Technology has totally reshaped the way we travel. The internet is now the go-to place for ideas, inspiration, reviews and bookings, and social media is not just a means of communicating with friends anymore: Delta Airlines in the US started selling seats via Facebook!
On the road, the way we document our travels and communicate with friends and family back home has left the humble journal and postcard in the dust. We pen blogs, upload photos to online galleries, shoot out updates via social media and ring home via Skype.
But a delicate balance exists. Latest and greatest technology doesn't mean that I'll be tossing out my Lonely Planet guide anytime soon (it doesn't run out of batteries). And one unnamed department at Lonely Planet has a long-running tradition where mailing a saucy holiday postcard back is de rigueur – an e-card wouldn't be the same.
But there's a lot to be said for travelling new school. Here's one tech-related tip that will make your life on the road a little easier.
Blogging by email (and autoposting to Twitter and Facebook!)
Ever tried to access Blogger/Tumblr/Posterous/Facebook/Twitter from China? Yep. The great 'firewall' of China blocks access to these sites. So what if broadband is easily accessible from most parts of China...kinda useless if you can't tell people back home about that searing Sichuan hotpot you just had.
Here's a handy way to keep posting pictures and updates on your blog. You can send tweets and Facebook updates too.
Set up a blog on Posterous. Set up the autopost function. You can now send your photos or blog posts via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your posts will appear on your blog and your choice of social media (Twitter, Facebook, and other blog sites such as Blogger and Tumblr are some options).
If you just want to tweet, send a short line to email@example.com and it will appear on your Twitter stream. Ditto Facebook (yep, firstname.lastname@example.org). You get the picture - and so do your friends.
This is also a handy way to blog – no need to fuss with logging into the blog's website – just blog via your email client or wi-fi enabled smartphone.