9 Travel Tech Must-Haves
I’m currently travelling around some of the most techy places in the world, and I used to work in the tech industry, so it might not surprise you that the gadgets were the first thing I considered when packing. Before the backpack, the shoes and the trek pants.
Space is at a premium in my bag. It’s stuffed. And heavy. I’ve overpacked. Lugging it around trains is nothing short of hard work… but still I’ll not be sending much of my tech home. I’d rather send half of my clothes. And a pair of shoes. Here’s why.
1. My 3-in-1 laptop
As the title suggests – this bad boy does loads. It’s a Lenovo Yoga 700, in a rather dashing orange. It flips into tablet mode and tent mode as well as being a fairly decent size standard laptop (11 inches… you can do a lot with that). This does away with the need to bring additional devices, which, whilst relatively light, take up valuable space. It slides perfectly into my day bag and does the work of two others.
The tent mode makes watching films (or Netflix) on the train a doddle, tablet mode is pefect for reading, and blogging is much easier with a keyboard thats almost full size and has real buttons. I needed something with a memory card slot, 2 USB ports, a hefty processor and a tiny charger, all in less than the weight of a bag of sugar. This one ticked all the boxes and then some.
2. My DSLR
I think in hindsight I’d have been better investing in a bridge camera, which has more range. That said, I love my DSLR, so I’m just accepting the bulk and and going with it. It does require an extra charger and spare memory cards so if you’re not a big photo person (or VERY comfortable getting a decent amount out of your DSLR), it’s not worth it. Just take a compact. Or even your phone will likely do the trick.
Which brings me neatly onto…
3. My iPhone
Great for on-the-go blogging, staying in touch, quick snaps, Google Translate, currency conversions, portable sat-nav, boredom buster, gaming, cat videos, doing your hair on the go, FaceTiming your niece, Periscoping at the top of a mountain… you can’t not take a smart phone.
4. A GoPro
It’s tiny so that’s a massive win. I’d sack off the accessory bag though. Bring a bag clip and a selfie stick/monopod and leave it at that. I brought a float and gorilla pod and I’ve used neither. Next time, they will not make the cut.
5. My hard drive
This one was a must for me as my laptop has relatively little storage. I wanted to be able to back up my photos and carry stuff to watch on journeys. I’ve ended up with a bright blue hard drive and pink grip pack, which are pretty and functional. I’m also backing up all of my photos on Dropbox and Flickr, so if you’re like me and worry about your kit going missing, at least your photos will be stored online.
6. A lipstick charger
Nope I don’t mean gloss – that definitely didn’t make it into the bag – I mean a charger the size of a lipstick tube. This is a lifesaver. Mapping your way around a city all day can really drain your battery, and one of these little treats in your bag will boost it back up again. Twice if you go above 3000mAh (though stay at 1amp for phones and small cameras). Just keep in mind that because it’s so small, it’s very easy to lose. Ten days in. After a few drinks. True story.
7. Tech organiser bag
Whilst not actually electronic in any way, it has more cables than a TV station, so it definitely deserves a mention. This is a great bit of kit. It takes all of my cables as well as my hard drive and memory cards. It’s also perfectly shaped to slot straight into my day bag. No more searching for a phone cable in the middle of the night!
8. USB hub charger
This is perfect for travel. There are two types – one that has a cable from the plug to the hub, and one that plugs straight into the wall and sometimes comes with mini sockets for different countries. You’d think the latter would be the best option, right?
I thought that too but it’s actually not. This is because often (especially in hostels) the plug can be far away from your bunk, or it can be high up on a wall. The one that plugs straight into the wall requires all of your other cables to be longer or else they dangle mid air. It’s also pretty heavy, which can make it precarious to hang.
I’ve gone for the cable to the hub, and then put the hub in my bunk. Voila: a four-way charger – in my bed. Just to note – always check what max amps your gadget needs when charging so as to avoid trashing its battery.
9. Fitbit charge HR
This also works as a watch, and connects to my phone to tell me if someone is ringing. Or as a vibrating alarm if you are super polite in a dorm. (I’m not… I’d never get out of bed).
So that’s my top tech kit! Is there anything else that I should consider? What do you bring with you?