If you’ve ever seen the high-tech African safari movie Congo, you probably know where the state-of-the-art travel gadgets are – tent air conditioners, laser detectors to catch stray animals too close, etc. There is also another way of traveling, and that involves brutalizing him. You go out into the wild with nothing more than a few sticks to rub together to make a fire, and maybe a tube of mosquito repellant. But for now, for the rest of us, we’re going the other way – with travel gadgets that cost no more than $ 50, which we would really need if we weren’t Crocodile Dundee.
You can find travel gadgets at your regular travel store, ranging from your ubiquitous iPods equipped with noise-canceling headphones, to Olympus’ line of indestructible digital cameras and portable GPS trackers. The point is, these gadgets need a certain amount of babysitting – they’re heavy, you have to carry them around, and you have to worry about how to power them. And of course, these are expensive to buy and easy to drop (that’s okay with those tough cameras). What we’re talking about here are stuff for the frugal traveler – the one who doesn’t have a tribal carrying their backpack behind them, the one who has to do it all themselves. For independent travelers, here are the best travel gadgets you will ever need, the ones you won’t need to break the bank for.
Let’s start with what it takes to pack for a trip. You have your standard 22 inch carry-on and you have a week’s worth of clothes to pack in it. How do you do? Using the Travel Space Bags, of course. What these bags do at around three dollars a pop is that they allow you to suck all the loose air out of your garment bags so you can fit more in less space.
Now that you know what to pack your stuff in, let’s see what you can pack. Most travel gadgets are electronic or very smart. Here’s one that’s neither, but still extremely helpful. It is an all-in-one tool, a Swiss army knife. When you’re out there in the foothills of the Himalayas and riding over some splashes, you’ll likely kill for one of them. Watch the Leatherman series for great action when you need it. Some models come with pliers to help you remove electrical insulation, a screwdriver to help fix the handle of a broken suitcase, a spike to help you press a reset button, etc. The best part is that they won’t cost you more than $ 50 on Amazon, if you go for the high-end products.
When you travel anywhere, in the Third World or the First World, you just need to carry a bunch of cash that must last you the whole trip; but what about when pickpockets strike? You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with no way to pay for your next drink, do you? Get a money clip; I’m sure there are thieves out there who know how to outsmart this one, but I’ve personally never had a theft since switching to one of them. If you buy one of these with a built-in flash drive, you’ll also have a bit of extra prep on your hands. And while you’re securing things, why not get a nice cable lock to lock your suitcase somewhere, or whatever. The Kryptonite R4 is a great choice, as it not only gives you your standard cable lock with a 3ft extension cord, but also a fully body integrated flashlight. After all of that, you won’t spend more than $ 20.
Now you need to keep the few things you have – phone, camera, etc. Just buy yourself an adapter that will allow you to plug your things into a foreign outlet; but how many of them can you carry? Take a mini power strip that also supplies power to a few USB ports. Belkin has a great range here. You will also need a small, foldable tripod like the one from GorillaPod. They make sure that you can balance your camera on pretty much any surface, even a tree. And of course, let’s not forget that you need babysitting yourself; grab one of the many med kits they have on the market – like the Adventure Med kit with a bunch of perfectly cute, ready-to-go first aid stuff. So there you have it, all you need to protect yourself and keep going.