I Still Don’t Trust Digital – Why I’m Bringing A Stack Of Travel Books To Scotland

Best Apps And Books For Scotland Tourists

best apps and books for scotland

[twitter]I am off to Scotland this week with Team Diabetes. I will be packing along 2 iPhones, an iPad, a MacBook Air, an iPod shuffle, and these 4 books.

I have collected a number of apps to help me wander Edinburgh with self-guided walking tours. I have the Lonely Planet app to give me all the background I could possibly want on the different corners of the city – but I still don’t trust digital.

Maybe it’s because I’m a print native, but I find it easier to thumb through a guide book than swipe through an app. I can use post its for bookmarks, highlight parts I really want to see, and easily find information on surprises when I come upon them.

I also don’t trust my iOS devices when out of the country. Last year, on a trip to Iceland, I bought a SIM card on Icelandair. Perhaps it was the language, maybe my iPhone was too beaten up, maybe I didn’t know what I was doing, but the roaming prepaid data on an unlocked card experience didn’t work for me. Still, I will try it again this week in Scotland. I have unlocked my iPhone 4 now, and have a prepaid SIM from giffgaff waiting at my hotel.

So while I will try to go digital (again), when it comes to vacationing in foreign countries, I am still partial to books. The battery never runs out on paper. I won’t go over data limits when reading a book. Sure, they’re heavy (why do I have to bring 4 with me), but they’re also free from the library.

So I have some apps for Scotland. I have some books for Scotland. I have many devices for Scotland. But despite wanting to go digital, I still trust paper.

How do you plan your vacations? Do you unplug and leave the phone at home? Do you buy roaming data? Do you unlock and go pre-paid local? Do you use tourist apps or stick to books?



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  1. May 21, 2013

    We did the same for our trip through Europe. I loaded up my smartphone with offline Google Maps, the offline TripAdvisor city guides and so on, but we still packed a few print books for thumbing through suggestions, attraction highlights and that sort of thing. We ended up largely using the books while back in our “home” digs, but I’m glad we brought them.

  2. […] of travel, Buzz Bishop is leaving for Scotland this week and he plans on bringing four travel guides. These are actual printed books, though he’ll still have a series of apps on his iPhone for […]

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