When I was packing to go travelling, I spent a long time deciding what tech items to take with me. In an ideal world you could take all your gadgets to choose the ideal lens for the perfect photo. A couple of weeks or months down the line though and you’ll probably be fed up of carting everything around. I was also worried about the security of my valuable tech pieces. So, what did I end up taking and would I do anything differently?
My most essential piece of tech and one I would never leave behind. Gone are the days when people go traveling with their Nokia brick in case of emergencies. In just one small device you can take photos, research things to do, book your hotel, listen to music, make your friends jealous with all your Instagram photos, work out the exchange rate, get directions and so much more.
Extras? A portable charger is super handy for when you’re down to 7% and are still wandering around looking for your hostel, those mapping apps are a real drain on the battery. Also, get a decent case and a screen protector to keep it in one piece.
I really wanted to take my laptop but I was concerned about it getting damaged or stolen. My iPad Mini was a good compromise as it was a bit bigger than my phone for doing extensive research on the next place I was visiting or watching movies. I also read a lot of eBooks whilst travelling, so this saved me carrying books around.
This was my bulkiest tech item but one that was important to me. Whilst my iPhone 5S takes reasonable photos, I didn’t want to be disappointed by the quality whilst travelling to places I might never get to go to again. I only used one lens, the 18-55mm kit lens as it pretty light and versatile – also not super expensive if something happened to it! I also use a UV filter on this lens as a bit of extra protection.
I love how small and hardy the GoPro is. If you know you’re likely to do a lot of snorkelling or diving this is a great option for getting those underwater shots. I also used it when I went trekking in Chiang Mai as it was a lot lighter than taking the DSLR! In terms of mounts, I actually mainly just held it and used a strap to attach it to my wrist.
The necessary chargers are obviously a must but remember to throw an adapter in your bag too. As mentioned above, a portable charger is great too. I even used this whilst staying in hostels as there weren’t enough sockets! This one from Anker is my favourite and has never let me down!
A spare camera battery is also useful. There’s nothing worse than getting your camera out only to discover it’s dead.
The last and more obscure accessory I would suggest is a SD card reader. I got a Lightening to SD card reader so that I could put all the photos from my DSLR onto my phone or iPad. This is great for backing up your photos and also sharing them with family whilst you’re away.
A note on security
I was worried about travelling with tech items in case they got stolen or lost. I didn’t have a problem but I was careful. Just ensure you know where they are and lock them up wherever possible. Usually there is a locker in the hostel room (remember to bring a lock!) but if not, all my tech items were light enough to be carried around with me. In several of the places I stayed people left their laptops and cameras out on beds when they weren’t even in the room – don’t ask for trouble!
All in all I was happy with my tech decisions. At times I wished I had my laptop so that it was easier to research things but it was also nice not having to worry about carrying it around. So there we have it, all the tech you need for your adventuring.
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