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 must remember to pack when travelling.
We have all been there. You get to your vacation destination, unpack your suitcase, and realize, “oh damn, I forgot _____”. While hotels will indeed have certain toiletries, sundries, and other items for purchase, there is nothing worse than realizing that you need some gadget or tool to make your trip more enjoyable.
What to Pack for your next vacation (the tech edition)
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 shampoo 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 a car lighter charger with USB ports if your rental car does not have USB charging ports.
Pro tip: we also started bringing spare cords in case we lose one or one gets damaged.
Ensuring you have an excellent 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 think.
Pro tip: if you are packing an ample 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 may be out exploring for hours. 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 you can afford. And with the ability to charge two 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 onto, 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.
Pro Tip: Cruise ships have the same voltage outlets as in Canada/USA.
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, 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 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 you are going to be renting a car at your destination – have a GPS. It can be a stand-alone GPS or the GPS on your phone – either way, you will want one. You don’t know where you are going; a GPS will keep you from getting lost.
Pro-Tip: I prefer the stand-alone GPS because 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 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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Thanks for the tips Nick, those are great and so useful, things you’d never think of unless you’ve needed them on a trip. I’m going to forward this to a couple of people 🙂
Thank you Sharon. Some times we all forget things when we travel and it can be frustrating – and costly to replace when you are away. I for one forget batteries for my camera almost every trip. I dare you to try and find affordable batteries in the small communities of Canary Islands. 🙂
What a wonderful collection here you have presenting for us. All the accessories are very useful and helpful during the trip. You have summed up in an article for the guidance of people. Love to have such accessories with me on my journey.