Saturday, July 16, 2011

Traveling with gadgets: To carry or not to carry?

Photo Credit: taroplus
Nowadays, when we all go on a vacation, we carry all kinds of gadgets: Phones to portable game consoles and tablets, cameras to whatever. And probably everyone knows the feeling of realizing that they have forgotten their camera charger at home. There, vacation ruined just like that.

When traveling with gadgets, there are a lot of things to remember. This article is a guide to remind you, right before a vacation, what you should probably be packing right now. Use it as a checklist!

Back Up

If you're carrying a notebook computer or something like that, be sure to BACK UP! Even if you swear to keep it in your sight at all times, you must back up. Accidents and thefts are unpredictable. Your data on your computer is irreplaceable and you know it.

The best thing to do is to use Dropbox and let things synchronize on their own all the time. I use the free version and back digital photos onto an external hard drive that is safely tucked away in a corner of my apartment.

If by any chance you do not have the habit of backing up, go get an external hard drive (cheap on Amazon) and use Windows' built-in backup features (or another good program for other OSes).

Take as Few Devices as Possible

It's a decade into the new millennium already. The odds are that you have a phone that can replace most of your gadgets. If you have a good camera on your phone, you might choose to leave your camera behind. Also, your phone is also a great music player. Forget your iPod, Walkman, Zune (ahem) or whatever back at home.

Take as few gadgets as possible. You will have to carry less weight on yourself.


Remember to charge your devices before your leave. It is okay to charge a lithium-ion battery even if it has not fully depleted. Make sure your phone has enough juice. I'd recommend to make sure your camera is charged to the max before you step out of your house. There's nothing worse than leaving for a vacation and realizing that your camera is dead for the day before you reach there. Also, remember to charge your camera on every day of your holidays, even though you haven't used it a lot on a particular day.

Remember the Cables

Make a checklist of all the cables you will need for your devices well before you leave. Remember to carry all the chargers, USB cables, if any and other kinds of cables that you might require. You own your gadgets. You should know.

Game Discs

Photo Credit: joo0ey
If you are on a vacation, I'll not suggest carrying video games. You are going out to relax and experience something new. If you wanted to play games anyway, you could have stayed home.

Nevertheless, many people like to play games when on vacation anyway. If you are one of them, be sure to carry the game discs. Don't just pack boxes, check if they actually contain the discs.

Some Other Things to Take

Here are a few things I suggest you should consider carrying on vacations. Some of them are no-brainers, but some are commonly overlooked.

Travel Adapter

Yes, a no-brainer. But this article is meant to act like a checklist for you. Remember to take one. Also, make sure you know the kind of power outlets used at your destination if you are traveling to another country.

I suggest carrying at least two travel adapters. You can find good ones over at Amazon.

Laptop Lock

This is something that might be overlooked by many. A laptop lock is particularly useful if you are traveling alone. You might need to leave your laptop somewhere at the airport when using the restroom. You can use such a lock to attach your laptop to a heavy table or something similar.

Again, you can find several on Amazon.

Network Cables

You should always have at least a foot long Ethernet cable at hand when traveling. You might need it if your hotel has wired Internet access but a missing cable. Who knows what else you might need it for. You may need to hack into an alien spaceship!

Amazon has network cables too.

Wireless Router

Since most routers are heavy, I won't suggest you to carry one all the time. But if you have your own router, you can share a wired Internet connection in a hotel with people traveling with you. I recommend you check what kind of Internet access your hotel provides beforehand.


The items in this list are mere suggestions. You can decide what sort of a vacation you'd like to have and pack accordingly. If you have something to add to this list, be sure to post a comment below (you can do so anonymously too). Every one of the comments will be read.