Every year, tech companies like Apple are bringing out new and the best travel electronics for us to get excited about. Unlike a few decades ago, when nomads travelled the world with only a diary and pen, in this day and age it will be difficult to find one traveller who doesn’t have a single electronics item on them. These very electronics are what connects us to the world, keeps friends and family happy knowing we are still alive, earns us an income and provides endless entertainment. In this day and age we cannot travel without them.
Like us, bloggers, freelance writers and people with other online professions are now able to move around the world with nothing more than a laptop and a backpack, giving them complete freedom to travel whenever and wherever they want, without electronics we wouldn’t be sat here writing this blog post to you.
Of course, not all travel electronics are required for travellers, and carrying too many will weigh you down, make you prone to pickpocketing and you don’t want to be constantly worrying about the safety of all your gadgets.
Thus, we have tried and tested many electronics. Some we simply would not recommend or purchase again, and some we are in love with and cannot recommend them enough!
Do be aware, as technology is constantly changing, new models and features are being released all the time. This is our 2017 post for the best travel electronics to pack, so if you’re reading this in a few years it may be out of date and new products will most likely have been released since this blog post was made.
Without further ado, in order to help you decide which travel electronics are necessary and best for your trips, here are a list of the best travel electronics you’ll find in our backpacks and the ones we highly recommend:
Best Travel Electronics 2017
For the ordinary traveller, a smartphone or tablet may do the job in contacting friends on social media, storing photos and surfing the web. Most laptops are heavy and bulky, which will just add to your weight. However, if you’re like us as travel bloggers or you’re planning to do more than light work on the road then a laptop is a no brainer. There is a huge range of laptops in the market, but here are our top 2:
Apple MacBook Pro
We use the 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro Retina Display in Space Grey, which we absolutely adore! We recently upgraded from the old MacBook Pro which we are so glad we did. With a weight of just 1.37kg (3 pounds) compared to 2.4kg (5.4 pounds), the new MacBook Pro is thinner and feels more sleek and light compared to older models, which will make a huge difference when carrying it on your travels, trust us when we say every kilogram counts.
|Attractive (Space Grey) and well-built||Expensive compared to other brands
|Can change brightness on screen and keyboard||No memory card slot
|Thin and Lightweight||Only 2 USB-C ports – will have to purchase a USB-B port|
|Large Trackpad and Headphone Port|
|Retina Screen is brighter and much sharper/vibrant than previous models|
|Impressive audio quality and fast disk speed|
If you want a no-frills budget laptop that will get you by on your travels and you’re not too worried about loosing or breaking, then a Chromebook such as the Acer Chromebook is a great option. For regular internet browsing, watching movies, and basic word processing and spreadsheets, and for backing up files from your devices (like a camera), they get the job done just fine. Internal storage will typically be no more than 16GB or 32GB—though you can hook up a USB drive or USB stick for more storage, or use cloud-based storage with the Acer Chromebook.
|Much cheaper than other laptops on the market||No Microsoft Office|
|Lightweight and durable||Small storage space|
|Very fast Intel processor||No photoshop like Adobe|
|Built-in webcam with High Dynamic Range imaging||Clarity cannot compare to Mac|
A phone will definitely be one of the most important, if not the most important travel gadget on your travels. It’s what nearly all travellers use to keep in touch with the world, receive updates on social media, call others on, book their next hostel/hotel through, a music player, a camera and much more! A lot of travellers only pack a phone and no other gadgets!
We take one phone each on every trip we go on, and have to agree that it is our most used and important gadget. If we are travelling in a country for longer periods of time we usually buy a SIM card and top it up when needed, therefore we can call, text and receive messages without always searching for WiFi. This can come in really handy when you’re needing emergency assistance, a break-down service for your car, you’re lost and need help, a mobile phone can be your saviour in these situations.
If you’re a Samsung fan you’ll probably be shaking your heard at this and everything we are about to say, but we are dedicated and hard-core Apple fans, sorry! We’ve been upgrading since the iPhone 5 came out 5 years ago, and every new one we’ve purchased up to the iPhone 7 so far has seemed to get more advanced, lighter, more attractive design and a higher image quality, we honestly can’t fault them. Whilst Yannick isn’t a huge fan of the iPhone 6 & 7’s curved design and larger phone size, he opts for the iPhone SE‘s original square design compared to me who loves it and personally owns the iPhone 7, but that’s all down to personal preference.
|Lots of attractive colours: Gold, Silver, Rose Gold, Black and Jet Black||Very expensive|
|Retina HD Display and amazing image quality (12-mega pixels)||Can't listen to music and charge phone at the same time (unless you have wireless headphones)|
|Great touch ID which improves security|
|Very powerful with A10 fusion processor|
Motorola Moto G 5 Plus
If you’re wanting a budget phone that will get you by on your travels and you don’t want the worry of loosing it or the phone getting stolen, then the Motorola Moto G 5 Plus is a great option! Motorola create budget phones that don’t suck, as many people say and this phone doesn’t disappoint. There’s 2GB of RAM for snapper performance, dual SIM slots on the European model, and a fingerprint sensor for faster unlocking. Oh, and did we mention it’s water resistant?! Definitely consider this phone if you’re not wanting to spend hundreds.
|Inexpensive||It doesn't have LED notification indicator|
|Durable and Reliable including water resistant||Not that great headphone quality|
|"All day battery" and “TurboPower” charger adds up to six hours of use in just 15 minutes|
If you’re going to be travelling long distances on planes, trains or any type of transport a Kindle e-reader is a great little gadget to have on the road with you. We’re setting off on a 6 month road trip around Australia in roughly 4 months, and I can already tell this will come in handy when boredom starts to set in. In addition, it can store hundreds of books that you would otherwise have to lug around with you on your back for hours on end, therefore having a small and lightweight e-reader is a smart idea.
The Paperwhite is our personal favourite, we recently upgraded from the Kindle which didn’t have a built in light, so when it got dark outside we were unable to continue reading which was a real pain! The paperwhite has a non-glare screen, weeks of battery life (great if you’re heading off trekking or into the outback), and built-in light that doesn’t strain your eyes or annoy others in dark rooms. In addition to books, it’s a great way to download travel guides and guidebooks too!
|Lightweight, only 205 grams||If you like audiobooks, it doesn't support a headphone jack|
|Inexpensive||It's not a good old book|
|Practical for travelling compared to bulky books||Isn't waterproof|
|Holds thousands of books|
|Built in light for night time reading|
|Wifi with weeks of battery life|
Getting great photos from our travel adventures is something nearly all of us want, we know choosing a camera is a huge decision and sometimes a rather confusing one as there are just so many out there on the market. As a result, we are sharing with you our past and current cameras which we recommend to you. However, our camera choices may not be right for you, ultimately you will have to decide that.
Currently, we only carry one high performance camera with us on our travels, which Yannick is in charge of. We’ve gone through a few cameras on our travels, including: a Sony SLT A55 (discontinued) and a Canon Eos 700D both of which we were very happy with at the time. Today, we carry a Sony SLT A77 which is an upgraded version of the A55.
Sony SLT A77
The Sony A77 reaches into pro territory, able to capture 12 frames per second with a 24.3-megapixel camera that feels great and handles like your typical enthusiast digital SLR. It also has an enhanced processing engine that can handle enormous amounts of sensor data to allow a very high-speed shooting of superb, low-noise images. What we especially love about the Sony SLT A77 compared to our previous cameras is the quality of shooting and capturing videos, making it easy, smooth and able to auto-focus on objects when filming.
|Tilt and swivel LCD screen||Expensive|
|Interchangeable lenses||Dust particles seem to enter the lens easily (might be a fault with ours)|
|Wide ISO range for low-light photography||View finder is an electronics display which is slower than on a DSLR camera|
|Built in GPS|
|Unique design replaces a DSLR moving mirror with a fixed translucent mirror, which enables ultra-fast shooting and detection of auto focus.|
|Exceptional video and photo quality for an SLT|
GoPro Hero 5 Black
If you want a small, durable and lightweight camera that can go everywhere you go (quite literally), then investing in a GoPro is a great idea. We originally bought the GoPro Hero 3+, which was a great camera but we wanted an LCD display on the back so we knew what we were taking and so we could go back and watch them. That’s when we upgraded to the new GoPro Hero 5 Black around Christmas time.
The Hero 5 Black is the most powerful and easy-to-use GoPro so far, thanks to its 4K video, voice control, one-button simplicity, touch display and waterproof design. It also has a smooth stabilised video, crystal-clear audio and pro-quality photo capture combine with GPS. We’re not going to lie, it’s a damn good action camera!
|They are small and can fit in your pocket, so no stress of finding space in your backpack||Battery life isn't great|
|They are rugged and great for an action sports||No zoom|
|Great point and shoot capabilities, even during night time||Have been known to let water into the camera|
|Waterproof without housing|
Portable External Hard Drives
We have thousands of photos and videos from our trips from around the world, so loosing them would be heart-breaking. Rather than trying to jam-pack them into our laptops, which would take up way too much space and result in our laptops being very slow, we have two portable, external hard drives. The Seagate 1TB External Hard Drive and the 1TB WD My Passport Ultra Portable with plastic shell. Not only do we use these hard drives for storage and back up of our precious photo memories, but we also have hundreds of blog posts, documents and songs that we like to keep safe too. If you’re a photographer, blogger or a traveller that takes a lot of photos, investing in an external hard drive can save your back.
Other Bits & Pieces
Here are a few smaller electronic items/accessories that we also carry with us, which may be of us to you:
- Beats Studio Wireless Over-Ear Headphones – If you want a pair of headphones that are both wireless and noise cancelling, these are perfect. I have a pair and love them for plane journeys or long road trips. If you have the iPhone 7, as they are wireless you can charge and listen to music at the same time!
- World Wide Travel Adaptor – Instead of carry at least 2 adaptors for every country you travel too, which can be a pain and take up space. This world-wide travel adaptor has plugs for nearly every country (apart from some areas of Africa), it also features two USB ports so you can charge multiple gadgets at once.
- Memory Cards for the Camera – We use a SanDisk Ultra 64 GB Memory Card for our Sony SLT A77 and a SanDisk Ultra 65 GB Micro SD Memory Card for our GoPro Hero 5 Black.
- Portable Battery Charger – There’s nothing more frustrating that your GoPro, Phone, Camera or other electronic device running out of battery when you’re at an amazing destination. Having a portable charger on you will ensure this never happens, it’s saved us countless times.
Choosing the right and the best travel electronics for you is important, in most cases these gadgets are upwards of a few hundred dollars, so you don’t want to make the wrong decision when buying it. Our preferences and needs may be different to yours, but these are the current items we travel with. We always try to buy high quality, durable products that are lightweight and easy to pack into our backpacks. The amount of electronics you carry will vary from person to person, but these days you’ll rarely see anyone travelling without at least one electronic device.
Nowadays, the whole world is interconnected online. For example, us updating our Facebook and Twitter pages regularly whilst we are travelling, so we are able to let our readers and family know what we are doing and where we are heading next.
Are there any other travel electronics you would add to the list? What gadgets to you take with you on your travels? We’d love to know in the comments below!
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