TravGads – The Ultimate & Somewhat Necessary Travel Gadgets

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TravGads – The Ultimate & Somewhat Necessary Travel Gadgets - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

Note: NONE of the products spoken about in this post are through paid endorsement. These are my own views and opinions. 
People collect spoons. People collect stamps. People collect t-shirts. I, on the other hand, collect TRAVEL GADGETS (TravGads). Why do you ask? Well, who doesn’t love a good gadget? I certainly don’t think I am the only one owning some new, fresh and helpful TravGads, but I do certainly own a lot, and Jarrad certainly thinks I have a problem.

But what constitutes a gadget? I tend to think a good TravGad is something that is innovative and exciting, however, could be a simple necessity. Being a school teacher digital technology is a MASSIVE focus, and hence I have a newfound love for technology. Whether it is flipped learning or online school communities, I could talk technology in education until the cows come home. This love for technology has indeed rolled into my other love travelling. So what modern travel gadgets do I own? 

#1 – 360 Fly (360 Degree Camera)

Our newest camera with the newest technology. As the name and the video above suggest this device provides 360-degree viewing like no other. As this is new to us we are still learning the ropes and are yet to create anything amazing to be totally honest. However, the more we experiment and the more we play, the more excited I am to create vlogs for our YouTube Channel while on our extended trip during 2017. Just imagine you don’t have to watch us if you don’t want to, you can totally turn your back and view the other side of the video simply by using the arrows. 

As this is new technology, software is still evolving, prices aren’t cheap, and the quality isn’t what a GoPro would produce however this interesting piece of technology may change the way we film, and that excites me. Oh, and it even takes 360-degree photos, which is a bonus. 

#2 – Birksun, Solar Panal Backpack

TravGads - Birksun, Solar Panel Backpack - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

Taking the Birksun on a hike in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia​

​All the way from the US of A I purchased the incredible Birksun Elevate backpack that has the capability of charging a whole heap of other travel gadgets using just the sun. Now how useful is that while travelling?

The backpack itself is stylish and useful. It has been taken on a multitude of hikes in Australia, and I cannot wait to use it while hiking the Inca Trail in January in 2017. In fact, I justified purchasing this item purely for the Inca Trail because I am paranoid I will walk into Macchu Picchu and not be able to take one photo of the experience due to every device being dead. 

Cons to this backpack include that it is rather small and can’t fit as much as I was hoping. Other than that it is slightly on the expensive side but being relatively new technology, I expected this. 

#3 – The Common Yet Needed, GoPro

Zorbing in New Zealand using the chesty mount for the GoPro Hero 4

TravGads - GoPro Hero 4 - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

Letting the GoPro Hero 4 do its thing while kayaking Milford Sound, New Zealand

​How else can you get footage of zorbing in New Zealand and diving with turtles in the Maldives? With a GoPro, of course! My Hero4 Silver is with me on every trip. 

Yes I have the dreaded selfie stick which is one of my favourite mounts, but I also have several other mounts I couldn’t live without. The head mount was used when I was luging in Queenstown, New Zealand. The chesty mount was incorporated when we jumped in a huge inflatable ball to roll down a hill in Rotorua, New Zealand. The ‘floaty back door’ which is a floating device you can stick to the back of your GoPro was incorporated while kayaking Milford Sound to ensure if we dropped the GoPro we weren’t going to lose it to the dark depths of the sound. Can you tell I got this gadget just before I went to New Zealand ha ha? 

I also have a floating waterproof mount that was used when swimming or snorkelling just like when I was in the Maldives

#4 – GoFlex Case For The GoPro

TravGads - GoFlex Case For The GoPro - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

​How annoying are those hard cases for storing GoPros? They are not practical, and from a space and size aspect, they are a nightmare. Therefore after much searching, I came across the GoFlex case, which is a soft case that unrolls where you can keep all your small parts associated with a GoPro. 

Unfortunately, it won’t holder the larger mounts such as the head and chesty mounts but other than that we have all other GoPro accessories safely stored in the space saving option. Not only is GoPro equipment stored within this case but also other camera equipment and our SPOT GPS Tracker, which I talk about later. A perfect investment for travel. 

#5 – Sony Alpha6000 Mirrorless Camera

TravGads - Sony Alpha6000 Mirrorless Camera - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

Stunning sunset taken in Lombok, Indonesia by the Sony Alpha6000

​Ok ok so yes I have a GoPro and a 360 Fly, so why do I need ANOTHER camera? Well as amazing and awesome the GoPro is, let us be honest it takes shit night time shots and close ups because it is not equipped for those situations. It could also be mentioned that there are two of us who contribute to this travel blog and hence multiple cameras are necessary. Also, the quality of the GrPro and the 360Fly are good but not as good as something like a DSLR or Mirrorless camera. 

For anyone not familiar with Mirrorless cameras here is my simple understanding. So you are aware I am no camera expert, and this is just my opinion and personal account from what I have been told by the experts. Any camera experts are invited to comment on this post and correct any errors I hopefully won’t make. So, a Mirrorless camera differs from a DSLR because simply there is no mirror. What this allows is a smaller and lighter camera that takes a photo as good as the DSLR’s. Simple huh. 

Obviously when you are travelling size and weight are the Holy Grail. Therefore I was looking for something smaller but with the quality. After lots of research, and finally, purchasing I fell in love with the Sony Alpha6000 and wouldn’t have anything else. Doesn’t the photo above speak for itself? 

#6 – iPad Mini

TravGads - iPad Mini - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

​Oh, the glorious iPad Mini. It is small and compact and is perfect for travelling. Forget paperback books and buy them through iTunes. BAM!! You then have them all accessible right there on your iPad Mini again saving you space and weight while travelling. Also, because I travel with my partner, the iPad is a great companion to our computer. Each of us can use a device while travelling. 

#7 – 13 Inch MacBook Air

TravGads - 13 Inch Macbook Air - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

​Love it love it love it. It is small lightweight and perfect for travelling. I can do all my blogging, skyping, banking and holiday planning for this incredible computer. Unfortunately the amount of space is limited on such a device, and for this reason, I always carry a hard drive. The perfect set up for us. 

#8 – 2TB Slim Hard Drive

​As mentioned above the MacBook Air, unfortunately, does not come with a lot of storage and therefore we travel with a 2TB hard drive to back EVERYTHING up. From photos to blog posts, everything is saved on this hard drive. Currently while writing this post, I am contemplating that it may be a good idea to purchase another hard drive as another backup device just in case one is lost or stolen. If I have one and my partner has one we should be covered, right? 

#9 – SPOT GPS Tracker

TravGads - SPOT GPS Tracker - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

​Want to track where you have been? Want to ensure safety; then the SPOT GPS Tracker is for you. One our newest TravGads, this device, is something we are still trying to get the hang of. This little device will drop pins where you are as well as sending specific emails you set up to allow family members and friends to follow your progress and ensure you are safe. I can’t wait to use this TravGad while in Antarctica and when I have no way of contacting home.  The other cool feature is if you were to get yourself in trouble there is a button you can press to ensure rescue. Nice to know someone is going to come and get you when you when the worst happens. 

Unfortunately, this device is a little pricey and once purchased you are also required to buy a subscription for it to work (something we didn’t realise a time of purchase, as it was an impulsive buy in a closing down sale). In hindsight, though I feel this is a great investment considering your safety is priceless, and I know mum is happy we have this travelling with us. 

#10 – Steripen

TravGads - SteriPEN - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

​Our newest and least used gadget and boy and I excited for it. The SteriPEN enables you to sterilise clear water for all the bad bugs that may be present in the water as you travel. Not only will we now save a small fortune on bottled water we will also help protect the environment. I must admit I am a little nervous to use it in the third world as currently I have only used it in Australia but don’t fear I will keep you posted on how it goes. 
So there you have it, our favourite TraGads. In saying that though there are a few obvious gadgets that are missing and our friends over at Fab Meets World are on a similar wave length and love a good TravGad. Fabio has created an incredible infographic to highlight his TOP 7 GADGET ESSENTIALS TO TRAVEL WITH, many of which we travel with too.

7 Gadget Essentials To Travel With – An infographic by Fab Meets World

So What Is Next…….I Need Your Help!

I will be honest here a drone of some kind is on my radar for my next TravGad. My only problem is size, space and ease of travel. If anyone has any tips on this topic I would love to hear from you. Please either comment below or email me directly at lauren (at) hashtagljojlo (dot) com. Your input will be truly valued.
So what are your thoughts? Have we missed anything? Is there a TravGad you use you can’t live without? As a lover of TRAVEL GADGETS I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences on what my next TravGad should be. 

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