I’ve been traveling through North America for just over two weeks. Although I was well prepared as I had tested my equipment on a previous trip in Italy, I still managed to find some aspects to improve. I would like to share this experience with you.
Before you head out for your trip, give yourself at least a week to acquire everything you will need to take with you.
If there is something you still need to buy, do so immediately.
Put whatever you decide to take into a box and pack all of it, don’t toss anything away at the last minute unless you’re 100% sure that you won’t need it.
What To Take
Think of devices and their accessories, such as batteries, chargers, adaptors, cables, memory cards etc.
Also, take some extra digital storage space with you, so that you can backup photos and videos. This could be a USB stick, a small hard drive or an additional memory card.
Definitely bring a card reader!
If you don’t want to rely on a computer for charging your devices, get a USB-to-power plug adaptor and actually take it with you. Depending on where you go, you may also need a power plug adaptor.
Make sure you have all your login information with you. It can be easy to forget URLs, usernames and passwords when it’s all saved on your local computer. Creating a USB stick with portable software (e.g. Firefox and/or Thunderbird) may also be a good idea and make you a bit more independent, in case you’re not taking your laptop. Aibek created a list of 100 Portable Apps for your USB Stick (Windows and Mac).
On The Road
If you decided to bring your computer, you will have little trouble finding internet access. Across Northern America and Europe, lots of places offer free or very cheap WiFi. Even most hostels offer it now.
David wrote an article compiling 5 Wi-Fi Hotspot Finders To Find Free Wi-Fi Spots Near You. You might want to make use of these tools before you head out onto the road, though.
If you don’t bring your laptop, you will have to hunt down the best and cheapest options to go online. In North America, I found that libraries are always a good bet. They offer high speed internet on very well maintained compuers. Many towns libraries offer free 15-minute internet and you can sign up as a one time patron to receive 1 hour of free internet. In Europe, Internet Cafes are a standard and you may try libraries as well.
When coming back from a trip, everyone will ask you what it was like. Now, it can be not only tiring but also quite time consuming to share your stories with everyone individually. You should consider sharing your experiences while you’re on the road.
What is working very well for me is Flickr. I use it as a sort of low maintenance blog. I upload my photos, add a title and use the description to share what I’ve been doing. To keep it all a bit more organized, I created a set. So after I upload and describe the photos, I add them to the set, where I can also define the order in which I want them to be viewed. This is my “Flickr Travel Diary“.
You can also upload videos to Flickr. I set up a YouTube channel to collect my videos. But what you do is up to you.
What did you find useful to stay charged and connected while traveling? Your input on the matter is very much appreciated!