Packing Tips – Technology

So this is one of my favourite bits – being the tech geek that I am.

However, I’m not a travel blogger, when I’m on holiday, I’m on holiday – I don’t want to work.

Everything in this list is what I take with me.

Remember to adjust this list, based on your own requirements.

As you can guess, all of this is packed in my hand luggage – for security and my peace of mind.

Electronics

Reminder: Make sure that all of your electronics are charged up before you leave home – not only to get the longest use out of them, but security might ask you to turn them on (proof that they are not being used for concealment).

Mobile Phone

I don’t think that there are many people who don’t have a phone today.

You can use it to store a lot of information – about your trip.

It can also be used for entertainment (music, video, book, games).

Tip – Check to see what can be stored/accessed offline – as you might not have a WIFI connection available.

You can take photo’s of information as a backup as well,

Tablet

There are a number of games that I play regularly, and there’s no reason not to continue playing.

I can also add films or TV episodes which can be watched without an internet connection.

You can also read books/documents as well as write/create things.

Note: Whatever you want to do while on the plane – remember most of them (still) want you to turn on ‘Airplane Mode’ if you’re not connecting to their WIFI. Therefore everything needs to work disconnected.

If you’re not sure – check before you fly – simply switch on Airplane Mode at home and test the app.

eBook Reader/Kindle

You may be wondering why, with the other two devices I carry a third speciality item?

Simple – the phone is a bit small, and my tablet is too big to comfortably read.

In addition, my Kindle has a better battery life – it can last the whole flight and any waiting time.

Note: I like short stories while I’m waiting for the flight, as it has natural breaks to check flight details. Instead of having to stop in the middle of the book.

Accessories

There are a number of items that I carry with me, to help with the tech.

Headphones and closed case with clip

Headphones

I love to travel with my over-the-ear headphones.

They are small and light, so great to travel with.

The case was bought to keep them protected – and I added the clip to be able to find them easily.

While I love the idea of in-the-ear, I can’t wear them (too painful).

I bought and took (once) the large banded headphones – I didn’t take them out of my hand luggage – they were too big and bulky – both wearing and carrying.

Questions to think about: –

  • What do you need to plug into? Phone, Tablet, Airplane, Coach?
  • What connector does that use? – In an ideal world, that would be the same option, but not always. Remember that planes still use a standard 3.5mm adapter.
  • If you want Bluetooth headphones – how will you charge them?
  • How much space do you have to carry them?

Make sure that you think about and answer these questions – before packing.

Cables

This, for me, is the second most important bit of tech.

Given a choice, I want more that I need – you never know if you will loose them, they’ll break. And as you know, I’m a backup, backup plan person when travelling!

Rule #1: Make sure that you have at least one cable for every piece of tech that you’re taking!

On your packing list – write the tech, and immediately after add the cable.

You’ll notice I say cable, not plug.

I LOVE USB cables – it means that I can travel with smaller cables, rather than big plugs for every thing I need!

Of course, you’ll possibly have tech that uses the same connector, so you may think you only need one cable – however, don’t forget to ask yourself if you’ll want to or be able to charge multiple devices (more than one plug/point)?

Retractable multi connector cable

Multi-Connector Retracting Cables

We’ve all been there – cables thrown into a bag, getting tangled up, broken etc.

Years ago I discovered the joy of retracting cables.

The length of cable retracts into a ‘body’ meaning that they take up less space and don’t get tangled together.

My go-to at the moment is a multi-connector, however check if they charge multiple devices or only one at a time!

This is the type that can only charge one device at a time.

Charging Cables - Multi Connector

Other types of cables

Bracelet Chargers

You know I love a gadget – and when I saw the idea to have a short charging cable in a bracelet, I thought it was worth a try.

I now have a few and bought for friends and family, as well.

They are only for one specific connector, but whether you’re travelling abroad, or just an event, you can have the connector for your phone on your wrist, looking good and ready whenever you need it.

I’ve got the Nils 2.0 Charger from Nouon

Multi-Connector – Multi Charging

Another of my multi-connector cables, however this one can charge multiple devices at the same time.

I bought it from Amazon – and I’m very happy. Unfortunately they don’t have this exact one any more – and please double-check, some of them only charge one device at a time.

Mu Plug - International Set

Plug

So, with the cable I’m going to need one (or more) plugs.

I’m not going to beat around the bush – you need the Mu Folding Plug – https://www.themu.co.uk/

Here’s my international set – covering UK, USA and Europe.

There some different versions, and the latest set are USB-C (not USB-A which is all of my cables).

I’ve got an original set which is USB-A, and I bought adapters for the new ones as I can’t find USB-C cables for all of my devices.

What makes this such a great plug to travel with?

Being in the UK, our plugs are large and bulky with 3 prongs – with the Mu plug – it FOLDS FLAT!

You can also buy plugs with multiple USB sockets, so that you can charge more than one item at a time.

Plug Types

You may want to take a plug for your home location – are you staying in a hotel before you fly?

Then, check what’s needed for your destination.

USA = two flat prongs

Europe = two round prongs – but there are others depending on where you go

Australia = two angled flat prongs

I’m not going to cover every country – but it’s important to check for the specific place you’re going to.

Travel Battery Packs - small and medium size

External Battery Packs

Great, you’ve got the cables and the plugs.

But

What about the times that you’re out and about and there’s no plug in sight?

Here’s the battery packs to the rescue!

Find one that lets you charge various things, and preferably more than once.

Choose one that you’re happy with – size and shape.

The blue one is small – credit card size, it fits in bags and pockets (bought at an airport and pre-charged)

The larger one was a pack of two from Costco, needs to be charged the first time, but lasts for ages and has an indicator to show the current percentage.

Don’t forget to make sure that you’ve got a cable to recharge them with!

Note: Some of the external packs may need to be put in the grey tray at airport security so that your bag isn’t pulled aside. Thanks @conbug for this info.

Luggage Scales are a must - I use CabinMax

Luggage Scales

An essential item to take with you and to use when travelling – especially when there’s a weight limit (e.g. flights).

You want something that is:

  1. Easy to use
  2. Lightweight/Portable
  3. Battery powered (not mains)

Pack your bag and weigh it – before you travel.

I use the Cabin Max (that you can get from Amazon UK).

One thing to consider – the hook or loop – will it be strong enough for your bag?

I like having the loop click together, rather than just ‘hooking over’.

Remember:

1 – Whatever the weight you see – when it goes on the ‘official’ scales it will always be more. I aim for the weight to be at least 1kg less that the the max (i.e. I won’t go over 22kg if my max is 23kg).

2 – Weigh your bag again after you’ve locked it, that padlock, straps, cover etc can change the total (even if only a little) so double-check the final weight.


Next post – Toiletry Bag

Other posts in this mini-series:

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