December 18, 2015
4 Minute Read.
Working in the tech industry and traveling the world comes with pros and cons. While you have the freedom to work from anywhere, you need to make sure you’re traveling light. At the beginning of next year, I’ll be leaving for a year-long extended honeymoon around the world. This trip promises to be much different than the other backpacking adventures I’ve been on. Not only for the obvious reason of being married, but also because I’m a web developer now, not an out of work student.
Being a traveling professional will mean that I’ll need to take more equipment with me than I have in past years. I’ll need my laptop and a laptop-friendly traveling backpack to carry my many other devices. All of this extra equipment could mean a pretty heavy bag, so my main goal before I leave is to find small, durable, light tech to bring with me.
The first thing I needed to figure out was my bag. After looking through a ton of backpacks at local equipment stores I still wasn’t completely satisfied with my options. I started looking online and that’s when I found my solution, the Tortuga Backpack. It looks a lot different than your typical traveler’s backpack, it’s square and opens like a suitcase. It also contains a padded compartment for your computer, which is exactly what I wanted.
Personally, I think the days where you can only access your things from the top of your bag are gone. However, I also don’t want to carry around luggage that rolls or is clunky like a lot of suitcases. So this bag is pretty perfect for all of my needs. I’ll know better once I’m on the road but for now, good job Tortuga. Plus, the word Tortuga means Turtle in Spanish and for those of you who don’t know that my middle name is Turtle, now you might see why is was really the only choice for me.
If you’re looking for some other great options, there are a lot out there. The blog, The Savvy Backpacker, made an excellent list of good traveling backpacks to choose from, take a look if you’re interested.
Every item in your bag, no matter the size, adds weight on your back. So if you’re able to afford a new, lighter laptop, your back will probably thank you in the end. I’ve listed the top picks around the web for both Mac and Windows below.
13-inch Macbook Air
The Hard Drive
Before you end up crying over a margarita because all of your photos disappeared off your camera, you should back up everything! I’ve been using a LaCie hard drive and I love it. It’s light, durable and holds enough data. If you’re looking for a cheaper but equally durable hard drive there is the Transcend Military Drop Tested Harddrive. It is slower than the LaCie but gets the job done.
The Bluetooth Tracker
Scared of losing your bag or a personal item that you’ll be bringing with you? A bluetooth tracker might be the perfect solution for you. The Wirecutter has kindly written an article on the best bluetooth tracker in their opinion, so take a read if you’re interested.
The Mobile Phone
I’ve traveled without a phone before but I won’t be doing it again. I love being able use my phone as my camera and the iPhone 6 takes fantastic photos. So unlocking it will be next step before I leave. By unlocking my phone I’ll be able to use a pre-paid SIM card and take advantage of cheaper calling and data rates.
If you’d rather not carry a smartphone or are worried about your current one being stolen or broken, most places you adventure to will have cheap cells and SIM cards you can purchase. You may not need a smartphone but boy are they handy with apps like Google Translate, Skype and TripIt.
I’ve used both an Android and IOS phone before. My preference these days is the iPhone 6 but our office has a wide range of answers to which phone is best. Samsung’s Galaxy S6 is another pretty great choice. It has a good camera, 1-day battery life with quick charging, and a multitude of cool features and available apps.
You have all of this equipment but you’re on the other side of the world with different sources of power so what do you do? You’ll need to plug in your handy dandy power adapter.
If you’re a tech traveler you’ll want to check out Too Many Adapters, a great website with you in mind! Other websites to check out are Nomadic Matt – general travel focus, Tech Guide for Travel – tech travel focus, and Our Awesome Planet – food travel focus.
If you have any other suggestions for me on how to travel for this year abroad, I’d love to hear from you. As this will be my last post with SplitMango for quite some time I’ll say goodbye for now.
Take care and happy travels!