How to Tech-Out for Travel
Whether you’re road-tripping cross-country or backpacking across the globe, the biggest challenge (or joy) that you’ll face in your travels is limited access to the technology that you enjoy at home. WiFi, electrical outlets, and a desktop computer station could likely be out of sight, but probably not out of mind.
But we’re living in the Internet Era. Nowadays, there are plenty of portable technologies that’ll aid you while you travel. That doesn’t mean that you’ve got to be more preoccupied with your electronics than with sightseeing. But the right travel tech will certainly make your travels smoother, comfier, and more fun. Here’s the best gear that you need to tech-out for travel in 2019.
Definitely bring a smartphone on your travels if you want to be a teched-out traveler. Cell phones might not have great reception in all parts of the globe, but if you’re traveling to developed countries or heavily populated metropolitan areas, cell phones can be an invaluable resource.
For one, you can use a smartphone to get maps of the area that you’re in. You’re able to find good restaurants and popular sightseeing activities. You’ll also be able to find your way back to your hotel or lodging if you get lost. If you have travel buddies, you’ll be able to call them and coordinate activities or find them if you split up during the day. On top of all that, a smartphone will help you check the weather during your travel, so you know what to pack for each day of your trip.
In order for your smartphone to work outside of your home country, you’ll most likely have to sign up for an international plan. International plans are expensive, but they could be well worth the price if you’re going to use all of your smartphone features. Obviously, you shouldn’t pay for a comprehensive international plan if you’re traveling to a location that won’t have any cellular reception.
If you’re using your smartphone a lot, its battery will inevitably die. Bring a smartphone charger case with you. It’s a cell phone case that also charges your phone, and it’s an easy way to double or triple your phone’s battery life on a given day.
If you won’t have an Internet connection, you won’t have access to music streaming services. But most of these services allow you to download music straight to your phone when you’re offline. Be sure to do that before you leave on your trip!
Get the Right Laptop
Laptops might be the greatest thing since sliced bread. If you’re bored during transit, you can whip out your laptop and watch movies or surf the web (so long as you have an Internet connection). You can upload your DSLR photos or edit together videos of your travel footage on-the-go. They’re helpful if you’re creative, if you’re a blogger, or if you have very long transit times.
There’s an ocean of available travel laptops out there. Ideally, you’d want to get one that’s smaller and easy to stuff into a backpack or travel bag. You’ll also want to get a laptop that has longer battery life. Don’t worry so much about the durability of your laptop’s shell. A tough laptop bag will do just fine protecting your computer. But always carry it with you, and never toss it into your luggage.
What if you want to use your laptop in the field? For instance, maybe you want to take notes on certain exotic birds that you see, or maybe you’re blogging and you want to write down your thoughts at each place you visit. Safety is also important, as you’ll want a device that has internal tracking and password encryption to keep your information safe.
If that’s the case, a 2-in-1 laptop might be a good choice for you. A 2-in-1 laptop is a combination of a laptop and a tablet in one device. The display is a touch screen and you’re able to fully detach the keyboard or fold it back so that it doesn’t get in the way. 2-in-1’s are more portable than regular laptops, and the touch screen functionality can be more convenient when you’re traveling quickly. If you’re unfamiliar with where to get started on your laptop search, check out this comprehensive laptop buying guide.
Pack Your Library
A good book is always a worthwhile travel item. Whether you’re reading on the beach or reading on a flight, a book is an easy way to pass the time and unwind. Most folks probably only bring one or two books on their travels. But why not bring your whole library?
With the Nook, by Barnes and Noble, you’re able to store digital copies of all your favorite books on one device. What’s great about the Nook is that the screen doesn’t look like a screen at all. It’s designed to resemble the texture and light-emission of an actual printed page. Although it’s digital, you’ll get a more authentic book feel and, without the LCD screen brightness, there won’t be so much stress on your eyes.
Pack portable power banks for your electronic devices. These are small chargers that have multiple ports and can charge a variety of different devices (most of the time, they’re equipped with USB ports).
Keep in mind that some countries might have different electrical outlets. The laptop charger that you use in your home country might not be able to plug into an outlet in a foreign country. You can alleviate this problem if you buy a travel outlet adapter. These adapters are equipped for use for a variety of different foreign outlets. They’re a must-have if you’re packing electronic devices.
Remember: just because you have technology with you, doesn’t mean that you should spend lots of time on it. Don’t miss out on the sights, smells, and sounds of a new locale just because you’re so absorbed in your devices. Instead, use your devices to make your journey more convenient and relaxing.