Travel gadgets Packing light while staying connected

first_imgIt’s almost July and travel season is upon us, which means that many of us will be packing our bags, charging our gadgets, and shipping off for a few days. Whether you are going near or far you’ll probably want to pack some of you electronic necessities so that you can have some twenty-first century comforts and conveniences and you can stay connected, if you’d like.Throwing all your stuff in a suitcase is easy enough but, this being the summer time, you probably want to pack light–especially if you are going some place warm or you’d like to avoid checking a bag. In this gadget travel guide we’ll run through my choice of gear for having a sufficient amount of technology when you on traveling without going over your airline’s ever-decreasing baggage weight restriction.AdChoices广告Canon S95For most people a camera is the single most important piece of gear they will take with them. For my trips I leave my bulky DSLR and its lenses at home and opt for a Canon S95. This high-end compact camera offers excellent image quality thanks to a large sensor, can record HD video, and has tons of controls, but still manages to be small enough to fit in any pocket. And at 6.8 oz it doesn’t weigh me down either. The S95 is easy to use and is quite discrete which is a major bonus if you are going to another country. The main trade off is that zoom is limited to just 3x so you’ll lose out on long shots.iPad 2 – 16GB WiFiNot sure about everyone else, but when I leave my home I still want some way to stay connected to my email and other online activities. In the past I’ve always brought a laptop with me, but this time I’m taking my iPad 2. When I’m away I’ll need a way to check my email, travel notes, and maps, but I won’t need (or want to) type a lot, so the iPad is a great fit. I try to stay at hotels with WiFi so it’s not a problem to have the WiFi version as opposed to the AT&T’s 3G one. At 1.33 pounds the iPad is quite light and it’s slim enough to fit in any bag. With a great app selection, Kindle books, and lots of games I’m sure the iPad will be a big hit on any trip.(By the way- I have an iPad 2, but your preference of tablet would work just as well. Something like the Galaxy Tab 10.1 would be a fine choice if that’s more to your liking.)iPad Camera Connection KitThe iPad 2, sadly, has neither an SD card slot nor a USB slot so getting it to play with other devices can be a challenge. I picked up the $29 iPad Camera Connection Kit so that I could transfer images to my iPad where I can a) store a backup copy b) remove bad shots c) do some light editing with Nik Software’s SnapSeed. Going through my photos on the flight home has become a bit of a travel ritual of mine, and doing that on the iPad will be much better then doing the same thing on my camera’s LCD.Overall, I wasn’t thrilled to spend $29 on an SD card reader, but it works well and I’ll get enough use of out if that I think it was worth the purchase.iPhone 4 (or similar smartphone)If you are travelling I’d highly recommend packing a GSM-equipped, app-enabled, smartphone. The iPhone 4 fits the bill (though the micro SIM can be an issue), but any “world phone” or GSM Android smartphone would work as well. The main point is that you have a small device that packs a good camera, a WiFi-device for research, and something for emergency communications.One of the keys for traveling with a smartphone is getting the right apps. In addition to the obvious travel guides, a smart choice is something like OffMaps, which allows you to download highly details maps and save them to your device which means you can access them without a data package.Bad Elf GPSThis is one for the GPS geeks out there, but I’ll be excited to pack it. This tiny GPS receiver plugs into any iOS device and gives it a very good GPS connection. It will give a WiFi iPad a GPS signal (it doesn’t have a GPS chip on-board) and it will mean that an iPhone in Airplane Mode will have GPS access as well. I’ll use this to figure out where the heck I am (in combination with OpenMaps) and to record tracks so I can geotag my photos once I get home.Outlet adapterAfter a few trips to countries with 220V outlets I’ve found that I don’t generally need a full-on outlet converter, but an adapter is one of the most useful pieces of gear I take with me. Most laptops–and the iPad–have a 120-220V power adapter so you don’t need anything more than the adapter in order to power up. This is just about the best dollar you’ll spend when trying to bring your gear overseas (depending on where you are going)Also Consider:Micro Four Thirds cameraThis is a nice middle ground between and DSLR and a point-and-shoot, but with the S95 I think I’m set. If I wanted to take more printable shots or needed more range, this would be my go-to.Seagate GoFlex Satellite wireless hard driveThis is a great way to give your iPad 500GB of wireless storage, but I just don’t need that much. If you are a video or music fiend than this something that could come in quite handy.What to leave home when traveling light:DSLR (plus lenses and camera bag)LaptopNintendo 3DS (or other portable gaming system)So that’s my list, plus a few other things to consider (or not consider, as the case may be). Anything you ditch when traveling light? Anything you absolutely need when away from home?last_img read more