Five Tip Friday – BlackBerry Brian’s tips for traveling with a BlackBerry smartphone and/or BlackBerry PlayBook

Happy Friday #TeamBlackBerry! With the summer upon us, many people are gearing up for weekends at the cottage, camping trips on long weekends and vacations in the sun. I know I plan to get away for at least a few days this summer, and when I do, I’ll be taking my BlackBerry® smartphone and BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet with me.

Today I’ll provide some tips to make your BlackBerry devices your favorite traveling companions this summer (and all year round!), so let’s begin.

1. BlackBerry Traffic and Maps

Two BlackBerry smartphone apps I never leave home without are BlackBerry® Traffic™ and BlackBerry® Maps™, since they complement each other nicely and, best of all, they’re free.

BlackBerry Traffic – If you have never used this app, I suggest taking a look because it is hands down my favorite BlackBerry smartphone app. Beyond providing voice navigation, it also alerts you to traffic problems so you can take an alternative route. To learn more, check out our blog post from the release of BlackBerry Traffic 3.0.

BlackBerry Maps – BlackBerry Maps is great for helping me locate my current position when I’m not quite sure of where I am — or as my wife would call it, “lost”. Another great feature of BlackBerry Maps is Find a Location, which can be accessed by pressing the Menu key while using the app. You can enter the term “coffee” for example and it will provide you with a listing of coffee shops starting with the closest to your current location. For more on BlackBerry Maps, check out this previous Five Tip Friday – Five reasons why BlackBerry Maps is awesome!

2. Be Organized

Before you say bon voyage, have a look at websites for the cities, parks, and restaurants you plan on visiting. If you come across some useful information such as a map or guide, consider using Print To Go to send them to your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. This way you’ll be able to reference that information whenever you need it, right on your tablet. Check out our blog post on getting started with Print To Go in BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 to learn more.

3. Plan for a Rainy Day

One of the worst possible words you can hear while on vacation is “rain”, so before I go on any trip, I ensure that I have some free memory on my BlackBerry smartphone and BlackBerry PlayBook tablet so I can load them both up with what I like to think of as contingency plans – games, music, movies and books! The great thing about having one or both of these devices is they are entertainment devices as well as tools to get things done.

Games – Get games for both your smartphone and tablet from the BlackBerry App World™ storefront.

Music and Videos – Purchase some new tunes using several apps found in the BlackBerry App World Music Services Category.

Tip: Already have music and video you would like to transfer to your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet? Use Wi-Fi® to wirelessly transfer files to and from your device. To find out how to do this, see Ty’s blog post on how to copy files to and from a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet using Wi-Fi Sharing.

Books – You can find lots of free books and/or purchase an e-reader app in the BlackBerry App World Book category.

4. Don’t Forget the Accessories

The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet charger is compatible with BlackBerry smartphones (provided they have a micro USB port), so only taking one charger is an option. If you are traveling to a new country, I recommend finding out if the power outlets are compatible. If not, consider getting a BlackBerry Premium International Charger from

Have videos on your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet? Get yourself a BlackBerry PlayBook Convertible Case which doubles as a stand.

If you have access to an HDTV while traveling, you can use a High-Speed HDMI Cable to watch videos on it from your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. This is also a great accessory to have after your trip and want to show your pictures to friends and family.

5. Record those memories

Something I love about BlackBerry® 6 and BlackBerry® 7 OS is the built-in camera modes. These modes allow you to pick the type of subject you are capturing to assist you in getting best possible shot. Use the close-up mode for flowers, bugs and other small things, and Landscape mode for those fantastic views you come across. For more on taking photos with a BlackBerry smartphone or a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, read our blog post on how to take photos with a BlackBerry smartphone or a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.

If you are using a BlackBerry smartphone with BlackBerry® Device Software 5.0, you can find a similar setting by pressing the Menu key from the Camera app, choosing Options and then White Balance.

BONUS: After you have taken those pictures, you might want to add some flair to them, so check out the Photography Category in BlackBerry App World and get yourself a photo editing app for your smartphone or tablet.

Have a favorite tip for traveling with your BlackBerry device, in summer or otherwise? Leave a comment below!

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