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Tips to Turn Your iPad into the Perfect Travel Companion

As we close out on Spring we prepare for another fantastic Summer holiday! By doing a few things before you set off, your iPad will become the perfect travel companion. Here we’ve put together some hints and tips to make sure you get the maximum enjoyment out of your iPad while you’re travelling.

Load media entertaiment on the go

Let’s start with the most obvious use for the iPad. You’ll probably want some entertainment for the journey. In iTunes, load the music, films, books and podcasts you want on to the iPad.Or load your favorite DVD or blu-ray movies by using the best DVD to iPad Converter or the best Blu-ray to iPad Converter. You’ll then be able to enjoy the media you’ve synced to your iPad on a plane or on the couch.

Stay powered up

Your iPad’s of little use with a dead battery, so make sure you’ve got the right kit to charge it. You won’t need a new power adapter,you may need an adapter with the correct pins. Apple sells a World Travel Adapter Kit for £31 with lots of bells and whistles included, but a standard adapter from a hardware store should suffice.

For those times you’ll be away from power sockets for longer, the other option is a separate battery, such as the Proporta USB TurboCharger 5000. This £43 unit has a much higher capacity and will also charge the iPhone and other USB devices, though it’s less portable.

Find local Wi-Fi

Many hotels, restaurants and cafes offer free or cheap Wi-Fi access. To help locate your nearest network, grab JiWire’s free Wi-Fi Finder app, which will find free and paid-for Wi-Fi networks worldwide. Before you leave home, open the app and tap More > Offline database available. Flick the switch to On. This will download the most up-to-date list of networks.

Get offline maps

Brilliant though it is, the iPad’s Maps app has one big drawback when it comes to use abroad: it doesn’t store any maps on your ipad, meaning it can’t come to your rescue when you get hopelessly lost in a strange city where you haven’t got internet access.

Fear not, though, because there are easy and cheap ways to get full foreign maps on your iPad that will work anywhere, whether you have a data connection or not. Our favourite is the remarkably well-polished City Maps 2Go, which costs £1.49 and keeps its maps on your phone. You’ll need to download the maps you want on a Wi-Fi or 3G connection before you leave home. Open the app up and allow it access to your current location. Then browse through to decide which maps you want, and download them.

Install some guide books

Rather than lug around a weighty tome, load a guide book on to your iPad. Your best bet is to search the App Store by typing in the name of the country or city you’re going to, followed by ‘guide book’. Some publishers have released actual apps, such as Lonely Planet and DK, but don’t forget to look in the Books category too, where you’ll find further guides that you can download and read in iBooks.