Electronics for Travel
Take Your Techie Stuff With You
But Only If You'll Use It

We travel light, with only carry-on luggage, but more often now, electronics for travel are almost always tucked into a corner of a suitcase. I'm not talking curling iron and razor here.... I'm talking about some of the techie stuff.

The old cameras and film have gone into the closet to be replaced by digital cameras... both still and video depending on where were going. The short videos you can take on digital cameras are fine for some things, but there are times it's nice to have a video camera. We loved having one in Madagascar to film the lemurs jumping around in the trees and "dancing" along the ground.

If you're taking either, be sure you have enough memory cards and cassettes. You can probably get additional memory cards anywhere in the world, but they may be expensive.

We've been pleasantly surprised where we could get batteries and video cards... even in the most remote of areas. Where there are tourists, there are people willing to sell them what they need!

We often take a laptop computer now. It's easier than ever to get connections in hotels and cafes. Keeping it charged hasn't been a problem... even in areas like the Pantanal in Brazil, our lodge ran a generator in the evening that charged the computer (and the video camera) just fine.

You have to use your judgment on whether to carry your laptop or not... even the smallest of laptops are heavy to carry around. Will you need to worry about keeping it safe?

Knowing we would have limited internet access, we left it home on that Madagascar trip. Also because we knew the roads would be rough and there would be a lot of dirt. Better not to have to deal with it in that case.

We did take it to Hungary and used it on the hydrofoil to Slovakia.

On the hydrofoil Budapest to Bratislava - Using the laptop

Your mobile phone may take some planning. Different formats are used in the U.S. and the rest of the world. If you have an American cell phone that will work overseas, those minutes may be expensive. It might be worth your while to buy an inexpensive phone on arrival. If you did opt to take your laptop, there is always VoIP like Skype and Google Talk, and new developments all the time.

If you take a hand held wireless device, like the iPhone, you want to be careful about the roaming charges. You might want to disable the data-roaming feature, and check your e-mail at public WiFi spots to save money.

We have had European friends visit us who brought their GPS with them. They preferred this to renting a GPS from the rental car company for several reasons... it was cheaper, they knew how to use it, and it was in their native language, not English. We still prefer road maps ourselves, but there are good arguments for including a GPS as one of the electronics for travel.

Remember to take all the appropriate adaptor plugs so you can keep everything charged. No use to have electronics for travel if you can't plug them in!

Weigh the advantages and disadvantages for your trip, but we think you'll find that you too will be carrying more electronics for travel.

Happy travels... even if you don't travel the world... just remember that life is a journey... embrace and enjoy it!   Judy and Mark

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