What to take, what to take? Four words: as little as possible.
Before leaving, I considered taking some sort of iPhone device–something that could be both computer with wi-fi, music storage, and photo machine–without carrying four devices weighing over 10 lbs. Too much to ask? Well, not to mention balancing it with 1) access, 2) power, and 3) storage capability. It still hasn’t come to the consumer level. Even the iPhone is lacking in several of these areas (no AT&T coverage in areas of Thailand, poor image quality on the camera, only 8GB storage), though the wi-fi portion was highly desireable (though wi-fi is lacking in Thailand).
One of the saving graces has been Skype, found on most Internet cafe machines at the touristed areas). Now to get my family onto Skype themselves–tough, as that means leaving the computer in a central place to receive the call, having a headset and camera, and leaving the computer on all the time, and being home to take the call. Like the old days!
Vacation does mean getting away, but, as I posted earlier, making travel arrangements on the road is like it was 20 years ago–using a “communal” phone at Internet cafes, having little ability to retreive messages, and coping with other telecom issues.
All I can say, however, is that running an Internet cafe is one tough business–dealing with all of us complaining first worlders wanting help with our email, gak! How ugly!