The Importance of Travel Gears
Frankly speaking, no one has ever asked me as to what I carry in my suitcase. Although when I read other’s travel blog, the Travel Gears do make interesting read. So here is mine on this page for you to enjoy . May be I can pass some good suggestions in the process, as I will let you know what I like about my gears, which have been acquired after lot of thought process and research.
The importance of travelling light cannot be over-emphasised. The measure of good traveller is how light he or she travels. Your travel gears, if light, can make your travel much more enjoyable. But, if you have to lug around the heavy excess baggage, it sucks.
Overtime I have learnt to travel light. I have reduced on clothing and the footwear that I use to carry earlier. Earlier, when I started, I use to carry one real big suitcase, one air bag, one camera bag and one more handbag which also doubled as a laptop bag. There is no air bag now and the size and weight of other pieces have also come down hell of a lot. Although, I must confess that the electronics in my bag have increased. Earlier there use to be only one point and shoot camera and one laptop. I think the electronics are now the necessary evil, as you need them for your travel convenience and they are all the more necessary if you are running a travel blog.
Pack this Bag
Now many of you may say, the size of bag also depends on whether you are travelling for three weeks or three months. My advice – pack same, whatever is the duration.
I don’t travel with backpack anymore as I find it to bothersome on my back. Instead, I go with my wheeled suitcase-cum-backpack, which is quite convenient. In fact, this was recommended in one of the travel blog. For me this was ideal – I can use it as wheeled bag or as a backpack, and it comes with a daypack which can comfortably ride on its bigger sibling when you are wheeling down your luggage. With a removable daypack and interchangeable carry straps, you have multiple gear-carrying options.
They are good for organising your stuff in the suitcase. I am not sure how good they are if you are using backpacks. I never used them when I was travelling with backpack. Now, I use eBags Packing Cubes, mesh bags and ‘pack it folder’. They help to pack like items together. For toiletries, computer stuff and medicines you can employ smaller cubes/pouches. The bigger ones can be used for different kind of clothing. For me they have made the process of packing and unpacking very easy and convenient. Now I don’t have to dig the whole suitcase to find exactly what I need. Just make sure that you are buying these cubes made up of very very flexible material, so that they can take whatever shape inside the suitcase.
I’m not going into how many shirts, t-shirts, jeans and shorts I pack. The mantra is – Go casual, simple and very light. All this should fit into a medium size suitcase or in a backpack.
Camera & Accessories
To run this blog I need good pictures. But for shooting good pictures you really don’t need very expensive cameras and accessories. I use very basic ones and quiet satified with them as of now.
I don’t have a fancy camera. I possess a simple Canon EOS Rebel T5 1200D. This camera can serve your purpose whether you are beginner or hobby photographer. My recommendation is to buy only the body of this camera, and not the 18-55 mm lens that generally comes with it. I don’t use 18-55 mm, my all purpose lens is 18-200 mm.
I have Tamron 18-200 lens. It is a versatile lens because of the range it covers without having to constantly change the lenses. Canon has a great piece in their repository, but I chose Tamron 18-200 lens as it costs less 1/3rd of the price of Canon lens. You will get good pictures with this lens too. The only drawback is the absence of VR mechanism. You need to have steady hands while shooting in dark or dim lights. But it is a good buy at the price at which it is available. If you want absolute best in this category, go for Canon 18-200, which comes with image stabilization feature but will also create a hole in the pocket. I am budget traveler and happy with my Tamron 18-200 lens.
You definitely require wide angle lens to shoot beautiful landscapes. I use Sigma 10-20 mm wide angle lens for landscapes. Great performance and great price.
GoPro Hero is my latest acquisition and also favourite these days. This sports camera has excellent video quality and colour. It is small, light and water proof. The one I possess is with LCD screen, which also allows me to use it like point & shoot camera. When I purchased it, it cost me about USD 300. They also have an entry level one without LCD and cost only 130USD. The Hero 3 and Hero 4 costs much higher but comes with lot of additional features. I would recommend GoPro Hero with LCD.
It may look silly to some people but ‘Selfie Stick’ is actually a great photography accessory for travellers, photography fans and for anyone who just wants to take better photo of themselves. Like it or not selfie stick is here to stay. I have a very sturdy Yunteng Selfie Stick, which I can use even with my DSLR with no bending whatsoever. However for taking selfies I generally use an iphone or GoPro. I do use it sometime as a monopod with my DSLR. You will find all kind of selfie sticks, very cheap to very expensive. I liked this one, Yunteng Selfie Stick, and very satisfied with my choice.
Computer & Accessories
There are so many light weight laptops, notebooks and ultrabooks on the shelf. But I use MacBook Air 13.3″, 128GB. I love Apple, period. You can use which ever you like, but make sure they are light and thin. Also, your laptop should be at least 128 GB, if you store lot of photos and videos. Though I use backup discs for storing my photos and videos, but still I have lot of stuff on my Macbook Air. Want even more smaller and lighter, you can go for Macbook Air 11.6″, 128 GB. But I like the screen size of 13.3″. I have always liked the Apple products for their performance, design, style and everything. This thinness and light weight comes at a cost, you don’t have a dvd drive. But then who wants the dvd drive in this age of USB pen drives.
I keep the backup of all my data in two hard drives, each 1 TB. Each hard drive is a copy of the other, in case one goes kaput. I also recommend to backup your photos and videos to cloud as soon as possible. If you are disciplined enough in this regard, you may not require the second hard drive.
I am so much in love with this gadget. Though, I can do everything on Macbook Air but ipad scores in convenience factor:
- It’s much lighter and thinner than even macbook air and thus easy to carry
- Battery life is longer
- Good for gaming enthusiast like me
- I have lot of e-books in ibook app
- When in the flight, I enjoy seeing movies on my ipad and e-books
Though 32 GB should be enough, but I am always carrying few movies on my ipad, hence 64 GB.
You also need a good unlocked smartphone. Why smartphone? In any case you need a phone for making calls, but with these smart phones you can do hell lot of other things too. They come with good cameras, front and back. You can shoot photos and also the selfies. You can use them for currency conversion, maps, and browsing net. You can download the apps for scanning flights and making booking on the go. The photo opportunity can come at any time, you may not always have a camera with you but phone will mostly be there. I still use iphone 4s, but since the latest is iphone 6 with some additional features you can take a call to go for either 4, 4s, 5s or 6 or for that matter any good smartphone, not necessarily Apple.
I always travel with these awesome guide books of Lonely Planet. They shows the spread of the country and give travel ideas regarding the must see and must do things, accommodations, food, culture, basically anything you need to know about the country. The pictures give the good glimpse of what the country may look like. Flipping through the pages, you may get inspired to visit some countries which otherwise were not there on your travel radar. Earlier I used to carry the physical copy but now I find pdf versions more convenient.
Disclosure : Some of the links in the above post are affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, of course at no extra cost to you. Regardless, I only recommend those items which I have used and believe will add value to my readers.
If you find this useful, Please Share !