Digital Travel and Travel Gadgets – Some Not So Serious!
Digital Travel is well and truly alive and here to stay.
I’m just wondering if anyone remembers analogue travel? You know, when you had to bring a film camera, film video and had to post stuff home because the backpack was full of tapes and rolls of film?
I remember watching the Australian Broadcasting Corporation series, Race Around The World in the late 1990’s (check out how daggy the website is!). For those outside of Australia, this was a TV program where contestants had to ‘tape’ their travels on a round the world trip, edit them, and then post them home to Australia before a deadline. Their stories were then aired on the show.
That was only just over 10 years ago! But this way of travelling now seems so antiquated!
With the advent of Digital Travel and new Travel Gadgets, one can now take photos or video footage during the day and upload it that night (or even straight away) for the entire world to see. If it’s something silly or stupid, it might even become viral and you could have your 15 minutes of internet fame. Your stuff ups are not safe anymore with the advent of Digital Travel!
So, what are the Travel Gadgets that now more or less essential for the Digital Travel Nomad?
Well, that depends on your point of view. Let’s have a look at the Digital Travel options.
Digital Travel Gadget Number One – Digital Still Camera
Sounds obvious – we want to take memories of our great trip. That’s because it provides us with motivation for another trip when you are staring at your computer wallpaper when chained behind the desk of your work cubicle, or fluorescent prison.
This is quite a small SLR and does the job for me perfectly. I have the 18-55mm and 55-200mm kit lenses which takes awesome shots. But I want a Nikon 18-200mm lens because this would cover the vast majority of the focal length ranges when travelling, without the need to change lenses. I can fit this camera (and the lenses) into my small ‘man bag’ and carry it around all day without the weight pissing me off.
I also carry a small, Nikon 35mm f1.8 lens which is great for night shots and special effects. Other good small SLR’s are the Nikon D5000, Nikon D3000, Canon 500D, Olympus E-510, Pentax K-x or Sony A350. In fact, it doesn’t really matter which model you choose – it all comes down to preference!
Alternatively, there is the digital pocket camera. These are great for portability reasons, but the image quality is less than a SLR, and it’s much slower. Pocket cameras are great for a big night out, because they fit in your pocket and you can hold a beer with one hand, and the camera with the other.
If you were really desperate, you could have an operation and have a camera inserted into your prostehtic eye, like this guy. That’s too hardcore for me.
Digital Travel Gadget Number Two – Digital Video Camera
Personally, I don’t want to see my entire trip through a viewfinder. But taking video is great for the odd piece of footage which provides that extra dimension to your Digital Travel experience. You could bring over the entire David Attenborough film crew, or something much less compact. You don’t need the flashest gear – the famous ‘Battle at Kruger’ clip was shot on a handy cam, and became the most viewed YouTube video of 2007.
I own the Vado HD, and I love it because it’s small, compact and inconspicuous. It looks like a mobile phone, so it’s great for portability and I can still fit this in my man bag with the Digital SLR.
Digital Travel Gadget Number Three – The Mobile Phone
I hate mobile phones – they feel like an emotional ball and chain to me. Waiting for that damn phone to ring. But, on my recent trip to Indonesia, I found it very handy. People from home can also text you now and then to see how you are going, and you can text back saying what a great time you are having. You can buy a sim card in the country, which usually works out cheaper.
Actually, I found it great when I was texting a transport service, requesting a space on a mini-van. I translated some words out of my Lonely Planet Indonesia guide, with a note at the end saying that I didn’t speak Indonesian, and this worked a treat. They texted me back and booked me a seat! Seriously, this works!
Digital Travel Gadget Number Four – Laptop or Notebook
You need somewhere to store all of the Digital Travel crap, don’t you? Well you need to either upload it somewhere via the internet, or store it before you do. Storing this may be required, especially if you are spending long periods in isolated areas, or in some countries with crappy internet speeds. A notebook is a lot smaller and more compact than a laptop, but they suck for people with big fingers like me. Unfortunately, we don’t have a microchip in our heads to dump all this Digital Travel data! But we may have this in the next 10 years.
These computers are also Wi-fi enabled, so you can hook up to the internet almost anywhere.
Digital Travel Gadget Number Five – Power Adaptors
All of the Digital Travel Gadgets require a thing called power to run them. Some people have enough Travel Gadgets, that the seemingly simple act of charging them is enough to release a truckload of greenhouse gases that would submerge entire island nations. But you need to right power charger and/or plug to keep your Digital Travel existence alive. You can bring separate adaptors, or now there are some all in one models. You can even buy a solar powered charging device that you can plug your stuff into in remote areas as well.
Digital Travel Gadget Number Six – The Remote Controlled Fart Machine
For practical jokers like me, The Remote Controlled Fart Machine is a priceless Travel Gadget that is guaranteed to generate many laughs. Unfortunately, it also looks like a remote controlled bomb, and it may gain you a cavity search by irate immigration officials.
You can read more on a previous article I wrote about the Remote Controlled Fart Machine.
Digital Travel Summary
So what’s the bottom line?
Well, you bring what is suitable for you. We all have different Digital Travel needs. Digital Travel is many things, and not just one thing.
But for me, I’m anal when it comes to backpacking. I’d rather take as little as possible, and if I do take it, it needs to be small and light.
I am definitely not the Gadget Geek Travel Personality type, which I wrote about a while ago.
How about you? What works well in your Digital Travel endeavours? Leave a comment and have your say!
Anyway, enjoy your Digital Travel!