Technology is so encrypted into our lives that it would be impossible to go anywhere without it. But what's worth bringing abroad and what should be left at home? A better question might be, is there any travel-related technology out there that is just plain bad@$$? These are all vital questions that we at GoAbroad have taken into consideration and would be happy to help you answer!
1. Universal Adapter
Adapters are the staple of travel technology; they make having technology while abroad possible. If you're planning on traveling to multiple countries, save yourself some space and purchase a universal adapter. These bad boys can be changed to fit a variety of outlets and save you luggage space. If the adopter you buy doesn't come with a converter, don't forget to purchase one so your electronics are protected high voltage.
Try The Walkabout Solution. It's a universal adapter and converter all in one. The complete package.
2. Digital Camera
Traveling without a camera is just insane. How else would you prove to your friends and family that you actually did study abroad? You may be content with the camera on your cell phone or tablet or whatever form of crazy technology is available these days, but you can't go wrong with an actual camera. A digital camera will allow you to take and store large amounts of quality pictures.
Try the Canon PowerShot ELPH 520 HS. It's a quality, portable camera that won't break the bank.
A laptop is a vital tool for those studying abroad, but it can also be incredibly useful for people working abroad or just traveling the globe. Your laptop is a communication device, storage device and charging device all in one. Stay in touch with friends and family through video chat or blogs. Upload photos and videos onto your laptop instead of traveling with multiple memory cards. Charge MP3 players, eReaders and other fun gadgets. Write an essay. The possibilities are endless.
Try the Toshiba Portege Z830. It has a light design, reasonable price and spill-proof keyboard.
1. Laser Virtual Keyboard
You know this product is bad@$$ because "laser" is in the title. And "virtual". If your phone's auto-correct has become more of an embarrassment than a tool, you need to buy one of these. A laser virtual keyboard uses a laser beam to generate a full-sized, working keyboard that connects to smart phones, tablets and other devices. Perfect for typing on the go!
2. Tourist Remover Software
Tired of wandering tourists getting in the way of your shots? Sick of trying to learn the intricacies of Photoshop? Then you need tourist remover software! That's right, software designed to remove the fanny packs from your pics. If you're in a tourist hot-spot and can't seem to snap a photo free of people, simply take multiple pictures of the same scene. This software will combine your pictures and give you a single, tourist-free photo.
Download this software from Snapmania. It won't cost you a dime.
3. Alternative Chargers
You're at the beach or hiking with friends when you realize a vital piece of technology has depleted its battery. You could be the person who says, "Oh, no big deal, I'll just use my water-powered portable fuel cell charger." Everyone would cheer as you charged your phone by adding a small amount of water to this battery-replenishing device. Or you could say, "No problem. I'll just put it in my solar-powered backpack. With a little sunshine, everything inside charges." You'd be a hero to technology lovers and earth lovers. Think of all the friends you'd make.
1. Electronic Translators
When used correctly, electronic translators can be a great tool for people learning a new language. But if the magical powers of the translator are abused, things get ugly. Rather than trying to remember how to say a word or conjugate a verb, as anyone attempting to learn would do, an abuser of this product will simply go straight for the translator any time they see a foreign word. Electronic translators are helpful for beginners, but they prevent some people from ever truly learning the language.
If you must get one, try the Franklin Speaking Global EST-7014. Just don't abuse it.
2. Cell Phone
Please bring a cell phone with you when you study abroad. But be careful about bringing your own. You probably won't get service if you're halfway around the world, but even the cost of going online can quickly turn ugly. You don't want your cell phone bill to end up being the most expensive part of your trip. Instead rent a phone, purchase a world phone or look into changing your cell phone plan. Even then, it'd be smart to only make calls with your cell phone in emergency situations.
If you want to save some money, check out these rental options from eKit.
3. Walking GPS
"Hi! I'm a tourist!" You might as well shout this as you walk down the street with your face in a walking GPS. Again, this tool can be great in emergency situations, but it can also prevent you from having the full study abroad experience. Being able to navigate yourself around a new city is a vital life skill, and asking for directions gives you an opportunity to practice speaking with locals. Besides, getting lost and having a crazy adventure is a classic study abroad move. A walking GPS could rob you of having your adventure.
If you are studying abroad in a forest, try Garmin eTrex 10. Otherwise try buying a map. Or a map App.
What other tech gear to you carry with you when you travel?