The other day someone asked me what was the most useful electronic gadget we’d had while travelling around the world. After some thought I’ve realised we gave the wrong answer.
The first thing we mentioned was the iPad. Having iPads while travelling was brilliant. We could read books, play games, watch movies, catch up on emails wherever we were. Maps and reviews were available everywhere. It really is a revolutionary device for a traveller. The first generation iPads we were carrying might not be the absolute best device for doing any of those things but it was one single thing to carry that could do all of those things more than adequately. For example, it boggles the mind to think how we’d have got access to the hundreds of books we went through in a year without ebooks.
The second thing we mentioned was the enabling technology for the iPads, which was having the Internet available as we travelled. We used a MyZone router and a SIM card from iPhoneTrip – expensive but absolutely essential given we were using the Internet for the kids’ schooling. From China to Jordan, from Peru to the USA we could arrive at the airport and have immediate Internet access.
But what I’ve realised is that one thing made all this practical. One essential device that cost $15 before we left and slipped down the side of my backpack as we travelled about. The six socket power board. Being able to recharge our devices without having to have individual adapters for them made all the difference. It is a bit chicken-and-egg but without easy access to power none of the other things would have worked.