I grew up with the web and technology. I spend all day on the internet tweeting, blogging and checking in on Foursquare. When traveling, I like to be able to do the same.
Like many others, my smartphone, iPad, a camera and sometimes a laptop too are essential gear when I go on vacation. Besides these essentials though, here are 10 more things that I prepare, to ensure that I stay connected and have all my techie creature comforts on the road.
1. Mobile Phone Battery
When you’re traveling, opportunities to charge up your devices are limited. That’s why it’s important to have a spare battery.
iPhone users are lucky to have so many external battery options. My favorite is the Mophie Juice Pack Air battery case ($67.26 on Amazon) which powers and also protects my iPhone.
If you have a different phone, check out Duracell’s Instant USB Charger ($20.30 on Amazon). It’s an external battery that comes with connectors for many popular phones and devices so it even works for your iPod and Nintendo portable gaming console.
2. Portable Gaming Console
Speaking of portable gaming devices, they’re another great gadget to have on the road that will help you get through waiting for connecting flights (or when you can’t sleep because of jet lag!)
The Nintendo DS is a great option with a large game library. If you are a more hard core gamer, Sony’s PSP may be a better choice.
And while the iPad and iPod touch aren’t direct competitors to the 2 portable consoles mentioned above, they are both worthy alternatives for your gaming needs.
3. Ebook Reader
If gaming is not your thing, perhaps reading will serve you better. The ebook revolution has arrived and we are now able to carry hundreds of books on a sleek 7.5 oz Kindle Touch. The Kindle Touch has a battery that will last 2 whole months and e-ink display that makes it a perfect companion for a long flight, or out on the beach.
4. Power Adapter
A universal power adapter (or two!) is indispensable for techie travellers with multiple gadgets. When choosing a power adapter, look out for ones that take both 110 and 240 Volts.
I decided to pay extra and chose one with retractable pins. Others have snap-on pins which could easily get lost. Check out the Tripshell TR-Adap-BK Adapter ($13.99 on Amazon)
5. Tweet by SMS
This next item isn’t a gadget, but definitely useful for Twitter addicts. Having 3G or WiFi on your smartphone may not always be possible. This was the case when I climbed up Mt Kinabalu earlier this year.
Fortunately you can tweet by SMS from many countries around the world. Just buy a prepaid mobile plan while on holiday and activate SMS tweets by texting START to that country’s SMS shortcode. You can find the correct shortcode on the Twitter website.
Other alternatives are GladlyCast for Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines orSMStweet for India.
6. Network Cable
Another thing that I pack now when travelling is a network cable. It comes in handy at hotels or internet cafes that provide a network port, but no cable. I also prefer the flat cables which takes up less space compared to the regular tubular ones.
7. Memory Card Reader
This is something that I always wish I had remembered to pack when my camera’s memory card runs out of space. Unless your laptop has got a memory card reader built in, remember to pack one along for your next trip.
8. GPS Logger
A GPS logger is a device that tracks your GPS coordinates when you are out and about. You can then embed the GPS coordinates into your photos and have them plotted on a map like this.
Some newer camera models have GPS tagging built-in, but if yours doesn’t a good GPS logger to consider is the i-gotU GT-600 ($84.95 on Amazon). It’s water resistant and also tracks your workouts.
Another option would be to use a smartphone app like Geotag Photos – available for iPhone and Android phones. Be warned though – GPS logging apps sucks battery!
9. In-ear Headphones
Have you ever tried to nap on a long flight but couldn’t because of chatty passengers and wailing babies? I solved that with a pair of good in-ear headphones. Unlike normal headphones, my Klipsch Image S2 ($29 on Amazon) fit inside the ear canal to block out ambient noise.
While these aren’t active noise cancelling headphones, I find they work well enough. If you prefer something higher end, check out the $400 Shure SE530PTH Sound Isolating Earphones with Push-To-Hear Control.
10. GRID-IT Organizer
With so many gadgets in my bag, everything is in a mess! Luckily I found the GRID-IT Organizer by Cocoon ($19.99 on Amazon). The GRID-IT is a clever organization system that keeps your stuff secured to a flat board so that they don’t all flop down to the bottom of your bag.
With different sizes and endless configurations, the GRID-IT has earned a permanent place in my backpack whether I’m travelling or just out and about on my everyday business!
Besides your phone and laptop, what are other things that you just have to bring along with you for your vacations? Let us know in the comments 😀About this week’s guestwriter: David Wang is the @blogjunkie ! Please feel free to follow him on twitter for some cool updates on technology and blogging tips. David also provides on-demand WordPress support for professional bloggers and web publishers.