In two days, I’m moving out of my home! EEEEEEEP! On Thursday, D and I will be off on our travels. There’s loads that I need to effectively set up my office while on the road. Ideally, it should all fit in my hand luggage so I can have it available at all times. I’m a sucker for gadgets and space/time saving doodles and things that will make my life easier.
So here are some of my travel essentials:
1. Jetpack charger
I picked up my Jetpack charger through work, though you’ll see them pop up at the occasional WordCamp for swag and/or prizes. It’s called a Jetpack charger because it’s been branded with Jetpack by Automattic (these are the unbranded ones, made by Anker) If you can get one, grab it! This small power brick holds about 2.5 charges for a smartphone. It has become essential to me for conference going and traveling. No more turning things off to conserve power!
2. iPad Mini
I used to own an iPad that I never used, but my iPad Mini is essential. The original iPad was too big and bulky, it added too much weight to my bag, and was too large to hold in one hand for a long period of time. The iPad mini is a dream. I take it everywhere. It has films and TV series for watching on long haul journeys, books, games, travel apps, note taking apps, and, of course, the WordPress app.
3. Innergie 3-way cable
I hate cable spaghetti, and since I’m a total mess it’s inevitable. The Innergie 3-way cable can charge my iPod and Samsung Galaxy, and I can use it to transfer content from my dictaphone. It means I can bring 1 cable instead of 3, and the only other one I need is for my iPad. Am going to keep an eye out for the cable with the lightening adapater for my iPad. Now I’ve got one three-way cable, a one-way cable seems like a waste of space.
I bought my Gridit in San Francisco, persuaded by the very persuasive Hanni – I’ve not used it a huge amount since then but it’s going to be slipped into my bag for traveling from country to country. I always throw things into my bag and then have to spend ages pulling it apart whenever I need anything. Hopefully the Gridit will solve that problem.
5. Macbook Pro
I need a laptop, of course, and I’m bringing with me a Macbook Pro. I’m going to miss my external display but when I need to I’ll extend it onto my iPad. My laptop will be where everything happens,
6. Osprey Meridian Travelpack
D and I spent weeks choosing bags. I have some suitcases but I wanted something heavy-duty, with wheels, a daypack, and backpack straps (also, the moon). After much searching, and paying out a small fortune, I bought an Osprey Meridian suitcase/backpack. It has everything I want, and a lifetime guarantee so if it does break it’ll get replaced. This doesn’t guarantee, however, that my bag will stay tidy 🙁
7. Huawei Mifi
Other than my laptop, wi-fi is the most essential part of this adventure. I need to get online to work, attend meetings, check email, and bother people on Skype. This sim-free Mifi device was recommended to me last week by Dean Allen. It’s small, has about 5 hours of in-use charge, and, best of all, I can buy a data sim in any country and have wifi available without relying on my phone (see below for tales of my phone).
I’ve had a difficult relationship with iPods of late. My old one died so I bought a nano, but I kept losing the nano. I could use my phone for music, but I like having a separate device. Last time I was in the US I caved in and bought an iPod. It has all of my music on it so I’ll always have all the music I need.
My Samsung Galaxy S2 has been through a lot. I drop it regularly, it’s had a swim in a toilet (a clean toilet!), it’s been left sitting in wet patches on tables. It’s had a hard life. Now it gets too hot to touch. Sometimes it flips about between apps at random. Vlingo torments me. However, it’s the only smartphone I’ve got – it’s my access to the internet, to sat nav, and all of my pocket junk. Hopefully it will last the journey.
10. Universal travel adapter
We’re not 100% sure of the countries that we’ll go to, though we do know that we’ll be in the USA, the Far East, and Europe. Rather than packing an adapter for each country D and I each have a universal travel adapter. These have input for every country and output for every country, which seriously cuts down on the number of adapters that we need. Warning: they don’t work for hair dryers (as I have discovered, a few times)
11. Notebook and four-colour pens
In addition to all of the electronics and gadgets that I need, I’m bringing a notebook and some four-colour pens. My notebook of choice is a moleskine soft cover. I like the soft covers better than the hard covers – they’re much more tactile and get bashed in a pleasing way. I always use cheap four-colour pens to write in my notebook. This is because I like to colour code my writing. When I’m flicking back through my notes I can quickly pick out what I’m looking for. D complains that I’m crazy, and taunts me with his expensive (but limited) one-colour pens.
Have I forgotten anything? Can you recommend any gadgets? Let me know so I can spend more money!