Missed connections, flight delays, lost bags, bad weather — the list of potential travel snags is endless. While there’s nothing you can do to guarantee your trip will be completely trouble-free, you can make it a lot easier on yourself if you carry around the right gadgets. The five tech devices listed below will not only let you look up useful information and make arrangements while on the go but also adroitly tackle many other common travel-related eventualities.
What list of essential travel gadgets wouldn’t start off with a smartphone? Whether it’s Apple or Android matters not; what does matter is that you have one. Your smartphone can singlehandedly carry out the tasks of many gizmos. It can serve as a GPS, music player, camera, video recorder, voice recorder, alarm clock, currency/unit converter, and a language translator.
And it doesn’t end there; you can tick off a huge list of additional travel-related uses for a smartphone. I’ve used it for creating itineraries, reading and composing email, purchasing and displaying tickets, scanning airport/airplane layouts, playing white noise for better sleep, viewing weather forecasts, and researching dining and accommodations discounts and recommendations, Oh, and by the way, you can make phone calls with it too, as well as send and receive text messages.
Laptop or Tablet
Though your smartphone is versatile, its small screen can be limiting at times when trying to be productive or if doing a lot of reading. If you need to do a lot of work that requires extensive typing, you’ll want to bring along a laptop. For instance, if you want to journal or blog about your journey, it’d be easier to type out your thoughts on a laptop.
However, if you won’t need to do much typing and instead will mostly need to read, a tablet would be adequate and easier to carry than a laptop. I recently relied on just a tablet during a vacation and was able to look up hotels when I missed a flight and even check in on a course in which I was participating. Tablets are great for playing games on, too, since they offer more screen real estate than do their smartphone cousins.
What? A standalone GPS? Why tote one when I have my smartphone? Well, there are several reasons why it’s worth considering. First, the GPS function drains smartphone batteries, so using it extensively could force you to constantly charge your phone or risk being without it. Using a dedicated GPS will spare your phone’s battery while likely allowing you to enjoy a better battery life for activities where a GPS is necessary. Plus if you plan on doing any hiking a GPS unit could be useful for navigating the terrain.
Bringing an e-Ink e-reader like Amazon’s Kindle could be useful in numerous ways. Obviously, you could carry several books to read for entertainment. But an e-reader can be useful to the traveller in other ways. For example, you can also load it up with travel guides, which are usually big and cumbersome in paper form. Furthermore, you can put useful documents on it. I’ve put medical reference and insurance documents on my e-reader during my travels, Of course, you could do this with a tablet, too, but e-ink e-readers are easier on the eyes than is a laptop or tablet screen and they offer very long battery life.
While your smartphone has an adequate camera, you’d be loath to rely solely on it to take your travel photos. Smartphone cameras aren’t known for taking high-quality pictures and are slow. A good point-and-shoot would still fit in your pocket or bag and allow for better quality pictures. Or you could opt for a Nikon or Canon digital SLR that would take the best quality pictures and be able to to do so rapidly.
Don’t Even Think About Traveling Without These Gadgets!
So why trek without tech? Don’t let anything from put a damper on your wanderlust! Bringing along these five devices will help you be able to navigate the potential minefields that have hindered many a globetrotter by providing useful information and letting you make arrangements while on the go.