So, as regular readers will gather, our housesitters are gearing up and we’re looking forward to another jaunt. My previous post prompted me to consider what I can safely leave behind and what bits of kit I really cannot do without. Generally speaking, the size of the gadget isn’t the issue but as a few of you have already noted, the extra charger, transformer, wires and adapters frequently are!
So, what is going to make it into my bag?
Two things have guaranteed passage. I really couldn’t manage without my mobile phone and laptop. I don’t use my phone much when I’m abroad because of the costs involved, but the security of knowing that I could – if I wanted – is comforting.
The small laptop is something we’ve debated over recently; since the advent of the ipad. We use it to back up photographs each day, to read and respond to emails (because both of us continue to read and reply to work- and volunteer-related email whilst we’re away) and of course, I use if for blogging. Try as we might, we haven’t yet found a way to complete all of these tasks satisfactorily using ipad only, possibly because we are both PC people at heart. Until now, we’ve used “baby laptop” – a eight or nine year old 11” Sony which is almost as well travelled as we are! But though it’s still working ok, we’re finding it slow and felt it was time to replace (before it conked out mid-trip, provoking a panic purchase). Bring on the Samsung. Oh, and embrace the challenge of Windows 8… (Linda, my hero shares your view and is still working on it!)
OK. Perhaps they are the obvious “must haves”. What about the “nice to haves”?
Well, first is my voice recorder. Yes, I know there’s one on my phone, but this little one is smaller and lighter then my iphone and tucks into my bag very neatly. Not only that, but it doesn’t need any wires, because look…
Clever, eh? (and another reason why I need the laptop, because there’s no usb on the ipad)
Next and in similar vein, my Flip video. Again, a clever integrated usb means I don’t have cables and chargers to bother about. My digital camera (OK, both my digital cameras!) have video functions, but transferring huge video files from them isn’t easy and takes time – the Flip camera makes it much easier and less of a hassle.
My ipod. Hmmm. This one might have to work its passage, though the fact that it’ll share its charger with the ipad probably persuades me that I could be pleased to listen to a playlist or two on a long flight, so both i-pad and i-pod will be in my hand luggage. I think as well, there’s an ipod dock in our suite on the ship, which means we could listen to music there too – if we find ourselves in there for any length of time (unlikely). For that reason, I won’t bother taking the x-mini speakers which the Lechlade gadget girls loved so much, though.
Pogo printer. Well, this always used to come along but these days, there just isn’t room for the heavy charger, which is twice the size and probably twice the weight of the pogo itself. Sorry, no printing pics as we go (I can wait…) So, Pogo, you’re staying home.
Pictures. Hmm. That brings me to my big dilemma. Until now, I’ve only ever had a “handbag camera”. You know the kind of thing, small enough to put in my pocket and not think too much about. Recently however, I indulged in a new “bridge” camera; larger and with a bigger optical zoom and greater capabilities in less than perfect conditions. Of course, it’s heavy. Rather large. Has a different battery and therefore needs a different charger from my small camera. But surely, going to wonderfully interesting places and recording new and colourful experiences is exactly why I got it? Of course, it must come with me! However, I’m going to take my small camera too, because you know, there are times when a quick snap is just enough, don’t you think? Not only that, but there could be places where I don’t really want to carry a huge camera, where I don’t want to look like a tourist (even though that’s exactly what I am!)
It’s not easy deciding what to take and what to leave behind, is it? What to carry and what to pack? How do you decide?