Putting together a solid packing list for your tech gear is very important when traveling abroad for an extended length of time. You need to make sure that you have all your bases covered based for a wide variety of scenarios that you may find yourself in.
You’ll need to make sure all of your adapters, chargers and cables are in check so that you don’t find yourself looking through your pack for something that you left home in a desk drawer. You’ll need extra external power packs for the days you will be on the road or in a village that doesn’t have electricity readily available. If you are an avid photographer you need to have extra memory cards, cables…the list goes on and on.
If you forget anything, it may lead to some unneeded expenses along the way. There is also the issue of over packing, which I will get into down the road. The gear you bring is all up to personal preference, what type of traveler you are and what type of traveling you are doing.
Here is the gear we are going to start our adventure with.
There are many options of small, thin laptops available on the market today. We chose two different options: standard laptop and a tablet w/ detachable keyboard)
This will be my primary laptop. I chose the smaller 11.6” model to keep weight and size down since space is such a premium in our packs.
This 10” tablet w/detachable keyboard has become very useful since the Windows 10 update. It can perform most duties of a standard laptop and you can detach the keyboard to save space for day trips. This link is for the updated version of this device.
This is the primary reading device for the trip and will be used to store guidebooks and other travel related reading material along the way.
This is a medium sized point and shoot with 30x zoom that takes very nice photos. This is the main camera we will be using to take the majority of the photos that will be featured on the blog. We aren’t avid photographers so investing in a DSLR was not something we were interested in.
An additional small point and shoot that is waterproof and shockproof. We have used this on many trips. This link is for the updated version of this device.
This is something we picked up a few weeks before we left thanks to a combo deal on Amazon Prime Day. We will probably use it while kayaking or during some other adventures along the way. It’s a wild card in our packs.
We recently made the switch to T-Mobile after being with AT&T and Sprint for years. The main reason was that they offered international coverage for text and data (not high speed) in over 140 countries (as of 9/26/15) at no extra cost each month. The data is very useful in places where WiFi is scarce. Edge data is fast enough for emails and texting when you are in a remote area. Voice calls are $0.20/min but who talks on the phone anymore? Their plan options change from time to time so check out the latest here: http://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone-plans/individual.html
You must have an unlocked phone (see your carrier’s site about unlocking your current phone if it isn’t already) and it must be capable of international use. Google can help you with this, as there are too many phones to cover here. SIM cards should be available in most areas so that you can use the local cellular provider’s network as long as your phone is compatible. Again…Google to check on your model phone…
Apple iPhone 5 Unlocked Cellphone, 64GB, Black
Have had this phone for years. Whether it is a quick candid photo, video, flashlight or our music player, it can handle it all. It’s not the fastest anymore but it does all I need it to do. The screen is small at times but it’s manageable. I was thinking of upgrading before the trip but decided against it due to fear of theft or losing a brand new device.
LG E960 Google Nexus 4 Unlocked GSM Phone 16GB Black
About a year or so ago, I first tried out T-Mobile on a trip we took to Europe. Since the Nexus 4 was straight from Google, there was no carrier bloatware installed on the phone (for instance – think any app that is on your phone that starts with the carrier’s name that you cannot delete…and yes, Apple does this as well with core apps). Besides the finicky camera, this is a solid phone.
Cables and Chargers
These items are based on the gear we decided to bring. My baseline was approximately 1 cable per device and a backup per type of cable/adapter. This may be a little overkill so this list will change a bit.
-DIGISION Dual USB Universal AC Power Plug Adapter
–Photive 50 Watt 6 Port USB Desktop Rapid Charger
–Generic dual port USB charger 2.1 or 2.4 amp/1 amp
-Apple iPhone wall charger (backup)
–Incipio offGRID for iPhone 5/5S – Backup Battery Case – 2600mAh
-Assorted PNY Power Packs – 2 models I chose: PNY ID10400 10400mAh PowerPack and PNY T2200 2200mAh PowerPack
-Rechargeable AA and AAA batteries and wall charger – Any type will do.
–PNY 2-in-1 Micro-USB and Apple Lightning Charge and Sync Cable
–Micro USB Cables
–Mini USB Cables
You should always be sure to have plenty of backup storage. SD and Micro SD cards and USB drives don’t take up much room so bring extra. Plus the smaller densities are relatively inexpensive nowadays so if you carry a few extra they may make a nice gift to someone you meet along the way. Redundancy is key so make sure you’re your data in multiple ways. Besides your laptop, use external hard drives and some form of cloud storage. Please don’t back up anything important on USB drives or SD cards. They are good to use to transfer and share data but aren’t the most reliable of options to use for backup storage because they can fail without warning. (Not all products in photo)
Assorted PNY USB, SDHC/SDXC and Micro SDHC/SDXC cards – Some examples listed below. Many different densities used.
– PNY Turbo 256GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive
– PNY 64 GB High Speed SDXC
– PNY 64GB High Speed MicroSDXC Class 10
Assorted SanDisk SDHC/SDXC and Micro SDHC/SDXC cards – Some examples listed below. Many different densities used.
– SanDisk Extreme 64GB Memory Card SDXC UHS-I/U3
– SanDisk Ultra 64GB microSDXC UHS-I Card
Transcend Information USB 3.0 Card Reader
WD 1TB Black My Passport External Hard Drive – 2 of these hard drives, both will be used to back up all data and stored in separate packs.
Dropbox/BackBlaze/iCloud/Photo backup/Online Cloud backup – Currently we are using Dropbox as our online back up utility. We have had others recommended and will try out different kinds and review.
Microsoft Bluetooth Mouse
Amazon Fire TV Stick – Not sure what to do with this yet.
Spotify or other music streaming service – Spotify Premium should work internationally according to their site. Spotify Free will not unless you change some account settings. Here is a link that goes into further detail.
Well that about sums up all the tech gear that will be accompanying us on our trip. If you have any questions just leave them in the comments or send us an email from the contact page. Please feel free to share your own pack lists too or let us know if you think we could add anything to our lists to make it more complete.