Must Have Travel Tech

In Hacks, Lists by The Wandering Canucks0 Comments

This is the future. Technology has permeated almost every part of our lives, and that includes travel. Here is a list of our favourite ‘travel’ tech to take with us on the road!

Smart Phones

Jenna: This is sort of a no brainer, but I take my iPhone everywhere. I used to opt to leave it at home but it has just become such a handy tool that I can’t justify leaving it behind. Apps, maps, music, movies, games, you name it. The camera is even pretty great. And we all know how great Instagram is for keeping your friends and family updated on the road.

Kait: I recently jumped ship from Apple and picked up a Samsung Galaxy S5 for my cellular device needs. I am so happy I made the change. This phone, while still being packed full of tons of goodies like it’s iPhone counterpart, has so many more useful travel friendly features. The two that really make this phone for me are quite simple: 1) expandable memory and 2) removable battery. When my phone starts filling up, I just need to pick up a larger memory card, pop it in and voila! I have eons more space to store photos, music and all of my travel documentation. And those instances where I am on the road and don’t have access to a plugin to charge my phone? No sweat! I can pick up a spare battery (or two), keep those bad boys charged up and change them out as needed. I love this phone!

Ariel: So, I’m not very technology savvy… ask Kait… So I’ve never taken my phone with me on a trip before. But recently I got a Nexus 5 and I have to admit that it’s making me rethink taking my phone on my next trip.

Evie: I am fully tied to my iPhone whilst in Canada and the UK but it would very much depend on my destination as to wether I’d take it with me. One week in Mexico at a nice hotel with a safe? Absolutely. Backpacking in Thailand? No. Way. I got a free Samsung tablet when I opened my bank account in Canada (random I know) – if I needed wifi, I’d take this (see next topic!) Looking back, I’ve actually never taken a phone on any trip which seems kind of absurd in hindsight. When I first backpacked solo at 18, wifi wasn’t really a big thing so I just used internet cafes. I would never have considered calling my parents (oh my poor parents…)

THOUGH, somewhere I did use my iPhone – when hiking Mount Fuji. I managed to facetime my parents over 3G from the top. Absolute technology win – all the way from the tallest mountain in Japan to England.

From the top of Mount Fuji at Sunset - Japan to England

From the top of Mount Fuji at Sunset – Japan to England


Evie: I’ve taken my iPad on a lot of short trips or week trips to ‘safe’ places (I do appreciate you can get pick-pocketed anywhere though). It’s been really helpful for planning trips on the road and checking in online. As mentioned above, I certainly wouldn’t take it backpacking or anywhere that I’d have to constantly worry about it. I would however take a cheap tablet. The fact is, I only need to use wifi abroad – if I can access email, Skype and a web-browser, I’m good. I’d therefore definitely recommend investing in a ‘cheap’ tablet – my iPhone is actually worth more than the tablet I have so it makes sense to leave that one at home.


Ariel: Because of the above-mentioned lack of phone on my travels, one of my biggest must haves when travelling is my iPod nano… which is 8 years old… Have I mentioned the lack of technology in my life??

Evie: Also love taking my iPod with me. It’s less valuable than my iPod or iPhone and very light. Great to wile away the hours of a journey. I definitely recommend podcasts too.

Kobo, or any eReader

Jenna: I know sometimes people love an old fashioned book, and its fun to leave them at hostels and pick up new ones along the way. But with an eReader you can carry thousands of books at once, and I’m all for that. I love reading on the road, and I can easily download books relevant to my location (in english) when I’m connected to WiFi. Trust me, trying to find a fun book to read in English while you’re in Italy isn’t the easiest thing to do. I also like to put all of my guidebooks on it! Then I don’t have to lug around those giants.

Ariel: I was definitely one of those people that refused to switch to an e-reader. I just love the feel of an actual book. But I read really fast and really often… and carrying 8 paperback novels to Europe really cuts into your weight allowances… Plus, I re-read my books so I’m really hesitant to leave them anywhere. So, I hit my limit when I went on ten day trip to eastern Europe for a friend’s wedding and had to take 6 books… I caved and requested a Kobo for Christmas… and it was the best decision I could have made.

Evie: I love my Kindle. I read super fast so it’s a great, convenient way to kill time on the move. The battery is great – I think I charged it once on a 6 week trip. It is also cheap enough that it’s not the end of the world if it’s stolen (I sound so cynical! Sorry!)

GoPro and DSLR

Jaimie: I used to be content bringing nothing but my $100 point and shoot on holidays. Long gone are those days. Although my purse is a little more crammed these days, the things that you can capture with these devices is worth it’s weight. I really blame MVK for changing my mind here!!

Kait: Like Jaimie, I used to be happy bringing my little point and shoot along on trips. Never again. The two point and shoots that I own are in pretty rough shape, given that I was hardly kind to them when they lived in my purse, and that abuse shows in the photos they take. But even with that in mind, I will probably never rely solely on a point and shoot for my camera needs again. My darling boy got me a Canon Rebel T3 this past Christmas and I am in love. Yes, it is a bit of a learning curve and yes it takes a bit more work and tech-savvyness to use, but the difference in quality of my photos is astounding and I still barely know how to use all the features packed into it. I am so excited to really learn how to use my new toy and see the impact that has on my travel photography going forward. Love love love!

Ariel: Okay… no DSLR or GoPro for me… I wish I had a DSLR and it’s on my wish list. However, my absolute must have is my point and shoot camera – I have a Nikon Coolpix something or other and I absolutely love it. Even once I get a fancier camera I definitely would still take this one with me, simply for ease of carrying and shooting.