Student travel has come a long way since the days of hitchhiking across Europe
and calling home once every six months. These days, young travelers are as
likely to keep a daily blog - complete with photos or video - as they once were
to drop their parents the occasional postcard. And that’s fantastic, both for
travelers and the folks left at home.
Be Safe Online A Guide To Student Travel www.avg.com 2
nd in many ways, it’s easier than
ever before. There are apps that let
you find a hostel - or even just an
available couch - in unfamiliar cities; that
help to circumnavigate language barriers;
and currency converters to weigh up
whether that bungee jumping offer is a
rip-off or a good deal.
So what kind of a traveler are you? An
old-school backpacker who shies away
from technology? Someone content to
occasionally check in at an internet cafe?
Or are you fully loaded with smartphone
and tablet, arranging tweet-ups with
fellow travelers between Instagramming
your exploits and running a travel blog?
First-time travelers far from home might
want to use technology as a safety net,
if only to pacify worried parents. If you’re
a more seasoned globetrotter, you may
want to go with the flow instead of
turning to an app for every question.
Conversely, the longer you’re away the
more likely you’ll need to earn a living or at
least manage your money, in which case a
laptop or tablet could help keep you afloat.
Whatever your digital preference, there’ll
always be forces beyond your control -
bad weather, unreliable transportation,
tummy bugs. But when it comes to
your devices there are basic precautions
that can make your trip safer, richer and
generally more fun.
Most of all, you may never get this chance
again so just get out there and enjoy it.
IntroductionIt’s that first taste of independence that students dream about and their parents
envy: the gap year, the year out, the fantasy trip, the extended break before university
or career - call it what you want, we’re traveling the world like never before.
Charlie Sanchez is an AVG
senior content specialist. He
manages the blog platform
and writes a number of blogs,
including community and
Cables and chargers
Get at least one universal adaptor, and possibly a power
converter. Pack extra batteries, memory cards/sticks and keep
thee things, along with your cables and chargers, in your hand
luggage. Don’t risk losing them if your checked bags end up on
the other side of the world.
Consider locks or other discreet protection for your hardware,
and other gear that might be useful depending on your
destination, such as a case to protect from sand damage or a
If you’re going to pick up a SIM card in your host country, do
you know if it will be compatible with your phone? Do you
know where to get one and how you can pay for it?
Keep tabs on what might be hitchhiking in your devices,
including any USB drives, by doing regular checks for spyware,
viruses and malicious software.
You know it’s essential to make copies of your passport,
itineraries, confirmations, reference numbers, emergency
numbers (such as for your credit card company or the local
embassy) and insurance information (and you did insure any
expensive equipment you’re taking, right?) But whether you
decide to cut down on the paperwork by storing these on an
app such as Evernote, or you’re extra cautious by doubling up,
just be sure you can get to that information.
Be Safe Online A Guide To Student Travel www.avg.com 3
Kit & Caboodle
Remote computing using a shared network. Instead of individual hardware to
store and give access to a user’s data, software and computation, cloud services
provide the same capabilities from a remote location, accessible from anywhere.
Social media storage
Storing and accessing things such as images, messaging and other shared
content using social networks (i.e. Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr).
Portable hard drives
Portable hard drives, such as USB flash drives, to store data (content, photos,
music, etc.) or web browsers for use on desktop computers, laptops, mobiles
and other hardware.
Mobile service providers can tailor coverage plans to the user’s needs, but
long-term travelers will find it more economical and reliable to buy SIM cards
for use in their current location.
Passcode or password protect any device and take care when using portable
hard drives, which can become corrupted if not protected with software,
such as antivirus tools, and checked regularly.
Be Safe Online A Guide To Student Travel www.avg.com 4
Stay connected with Skype or Apple’s FaceTime or apps for Twitter, Facebook
and other social sites. Mobile banking apps allow you to manage money.
Technology such as Onavo (for iPhone) streams data through a cloud-based
compression service for those on a limited data plan.
Key: Cellphone Smartphone Tablet Laptop Desktop
How to make tech work for you while traveling
old on! Remember that sex
ed lesson about all the nasty
things you could catch from your
partner’s previous partners if you fail to
use protection? Well the same applies
here. You may trust your friend, but who
knows where their devices have been
or what viruses they’re carrying. Play it
safe by uploading to an online photo-
sharing site, but don’t even think about
That’s as sexy as the digital safety
advice gets, but the rest is as important
and easy to follow. Before you go,
let your credit card company know
which countries you’ll be visiting. Do
a device health check: run a virus test;
clear sensitive data, such as banking
information, credit card details and social
site passwords; install safeguards, such
as AVG anti-virus software and firewalls.
Also backup and store anything you
don’t want to lose.
Passcode protect and insure your
devices, and take steps to limit the
damage, such as preloading software to
track them if they go missing. Also turn
off Bluetooth and data roaming.
Make sure WiFi hotspots are encrypted
and you aren’t on a fraudulent network,
especially if asked for payment. Never use
an open browser and when leaving a WiFi
or internet cafe session, clear your history.
Be extra cautious if you’re using public
computers. A portable internet browser,
such as Google Chrome or Firefox portable,
helps but try to avoid online banking or
other transactions where key-logging
software could strip your details and your
funds. Using two-step authentication,
either through a card reader or an app,
provides further protection.
Beware of pop-up ads - you might need
to force shutdown to fend off malware
- and never download or open anything
that looks too good to be true. Free
ringtones or wallpaper? More like free
access to your personal information.
Proceed with caution.
And, as with travel generally, pay
attention. If you’re Skyping, using
FaceTime or even updating your Facebook
status, be careful what you say and the
details you divulge. Remember, you can
never be too careful about who else may
be in on the conversation.
Be Safe Online A Guide To Student Travel
Tech edThere’s something intoxicating about blazing trails in new places, making
friends and bonding through shared experiences. Together you’re scaling the
heights of Machu Picchu and surviving the lows of too much tequila. Now
things are starting to get really intimate: you’re swapping memory sticks.
Be Safe Online A Guide To Student Travel www.avg.com 6
First Language: Portuguese
Average high: 86F
Average low: 65F
Timezone: EST +1
Don’t miss: Hang gliding over
mountains, sea and the Christ the
Download speed (in mbps): 7.12
Currency: Australian Dollar
First Language: English
Average high: 79F
Average low: 47F
Timezone: EST +14
Don’t miss: Bondi beach for surfing,
sunbathing or grabbing a drink and
Download speed (in mbps): 12.77
First Languages: Afrikaans, English
Average high: 78F
Average low: 47F
Timezone: EST +6
Don’t miss: Take a cable car up to Table
Mountain, then walk the trails (or, if you’re
brave, abseil) back down to the city.
Download speed (in mbps): 3.84
First Language: Thai
Average high : 94F
Average low: 70F
Timezone: EST +11
Don’t miss: A day-long canal trip upriver
to take in traditional Thai rural life.
Download speed (in mbps): 1.24
RIO DE JANEIRO,
City guideWhat to do abroad, how to pay for it and the best time to phone home
f you’re going low-tech, you can still
keep in touch by picking up a SIM
card or an old cellphone in your host
country. Checking in via Skype at an
internet cafe will please your family, keep
you in the loop and help smooth the way
when you’re running low on money.
You may be eager to keep a running
commentary on all the sights, sounds
and souls you encounter, in which case a
smartphone, tablet or laptop will be your
most loyal companion. A sturdy case and
lock are good investments, but don’t
advertise that you’re carrying expensive
equipment or you, and it, may be targets.
Also be sure to regularly upload your
photographs in case you lose your device
What about making technology work
for you? Have a knack for sniffing out
a compelling tale off the beaten track?
You could tell it on your own or another
travel blog, but it’s possible a paying
publication might be interested. The
same goes for high-quality photos.
In any case, avoid being exploitative
or culturally insensitive. If you go to
Cambodia’s Killing Fields, don’t be that
guy who scrawls their name in a cellblock
and, worse, uploads a photo of it. Some
experiences are best not shared with the
rest of the world.
That said, sharing is one of the
fundamentals of traveling, which is where
apps and social media come in handy.
Crowdsource advice, arrange to meet up
or keep things compact with digital travel
guides and other resources. You can
overdo it, though, and there’s still a lot to
be said for just letting your curiosity lead
you. If you get lost, so what? Isn’t that
why you went traveling in the first place?
Share itForeign travel usually has one of two effects: you either disappear into the
experience, or you want to share every single aspect, possibly as soon as it
happens. Unlike previous generations you have that choice - but remember
your parents will worry, so don’t go too far off the radar.
Be Safe Online A Guide To Student Travel www.avg.com 7
If you’re eager to stay
connected and share
your adventures, there
are more opportunities
Everybody’s favorite, WhatsApp, enables you to text with
others who’ve downloaded it, for free no matter where you
are. Available for most smartphones.
Free Zone locates all the free WiFi zones nearby and can
Want a pizza but all you can see is dim sum? You may be out
of luck but if it’s there, Apple’s Around Me will help you find it.
Ditto for lots of things, including hotels, bars, supermarkets,
gas stations and parking.
Fight the freeloader! Trip Splitter, which is free, breaks down
who owes what.
Is your high-school Spanglish failing you? Try Better Translator
Pro (for Android) or Word Lens (for Apple).
Don’t get caught out treating your krona like dollars. XE
Currency is free and accurate to the minute.
Be Safe Online A Guide To Student Travel www.avg.com 8
GoStill trying to make up your mind about what kind of experience would best
suit you? A trawl through the countless travel blogs and websites dedicated to
overseas volunteering or living abroad may help clarify things, and most people
who have been traveling will be more than happy to talk about it, so draw on
their expertize. Most of all, just get out there and find out for yourself.
What are you waiting for? Go!
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