Note: This post originally appeared in the Fundamentals of Travel Blogging course, as part of Travel Blog Success membership. We decided to share it publicly since these tips can help every travel blogger.
As travel bloggers, we’re a little bit technology dependent. We shoot, capture, collect and store a huge amount of data to share our stories with our blog readers. The technology we use to support our work is crucial to success; it’s hard to be a blogger without technology nowadays!
Technology continues to improve in quality and decrease in size and cost. This is increasingly affecting the way we travel – and the way we share our stories from the road:
- Backpackers are using laptops in hostel common rooms just like at local cafes back home.
- Amateur photographers carry point-and-shoot digital cameras, along with DSLR’s, multiple lenses, and tripods.
- Portable USB flash drives allow you to use your personal Internet browser and favorite software from most computers in the world.
- Global cellular networks allow you to delve into the back streets of foreign cities with the knowledge that you can always extricate yourself with a quick check of Google Maps.
When considering which technology you want to invest in and travel with, consider the following:
- Your budget.
- The length of your trip.
- Whether the item may be significantly cheaper at your destination.
- The type of content you want to present on your travel blog (writing, photos, video).
- How connected, or disconnected, you want to be.
- Your tendency to accidentally lose or break things… it happens to the best of us, and you may want to look into insurance to protect your gear!
Let’s dive into some of our top recommended tech for travel.
The Perfect Laptop for Travel
We won’t get into the debate of Mac versus Windows, but the numbers don’t lie: the MacBook Air is by far one of the most popular computers for travel. It’s got great capability in terms of processor speed but is also super-light and slim in your bag.
Don’t forget to invest in accessories to protect your computer while traveling, such as a case or sleeve.
Choosing a Mobile Phone for Travel
Whether you’re a loyal Apple iPhone user, or prone to the growing prowess of Samsung, the value of carrying a smartphone on your next trip continues to grow as more and more useful applications are developed.
Staying in touch with family and friends at home via Skype, and your personal network and blog’s readers via social media, are also reasons to carry one.
Picking a Camera for Travel Photos and Video
We previously wrote about how you should choose your video camera based on the type of travel and videos you plan to shoot. The same goes for travel photography. If you plan to shoot landscapes and scenery, you may invest in a DSLR and additional high-powered lenses; if you want to go cliff and scuba diving, you may need something a little sturdier.
Here are some tips to help you choose the right camera(s) for your travels:
Managing Data Storage for Travel
After writing blog posts, shooting video and photos, and sharing it with the world, you’re going to have a lot of data to store… somewhere. In addition to cloud-based storage like Google Drive or Dropbox (which can be super slow on wi-fi), here are some physical storage options.
SD Memory Cards
Many travelers carry SD (and micro SD) memory cards when they travel. The best benefit of these is their small physical size but huge memory capabilities.
Memory cards are sold basically everywhere, including local pharmacies in countries like the U.S. or U.K. You can also snag great ones on Amazon. For less than $50, you can get 128GB of storage with a SanDisk Micro SD card. That said, bigger isn’t always better – if you lose a large micro SD while traveling, you’ll lose everything. Maybe split your backups onto a few smaller SD cards instead.
USB Flash Drives
USB flash drives may be the most underrated – and well-priced – piece of technology you can take abroad.
Many people realize they are good for storing files, such as documents, photos, and music; you can also run software off of them! This can be a huge time saver when it comes to accessing the Internet via cafes and slow wi-fi. SanDisk makes a super popular 64GB USB flash drive, or you can invest in this G-TING 32GB USB flash drive that can also plug right into your smartphone.
External Hard Drives
An external hard drive (like the Seagate Expansion 1TB Portable External Hard Drive) can be a great way to store all your data and backup your computer too. The downside is the cost and extra weight, though this is improving over time.
Don’t forget to back-up your backup regularly, in the case of theft or damage.
Other Tech You Might Need While Traveling
There are still other small pieces of technology you might want to pack for your trip, depending on your itinerary. These could include:
- A Headlamp – Petzl offers a wide range of headlamp options, including the PIXA 3 Pro Headlamp.
- A Trekking or Dive Watch – Dave recommends the Casio Pathfinder if you’re looking for a high-performance watch while traveling.
- Power Adapters/Converters – There are loads of great adapters and converters out there. For adapters, consider the CoolTech All-in-One Power Plug.
- Extra Batteries and Cords – This will depend on the tech you’re already bringing, but make sure you pack everything you need!
What Other Travel Bloggers are Packing
Here are some of our favorite packing lists from fellow successful bloggers:
What did we miss? Share in the comments to help fellow travelers.