When I went on my first big trip in 2005 at age 16–a three-week long adventure in Italy and Greece–I had a notebook, an inexpensive digital camera, several heavy books, and a broken CD player. Fast forward seven years, and I now have an overabundance of gadgets that will help me plan, capture and document my travels better than ever before.
I’m heading out to Washington DC tomorrow morning, and I’m getting my technology together tonight so I don’t have to rush doing it in the morning. What I’m bringing:
- Smartphone–for general tasks like checking flight info, taking pictures, using apps, etc.
- Nook Color–for reading, primarily, but can also use to browse the internet if need be.
- Netbook–for uploading/editing pictures, keeping a travel log, watching videos, listening to music.
- PSP–for playing games (obviously).
- Nikon D40 DSLR
- Sony Handicam
My boyfriend is bringing his tablet and phone, and my brother is bringing his phone and his PS Vita, so we should have no shortage of electronic entertainment on the six hour flight to DC.
While I’ve definitely never traveled with this much tech at one time, I’ve developed a list of tips throughout the past couple years that have helped me prepare my gadgets.
- Invest in extra batteries.
It’s great having an extra battery for your smartphone in the event that you can’t get to a charger. I plan to use my phone a lot throughout the next week, so having an extra charged battery will help keep it powered.
- Back up and clean off your memory cards.
If you plan to take a lot of pictures or record video, empty your memory cards on your phone or camera so that it won’t fill up. I’m a picture hoarder and never clean my camera card off in a timely fashion, so tonight I’m doing a complete wipe so that it’s all ready for me to take hundreds of photos of the White House or the view from the airplane.
- Bring extra cords.
When I went to Turkey a couple years ago, I only brought one USB cable to charge my phone, mp3 player and camera. And then I lost it for a couple of days, so I was totally stuck until it finally turned up. USB cables are so small that there’s no reason to not bring at least two. I have a lot of gadgets so I’ll have a few cords. I am bringing a carry-on bag and a messenger bag, so I will keep one main cord in my messenger bag, since that is the one I’ll be opening and closing the most, and a few others stashed in the carry-on luggage.
- Clean your tech.
- Make it easily accessible in the airport.
If you’re flying by plane, make it easy to take out your gadgets when you go through the TSA line. Last time I flew, I had a giant laptop that was a pain in the ass to keep taking out of my bag. This time, all of my gadgets are small, and I’m placing them in my tactical bag which has a designated space for them–so I can just tilt my bag sideways on the little tray and gently slide them all out so they can be screened. It helps to place all small items against a larger item. For example:
- Charge everything the night before.
This should be a given, especially since outlets in airports can be difficult to find. Plug in all of your stuff and pack it all up in the morning before your flight so you won’t be late catching the plane while trying to access your itinerary.
What’s your favorite gadget to bring on your travels?