Whether you are traveling international or just across the state, here are a few tech items that you must be sure are included in your purse or bag.
- Phone: Every time I travel I take fewer and fewer items. But the one thing I rely on the most is my phone. Currently, I carry a Samsung 6, but whatever model or carrier, make sure it has the best possible picture taking capabilities. On my last trip, I did not even take my little digital camera. I shot everything on my phone camera. It has great features, resolution and zoom options, as well as that “must have” selfie ability. I keep my phone switched to airplane mode when I travel to avoid any accidental data charges on my phone plan. I only use it with wifi at night to send my daily picture blog to friends and family back home. Don’t forget extra connecting cords which have a habit of getting left in hotel rooms. Another thought on traveling with your phone. Check with your carrier and if they have service where you are traveling and it’s not too costly, add it for the time you are going to be gone. While you don’t want to be making a bunch of phone calls from overseas, having the ability to call a taxi if needed or reach family members during an emergency is well worth a small fee.
- Flash Drive: Since I planned on leaving my digital camera home on my recent trip to Europe, I wanted to be sure I had a way to back up my images each night just in case something happened to my phone. I found this sweet little flash drive stick that solved all my problems. It was a Sunany Metal USB Flash Drive / USB 3.0 OTG Pen drive with Dual USB Connectors. I just plugged it in each night to my phone and downloaded all my pictures from the day. Then when I got back home from my trip, I plugged the flash drive into the USB port on my computer and quickly downloaded all the images to a file to share and enjoy. It gave me such a peace-of-mind to know that my pictures were safe and secure on something other than just my phone.
- Power Stick: Since I was relying on my phone for taking pictures as well as connecting to friends and family, I decided to pack a couple of power sticks to allow me to recharge my phone wherever and whenever I needed. I always kept a charged power stick in my day bag and then recharged them along with my phone at night. I never ran out of battery power and I was always ready for whatever I needed to do with my phone or other technology items I brought along. Just a note, be sure and check the TSA guidelines and rules regarding power sticks. Always keep them in your carry-on and point them out to the TSA agent when you are going through security.
- Converter Plug: You won’t need this type of tech item if you are traveling in the United States, but if you head overseas, it is imperative that you research what electrical current is common where you are going and purchase a reliable plug in converter with surge protector. The ones I got for this last trip also had a USB charging port as well, so that I could charge my phone and/or power sticks. They are small enough that I had several. One in my day bag and one in my suitcase to use in the room at night.
- Tablet: No matter where you go, invariably you find yourself sitting somewhere waiting for a plane, taxi, bus or train. It’s always nice to have a good tablet or reader loaded up with some books and/or music to pass the time. Make sure you have all the connecting cords to allow you to keep it fully charged and ready to use. Remember to set it to airplane mode unless you relish paying hefty roaming charges for data use. Throw in some small headphones and you’re ready to go.
I don’t really consider myself a super techie person. After all, I grew up just one step removed from the “paper map” generation. But, I have found on my many travels, that these five simple technology items are necessary and vital to the success and enjoyment of my trip. If I could add one more thing that is “old school” technology, it would be to always include a great travel journal to keep track of your daily activities and make notes about the places, people and experiences along the way. I’ll write more about the importance of travel journaling soon.