By definition we flashpackers are enamored of gadgets. It’s hard not to become attached to the convenience afforded by ever smaller, sleeker, and more powerful electronics. Nowadays we can board a plane to anywhere on earth and have our entire life tucked into a carry-on bag: our work, our entertainment, our communications, our everything. It wasn’t always this way.
Only a few years ago we traveled with stacks of books to read (like the internet, but heavier), recording our thoughts and correspondence with pen and paper (obsolete manual word-processing devices), and preserving our memories on rolls of film (ancestors of jpegs, they often succumbed to high temperatures and vindictive photo lab employees). And we couldn’t simply look at a 2.5-inch LCD screen to see if our photos turned out okay. We had nothing to go on but faith!
Today we have placed our faith in the feats of technology; we are geeks and we are not ashamed. Wired.com understands us, and they’re here to help: Travel Tips for Globetrotting Geeks. The article’s a wiki, so if you have any tips you’d like to add to it, I am powerless to stop you.
Some of the highlights:
Re: Laptops/Internet — If you’re headed abroad with your laptop and don’t want to be restricted to the dim fluorescence of internet cafes, check out Wififreespot.com for a worldwide list of places that offer (you guessed it!) free w-fi.
Re: Gear — Consider purchasing travel insurance in advance of your trip if you’re going to be toting around a second-mortgage-worth of electronics. Not sure what kind of policy is best for you, or from whom to buy it? Travel Insurance Review is a blog set up to help you machete through the jungle of travel insurance options and fine print. They recommend Squaremouth.com, an expedia-like search engine for travel insurance, to find the best price for insurance between competing providers.
Re: Digital Cameras — Bring along or purchase some blank CD-Rs on which to burn backup photo files, because some international airports’ X-ray machines are strong enough to scramble the data in your digicam’s memory card. Or, if you have access to a fast internet connection, periodically dump your photos onto a flickr or photobucket account, and the magic of the internet will protect them indefinitely!