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Top Tens by the AA Team
Top Ten (ok, eleven) Must-Pack Items
Troy tells us the items he never travels without.
1. Smartphone: Our smartphones are our digital Swiss army knife. Of course you can use it for calls, but it is also your alarm clock, your camera/video recorder, music player, and your communications device via Wi-Fi (check information on the internet, change or confirm reservations, Skype your friends and loved ones), it also fits in your pocket. One warning - check with your phone carrier with regards to international data roaming charges (they can be expensive), and if too steep, stick to Wi-Fi only.
2. Tablet/Netbook: A Tablet/Netbook is a small, lightweight, portable device that can do almost anything a larger notebook can (with less weight) and what a smartphone can't (type and browse the web easily).
3. Multiport USB Hub: Many electronic accessories use a USB hub to connect to a computer and to charge up. A multiport Hub can turn 1 USB port into 2 or 3.
4. Digital Camera: For more megapixels and more shooting options, a Digital Camera can do much more than your smartphone. Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, etc…all offer easy point and shoot, to full on digital SLR's with changeable lenses.
5. USB Flash Drive: Bring a USB Flash drive and don't worry about running out of space on your camera's memory card. A USB flash drive is essential for the hundreds of photographs that you’ll no doubt be taking on your travels. You can also store music, videos, maps, documents and any other files which might be of use. One drive can easily serve the media storage for the whole family.
6. Shoes: Seems obvious enough, but think about the many situations your shoes will be in. On adventures, in addition to your hiking boot/shoes, bring an extra pair of lightweight casual shoes for post adventure activities (and give the other pair a breather) . Going tropical or warm?…throw in a pair of flip flops.
7. Travel Bag or Backpack: You need to protect your electronics and manage your cords/connections (and carry your gear). If traveling with a computer, look for a bag with a padded sleeve for protection and easy access at airport security.
8. Travel Adaptor And Converter: If traveling International, you may need to have plug adapter. You may also need a power converter (if your device connection does not note the ability to connect to 220-110V). Always check your devices before packing and see if a universal adaptor/converter would work better.
9. LED Headlamp/Flashlight: Small, lightweight, and inexpensive. Light in the dark when you need it (and you will at some time), is a no-brainier, you will be glad you have an LED light at hand.
10. Swiss Army Knife: So many useful things in one item, knife, corkscrew, screwdriver, all needed when "they are needed". Some new Swiss Army Knives also come with a 1TB USB flash drive.
11. Travel Mask & Inflatable Pillow: Two more essentials if you want to get some sleep during the day on a long transfer or plane ride. Especially useful on international adventures, when adjusting to time zones.