Travelling with Technology

Wondering what to take on the road when it has to do with electronics? You are not the only one. Long gone are the days where a cassette player and movie camera were the height of traveling gadgetry. Walking to a hostel common room today, you would be forgiven for thinking you’d inadvertently stumbled into the local electronics shop. You are likely to be surrounded by notebooks and tablet computers, smartphones and DSLRs, and much more softly glowing Apple logos than you can shake a stick at.

With the slow disappearance of Internet cafes in favor of Wi-Fi hotspots, a notebook is definitely worth considering. It’s the simplest way of staying in touch, backing up photos, and wasting time. Don’t buy anything bigger than a 13″ screen or that weighs considerably over 1kg, and much less is definitely better. Think about the size and weight of the power adapter also. Those things can be enormous!

Buy something that will not fall to bits the first time it has knocked on your bag. Get a protective sleeve to prevent scratches and cushion minor bumps, and read the testimonials of its durability.

Battery life
5 or six hours is the minimum, 8+ is significantly better if you intend to take long overnight trains or buses.

Storage space
Do not skimp on the amount of storage you have. 128Gb is in fact the minimum, and much more is far better. All those photos and downloaded pictures take up more space than you think! Buy an online cloud management system to save all your precious memories on.

SD card slot
It is not an absolute must, but using an SD card slot built into your notebook is extremely handy. Assuming your camera uses SD cards (most do), an integrated card reader makes copying your images super simple. All you do is insert the card and move!

The less you spend, the more cash you need to spend overseas, right? And of course that the computer will be cheaper to insure and replace and less of a target for theft. Do not spend much over $1000. If your budget does not stretch that far or your needs are more basic, you might go to get a tablet instead. Older technology such as netbooks could also do the job, though they’re becoming increasingly tough to discover.

There is a lot to be said for picking a tablet if your primary use is consumption (i.e., reading webpages, books, and mails, or watching movies) instead of production (writing, editing video, etc.). Again, select one with tons of storage (either built-in or through microSD card).

To back up your photos, both Apple and Android devices allow you to plug in an external SD card reader, so select one of these up as well. In case you have absolutely no other option, you may even use the camera onto your tablet to have that must-have shot. Just be aware you will look rather silly doing this.