I Won't Leave Home Without....

My favourite gadgets that are essential to my travel experience, in no particular order: Please note I paid for and use all products mentioned. I endorse them without any compensation ... which is kinda the story of my life: Opinions For Free! 1. IPad:

It's important to me that I download photos daily to ensure I have the irreplaceable image files on a device and on the cloud. Like most, I need devices and internet connectivity for accessing and organizing travel/health documents, communication, books, music, podcasts, entertainment, research, travel booking, email, social media, navigation, access to my financial and medical information, etc. As a solo traveller, making regular check-ins are vital for our loved ones' peace of mind. I'm old and my eyesight isn't what it used to be. I hate using my phone for internet or photo editing because the screen is too small. I need a bigger screen and buttons but I don't want to carry my laptop when travelling. If I'm overseas and using public transportation, I don't want the extra weight nor the worry. I have an Ipad mini which works to give me a big enough screen yet it tucks safely into my day bag and adds very little weight to my carry-load. I have a folding portable Bluetooth keyboard that I will use when doing a lot of typing.


2. Skyroam Solis HotSpot

Roaming charges are extravagant for Canadians and, until recently, using foreign SIM cards was next to impossible. When I was leading student groups on international trips, I needed a consistent internet connection, but I couldn't justify the cost and hassle of adding that service onto my plan for a couple of weeks each school year. I discovered Skyroam. It's a pay-as-you-go mobile hotspot, cheaper than my mobile provider that multiple devices can use simultaneously. The 3G original served me incredibly well for many years. I easily upgraded to the 4G. Anywhere in the world there is a cellphone signal, this device will connect and create a hotspot. I plan on adding a cell signal booster antenna to Wanda sometime in the next year.


3. Manfrotto Cube Charger


I got this game-changing charger after I arrived in Portugal to discover I had not packed my camera charger. Travel Buddy Mady and I tried to find a shop with a charger for my camera without success. Eventually we went into a camera shop where the proprietor had this device: the Manfrotto Pro Power Cube. He thought it was way more than I needed and thought it too expensive for my requirements (it was), but he couldn't offer another solution anywhere in the city of Porto. He charged my dead battery, gave me a ridiculous discount, and sent us to his favourite bar down the street to enjoy some yummy drinks. Not only can it supercharge two camera batteries at the same time, but it also includes a USB charger. It came with multiple battery inserts and international outlet adapters. I'm not sure I've even seen my camera charger since I got this. 4. Camera and Gear



I love my Nikon camera and all the lens and accessories but I don't carry everything with me as a general rule. If I expect to be photographing birds or other wildlife, I will bring my humongous lens. If I'm hiking, I leave it behind. For some photoshoots, a tripod is handy but in other circumstances, it can be a complete P.I.T.A. My camera is necessary. I have caught myself checking out drones. I think there is one in my (near) future. I may be buying myself a gift.



5. Portable Power Banks



I have several of these that I keep charged up and carry for charging when I'm away from an outlet or in a room with few outlets. I look for pocket-sized, high capacity chargers with multiple outputs. My current favourite also has a built in flashlight. I also have a couple of solar charging power banks that do well when charged from an outlet but never seem to charge fully from the sun. I need to recycle them and get them out of my space. I got them for when I was off-grid, but Wanda is equipped to go off-grid and they are not longer needed. I need to recycle them and get them out of my space. That's it. My top 5 travel gadgets that I won't leave home without. What are your top travel gadgets?