I haven’t travelled extensively (longer than 10 days) since 2004, and a lot has changed since then. Not only do I have a few more responsibilities (children and their education), but staying in touch has changed a lot too. When I lived in England and traveled to Europe, I had a film SLR. That was about the only electronic device that I had.
In 2017, with the added responsibility of online learning, we are now packing;
- Two iPhones
- iPad 3
- Acer Laptop & backup SSD
- Kobo eReader
- Sony RX100 mkIV digital camera
- Panasonic LX3 backup digital camera
- “FauxPro” action camera
All of these require batteries, chargers, charging bricks, cables, cases, a mini tripod, and memory cards.
Not only that, but they fill up with data. 1080p video (I’m not even attempting 4K video, thanks), and 21 megapixel images take up a lot of space.
Here are a few things we’ve done to make things work:
A cable organizer: having Apple Lightning, Apple 30-pin micro USB, USB 3.0, headphone splitters, audio cables is a PITA at the best of times. I found a handy cable organizer that keeps things all tidy and accessible. I’m not usually an organized person, but this is one of my triumphs.
Backups: having a once-in-a-lifetime trip means having memories that are invaluable. At the moment, we have our files backed up on two devices (laptop and SD card), but I have a portable Crucial 525GB SSD as a third backup too. We also brought a second camera in case something happens to the first. We’ve dropped the camera twice, so I think our fear is justified. I also have multiple SD cards for the camera, and cables of every type and length for every occasion.
Power: It’s needed for all of these devices, so I have three backup batteries that can charge any USB device (camera, iPad, iPhones) on the road. Here’s the best I’ve found: Anker PowerCore 10000mAh portable battery
We also use powerful wall plugins for our USB devices to charge them quickly. Anker makes some great ones that charge quickly and have multiple ports: Anker PowerPort 4.
Because the kids are participating in online school, we needed a laptop. We bought a cheap-and-cheerful Acer laptop, which is sadly underpowered. It did meet the other requirements of cheap and small. Can’t have it all! The laptop allows us to backup, organize, and edit photos (my job), and to download books for Jocelyn’s Kobo.
Wifi is a necessity wherever we go, and a lack of it can make life more complicated. Downloading and uploading assignments, participating in online class, and listening the kids’ nightly audiobook sometimes has to wait. Thankfully, the teacher and our kids are forgiving and roll with the punches. For security purposes, I’ve purchased a yearly subscription to Private Internet Access VPN to prevent any snoops from intercepting our banking data while on open or sketchy wifi networks.
So while travel in 2017 is more complicated (and easier) due to technology, it allows us to keep in touch with our loved ones at home a lot easier.