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).
We finally bought Google Fi Pixel 3 XL smartphones so we can enjoy the affordable Google Fi cell service plan, which works in our home country and overseas (using our local number). We waited until these phones were on sale, yet there are much cheaper Fi phones, too. So how is all of this 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 in 170+ countries as it does to use it in the States (except: the only difference is a small charge for phone calls when traveling in other countries)
the Google Fi phone/service eliminates the need for SIM cards (though, there was still a SIM slot)
the Google Fi phone that we bought has an excellent (and low light) camera plus stunning video quality (that automatically uploads to the cloud, in full res)
everyone we know who has the Google Fi phone/service raves about it, especially while traveling overseas
the only difference we’ve noticed: sometimes, when it appears the phone call is switching between cell/wifi services, there can be a brief fade out…then fade back in…yet this has truly been brief and infrequent…and well worth the international ease (no more SIM cards!) and savings that we’re experiencing
TIP: The only way to ensure we had an authentic Fi phone and we were signed up for the authentic Fi service was to buy the phone and service via the Google Fi 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 Google phone that would have never worked with Fi). So we learned to trust the Google Fi site for the Google Fi facts.
I think I’ve tried just about every kind of adaptor and this is the only one I can consistently rely on. It’s…
compatible in 150 countries
so nice to have all in one
On transport days I always find a little spot in my personal item for this to fit into (allowing me to use this in airports, etc.). The rest of the time, this is plugged into the wall of wherever I’m staying. The difference this makes is huge.
I love this because it…
is minimal and lightweight
is a surge protected power strip
has a super thin (think spaghetti noodle) 5 foot extension cord
can plug into challenging locations (like behind a sofa)
can then be placed up on a counter (where I can plug in all other items)
keeps everything within easy reach, organized, and clean (off the floor)
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 really only need a few SD cards, as I almost always download images each evening to my laptop, plus upload them to the cloud (then delete them from the cards, so the cards are empty/free to use the next day)
I had no desire to buy a portable hard drive (as I save everything to the cloud and to my computer, yet many don’t think that is secure enough). But a certain someone needed a portable hard drive that would be protected from the elements (as he has so many cameras and files floating around that need swift management on the go). So he got this. And when it arrived, he was absolutely thrilled at…
how small, and lightweight it is
how easily it can be carabinered to a bag
Now I’m planning to get one, too.
I call this a "compact" digital mirrorless camera with "compact" lenses because these are smaller than other digital mirrorless cameras/lenses, yet output the same quality as a larger 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 abilities. This is it.
There are things I must do that can only be done on a laptop. My older 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 my Lenovo this next year or so, at which point I’ll likely get a similar Lenovo 2-in-1. My certain someone just upgraded to a new Lenovo, too, and it has been absolutely perfect for his needs.)