Essential Travel Gadgets for the Techie Traveler

Here are some of the tried and tested tech gadgets that I take whenever I take a road trip

I will post a list that you can click on the get more information about the item.

 

Anker PowerPort 5 (40W 5-Port USB Charging Hub)

HooToo Tripmate Nano RAVPower File Hub Plus and Wired network cable  

Canon Selphy Printer

3 outlet extension cord and Power strip

Dash cam

Cables for your devices - Micro, Mini, and normal USB cables plus Lightning cable

 

 

Anker PowerPort 5

While Anker makes many different power devices, I own the PowerPort 5.  This is a great charger and I have not found any item that it will not charge.

This basically eliminates the need for 5 different chargers that will hog up the wall sockets or power strip spaces.  It plugs in to a normal two prong outlet and does not use more than 1 spot on your power strip

 

HooToo Tripmate Nano RAVPower File Hub Plusand an ethernet cable.

I removed the HooToo Tripmate Nano due to the RAVPower being a better unit. I will speak of the tripmate, and will point out the added benefits of the RAVPower unit.

This is NOT a mobile hotspot, it does not provide internet where a connection does not exist.  What it is though is a compact WiFi router that has Bridge mode built in.

Tripmate makes several models and they all have great features, some have a built-in battery, this one does not (The RAVPower unti has a built-in battery, Which can be used to charge your phone too with the USB Port)

I know you are wondering "Why do I need this?"  Here's why.  You know all those places you stop at that advertise FREE WiFi.  Then you have to jump through a splash screen and enter an email address or a password, what if the hotel only allows 1 device on with that password?  

You will have to sign-in on each device you have.  So, phone, iPad, Laptop, etc...

Upon powering this little gem up, your devices will recognize the name that it gives off and connect.  

The first device to access the internet will get sent right to the Admin page for the router.  Once logged in you will go to that splash screen of the "Free Wifi" that it connected to.  You accept whatever it is that they want you to do and then ALL your devices have access to the internet.

The benefits are great.
- Your devices connect to a wifi that they already have stored.  My WiFi enabled SD cards cannot access a network that requires a splash screen.
- You will have a better connection in most cases as the device acts like a booster for the signal.
- Only Wired internet - No problem.  Bring a short ethernet cord and plug it into the wall and the router and boom, your own private wifi
- You can share between devices.  Most good public WiFi hotspots are going to block the ability for the devices to mingle among themselves.  Meaning if you have your Canon Selphy setup you cannot use wireless printing because the laptop or iPad cannot find it
- The RAVPower unti sports a USB and SD card slot, which allows you to copy from the SD card to a USB stick or drive.  You also have full file access to the SD and USB devices. (thumb drive only, USB powered drives may not work well).  This would come in handy if you had movies or audio stored on the thumb drive and wanted to watch them on your iPad

The only downside to this device that I have seemed to find is that the initial setup when you are someplace that wants a passcode or splash screen can be a tad bit sluggish and that you have to log in to the admin screen and have it search for that external wifi network to connect to.

I have used the RAVPower unit on a cruise where you have to pay dearly for WiFi access for EACH device.  The average cost is $15.99/day per device.  With the built-in battery you can basically take it with you wherever you go, as it fits in a pocket.

 

Canon Selphy compact photo printer

So in another article I said what I use the Selphy for when we are traveling - we make our own post cards from the road and mail them back

 

A small printer

On a long road trip (like a cross country vacation) , I would suggest a small inkjet printer.  Since I am on the cheap side, I did not buy a dedicated travel printer.  I will be using my Epson XP-310 multi-function printer that is from my house. 

What would I need a printer for???

  • print coupons and tickets for attractions
  • print maps and information about stops
  • print mailing labels for the above postcards
  • scan and copy receipts and information (since i have a scanner/copier too)

 

Any Canon Selphy will provide great quality photos, Here is the latest model

Don't forget the paper and ribbon, as you will need this

Dash Camera

Hey, we live in a different world where video is everywhere.  People drive horrible, I've had people pull out in front of my in traffic, cut me off on the freeway.  This is the bad things that necessitate a dash camera.

The better reasons to have a dash camera are to keep your hands on the wheel, and off the camera.

I use a SJ Cam SJ4000 action camera.  Many call this a GoPro knock off; as funny it is, there are knock-offs of the SJ4000.

The camera takes a MicroSD card, no larger than 32GB.  This will get you 8 hours of 720p 30fps of video.  It has a Micro USB port, and a Micro HDMI port.  You can power the camera through the Micro USB and via battery. The camera can also be hooked up as a webcam to your computer too.

With many settings in the menu like Driving Mode where the camera would power up and start recording as soon as power is applied to the MicroUSB.  The ability to flip the video upside down if the camera is hung upside down.  It also takes 12MP photos, can do a burst with a time delay to start it.

The one I bought came with a ton of mounting clips and options.  I mostly use a frame that has a 1/4-20 socket on the top and bottom, and then a handlebar mount on the metal bar on the rearview mirror.  It also comes with a waterproof housing.