backpacking… upgraded

Flashpacker = Vagabond + Geek

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. 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 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, 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!

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My dream list for flashpacking gear

stack of books1. Kindle! -

Ear BudsNintendo DS Lite2. Nintendo DS Lite -

MacBook Air3. MacBook Air -

Portable Hard Drive4. Portable Hard Drive -
5. Neoprene Laptop Sleeve -

6. Hi-Fi Noise-Reducing Ear Buds -

Archos Portable Media Player7. Wi-Fi Portable Media Player -

Flip Video Camcorder [black]8. Flip Video Camcorder -

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