It’s Chrismachannakwanza-time again! Since we’re coming home so close to Christmas, we’ve already finished our holiday shopping but if you’re still looking for something for the traveler in your life (hopefully you have one!) below are 10 items that we use and love.
- Kindle Keyboard 3G – This device has saved us on many occasions. Not only does it provide reading material, but we specifically chose the old version of the Kindle due to the Free Whispernet internet connection. In 80% of the countries we traveled through, we had EDGE or 3G service available on the Kindle. We never had to buy a sim card just to check our email or get directions if we were lost. It’s the worst device to browse the Internet on, but it’s better than nothing!
- MacBook Air 13″ – It’s the ultimate travel laptop. It’s so small and light, and it just works. The 13″ model has a nice large display resolution which is enough for even the Photoshop work that I do.
- Rugged External Hard Drive – We have the 500GB version, and it handles our local backups, holds all our original photos, and all of our music/movies/tv shows. This is especially important for having some type of backup when you’re without Internet access.
- Flickr Pro – We have over 23,000 photos uploaded so far this year. We couldn’t imagine losing any of these photos, so they all get uploaded as soon as possible. It doubles as a poor-man’s CDN for our blog photos. If you don’t like Flickr, SmugMug and 500px are two other options. If you’re serious about your photos, back them up online.
- CrashPlan+ – Are you noticing a theme here? We can’t stress enough how important it is to have backups as digital nomad. For about $10 a month, CrashPlan allows us to backup up to 10 computers to the cloud and to an external hard drive. If you don’t need that much (how much do you like your data?) the free version allows you to backup to an external drive or a friend’s computer.
- Two-Sided Packing Cube – The ultimate organizational tool. Roll your clothes and place them on each side of the cube and place the cube in your pack. Super easy, and almost all of our clothes fit in just one packing cube.
- Canon PowerShot Elph 100 HS – We love our Pentax DSLR and Tamron 18-200 lens, but it just isn’t always practical to carry around. We bought the little Canon the night before we left on the trip as our other point-and-shoot had just died. It’s done an excellent job with photos and HD video over the trip. We had to get it repaired in Cusco, and I’d be willing to buy it again we like it so much.
- Space Pen and Moleskine Notebook – I have the Fisher Bullet Space Pen. It writes upside down, under water, and in extreme hot and cold temperatures. I rarely need that kind of performance out of a pen, but it’s just pretty awesome regardless, and fits in your pocket. I brought 4 different types of Moleskine notebooks on the trip and they’re great for notes, tracking your budget, or planning out your world domination strategy.
- Book Book – Traveling with a MacBook Air we are always careful not to flash it around. The book book cover disguises our expensive computer as an old worn book. It’s also quite the conversation starter, which may or may not negate any advantage it provides for disguising the computer.
- Unconventional Guides – If the traveler on your list is looking for some business or international travel advice, we highly recommend Chris Guillebeau’s Unconventional Guides. We’ve used the Frequent Flier Master, Travel Hacking Cartel and Empire Building Kit ourselves.
It’s important to simplify and not collect a bunch of junk you don’t need, which is why if you’re going to buy something, you want to make sure its the best. These are some of the tools that have been invaluable to us over the year, and I hope they come in handy for you too!
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