In recent years, travelling has become more accessible. An example would be affordability, with the rise of the sharing economies, business like Airbnb and uber allow for more affordable lodging and transportation compared to the more traditional hotels and motels, and public transportation.
|The stuffs of dreams!|
After visiting Tokyo in 2013, I found that even though the city was dense and complicated, it was possible to get around the country of Japan with just an internet connection, Google and a bit luck. So when we decided to take up this challenge. If you'd like to know more of our misadventures in Osaka and Kyoto with only a budget of PHP 45,000.00 or USD 1000.00. It is written in detail at my website: www.whatneilwritesabout.com. You are welcome to read it. This article however will focus on the gear I used to get around the bustling cities of Osaka and Kyoto.
1. Pocket WiFi
Having Google as our primary guide, Internet Connection is the resource we must have on the go as such, the Pocket WiFi is our number one gadget in this list.
|You can go almost anywhere in the city and have reception except for when underground!|
The GIZGUIDE team always carry their personal pocket WiFi as it is a more affordable option than Data plans for the bandwidth we consume. It is also very popular for tourists visiting Japan. In fact, Pocket WiFi rental establishments can be found in certain Major Airports. If you're not a fan there are companies that let you rent Pocket WiFi in Japan directly from their website. An example is 'http://blank-wifi.com/.' (The website has an English version)
2. Smart Device with web browsing capability, and with Google Apps & Services Installed
This is pretty straight forward as we can not access google without web browsing or Google Applications and Services. We will be using the following: Google App, Google Maps, Google Street view, Google Translate/Goggles, Google Calendar and Google Keep.
|We recommend the affordable Ekotek Ekotab Encore 2u|
We will be carrying several smartphones and tablets because phones can call and text in case of emergencies, and tablets because of their day long battery life. We personally carried the Lenovo Phab Plus, Ekotek Ekotab Encore 2U and the Cherry Mobile Cosmos S2.
3. Power Banks and Spare Batteries
Let's be frank! Battery life is the bane of any smart device constantly connected to the internet. So for any eventuality we must have our batteries charged as much as possible. Power banks and extra batteries are life savers for a lot of us. This is vital because we will be in a foreign land with a foreign language.
|The Powerbank helps because the pocket wifi usually needs to be charged along the way!This is the Ekopack Slim 6000|
During the trip, we found several occasions where we needed to charge the pocket wifi while we were travelling and needed the internet to check which trains we needed to take to get to our next destination!
4. USB Charging Hub
In my more recent travels, the number of gadgets I bring have increased, this in turn adds another problem. The number of sockets in a room are usually limited. The dilemma of which device should you charge first has become quite real. The USB hub is great way to charge five devices in one go thus effectively lessening the problem.
5. Spare USB cables
In connection with number four, the appearance of extra USB ports means you need more than one cable at a time to charge those devices at the same time!
There are two types of people in the world: people who choose to live in the moment, and cherish it as it is, and people who find ways to preserve that moment in another form of media for future reference. A camera is a good way of doing the latter. Come on, you're shelling out money on your vacation, you might as well preserve it, right?
Now the problem with travelling is that you are always on the move, and sometimes for hours. This leads to exhaustion which makes the gear you are carrying to be more cumbersome as the day passes. Lessening the weight by getting small sized gear seems fitting.
7. Spare Media Storage
In connection to number six, Spare SD cards can help as you don't know how much pictures you'll be taking. SD cards are also notorious for failing when you need them most. A second card can save the day.
Once you get back to your lodging, a spare Hard disk can also help backup all the media you've taken.
8. Mobile In-Ear Monitors
I have friends who must to be able to listen to their personal soundtrack wherever they go and they've always carried their own In-ear Monitors, earphones or head phones. I personally am not much of an audiophile and I only use my In-ear monitors if I need watch or listen to media that cannot wait to be seen or heard later. For this trip I barely got to use mine but there were instances where I could have like during the long train ride to Kyoto.
9. Mobile Workstation
I have a laptop that serves as my workstation for both work and personal use. I highly recommend a laptop in the 11" to the 13" range if you like to be mobile because the weight really adds up the longer you are travelling.
10. Traveling Bag
A bag big enough to carry all your gadgets plus important documents but small enough not to be to cumbersome on your day long adventure. Finding the balance can be the trickiest part of this. I personally love the suitcase like bags with straps that you can hand hold or the straps that go across your body and hang on one shoulder.
And there you have it! These are the 10 essential gadgets I carry with me wherever I go. If you like our list or would like to recommend an item we may have missed, don't hesitate to contact us via the comments below!