Whilst we anticipate blagging most of our trip, we’re actually quite organised as to what to take. Our endless research means we’ve found the best bargains, and as such this is what we are going to take:-
We had bought some big rucksacks, but ultimately decided smaller/lighter was better as we don’t need that much “stuff”. Our trials took us to the Berghaus Freeflow V rucksacks (note the V version, not the IV). These are perfectly formed and have little/no contact with your back meaning you have good airflow around your back. You can try these on in Blacks and Cotswolds Outdoors, but the cheapest place to buy them is Amazon.
Yeah – we are taking a little laptop, our baby Samsung netbook. People are split as to if this is necessary or not, but as we like blogging then we will find it useful. In addition, getting WiFi, backing up camera photos etc all seems worth while. We also bought a bigger battery from eBay so we don’t need power. Importantly, the Kindle, Camera and Phone can all charge off USB – which means we don’t need to take any other power adapters with us – simply charge them all off the laptop….
Ah yeah. Everything electronic will have its own waterproof case as we expect to be on obscure river crossings etc and you can never be too careful. There are LOADS of options here – we’ve just gone with eBay tat as it is for emergency use only rather than constant use. Should be okay…
We bought a new camera – a small Samsung PLxxx series (PL120, PL150, PL170) which is tiny and has a front LCD screen. We decided that when we travel a lot, we want pictures of “us” in the photos, so having the ability to see what you are taking when you are taking yourself is superb. We bought a cheap spare battery from eBay and and as a bonus the camera can charge directly off the laptop USB port – so no adapters required. We also got a cheap 16gb memory card and will back up the photos to the laptop. In addition, eBay also provided a good waterproof case so we can take pictures underwater….
This is a superb device for travel. Small, long battery life, charges via laptop USB, and of course it is an excellent book reader – which we will need on long journeys no doubt. (See our review HERE) But of course, the main reason is free global 3G – meaning we can access eMail, Wiki Travel, Google Maps and HostelWorld as and when needed even without wifi being available. We would recommend the 3G version which limits you to the Keyboard version or even the new Touch version.
We’ll be taking my Android ZTE Blade (aka unlocked Orange Sanfrancisco) mobile phone. Whilst we don’t expect to make many calls, this phone is superb! It has full WiFi, wifi scanner and GPS. The GPS is deadly accurate and you can download (free) maps of the world – so we have full streetmap data for all of SE Asia – so we should never get lost. It also has some games and a naff camera. As another bonus, it charges off USB (same cable as the Kindle) – and we also bought a cheap eBay spare battery just in case.
We will be taking some USD in cash for emergencies, but most of the time we’ll be drawing cash out from standard ATM cash machines. But as you are aware, they aren’t everywhere and don’t always work! Also, drawing cash can be expensive due to exchange rates and comission.
So, as always, we’ve done all our research and the following appears to be the best options:-
- Post Office Platinum credit card (mastercard) – 0% comission (purchases only)
- Nationwide Platinum select credit card (visa) – 0% comission (purchases only)
- Nationwide Flex account debit card (visa) – low comission and small charge for cash
- (mastercard) – 0% comission and small charge for cash (FYI – the link here has my referral link embedded and gets you the card for free saving you £9.95)
So we’ve covered purchases (credit) and cash (debit) for both Mastercard and Visa and this should be good enough even if one of the providers block us for “security reasons” as they tend to do….
After researching repellant, we decided some maximum strength stuff would be good as we don’t want to get bitten! OK we have Malaria drugs, but Dengue fever isn’t protected against and its a lot worse…
The DEET factor just says how long it will cover you for, but regardless, we thought we’d get the DEET100% stuff to take, and then just buy some top up stuff when we were over there. As usual, Amazon were the cheapest place.
Thats it for tech, and whilst it sounds a lot, due to our choices the weight and size is very little indeed. We’ll keep all the gizmos in a small “day sack” which we can remove from the bulkier rucksacks for security when needed.
To be continued….