Pack your Tech
Vacations may be a time to unplug from our gadgets and disconnect, but let’s face it, we are all very connected to our technology. With that comes a different set of things we need to remember to pack when we travel.
We have all been there. You get to your vacation destination, unpack your suitcase, and realize “oh damn, I forgot _____”. While hotels will be sure to have certain toiletries, sundries, and some other items for purchase, there is nothing worse than realizing that you need some gadget or tool that will make your trip more enjoyable.
Before every trip we take, we always (or almost always) run through a checklist of things we need to put in our bag, and hopefully, this list will help you as well. This is not about the toothpaste, deodorant, or the shampoo that you forgot. This is about the gadgets and gizmos you should check off as you pack for vacation.
Everybody has a phone, computer, tablet etc. that they bring on vacation, and a USB charging cord is necessary to charge your items.
Bring along a car lighter charger with USB ports in the event that your rental car does not have USB charging ports.
Pro tip: we started bringing spare cords as well in case we lose one, or one gets damaged.
Ensuring you have a great rechargeable battery or a supply of batteries for your camera will ensure you never miss out on getting that great shot due to dead batteries. If you use disposable, make sure you have plenty – they die quicker than you may think.
Pro tip: if you are packing a large supply of disposable batteries, place them in your checked luggage for security reasons.
Portable Charging Powerbank:
When you are on vacation, you may not have access to charging stations, and you may be out exploring for hours on end. The battery life of many phones and devices is notoriously short, so having a portable charger will relieve some of your worries.
Pro-tip: splurge on the smallest power bank with the most amount of charging power that you can afford. And with the ability to charge 2 phones at once.
AC Outlet Adapter with USB ports:
We recently started bringing an AC outlet adapter plug with USB ports (pictured) because many hotels (and cruise ships) have limited outlets. This allows you the ability to plug in several AC plugs, as well as USB devices. This eliminates ‘outlet hogging’ when there are so many devices to be charged.
Make sure you have a great memory card for your camera with lots of storage room, so you are never limited in how many photos and videos you take.
We carry an extra in the event something happens. There are many horror stories of people losing their photos for many different reasons.
Pro Tip: Make sure the memory card is empty before you leave for vacation. Upload anything before you head out.
USB Memory Stick:
Bringing an empty thumb drive to load photos and videos on to, will help free up your storage space on your cell phone, or camera.
Uploading your images to the ‘cloud’ is a great idea, but if you use public wifi, there is always a risk of getting hacked.
Voltage Converter Adapter:
International travellers will need to have one of these in order to plug their computers and devices into the different types of outlets found around the globe. You may think these aren’t necessary but trust me – the first time you are abroad, you will see the value.
I always carry multiple earbuds, because I have found not all airlines offer them, and some charge for them. This way it prevents an added expense you don’t need. I carry extra, just in case you lose a pair, they break, or your travel companion forgot theirs.
This is one area I am notorious for forgetting – not having enough entertainment downloaded to my devices before a trip. I tend to assume there will be in-flight entertainment, and when there isn’t, I am left with no options. Never underestimate the need for entertainment even if you are on a road trip with your friends & family.
I recommend loading your tablet with many games and books well before you leave, so they are readily available.
The games you download should be ones where internet connectivity is not needed. You may not always have WiFi when you travel.
Pro Tip: ALWAYS load the app for your airline’s entertainment service before you board the plane.
Whether you are taking a road trip, or if you are going to be renting a car at your destination – have a GPS. It can be a stand alone GPS or it can be the GPS on your phone – either way, you will want one. You don’t know where you are going and a GPS will keep you from getting lost. I prefer the stand alone GPS because they don’t rely on cell service, or wifi.
Pro-Tip: I prefer the stand alone GPS becuase they don’t rely on cell service, or wifi.
I am always forgetting something when I travel. Who doesn’t? We are only human, and mistakes will happen. In fact, this list is a culmination of the many, many times, I have forgotten something and thought “NOT AGAIN!”
Consider purchasing a separate bag to pack your tech into. This will help keep everything organized, and easy to find / access.
For more tips on What to pack for your trip check out our Travel Resources
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