We live in a highly-connected world and technology permeates our lives. In fact, I’m pretty sure most people have one technological gadget or another they simply cannot imagine life without. Some people believe travel technology is making our world less connected in that it causes harm to our personal relationships. But I don’t agree.
In fact, when it comes to travel, technology has definitely improved my experience and, in many cases, made traveling a lot easier and stress-free. In the old days, it could be difficult to interpret signs, get directions, or even remember a schedule. But these days our electronics and technology make it a lot easier.
When I travel, there are a number of things I always make sure to have packed in my bag. No matter where I go, these items are pretty much essentials. A trip just wouldn’t go as smoothly without them. So here is a short list of electronics I feel are absolutely essential for traveling.
1) Smart Phone
This is a given these days. Most people love their smart phones and with good reason too. Today’s smart phones serve as a means of communication, access to your financial information, a camera, an interpreter, maps…the list goes on and on. There is an app for practically everything!
2) DSLR Camer/ Go Pro
I’m a photographer so it’s not really an option to rely solely on my phone’s camera. In fact, I’ve tried it and didn’t really enjoy losing the control and dynamic ability of my DSLR. I use a Nikon D5300 but you can use any camera of your choice. While they are a bit bulky, your photo quality is vastly improved with a professional camera. Then for video, use a compact Go Pro. It’s small so it takes up very little room and is pretty great for capturing high-quality video. It can even go underwater.
When you travel internationally, you will almost always need a voltage converter. Most countries use something a bit different than the US. I use a great converter that has USB ports and can act as a router in addition to making it possible to plug all my electronics in. Long story short, if you don’t have a converter, you aren’t plugging anything in. That’s fine if you are looking to disconnect. Otherwise, be sure to take a converter with you. There are tons of them to choose from!
4) External Hard Drive / Memory Cards
I travel with a super thin hard drive that fits between the pages of my notebook. This gives me the ability to carry important files and back up all my photos. The hard drive is virtually indestructible as well. Taking plenty of memory is important too because you’ll be surprised by how many photos you can shoot in one trip. You don’t want to run out of space to store them.
5) Laptop Computer
This one seems obvious. If you’re like me then when you travel you also work. I can’t work without my laptop computer. But it also serves as a source of entertainment allowing me to connect with friends back home and stream movies or TV shows.
6) Solar Charger/ External Battery Charger
I travel with a backup charger for my phone which charges overnight and also uses the sun’s energy to charge my phone as a last resort. I rely my phone so much that it’s important to have redundancy plans. Basically, just purchase and external battery charger which will give you a bit more power as you use your phone throughout the day. It’s totally worth it!
This is something I started carrying with me during trips recently. A lot of the time, there are few power outlets in hotel rooms. A power strip solves that problem and gives you more than enough outlets to plug in all your devices. You can even get power strips intended for travel that take up very little space.
Earphones are great because you can listen to music wherever you are going. It also keeps the sounds from your devices from disturbing other travelers. So, it’s a win-win situation. The best part is now you can get noise canceling earphones as well which can help you have a restful sleep on a plane or train.
Lastly, of course remember to take all your charging chords and cables. It won’t help to have the devices you need if you have no way of charging them. To keep your cables and such organizes, check out this nifty device.
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