The benefit of being a travel writer is that you can mix pleasure and work. If you love traveling and writing and moving – then your work is not really “work”. In today’s travel writing world – there are many technological trappings to ensure that one can maintain a certain type of nomadic lifestyle. Merely fifteen years ago nearly all of these items and services did not even exist!
When shopping for items, I look for the following characteristics – in this order: quality, durability, weight, size and speed (if applicable). If I can get those in one item – I’m not as concerned about the price. After all this is my livelihood. The items listed below are in alphabetical order.
For thick cards that you can customize with your own photos (using a different photo on each card) there is no better choice than www.moo.com These are cards that stand out and you usually get a positive response from someone who has never seen these types of cards before. Also check out their NFC business cards with an electronic chip embedded inside.
As my friend Michelle of My Traveling Lens says, “the best camera is the one you have with you” – I want to have an SLR as my primary camera with me at all times when I’m traveling. Unfortunately it is heavy – but with a good lens(s) you just cannot beat the quality of photos. I’ve always used Canon – currently the EOS 50D but I have my eye on the Canon 5D Mark II for both its superb photos and video.
Toshiba Portege– I love this ultra book because its so amazingly light! It is small (13.3″ screen), built with some durability for traveling and deftly handles all the applications I need. Perhaps Portege should have been named Protege as a subtle reference to the similar in size (slightly heavier) but better built MacBook Air which I also use.
It can happen to anyone. You forget your laptop somewhere only to return and find it gone. Or its just plain stolen. Either situation is the same – it may not be the price of the laptop that is so heart wrenching, but rather the data on it especially if you don’t have it backed up. Consider activating a monitoring service such as www.preyproject.com
I use one credit card (US Bank) for most of my purchases – one that is friendly with giving miles – and also just as importantly friendly with letting you use the miles for reserving flights. I’m not the expert on which credit cards to use in regards to traveling and perks. I leave that up to Wendy Perrin
Smaller is better! A couple adapters will work for most countries in the world. I always browse the following list of International power adapters before traveling to a “new” country: www.kropla.com/electric2.htm
Skype – with such cheap rates and better clarity and connections compared to other similar services, this is my go to online calling service for International and domestic calls. Skype offers pay as you go plans or monthly plans. For a backup I use National Geographic’s Cellular Abroad
Priority Pass is one of the cheapest ways to use lounges at Airports – www.prioritypass.com Global Entry (for US citizens & select others) is an expedited and automated way to re-enter the country after an International trip – www.globalentry.gov
It has always been a love hate relationship. I can’t count the times my account has been locked for “suspicious activity” when I’m somewhere in like Yemen or Namibia or even Thailand. Or having payments held for no apparent reason up to several weeks. However, this is the most common platform in my experience for International online transactions to take place on. It is certainly convenient. Be sure to get a PayPal debit card – it can be an inexpensive way to make purchases overseas – avoiding common International transaction fees from credit card purchases.
Aside from obvious generic phone features, the main highlight of a smart phone when traveling is ability to get on WiFi networks. Oh and its nice to be able to take video on the fly. The phone absolutely must be unlocked so as to swap out SIM cards as needed when traveling between countries.
I try to focus on the major obvious social media outlets. Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. The website, About.me is a good way to link up all your social media outlets.
USB Flash Drive – these are great for backing up on the fly during downtime on your travels. The beauty of these devices is they are small and in the past few years support significantly more data. Oh and like most storage devices, the prices have really dropped. I’ve always had luck with the Corsair brand. These are highly durable products. I recommend at least one to two either 32 or 64GB drives. For serious photographers there’s always larger portable drives.
The proliferation of blogs skyrocketed when the ease of using WordPress became known and today a high percentage of travel blogs are created on this platform. With a variety of free and paid templates available – and a fairly easy learning curve, as well as the ability to publish and edit on the fly – its no wonder this software is so popular.
No companies listed here were in any way involved in sponsorship of this post. They are all from personal knowledge and or use.
These are just some of the items I currently use. Perhaps you’ve found better solutions, other products and services, apps etc to share. Let us know by posting your comments below.