Our chosen electronic gear and gadgets for travel around the world.
Twenty-five years ago, when I was preparing to make the first of several cross-country road trips in search of resort jobs and great snow, connectivity consisted of a working CB radio and pocket full of quarters for pay-phones.
As nice as it was to live somewhat off the grid, connect with others on my own terms, and not have every move documented by social media, the ability to stay connected in today’s world is probably the biggest reason we can take this extended family trip.
As we gather the gear and gadgets for our current adventure, our daughters probably couldn’t identify a CB Radio or pay phone if they saw one. The basic laptops they are carrying are probably more powerful than those most adults had not too long ago. It will be fun to see how much things change when the time comes for the girls to head out on adventures of their own.
Following is a listing of the items we carried over the course of our year-long around-the-world adventure.
The items listed are those we have researched and chosen to purchase for our journey.
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Yes, we did each have our own laptop. Some think it’s overkill, but if everyone can work at the same time, we can all be more productive. We may even avoid a daily fight over “who’s turn it is”. The girls could work on their schoolwork and write stories about our adventures while we did our daily jobs.
The girls Kindles were pre-loaded with books and then we downloaded additional as needed.
The Polaroid style cameras provided another way to interact with local kids. As Angela & Emily meet new friends around the world, they left group photos behind. They will also have our old iPhones which can be used as their own digital cameras. (We plan to share the old iphones from time to time, and load them with a local sim card depending on our location)
Angela VI and Emily’s computers are basic machines, a little over three pounds each, light enough to carry in the backpacks. They have webcams so they can Skype with their friends back home, and basic word processing software.
For mom & Dad, The Dell XPS laptops are compact, lightweight, powerful little machines. They aren’t MacBook Pros, however, for our needs, there isn’t enough of a noticeable difference, and we basically have two great lightweight machines for the price of one MacBook Pro.
Photography has been a hobby since High School, and as interesting in some of the new mirrorless cameras are, I’m not ready to give up the SLR yet. I’m also a big believer in being comfortable with your equipment before you take a big trip, and we’ve got plenty other things to focus on rather than learning how to shoot with a new camera.
The Cannon 6D Mark ii is Cannon’s entry level full frame camera, it takes a great picture as well as video. The Drone was a Christmas present this past year; really looking forward to getting some great aerial footage in some of the more remote areas we’ll be visiting.
We have the portable hard drive to back up our photos and video along the way. When filled, we sent the drive home and replace it with a new one.
Wifi access was probably be the biggest factor in how successful we were be in keeping up with our work while we are traveling. Of all of our long term travel electronic gear and gadgets, the hotspot was the one we relied upon the most to stay connected. With a strong connection, outside of manage the time differences, most of our job tasks were be unaffected. After hours of research on how best to stay in touch with both clients and friends back home, we purchased a GlocalME 3G Hotspot an extended test. A few of the worldwide hotspots were interesting – there is a Skyroam Solis and a TEP Wireless we also seriously considered, however, we’ve chosen this particular one for its unlimited yearly global access plan and ability to take local sim cards.
With the Glocalme Global data, we had internet access in most places there was cell coverage as soon as we stepped off a plane. Anytime we spent extended time in a country, we purchased a local sim card, and switched back and forth between our Global plan or local plan based on network speed and available data. By using a traveling wifi hotspot instead of continuously replacing our cell phone sim cards, we’ll be able to keep our local numbers and make calls over wifi. All wifi options we considered are priced significantly lower than the $10/day international Verizon plan. We did tap into that as an emergency backup, but only once as a last resort.
The BUBM Cord organizers are great to keep all the cables and chargers organized and in one place. The girls can store their computer mouse, laptop cords & charger, iphone cable, Kindle & charger cable, their Polaroid style cameras all neatly in the soft protected pouch. As we move from place to place, we can check to make sure the slots are filled the same way each time. Empty place = missing cord/cable. We just have to get everyone in the habit of putting the cords back in their place…. a never ending battle for just about everything in our house…