Travel Tech Q&A: Earthwave's Carlo Minassian

Jetting across the world can be a serious drain on our batteries — both our mental ones and our gadgets' physical ones. Carlo Minassian, CEO of managed security services company Earthwave, shares some tips on how to get the most out of both, and tells us which airports are the best to get "stuck" at.

Carlo Minassian
(Credit: Earthwave)

What tech do you travel with and why?

For day/overnight trips, I only take my iPhone with an external battery pack. I use it for email, of course, but more so to call home using Skype. Surprisingly, I haven't had any problems using Skype over 3G. For longer trips, I take my MacBook Air so that I can remotely connect to my work PC and my Apple TV that I connect it to the hotel TV so that I can avoid the older and more expensive hotel movie rates.

What tech do you miss from home?

It would have to be my Bang & Olufsen sound system.

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

It would have to be Skype, since I use it so extensively for making cheap calls, followed by Tunein Radio because I love my music and finally WhatsApp, as I use it as my main app for chatting to my wife and the team at work.

What are you personal travel tips?

For longer trips where I must use my phone and Skype will not suffice, the first thing I do when I land is get the taxi driver to take me to a phone shop so that I can buy a local SIM for my phone, so that I can avoid roaming charges while using my phone.

How do you deal with jetlag?

I don't consume alcohol on the flight, and instead drink lots of water. When I land at my destination, I will stay awake until the local night time before I sleep. Depending on the state I'm in and the length of time I have travelled, I generally try to hit the gym or go for a massage.

What travel websites do you use?

I mainly use Trip Advisor and Webjet.

What is your one must-have piece of tech when travelling?

My iPhone.

What was your biggest travel disaster?

In a recent trip to India, I sat behind an elderly man and his wife going on holiday. After some time, I noticed on the screen the plane going towards Darwin. When I enquired I was told that the elderly man had died in his seat quietly and they had to drop him off at Darwin. I ended up seeing Darwin for the first time, as we had to spend overnight while police forensics specialists did their investigations.

Is there one thing you must do before you leave home?

Take my iPhone charger and kiss my family goodbye.

What is the best airport you've visited and why?

That would have to be Hong Kong airport, due to its proximity to the rest of Asia, and because you can kill off time during long layovers by playing golf at the airport golf course. Singapore airport comes a close second with gym, swimming pool, the tallest slide I have ever seen and a nature trail.

What was your last tech purchase?

The new iPad together with a Bose SoundLink Wireless Mobile Speaker.

What tech do you expect in hotels when you are travelling?

I try to book rooms with Wi-Fi and a big TV that I can plug my Apple TV into. There are a number of hotels that I always go back to where they have a Bose system with the iPhone dock.

What is your favourite destination city to work/visit and why?

I love most European countries, where you get free Wi-Fi as standard in all hotels and restaurants. Australia really needs to step it up with regards to this.

Name one thing you wish your iPod/phone/laptop could do that it doesn't do now?

It's a shame that some features of the iPhone Siri only work in the US, and that AirPrint is only supported by a handful of HP printers only.


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