Below are my essential travel electronics. While I secretly wish I didn’t need electronics, they are necessary and appreciated. So I keep them as minimal as possible (though I might eventually add a GoPro to this list). XO
We finally bought Google Fi Pixel 3 XL smartphones so we can enjoy a super affordable Google Fi phone service, whether we’re in our home country or located internationally. We waited until these phones were on sale (buy one, get the other 1/2 off), yet there are much cheaper Fi phones, too. So how is all of this affordable Fi goodness possible?
A Google Fi phone is specially built to use the Google Fi service
the Google Fi phone/service work off of three major cell networks, plus wi-fi (so tons of coverage)
the Google Fi phone/service costs the same to use it in 170+ countries as it does to use it in the States (except: the only difference is a minimal/affordable charge for phone calls when traveling in other countries)
the Google Fi phone has an excellent (and low light) camera
the Google Fi phone/service eliminates the need for SIM cards while traveling (though there is a SIM slot still there)
everyone we know who has the Google Fi phone/service raves about it, especially while traveling overseas
TIP: the only way to ensure we had an authentic Fi phone and that we were signed up for the authentic Fi service was to buy the phone and service via the Google online store (I share this because another cell carrier tried to steer us elsewhere, when we specifically said we were searching for Fi, which means we could have accidentally purchased an expensive phone that would have never worked with Fi). So we learned to just trust the Google Fi site for the Fi facts.
I call this a "compact" digital mirrorless camera with "compact" lenses because they are smaller in size than other digital mirrorless cameras/lenses, yet output the same quality as a SLR. I wouldn't have it any other way, because I’d reached a point of not wanting to carry anything except my cell phone unless I could find a camera that was super small and lightweight, but with SLR results. This is it.
There are things I must do that can only be done on a laptop. My (several years old) Lenovo Yoga fits in my personal item on transport days, flips and folds in various directions, and has served me well.
(It’ll be time to replace this this next year or so, at which point I’ll either get a similar Lenovo or a Microsoft Surface Pro. Weight will likely decide.)
NOTE: I don’t carry a stand alone/backup hard drive, because…
I would have to carry it
I can keep a copy of everything on my laptop
I can keep a backup copy on the cloud
I use these SD cards in my camera (I had to first make sure they were exactly what the camera called for). I love that this link sells two to four cards for the price of one. I almost always download images each evening to my laptop, plus upload them to the cloud (then delete them from the card) and reuse.
I love this minimal and lightweight 5 foot extension cord and surge protected power strip. It allows me to plug it into challenging locations (like behind a sofa), then bring it up onto a counter, where I can keep all items that are charging within reach, organized, and clean/off the floor. The cord is super thin, and the plug folds over, making it easy to wrap around the strip itself.
Sturdy. Strong. Solidly connects without sagging. Compatible in 150 countries, and so much easier for me to use than carrying around multiple adaptors for multiple countries.