4 travel items still surviving the digital world

There’s so much talk about what this digital era is doing to trade and talent. People say that eventually newspapers will cease to exist, that everyone now reads e-books, and no-one sends letters anymore. This made me wonder what it means for travel. Some are pleased that the Kindle allows them to take 1,000 books on holiday and not have to pay a huge baggage fee. Others love that websites and travel blogs like this one can give them all they information and research they need before they jet off. But what travel items are still thriving in my world while the digital fans try to throw them off?

1) Money, money, money

People still order travel money. I’ve had situations where my bank card has been rejected because I’m overseas. I’ve even had problems with specific holiday credit cards because I’m abroad. Can someone tell me how that works? So, I make sure I still take paper money with me to avoid any card issues. There are hardly any charges with money, and you can regularly get 0% commission in airports. Compared to credit cards with their interest rates and overseas charges, money means you’re not overspending. You are left with all that annoying change though…

2) Show me the way to…

Hands up…no, leave a comment if you still buy guidebooks. I do! You can get a lot of information from the internet, but you know with a guidebook that you can carry it around and find new things along your route. Again, paper doesn’t incur hefty data charges, nor does it time out when you’re in the middle of reading it. It’s less likely to get snatched out of your hands in the street too. I’m yet to find a downloadable mobile guide that is rich in content and something I can solely use to get me around. Guidebooks are also written with you in mind as you’re there, not as a review for you to check out before you go.

3) The trusty old passport

Paper passports are still being used, despite the new smart ID chips. And many countries still stamp them when you go through passport control. Until we’re all queuing at immigration getting the barcodes tattooed on our necks scanned, we’re going to need those little brown (for the UK at least) books to get around.

4) Page turners

I’m firmly in the paperback camp. Nothing beats a battered old book to turn the pages and feel the crisp paper between your fingers. I can’t imagine staring at a screen for hours, terrified of getting the little £300 item anywhere near the pool and freaking out when my sunscreen-soaked hands leave sticky fingerprints all over it. A good holiday read is just better with a book you can hold and then use later as a pillow.

Do you still carry books with your on holiday? Have you found an easier way to buy things abroad? Let me know in the comments!

please note: some header images are from unsplash.com


  1. 15th March 2014 / 9:01 am

    I still buy guide books for places where I know internet isn’t going to be reliable (like India and China) but I have long given up on paper books now that I have a kindle.

    • 22nd March 2014 / 4:20 pm

      Great point James. It’s always handy to have a paper backup when technology isn’t reliable. I can’t quite move in to Kindles yet – something’s holding me back!