RTW Travel Articles from August, 2010
We talked recently about when it’s important to buy high quality RTW gear for your trip instead of solely hunting for whatever’s on sale, and this time we’re going to talk about another gear-related topic that might involve forking over more cash than you would otherwise like. But even if you’re not what others might call a “flashpacker,” you might still want to bring along a little tech gadget or two – and those don’t typically come cheap.
Bringing an iPod on a trip has been de rigeur for years now (although some of us are old enough to remember toting a Walkman overseas many moons ago), but these days more RTW travelers are utilizing the multi-tool aspect of the iPhone on their trips, turning it into a phone that also navigates, translates, organizes, blogs, and – who knows – maybe by the time you read this it makes coffee and packs your bags for you, too. There are more travel iPhone apps than it’s possible to keep track of, and as the iPhone continues to evolve into a more and more useful travel tool it won’t be surprising to see it on every must-have RTW gear list.
If your RTW plans involve lots of blogging or at least computer work that you’d prefer not to do on a little touchscreen, then you essentially have three alternatives. Either you plan to bring an iPad, you plan to bring a netbook, or you plan to spend a lot of time in internet cafes. Assuming you’re not in the latter category (because that’s not really gear-related, after all), then the main decision will be whether to go iPad or netbook.
With the iPad, you have one decision to make, so if that’s your choice then get thee to an Apple store and hope they’re in stock. With netbooks, there’s so much variety nowadays that you’ll need to do a bit more research on the best netbooks for traveling before you make a purchase. There are different factors to take into consideration, so read about the benefits and drawbacks of the various models to see which one suits your needs best.
And after you’re done with that research, go on to some other aspect of trip planning that’s a little more fun for a break. Look up the best beaches in Spain, figure out when it’s shoulder season around the world, hunt for flights to Nepal, plan road trips through France, learn where to surf in Bali, or what those Italian gelato flavors mean.
Just remember that if you’re properly equipped with tech gadgetry when you leave home, you can look up all that stuff while you’re on the road, too.
photo by scriptingnews
After questions about what RTW itinerary is best, the next most frequently-asked questions on most message boards about long-term travel have to do with gear. If you’re on a round-the-world trip, chances are good that you’re trying to travel as minimally as possible, so bringing lots of cool gadgets isn’t practical. As great as they might be, they’ll just add to the amount of stuff you’re carrying. It makes sense, then, to be concerned about whether you’ve got the right round the world trip gear.
Perhaps the most important gear decision you can make – whether you’re on a RTW trip or any length of backpacking adventure – involves the pack you get. It’s not uncommon to feel a little bit of sticker shock when you start looking at the best travel packs out there – they’re definitely an investment. You know that saying about how you get what you pay for? In some cases it’s not true, and a bargain find can be an excellent option. But when it comes to what you’re going to carry all your belongings around in for a long period of time, the investment is worth it. Absolutely hunt down deals on the best packs if you can find a sale or have an REI dividend burning a hole in your pocket, but don’t skimp on a lesser-quality pack.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a “flashpacker” or plan on bringing lots of tech gadgets with you, you’re probably going to bring along a camera of some kind to record your trip, right? Camera gear isn’t completely at the opposite end of the spectrum from backpacks, in that you do still need to invest a little bit of money to get something that’s good quality, but you don’t have to buy huge professional-grade DSLRs to take amazing travel photos. So many of the compact point-and-shoot digital cameras are of high enough quality that they’ll take exceptional shots – so long as the photographer has a good eye!
What do you think is the most important piece of RTW travel gear you can invest in before a trip?
photo by obscure allusion
How do you plan a round the world trip route? What destinations are must-sees? Some travelers are after an endless summer — chasing beach season around the world — while others are looking to hit the world’s biggest, busiest, most cultural or the best architectural cities.
Here are the August ticket deals – these prices are good through August 31, 2010.
- SE Asia Explorer: Los Angeles or San Francisco – Bangkok – Singapore – Denpasar (Bali) – Hong Kong – Los Angeles or San Francisco from US$1149 (plus taxes) Code: HAT909387
- China India London Trip: Los Angeles – Shanghai – Delhi – London – Los Angeles from US$1199 (plus taxes) Code: HAT909450
- The World Tour: New York – London – Paris – Prague – Rome – Athens – Overland On Your Own – Istanbul – Dubai – Cape Town – Overland On Your Own – Johannesburg – Dar es Salaam – Overland On Your Own – Nairobi – Bombay / Mumbai – Delhi – Bangkok – Singapore – Denpasar (Bali) – Darwin – Cairns – Overland On Your Own -Sydney – Nadi (Fiji) – Honolulu – Los Angeles – New York from US$3499 (plus taxes) Code: HAT909462