Flashpacking: It’s 2014’s revamped version of backpacking. Basically flashpacking is traveling with lots of cool technology and gear. This includes stuff like cameras, computers, and smart phones. Long gone are the days of just backpacking with a map, us new-age travelers want to keep our iPhone maps with us and look for the ever important “Wife here!” sign at restaurants and Starbucks. Flashpacking is a way of connecting as you disconnect, helping you brave through month’s on end away from your family and improving your safety along the way.
But really, we’re all just obsessed with all the cool, new technology that is cropping up everyday. There’s a new iPhone like every two weeks (Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating but it seems like it), there are specialized cameras for extreme sports (and extreme selfies), and we’ll all soon be able to make calls from our watches (that’s probably going to look so weird). This summer, I was wondering what would be the best way to approach my travel gadgets. You can’t pack too much junk, just the necessities, and also I am a very avid loser-of-important-stuff, so I don’t want to get too carried away with fancy gadgets. Here’s what I’ve brought with me and a couple tips for the best travel tech to carry with you. Also, find out why a surge protector is a gadget loving traveler’s best friend!
Being a blogger, design aficionado, and studying architecture, I am pretty obviously a fan of photography. My iPhone’s memory is constantly filling up because I’m always snapping and editing pics.
Here are the three “cameras” that I’ve brought with me:
- iPhone (5S): Everyone’s got one. Put a Lifeproof case on it to avoid any mishaps (water damage, dropping it on cobblestone streets, or general clumsiness) and get awesome underwater shots. Also, you’re going to need to access the internet while traveling so this is just an overall very useful tool. Check your email, post to Instagram, and get around with offline maps, more on that later.
- GoPro (3 Silver Edition): First things first: the GoPro is one of the coolest things ever. It has amazing video capabilities, you can take it snorkeling, or kayaking, or attach it to your Ferrari (sike). The newer versions also connect to your iPhone through wifi so you can instantly access your pics without having to plug in your sim card to your computer. Despite how cool it is it does have one draw back that really irks me: Unless its a very bright day the images just don’t look that good. Bright, sunny days will lend to out of this world images but if it’s cloudy they’re just ehh. Get it, don’t get it, you’ll survive without it.
- Selfie stick: If you choose to get a GoPro, get the selfie stick. So worth it. I bought a QuikPod. I do wish it collapsed a bit more so it’d fit in my backpack, but you give some, you get some.
- DSLR (Nikon D3100): A DSLR is an amazing tool for capturing professional quality images. If you’re really into photography and want to have more of a creative license over your images, this is a good bet for you. The drawback is that it’s heavy; after a couple hours of sightseeing, you’re going to feel it’s weight. (I have typically been using a 50 mm fixed lens with mine so it cuts down on the weight slightly.) If you want to try something else, I would suggest a point and shoot that Gio bought for the trip, the Sony a6000. It’s lightweight, responds quickly, has a bunch of settings and it barely weighs. Also, it’s a good looking camera, which I admit plays into my decision making.
- Memory Cards (and External Hardrive): Depending on the length of your trip and how many pictures you’re expecting to take, it’s best to be safe and have an extra memory card. Best Buy seems to have a perpetual sale of memory cards, so grab an extra one to be safe. Also, if you’re traveling with your computer, make sure to take a hardrive with you. Oh, the nightmare of losing all the stuff on your laptop… I don’t even want to think about it…
- iPad Mini: This has got to be my favorite gadget because of it’s versatility and ease of use. The iPad can fill so many roles: you can watch movies on it, write for your blog, read books, play games to stay entertained on trains rides, listen (and make) music, download and edit pictures from a memory card, and you can leave your computer at home all together and travel with this guy. The iPad mini reaches another level when you add the keyboard; I bought this Logitech one, that attaches via magnetic strip, and one charge lasts me months. I’ll be doing a post on my fav travel apps soon, so stay tuned!
- Surge protector: I first read about this while reading through a backpacking forum and I know very soon this will save my life. Carrying this will keep you from having to prioritize on which device is more important and help you make friends at airports and hostels. You know that guy who hogs the outlet at the airport? You won’t be that guy, you’ll be the cool dude with enough outlets to charge your thangs and your friends’ thangs. Now, if I could go back in time and buy a different surge protector I’d get this one… It has USB outlets which is awesome. That’s I guess the only reason I want that one, but really it’s cool, haha.
… your cables and your chargers. What good is a DSLR or a GoPro when you’ve forgotten the charger for it? Don’t stare whistfully at your dead gadget and thinking of where you left the cable in your room back home. It’s going to be annoying (and expensive) finding a replacement while on your trip, and you’d rather spend that money doing something cool, like a trip to the beach or a nice meal.
I hoped this helped you guys out (and that you go and buy a surge protector before your next trip)! So, what travel tips do you have to share with me? Any cool gadgets that I’m missing?? Let me know in the comments!