Travel Tech Q&A: Clearswift's Phil Vasic

About The Author

CNET Editor

When Irene's not finding reasons to go globetrotting, with a camera almost permanently fixed to her face, she's reading up on all the latest gizmos and gadgets or trying her hand at adventure sports.

Phil Vasic, regional director for Clearswift Asia Pacific, and serial traveller for work and pleasure, took some time out to tell us about some of his experiences when on the road.

Phil Vasic

Phil Vasic
(Credit: Clearswift)

What tech do you travel with and why?

My BlackBerry, essential for keeping up to date while I'm out of the office. Skype on my PC is essential for touching base with my family.

What's your favourite phone app for travelling and why?

Cortado Flight Mode for BlackBerry. This app automatically disconnects my BlackBerry from any wireless services with one click (and re-activates them when I arrive), and also downloads the full versions of emails that have not yet been completely retrieved, which means that you're not caught with only part of an email downloaded when you're trying to catch up on the plane.

Most memorable travel story/experience?

Last year, my wife, three sons and I did a round-the-world trip to celebrate my 40th birthday. The highlight for me was visiting Old Trafford to watch Man U play, but I think the kids would put in their vote for Disneyland.

Personal travel advice/tip?

Save your frequent flyer points for upgrade, it's the best use of your points and lets you arrive a little more refreshed.

How do you deal with jet lag?

When flying to London, I always try to stay awake for the first leg and sleep on the second, which gets you into local time a little quicker. I also think noise-cancelling headphones reduce the impact of the aircraft hum; it is surprising how noisy a plane is when you think it's quiet.

What (if any) travel websites do you use?

We're lucky to have a great travel agent at Flight Centre, who make all of our bookings for us and are fantastic. TripAdvisor is a great tool for checking out any hotels I'm not sure of before I make the final booking.

What was your biggest travel disaster?

I was on a flight from LA to Denver many years ago, when we hit a snow storm during meal service and food — cutlery and drinks were flying around the cabin. When we arrived, it turned out that there must have also been a cabin-pressure issue in the cargo hold, as most of the luggage was frozen solid.

Where is the best place you've been for duty-free tech shopping?

Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur are the best I've seen, and it's a great way to fill in time when you are in transit.

What is your dream travel tech to have on planes/in airports/at hotels? (Stuff they don't have yet but boy it would make life so much easier on the road.)

Wi-Fi on the plane — if only for time to catch up with the family. Long trips are time efficient, but sometimes the only time-zone crossover is on the plane.

Favourite destination city to work/visit and why? (In relation to technology.)

Tokyo — it's so bright with a good mix of new technology adoption and culture.


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