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Posted on Nov 5, 2013 | 18 comments

Travel Tips: Traveling with Technology

Travel Tips: Traveling with Technology

When traveling the question of what kinds of technology are best for you to take with you, usually comes up. What kinds of technology and how much to take with you has changed over the years. With the disappearance of the likes of internet cafes and the rise of WIFI hotspots travelers are beginning to look at traveling with technology in a whole new light.

What Technology Should You Take Traveling?

Traveling with Technology

Smart phones and tablets or laptops are musts for traveling.

  • Laptop or tablet:  Both of these are great for staying connected, backing up photos, and being able to look up information on the area you are visiting. If you do not need a laptop to work from the road, blog, or edit photos, a tablet is more than enough while you travel. Keep the laptop under 1kg with a screen no bigger than 13”. You’ll want the battery life to last at least 5-6 hours. Even better if it lasts longer for overnight bus rides, trains, or international flights. Make sure it’s sturdy enough to hold up to travel and won’t break easily when knocked around. At the very least get 128GB of storage. More is always better, when it comes to storage space. Especially when you consider all of those pictures you will be uploading from your travels!
  • Unlocked Smart Phone:  With an unlocked phone, you can use pre-paid SIM cards that you pick up along your travels. Those pre-paid SIM cards will give you much cheaper calling and data rates than having a plan back home. You don’t want to have to pay for overseas and roaming calls or data usage. Having a Smart Phone has become an essential piece of travel technology with its camera, apps, and internet access. Just remember, NEVER use a Smart Phone connected to a mobile plan back home or you could be charged thousands of dollars in as little as a week.
  • Backup Storage:  You do not want to lose your photographs to all of the amazing places you have been to on your travels. Too many don’t back up their data only to have their hard drive fail or for something to be stolen. When you copy photos to your computer, each day, also upload them to an on-line storage space (e.g. iCloud, Crashplan, Google), as well as a portable hard drive. Having your data in three different places will help you to not lose all of your digital memories.
Traveling with Technology

What kind of camera and backup storage you travel with is a personal preference.

  • Camera:  What kind of camera you bring on your travels is a personal decision. Some want a more upscale camera with attachable lenses while others just want a point and shoot. It’s really a personal preference of your skill, ability, and what kind of pictures you are capable of taking. Regardless of what kind of camera you are comfortable with, just make sure you have fun. Don’t forget plenty of memory cards and batteries needed to go along with your camera. We highly recommend Canon for both DSLR and point and shoot cameras. We love how easy they are to use and the picture quality of Canon’s cameras. Both of our DSLR and point and shoot cameras are Canon.

Before you leave to travel, make sure you have a laptop or tablet, unlocked smart phone, backup storage, and camera. You won’t want to leave home without these important tools to help you remember your travels better once you get home and keep you connected with others.

Is there anything else you would recommend for traveling with technology?

All photography by Kimmy Hayes © 2013.

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About Kimmy Hayes

Kimmy Hayes is the founder and editor-in-chief of AfterGlobe; a site on becoming debt free and traveling the world as a married couple. In 2012, she planned and coordinated her own do-it-yourself destination wedding on the beautiful island of Maui while serving as a moderator for the on-line community, The Knot. She is passionate about traveling to experience new cultures, snorkeling the waters of the world and reading with her toes in the sand.


  1. Nice write-up! I got my MacBook, unlocked iPhone and Canon DSLR. On my wishlist right now is to trade in my MacBook for a MacBook Air — it’s always a good thing when I can lighten the weight of my luggage! I back up in my external hard drive, but I really should look into using cloud storage more extensively (I mainly use it for sharing files now).
    Deia @NomadWallet recently posted…Get Free Lessons from the World’s Best College Professors as You TravelMy Profile

    • We are looking into getting a MacBook Air once my netbook finally die. Knock on wood it doesn’t happen in the next 6 months.
      Kimmy Hayes recently posted…Recipe: Hurricane PopcornMy Profile

  2. Awesome post!

    You hit right on the nose with making sure to bring a unlocked cell phone. It is amazing how much money you can save by buying a SIM card in the country you are in VS using your own country provider. Also a lot of countries offer a ton of welcome data bonuses! Data is the thing I need the most when traveling!
    Kevin recently posted…Oink Edinburgh Hog Roast is to Die For!My Profile

  3. These are all great tips. On my last trip I took a laptop, cellphone (not smartphone unfortunately, but I did have an iPod Touch) and a camera. Unfortunately my laptop broke on my trip (I accidentally pushed it off my hotel bed), but luckily I had put all my photos on a flashdrive.
    Alouise recently posted…My Feelings on OttawaMy Profile

  4. I would recommend an eReader, the e-ink kind. Even the smaller ones can carry about a thousand books, you never have to worry about losing your place, and they weigh next to nothing.

    As for cameras, I took a micro 4/3 with two lenses on my last trip. I found it to be easier both weight and size wise to carry around than a full size dslr, but with the same great pictures. Next time however, I’ll be taking a point and shoot as well, something I’ve done in the past when I had my dslr with me. There are some days you don’t want that extra bag to carry (or the concern of losing it), and a point and shoot can easily fit in a pocket, will be barely noticeable, but will come in handy when the inevitable picture opportunity comes along.

  5. Great overview! Just wondering what sort of back-up system you actually use. I’ve been traveling in SE Asia for two months now and have almost 300GB of photos saved on my computer (ack!). All of the cloud storage I’ve looked at is sooo expensive if you want anything sizable. Would love a recommendation as keeping all my photos on my laptop is getting scary!
    Ashley vonClausburg recently posted…Learning to Drive a Scooter in Laos might be a Terrible IdeaMy Profile

    • Thanks, Ashley. For now, I use a Seagate portable hard drive, as well as dropbox and Google for on-line storage. My friends who are professional photographs use smugmug for there on-line storage.
      Kimmy Hayes recently posted…A Day in the Columbia Gorge, Oregon- Part 1My Profile

  6. Photographs make your travel unforgettable forever. You can view them anytime you want. Technology has made everything easier and exciting.

  7. Did you purchase any insurance for your electronics?

      • Got it! I thought you guys were already on your long-term trip. We have been looking at World Nomad, but they have pretty conservative limits on electronic coverage. We are also looking into State Farm but we dont have the most helpful agent.

  8. wow.. great tips. now i can assure that every time i go travel i make sure to keep safe my gadgets and making me hassle of bringing lots of gadgets.thanks for the tips

  9. Good tech tips for travel.
    Last year (2013) my fiancee and I travelled Europe for 13weeks, seeing 15 countries, majority by train. The tech we took were a Macbook Air, unlocked iPhone, iPad and external hard drive.
    -> Mac Air was great as it was light & compact, and allowed for downloading photos for external backup, and emailing high quality photos.
    -> the unlocked iPhone enabled me to purchase prepaid SIM cards from various countries for local and international phone calls and also data use for local info.
    -> before we left Australia I downloaded about 12 travel books (mainly Rick Steves) and other general reading books. This was invaluable for weight saving as not taking all those physical books. The iPad virtually stayed in my daypack and we used it for info, and also actioning self guided tours. We saw heaps of people with physical books and thought of all the extra weight they must be carrying.
    -> the external drive was a Lacie 256GB SSD (solid state drive) thus no moving parts. A good idea for backpacking as it handles the knocks a lot more than a normal hard drive. It allowed me to back up all my DSLR photos and all my GoPro video for the entire trip with still plenty of room left.

    I noticed Danielle’s query on insurance. We got travel insurance through American Express. On my research they had the best cover for my tech stuff. Yea they may be a little expensive (not the most though), but they covered more than virtually all others, and where others included things as “extra costs”.

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