Technology, you fickle female you. I could live without you but I enjoy your bright lights too much. We pack super light, which means only the necessities – even the baby needs to state her case as to why she should be included. So we’ve boiled our tech schlep down to these 10 items regardless of length of trip or location.
Tumi Luggage Weight Scale – That Sarah McLaughlin PETA song plays in my head when I watch someone redistribute luggage weight at an airport check-in counter. Fend off being a charity case by keeping a small luggage scale in your bag so you don’t have to worry or pay through your sad puppy nose.
Skross World Travel Adapter– Avoid adapter sets with a dozen attachments. I’m not trying to build my own adapter like a Lego set people. Opt for an all-in-one that’ll cover 90% of your travels.
Canon SLR Camera– It took me a while to realize that cool kids don’t wear pumped up kicks, they wear cameras. Yep that’s right, the cool kids are the ones engaging with their environments enough to look uncool by trotting along their real cameras vs. relying solely on their iPhone. We have a safari lens the size of Rhode Island and then some smaller ones for city travel and I’ve never regretted schlepping them around for a minute.
iPhone – If I’m going to be in a place for more than a week or there on business I’ll grab a SIM card at the airport so I have internet access while abroad. (Tip: I always keep a paper clip in my wallet to zip new SIM cards in and out in a flash. In a pinch an earring backing works just as well).
Mophie Juice Pack Air – My phone is like a toddler, it has bright eyed bushy tailed energy in the morning and is running on fumes by the afternoon, right around the time I need to Google map my way back to the hotel (I swear we were down this canal, or was it that canal? FML). I like the Mophie Juice better than those extra battery packs for charging all your devices because the Mophie stays on my phone and charges each night, whereas I only remember to charge those extra pocket chargers when I’m really on my game…so, never.
Macbook Apple Air Laptop – Don’t bring your enormous clunky laptop you’d sign out from the IT department at work. I’m talking a nice sleek light laptop you’re happy to take out in public. Just make sure you password protect it incase you accidentally (read: drunkenly) forget it at a bar or restaurant and someone else gets their curious paws on it.
iPad Mini – I used mine as a kindle BR (Before Rae) but now that reading is a thing of the past it can be pulled out as a last ditch effort to keep the child from exploding in public (apparently being distracted by bright lights is hereditary). Do I hate seeing kids everywhere on their tech vs. interacting with their environment? YES. Do I use it only if the Rae Apocalypse has descended upon us in an enclosed area like a plane? YES. Am I trying to win parent of the year by not using it? NOPE. The goal is for everyone to survive without mental, physical or emotional injury.
Bose Noise Canceling Headphones – That underlying buzzing sound on airplanes is so much louder than you realize until you pop one of these bad boys on. It’s like the door in your house that you thought only slightly creaked until you close it after putting an infant to sleep, at which point it sounds like a stampede of wildebeests migrating through the room. The rumors are true, noise canceling headphones are a traveling necessity. Like Pringles, once you pop you just can’t stop!
Koss Two Prong Headphone Adapter – So you have these fancy headphones and you’re ready to lose a small portion of your hearing while watching the latest action thriller. And then you see it…the airplane headphone jack is two pronged! Instead of hearing the movie only in your right ear just stash a two prong jack in your headphone case and never have an issue again. (Tip: Most fancy headphones come with this, but if they don’t then definitely buy it separately).
iLuv Headphone Splitter – A date night at the movies in our world is the two of us sitting next to each other on a plane syncing when we press play on our in flight entertainment system. But when we’re off a plane and only have one device charged between the two of us we use a headphone splitter. Romantic isn’t it?
These gadgets have been with me from remote African towns where Nokia cell phones are all the rage to the robot discos of Tokyo. Unplug while you experience new adventures and use tech tools to bring home some memories from your time being off the grid. Just remember, even MTV’s “Unplugged” had some cords involved 🙂
P.S. – Click the BOLD words for links to the products online.