Travelling nowadays doesn't require much technological preparation. If you've got your smartphone, you're pretty much good to go. But there are still loads of gadgets that can make your trip from point A to point B — whether by plane, train, or automobile — more enjoyable.
Last week, I asked you what were some of your favourite gadgets to tote all over the world. These aren't necessarily what you use in your current travel plans, but things you also loved to use back when so many bits of tech weren't rendered obsolete by the smartphone in your pocket. These are the answers you gave.
Smartphones (but really the Sony Z3 Compact)
It has to be my Z3 Compact. It can take beautiful photos (in low light as well), dunked in bodies of water, and will tick on for up to 2 days. It makes me leave my pocket camera and portable charger at home. And I can use it with one hand while doing adventure stuff. Took it spelunking and mountain climbing one weekend and my iPhone toting friends were impressed.
Audio Technica active noise-cancelling earbuds
Why: Much smaller and portable than any full on headset. Noise cancelling is decent, sound is great and at less than $US70 they're a bargain.
It's nice to always have cold beverages and snacks with me, I can make runs to the store and not worry about my cold groceries perishing, even if I leave them in there for days. Don't have to worry about leftover's going bad in a hot car. I have a huge Deep cycle RV/Boat battery and a solar panel on the roof that will run the fridge indefinitely so it's been on for 2 years non-stop now. Having ice-cream in the middle of the desert 100 miles from civilisation is amazing.
I carry my old, trusty iPAQ hx2495b to play MP3 files and to read books and articles...I dislike 'smart phones'. I have a very 'dumb' phone and my iPAQ. I find the applications to be more usable, and the file system is more flexible for my uses. It is still on its 'first life'.
Walkman and MP3 players
My go-to was my Walkman. And I didn't just have music cassettes. Oh, no sir. In the days leading up to our cross-country trip (by car! from Texas to South Carolina or Florida or West Virginia), I would record the audio from my favourite movies — Star Wars, Back to the Future, etc — onto recordable tapes and I'd listen to the movies. This was back in the late 90's/early 00's.
A refurbished Sansa e280 bought when Woot.com still sold crap you actually wanted. 8 GB of mp3s and battery for at least 10 h of non-stop music in with a sturdy metal back and a convenient interface. I own two others at 4GB each which are decommissioned because of cracked screens and now serve only as oversize flash drives. They have microSD ports good for an extra 8GB but I've honestly never used it other than as a makeshift, again oversized reader.
Various gaming handhelds
Nvidia Shield. I know it may sound weird, but hundreds of emulated games. Basically an android tablet. A few good optimised android games. Netflix, movies, music, etc. Great battery life.
via Joshua Handrich
Game Gear...and a duffle bag of extra AA's.
All I need is my phone and my 3DS... Even if i don't play, if there are potential Streetpasses to be had.
Travelling long distances/don't particularly like speed limits? Then this guy is a must have. A dedicated radar detector will let you know when speed traps are afoot, but please don't drive recklessly. That's a losing situation for everyone involved.
My Kindle Paperwhite. Nothing like reading a good book + you don't have to carry a bunch of books!
via David Mantel
I find this to be an indispensable travel companion after a few Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters.
Better throw in a Babel fish for good measure.