With recent media discussions about travel bans on technology inside the cabin on various middle eastern flights (you can see it all over most news sites) with airlines suggesting maybe people just leave their tech at home, I decided now is the time to reflect on what technology means to me when I travel.
Despite being a massive tech geek I tend to live light and make the most out of my tech so no fancy stuff here.
As with most people I cannot leave home to go anywhere without my mobile phone but this is about where it ends for me. Most trips away I try to pack light so I don’t have a lot to carry around so I generally leave the camera at home and rely on my mobile for any shots I want to take.
I have an iPhone 8 with lots of storage and except for long distance shots it does the job quite well with photos and even videos.
Unfortunately I just get very frustrated if I have to do something and only have my phone. Things like booking flights or changing flights or finding a hotel, I would much prefer to use my laptop.
My last few trips have been increasingly frustrating with juggling multiple international sim cards so I have opted to setup roaming packages with my provider, Telstra. While the data is a little limiting it is nice to have unlimited calling back home without worrying about credit running out. While it does sometimes look expensive at the offset I have found myself topping up credit on my international sims several times a week spending $100+ so the cost of roaming isn’t that bad in comparison. Just be sure if you opt for this to setup any deals your telco has before you use your service as without this it can get really expensive, especially for data use with some carriers charging upwards of $10 per MB. With the includes packs you get about 300mb to use in 7 days but it’s only 0.03c per mb after that so not so bad.
As far as apps go I use Google Maps a lot for navigating around, sometimes Apple Maps, I really haven’t picked a favourite. If I have a hire car I will often use either of these as my GPS rather than hiring one. I use Dropbox to backup my photos. If I am overseas I try to find fast wifi to do this so I don’t use up my data plan. I also tend to post of Facebook, Twitter and WeChat regularly for my friends and family back home. Sadly not everyone is on the same platforms so there’s always lots of repetitive posting of things.
My laptop generally comes everywhere with me. It’s an Apple Macbook Pro 13″ with Touch Bar, so it’s nice and light and easy to fit in my backpack. It doesn’t always come on short haul trips within Australia but if I am going overseas it is always packed. I generally load up some movies or TV shows I need to catch up on so I have something to do if I get stuck down in my hotel room. It also gets pulled out if I need to do any web browsing that just can’t be done on a mobile screen.
If I really know I am going to be taking shots of something that I can’t trust my mobile for I might pack my camera. I have a Canon SX60HS. While I am far from a photographic genius I still manage to get great shots without much skill and being a superzoom camera it is great for taking shots of things without being up close. Because it is bulky and I am often worried about it being damaged in transit I don’t often take it overseas. It’s also difficult taking long distance shots and especially video without a tripod and this really isn’t practical to take on an international flight. I’m honestly not much of a photographer so this is low on my priority list on most trips.
Cables Cables Cables
The worst part of travel is having to take cables, adapters etc with you. Thankfully the Apple devices I have are easy to pack for with small charger cables that can easily fit in a side pocket of my backpack. I generally don’t take any dongles or cables for anything else as I have never really found a use for it. I’m going on holidays not to try and sit down to edit photos or video or whatever.
What Do You Travel With?
I’d love to hear in the comments below what you take with you when you travel and how you use it.