A Guide to Traveling with Technology

Wondering what to take on the road when it comes to electronics? You’re not the only one. Two days ago I was sitting on my bed, pondering about what types of techie devices I should be bringing on my trip. I leave tomorrow for a 6-week field school in Chile and then I will be continuing to travel solo afterward.

Every time I am leaving for a big trip I have this same dilemma. On the one hand I want to be that person that can shed all technology and just be “one with nature”, but on the other hand I want to be able to share pictures and stories with friends and family back home. It’s an everyday struggle I have with myself: where do I find the balance between barefoot hippie and tech geek. I wish I could just leave everything behind but unfortunately I am an Instagram and Twitter FREAK. Anyways, I have narrowed it down to what I shall bring and I think perhaps I have found a balance.

• IPhone 4 – I didn’t bring my IPhone with me on my trip to Europe 2 years ago and I really ended up regretting it. The WIFI around the world these days is pretty absurd and you can almost always be connected. For someone like me who is obsessed with Instagram and Twitter, this is crucial. I also have some really handy Apps on my phone that I plan on use often. One being TripAdvisor City Guides, which gives you user generated tours of cities without needing to be connected to WIFI and the other is Duolingo, which is a language App (my Spanish is still far from perfect) and also doesn’t need WIFI. Furthermore, I am bringing my IPhone for my alarm and for a back-up camera.

• Point and Shoot Camera – I’ve opted out of bringing my Canon DSLR camera as it pretty hefty and it makes me a really easy target for thieves. Instead I have decided to bring my tiny Sony camera that fits perfectly into my jacket pocket. Also the picture quality is pretty on par with the DSLR.

• Tablet – To bring or not to bring my laptop with me has been the hardest decision. A laptop is something definitely worth considering bringing but for me, a tablet was a much smaller, lighter, cheaper and better battery life option. My tablet also as an SD Card reader so I can transfer all my pictures on to it and not have to worry about losing those precious memories! Also, the main purpose of bringing my tablet is for entertainment, such as movies and books, so I didn’t need the total functionality of a laptop. Also, I don’t have to be worried about it since it cost less than 200 bucks and it weighs only 3.5 pounds!

That’s it! That’s all I’m bringing. I will kiss goodbye my laptop and DSLR tomorrow morning and hopefully not miss them too much. I have found over the years I have become so hooked on technology in my life that when I travel I have a hard time letting go. I know how easy it is to get sucked into the web of technology but this isn’t what travelling is about! I hope one day in the future I can leave all the devices at home but this is where I am starting.

Written by Brooke Petersmeyer: TRU Tourism Management student who is currently outbound on a faculty organized field trip to Chile.

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