported too.
From a practical point of view, Travelaxe is a great starting point because it’s linked to thousands of hotels and accommodation options word wide. You can search by price and how many stars a venue has and it provides links that take you directly to the hotel reservation sites. Of course, a great tool to get an idea of the geography of your chosen destination is Google Earth – pan across cities and landscapes anywhere in the world and view photos taken by locals of particular sightseeing points of interest. Don’t leave without checking the weather before you pack either with WeatherBug which features live radar images and sever weather alerts around the world. If you’re planning to engage in business whilst traveling then you’d also better install Steganos Secure Traveller which basically ensures that any WIFI hotspots you find don’t compromise your PC and also puts a lock on your most important files.
When you get back, you’ll obviously want to subject your friends and family to the obligatory photo slideshow and if you’ve been on a particularly big trip, a good way to show them where you’ve been. A good option is MapCreator which allows you to create your own maps with no cartographic knowledge although you do the run the risk of boring the teeth out of anyone watching.