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What Tech Should You Really Take on Your Travels?

September 1, 2023laurenslighthouse

Technology can help to improve our travels in so many different ways! With the right gadgets and tech tools, you can make any trip a whole lot easier and even more fun. But, in many ways, technology also has the potential to weigh you down. You don’t want to be dragging around dozens of different devices, some of which you might not even use. Trust me, we’ve been there. When some of those devices can get pretty expensive, you also probably don’t want to risk losing or damaging them, or having them taken from you.

Deciding just what you should take on your travels and what can stay at home might be tough, and the right answers will depend on the purpose of your trip, where you’re going, your personality, and what you consider a necessity.

After many trips abroad, ranging from one week to 5 months, we’ve made a few mistakes along the way, taking gadgets we didn’t really need or even use. We’ve lugged around heavy gear in our 15-lb backpacks and our shoulders and backs have not been happy with us after the months of journeying with things we didn’t need. But ultimately, with these experiences, we’ve learned what we could leave at home and what have become travel must-haves that we absolutely cannot leave without.

Here are the six devices you should absolutely consider bringing with you on your travels!

Your Phone

For most us, the one piece of tech we can’t travel without is our phone. This isn’t necessarily about being attached to it or needing to access the Internet at all times. It’s more that having a phone on us can help us out of a lot of sticky situations. The last thing you want is to be stranded while travelling with no way to communicate or connect yourself with external resources!

It can make so many things a whole lot easier. From calling home to translating into other languages, paying for things quickly to finding your way when you’re lost. When our connecting flight in the Philippines got cancelled last minute, we went straight to our phones to figure out a plan B on what to do now that we couldn’t go to our next destination. Booking a cheap hotel last minute and grabbing a cab on Grab was effortless thanks to having our phones with us.

At the very least, it’s a point of contact that you can use in emergencies. That’s not to say you can’t leave your phone at home (a phone is the last thing on my dad’s mind to pack for a trip), but it’s definitely worth considering if you can go without it if you end up in a tricky situation on your travels.

Of course, along with your phone, you’re going to need a way to charge it. As well as your phone charger (and a power adaptor for those overseas trips), you might want to bring a power bank as well! Having that backup power can be really handy when you’re not able to charge your phone the conventional way. Especially when you’re caught up in the thrill of your trip!

A Compact Laptop or Tablet

Carrying a laptop or tablet with you is definitely not essential when you’re travelling, but it can be useful to have. Some people just find them too heavy and bulky to really bother with, especially if they feel they can do everything they need to on their phone. But personally, this is one device that is great to have, work and everything aside.

If you are travelling for business, laptop, tablet or laptop-tablet hybrid is probably the first thing you want to be packing. Even when we’re on the go, whether at the airport lounge, in our Iceland camper van or taking an off-day at our accommodation, our Macbook Air is our work source. Whether we’re researching for the next content piece, shooting emails, editing our photos or videos, our laptop is there at the ready.

A Camera

A camera is another thing that can be covered by the right phone. A lot of people are happy with the camera on their phone when they’re travelling, with no desire for anything fancier. The new phones nowadays are game changers! They can capture so much of the world around us that we couldn’t just a decade ago, even with a camera.

If you enjoy photography or videography on your travels though, you might want to level up to a decent camera. There are many great options out there, whether you’re hoping to get savvy with landscape photography, vlogging or capture candid moments you experience.

What type of camera to take with you, and even if you should have more than one, might be a more complicated question to answer. We love a few compact cameras out there that are pretty versatile. But we always carry our Canon R5 (with a wide angle lens and a wide range lens) as well as our faithful Sony ZV-1. If we had to pick one that was small, light and compact if we were doing travel content as a hobby, we’d go with the Sony RX100, which

A DSLR (what we used to have) or mirrorless camera (what we have now) is the camera of choice for a lot of people when they’re travelling. But there are also other camera options to consider to make the most of your trip. Even taking a drone on your travels could match your needs if you want to be able to do something a little different.

Our go-to and most travel-friendly drone is our DJI Mavic Mini 3 Pro. It’s captured some incredible landscapes for us throughout Europe and Asia, and it only weighs 249 grams! If you click here, you can check out a comparison of the top current DJI drones on the market for leisure use that are compact and foldable. I always carry our drone with its charger, extra batteries which take up little space in my mid-size backpack. Along with our two action cameras and the additional underwater accessories, our vlog camera and its tripod and handles, and all miscellaneous gear for all our equipment, it’s actually incredibly manageable.

We couldn’t have taken these images without our camera equipment, specifically our drone and action cameras!

An E-Reader

If you’re a voracious reader or you’re planning on a long trip, taking just one book with you might not be enough. Not to mention that e-readers are typically lighter and smaller than a paperback. If you’re taking a tablet or maybe you’re even happy to read on your phone, perhaps you won’t bother with an e-reader. They make phones the size of bricks nowadays! I can barely carry my iPhone 12 Pro Max in one hand most of the time.

But if you want a gadget that’s just for reading, it can definitely be handy to have. You can fit as many books as you want on it, download new ones if you run out of current reading material, and easily carry it around everywhere. Kindle is a popular brand, but it’s not your only option if you want to read on the move.

A Wi-Fi Hotspot

Wifi hotspots are a must for a lot of business travellers. When you need a reliable internet connection, you don’t want to have to depend on hotels, cafés or other options that make you bound to a specific location. When you’re on the move, whether doing a road trip or camping in remote places, it’s always best to have a pocket wifi to transport with you.

When you have your own wifi hotspot, you’ll be able to get connected whenever you need to. Even if you’re not a business traveller, there’s a chance you might find one useful. When we were just chilling in our camper van on a rainy day in Iceland, we were so glad to have our pocket wifi on us to stream shows and catch up with friends and family. The same goes for riding the long train rides in Japan! The wifi connection is amazing there, and with a transportable wifi hotspot, you’ll be sure to not run out of data on those lengthy transits.


A decent pair of headphones is a must-have accessory for many of the devices you might take travelling. They really come in handy when you’re trying to get some peace and quiet, or to keep your noise to yourself. Whether you use them to make phone calls, listen to music or watch movies, it’s always useful to have some good headphones that work well and are fairly compact. Noise-cancelling headphones can be particularly useful if you expect to be in busy environments and want to shut out background noise.

As much as enjoyed our plane rides and working (especially for video editing) with a pair of the Airpods Pro Max, they can be extremely bulky. We sized down to the Airpods Pro 2nd Gen which still have great noise-cancelling abilities and are more than enough at being compact.

Choosing the right tech, especially when you’re trying to travel light, can be a little difficult. But once you’ve sorted out your priorities, it’s a lot easier to decide what to pack. We manage great with our two backpacks carrying all that camera gear, a Peak Design tripod, our laptops and emergency essentials if our luggage gets lost. Cut down on the content creator gear and instead have a camera set up that works great for you, and you’ll manage even better!

We learned what was important, what we actually use and what we cut out based on our experience travelling full-time. Hopefully our experience can help you in deciphering your tech necessities for your travels!

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