The night before a big trip can usually be described as an electronic cluster-bunch of outlet abuse that culminates in a blown fuse or power surge. Travel and gadgets go hand-in-hand now the same way travel and hitchhiking did before the world got weird. At least, that’s what the Baby Boomers tell me.
The idea of going overseas, or even over state lines, without every piece of technology we own is terrifying. Every carry-on bag that enters an airport terminal these days is full of gadgets and gear because nobody wants to be anything less than 007-esque. Here are the top 6 must-have gadgets for international travel:
1) Canon PowerShotS120: Unless you’re a professional photographer on assignment, you’re going to want to pack your photography power in a tiny amount of space. You may think you’re going to take hundreds of gorgeous, well-planned photos with your ten-pound camera and tripod, but you’re not. You’re going to be tucking this baby into your shirt so you can take clandestine photos in no-pictures-please museums and snapping drunken “look at my new best friend” photos at the pub. Trust me on this one.
2) MacBook Air OR iPad Mini: The MacBook Air is ultra-lightweight, packs a decent amount of memory, and won’t make your right shoulder sag two inches below the left after three hours of standing in security lines. The iPad Mini practically fits in your pocket or, at the very lest, tucks away into any carry-on without taking away valuable candy bar space. Depending on what you’re using your computing power for, you’ll have to choose between the laptop and the tablet. Don’t bring both. You’ll regret it.
3) OrigAudio JuiceBox External Battery: What good are your electronics if they’re dead as a doornail? You may have to wait hours to get in on some outlet action at that hostel you’re staying at, so do yourself a favor and have a backup plan for when Mom calls wondering why you haven’t checked in for over 38 minutes and your battery is at 3% (DEVASTATING). This external battery pack is so tiny you won’t even know it’s in your bag and lasts for hours and hours of sweet, sweet charge. Most importantly, it won’t break the bank.
4) Apple AirPort Express: This little guy is the answer to your Wifi prayers. The AirPort Express extends a Wifi hotspot or creates your own, because competing with the sixteen-year-old Nintendo 3DS junkie for bandwidth isn’t fair when you’re just trying to access your email. Just plug this bad boy in and you’re on the internet within minutes. The gods of the internet took pity on us with this one.
5) SteriPEN Traveler: Frankly, anywhere that isn’t home soil should be under suspicion for questionable drinking water. We’ve all heard way too many horror stories about folks who just asked for ice in their soda at that cute little Parisian café, only to find out later that not even the ice can be trusted. The SteriPen kills bacteria and pathogens with ultraviolet light in less than a minute and costs under seventy dollars. Best investment ever?
6) Philips Inear Sportbuds: These guys are water resistant. You never know when a leisurely fairy ride will turn into a remake of “The Perfect Storm”. Better safe than sorry.