Tips for Traveling With Gadgets

Posted on August 1, 2014

Blogging requires you to be a bit of a tech-geek. It might seem like a glamorous life but in reality we spend more time behind our computers than anything else. Writing text, looking for inspiration, editing photos, etc. Next to that you also get about a gazillion e-mails that you have to answer sooner rather than later. So sometimes it can turn into a bit of a chaos. There are however some tools in order to make life and blogging a bit easier. In this series, I’ll share my blogger toolkit. Websites, apps, gadgets and technology that will make life a bit easier, whether you’re a blogger or not.

Traveling with gadgets can be a bit of a headache. We all know that travel and gadgets often don’t mix since our technological helpers can be very fragile. Everyone has their stories. I once sat in a little wooden boat frantically protecting my Ipad from the waves. I broke my camera while falling and injuring my foot in Thailand and my phone later that year while celebrating New Years. I also get a little bit paranoid about walking around with expensive equipment and prefer to have a safe everywhere I stay. Consequently I’m always on the look-out to best protect my gadget so I get them home safely. I haven’t found the holy grail against water, breaking and theft just yet but in the meantime I refuse to leave them home enjoying my travels. Talking pictures and documenting my travels is just part of the whole experience.

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Several electronic gadgets are almost crucial for me. Depending on how long I will be traveling, I will take different electronic devises with me. When I know I have some time to work on the blog, I’ll take my laptop with me but when I traveled to Thailand for three weeks, I only took my Ipad Mini. I already made a list of the items I have in my ready-to-go blogger toolkit here. This kit hasn’t really changed much apart from the UE Mini Boom that I recently received to test and am in love with.

In this post I would like to share with you the items that I have found very useful while traveling with my gadgets. As you know I travel often by myself. While going to the beach, leaving your phone, keys and money when you go swimming can be tricky. Before I left to Thailand last year, I spent quite a lot of time looking for a waterproof bag so I could take everything with me in the water. For some reason I didn’t find it so when I discovered the Voyager by Cellularline I was quite excited. It’s the perfect solution and is also very inexpensive (only 14.90 euro) . I tested it thoroughly in our Bonnieux pool and during a midnight water-fight. The Voyager kept its promise and didn’t let a drip of water through. The guidelines say it can go to 20 meters deep and you can keep your stuff close with the included neck-strap. To make it even easier you can download the free Voyager Fotofun app (on Apple and Android) with heightened screen sensibility and bigger buttons to make taking photo’s under water a piece of cake. An app of which I’m certain can be handy in any under water situation.

Update: I went full on swimming with my phone yesterday in the natural swimming pool of Antwerp and my phone stayed perfectly dry and safe!

Another case I haven’t tested yet but sparked my curiosity is the Lifeproof Iphone case. It claims to protect your phone from falling, dirt, snow and water. The design also seems to be extremely thin and light, which I personally find very important. I don’t want to walk around with what seems to be a car-tire around my phone. If you planning on going swimming, they also have an additional Lifejacket to put around your case. This orange band makes sure your phone has extra shock protection, keeps it afloat and enables you to reach all the buttons. Does anybody have any experience with this case or any other thin and elegantly design case that fully protects your phone?

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Because my Ipad is just as fragile as my phone, I also was looking was some extra protection here. While talking with Logitech, I shared this concern and they were so kind to let me test their more sturdy Ipod case, the Big Bang case. I used to have just a hard plastic cover and you can immediately see the added benefit of the bumper edges. It has a magnetic cover just like other cases but the top is made liquid repellent so it won’t hurt if you spill a bit. Toilet accidents however won’t be protected as the Ipad isn’t fully covered. I have to admit that I didn’t start throwing my Ipad around the room but I do feel a lot safer with this case. One of the reasons I bought an Ipad mini is because I didn’t want to carry any extra weight. The case did add some more weight to the Ipad than I expected but still less then any of the other cases that I have seen with the same protection level.

Lastly, my favorite of the bunch, I would like to introduce you to the UE Mini Boom by Ultimate Ears. Everywhere I took this little box, people were swooning over it. You can expect an amazing sound from this little machine! I’ve been able to entertain my friends by the swimming pool and took over the local bar with my DJ-skills. This box connects with your devices through Bluetooth, can connect 2 devices at the same time and will play all sounds coming from the phone. This means that you can also take a conference call through through the box but you will also hear incoming notifications. So if you use it for a party, I would suggest turning your phone’s sound off. I found that it’s the perfect party-accessory when making new friend because everyone can just share their favorite music. The sound stays good when the device streaming the music stays within 10 meters but it does stay perfect when you keep the device a little closer. You can also connect several devices to turn up the volume even higher and it is water resistant! I didn’t worry about putting it in the middle of all the beers or around my friends while they were jumping in the water.

Do you have foolproof gadget protectors that you love or that you think I should try?

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Photos by me, 2nd photo my friend Laura. Visual by me, photos 1, 2, 3 and 4