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Showing posts with label travel gear. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel gear. Show all posts

Nov 13, 2013

Travel Bags for Photographers on the Move

Camera Bags that Travel Well

Traveling anywhere with sights to see? You most likely are packing a camera. And if you would like to take pictures that are better than ordinary, like professional, than you are also packing a DSLR. We have the Canon Digital Rebel XSi. To fit this type of camera plus all of the other gadgets, travel backpack needs to be high capacity with multiple pockets and easy access.
It is a good thing that there are more and more bags coming out that have these features plus take into consideration going through security points at airports.
Think Tank Photo has an Airport™ series of travel specific camera backpacks designed to make maneuvering through airports a quick endeavor. The three backpacks – the Airport Accelerator, Airport Commuter and Airport Essentials – all have quick access pockets for both laptops and iPad, a top pocket for boarding passes and three sturdy handles to ensure easy placement and retrieval from overhead bins.
A great travel camera bag is also inconspicuous. For that purpose and many more that I wrote about in other posts (15 Essentials to have with you when travelingDeliberations of a Traveling Photographer (aka my wife) & What women want - travel edition) my bag of choice is the Lowerpro. It fits the camera in and looks and can function as a regular shoulder bag. As my wife also pointed out this bag is also unisex. It can be carried by women or men with no complaints from either side. It is light, has comfortable straps, great looking yet rugged exterior. The pockets are deep and varied to fit multitude of gadgets as well as other supplies.
Most recently we used this bag on a gig shooting a baby shower. There are pictures from this shoot plus many more on Svetik Photography page. It was great for a commute into the city. There was no way to tell what was in side the bag. And the camera remained snugly inside during the trip. We also packed in all of the accessories, paperwork, and other things in there.


Why good to have on a trip:
- Easy to carry
- Lighter than most backpacks
- Conveniently fits in camera plus accessories
- Multiple pockets
- Inconspicuous

Did You Know?:
How To Avoid Looking Like A Tourist

What is your bag of choice when on the road? Why? Let us know below

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Apr 27, 2012

Don't Get Caught Out Without One - Universal Travel Adapter

The Ultimate Traveling Buddy: Travel Adapters

Traveling internationally without one? You might as well toss out all your electronic gadgets. Most places outside of U.S. have outlets quite different than what we are used to. Not only do they look different, but they also have a different voltage. In Europe as well as many other countries the voltage is between 220 and 240 volts. See Did You Know? below for information on voltage in certain countries. And you would not want to plug in your 120v gadget into a 220v outlet. This is twice that of the voltage used for ordinary lighting and low-power appliances in the US, Canada and most of the Americas, and also Japan. Not unless you would like to have a smoldering pile of plastic. Plus you would not be able to plug it in directly as the shape of the outlets and the insertion points are also different. See picture below of various types.

For easier packing and traveling, a great option is a Universal Worldwide Travel Adapter that has multiple variations at once.
- Worldwide compatibility (US, UK, EU, AU, USB Port)
- 100-125 and 220-250 volt standards
- Surge protection and safety shutter
- compact design

Did you know?  Electric Power Around The World

Voltage and frequency:
  220-240 V/60 Hz
  220-240 V/50 Hz
  100-127 V/60 Hz
  100-127 V/50 Hz

"Note that currently, all new American buildings, in fact, get 240 volts split into two 120 volts "hot" wires (often called "legs") with a common neutral wire. Major appliances, such as virtually all drying machines and ovens, are now connected to 240 volts. " - answers

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Apr 13, 2012

15 Essentials to have with you when traveling

Many folks ask what travel gadgets you can't travel without. And the answers are usually iPad, smarphone, eReader, and such. These are great tech gadgets, though they are, for the most part, entertainment. Here are 15 gadgets you should not leave home without because they will keep you safe, healthy, and happy on the road:

Safe Hydration:

Steripen Traveler Water Purifier
Keep on Traveling Safe - Check the app, Pull out a Pen, and Drink Up


Reusable BPA-free water bottle - keeps you hydrated during the trip, keeps the liquid cool, and can be used over and over instead of buying and carrying multiple water bottles. Hence these bottles save you money as well as space and weight while traveling. And they also help save our planet. Reusable water bottle
It is well known that to avoid waterborne creepy crawlies you should not drink tap water in places where you are not sure about its quality. Having a reusable water bottle with you instead, you can fill it up at a hotel or other sources of safe drinking water before heading out.
Also bottled water available for purchase has a significant impact on the environments we visit. A better choice and also much cheaper would be to take a reusable water bottle. That combined with a water purifier would make travel more budget-friendly, healthier, as well as eco-friendly.

Keep Things Clean:

First Aid Kit (Most important pack when traveling)
Good items to include in the kit are:
•first-aid manual
•sterile gauze
•adhesive tape and bandages in several sizes
•antiseptic wipes
•antibiotic cream/solution (triple-antibiotic ointment)
•hydrocortisone cream (1%)
•acetaminophen and ibuprofen
•sharp scissors
                  •safety pins
                  •disposable instant cold packs
                  •calamine lotion
                  •alcohol wipes or ethyl alcohol
                  •plastic gloves (at least 2 pairs)
                  •Hand sanitizer

Transporting the Goods:

Waterproof case:

Anti-Theft Travel Handbag - these bags are slashproof to keep your valuables inside in crowded places or not well lit alleys. Have RFID-blocking pocket to store your credit cards and also passport so they cannot be scanned by thieves looking to still your digital identity. Water repellent material keeps the bag and items inside dry. The bags also feature security zippers for not so easy access to your valuables.

Lowepro Passport Sling Camera Bag
This bag fits the DSLR perfectly in it. It also fits cables, water bottle, snacks, keys, wallet, and a light shirt. It is versatile enough to use as a day bag when it’s not packed with camera and other travel gear. My wife loves it. It looks like a regular over the shoulder bag. Which is great as it does not announce to all that there is a camera in there. Without opening it up and looking inside you would not even know its a camera bag. We also put in it while on the trip a collection of travel gadgets: point-and-shoot camera, watch, chargers, batteries, and flash memory cards. The outside of the bag has pockets and dividers that will keep your cell phone, pens, sunglasses, and other useful travel accessories organized and easily accessible. And just in case you over stuff the bag with all this, there is a zipped up expansion to make the bag larger to accommodate.

Luggage Scale
Airline baggage fees anyone, needless to say more - Travelon Micro Scale

Travel Clocks

These useful gadgets come in handy when on a business trip. Though you would think why would you need those on a vacation? Well good question. While there are some vacations that are just for relaxing, a lot of the time travelers also plan some excursions and tours of the city that start at a certain hour. Also, each hotel that you stay in has a different type of alarm (some B&B's do not have any). It would be a lot easier if you could learn to set up one and have that along with you no matter where you are so you are on time.
Recently, I gave one such travel clock to my parents as they take several trips during the year for business and pleasure. They liked it a lot before even taking it on their first trip. They liked that it is small, light and easy to pack. It also includes a back-light with easy-to-read time display so you can see it easily at night.

Packing It In:

Travelon 1-Quart Zip-Top Bag with TSA Approved Plastic Bottles

Space Bags - you can pack all the cloth and travel accessories for a week and a half trip into only 2 carry-ons! That is right, on the way to Cali we had no bags to check-in. This meant that we saved money on airline fees and also hassle and time of picking it up after the flight. We did however have one to check-in on the way back filled with wine bottles and other goodies.

Other Essentials:

Rain gear
Emergency Poncho

A digital camera is probably the most essential travel tool so make sure you have one ready for your next trip. When going on longer trips or tours, that would be better taken in without a lot of bags to drag around, it is great to take along a point-and-shoot camera. As mentioned in the post Rechargeable batteries charger - saves money saves planet, it is more convenient to power up your digital camera with rechargeable batteries. Some small cameras nowadays can take great shots that are almost as good as some semi-pro ones. 
It would also be great to have a little folding tripod like the one from Gorillapod with the digital camera. Gorillapod is a very bendy tripod. It goes just about anywhere with its flexible legs that can wrap around objects and let you take pictures without having to hold the camera. This way you can get a whole shot of the family without leaving anyone behind the camera.

Swiss Army Knife - its a classic multi-tool. Everything you need and more within one device. Now it also comes with tech gadgets such as USB, flashlight, digital clock and thermometer

Noise canceling headphones - Music just makes the day go faster and helps you immerse in your own world and your relaxation.
Cheap earbuds and those rent-on-the-flight headphones, while functional, will not provide great sound or allow you to escape the surroundings, especially given all the background noise of a plane. A good pair of noise-canceling headphones will pay for themselves with quality of sound and serenity.

So what are some gadgets that you find essential when traveling? Add them below

Dec 30, 2011

No more loose gadgets or accessories

GRID-IT Gadgets Organizer:

 Why good to have on a trip:
- keeps travel gadgets and accessories of different shapes and sizes in one place
- versatile organization
- can hold smartphones, cameras, music players, cords, SD cards and other travel gear
- no more digging around your luggage for small gadgets or cords

Available on Cocoon CPG10BK GRID-IT Organizer

 How do you keep your gadgets organized while traveling? Let us know below

Oct 21, 2011

California Tripping

Late September, I and my wife took the first trip to California for for both of us.
We kicked it off by landing in San Francisco and touring most of the city. It was a lot of walking and up and down the hills. Next, we went North to Napa and Sonoma valleys to check out the vineyards and the wines. Afterwards, we passed through SF once again crossing over the Golden Bridge on the way to Monterey. We made an overnight pit stop in Solvang. A little town on a way to Santa Barbara, which was gorgeous with Dutch style houses and community and also great Dutch style food. Then onto Santa Barbara, where the weather was great and we had a hotel a few steps away from the ocean. Though it was a bit on a chilly side in the evenings as well as the water. We next made a stop at Venice Beach, it was a sight to see and experience. And our final destination was Los Angeles where we spent 2.5 days touring the city and all of the touristy sights we avoided elsewhere during most of the trip.

Here, in more or less order of appearance, are some of the travel gadgets we had along with us:

Space Bags - Before even getting to the airport my wife worked her magic, together with SpaceBags to pack all the cloth and travel accessories for a week and a half trip into only 2 carry-ons! That is right, on the way to Cali we had no bags to check-in. This meant that we saved money on airline fees and also hassle and time of picking it up after the flight. We did however have one to check-in on the way back filled with wine bottles and other goodies.

Scanner bag - These travel tag size bags are made and distributed by the same company as the Knee Defender, which I wrote about in "Airplane travel gadgets to keep you moving." I bought 3 of them not too long ago and got to try them first hand on this trip. These bags are great. Once at the security check point, I loaded the bag up with our wallets, keys, phones and so on. Zipped it up and it was ready to go through the scanner together with the carry-on. There were no coins to dig up from plastic container afterwards or having to try to stuff things in your pockets as more and more bags and people are coming through. We pulled off to the side, got everything back in its places, folded the bags up and were quickly on our way to the gate.

Headphones - I have wrote quite a bit about a lot of benefits of having headphones with you on a trip. Well, for this trip, I actually totally forgot to bring them. And how did I miss them! I especially kicked myself for not taken them when on the plane. They had headphones for sale, and I would have even got those plastic ones, but they only had the large, bring back the '80s, type. I managed through the flight, though it seems now I am making up for that brain gap as I have a pair of earphones in just about everywhere.

Kindle - My wife had hers with her for the flight. She rarely goes anywhere without it. I went low tech for my reading material and had a magazine with me.

Joby Gorillapod - it was great to have this gadget along as we were able to get some shots of both of us in the picture while on hikes and less crowded, touristy, areas. Here are some samples where we used it:
 - on hike through the Muir Woods
 - hike up Lincoln Blvd towards Golden Gate bridge and walk through SF park
 - secluded pier with barely anyone around, but with ridiculously great view of the bridge from a different angle than any of the tourist attraction spots.
We had it wrapped on railing in one of the shots, then mounted on top of a pier poll and spread out on a rock in others

Of course we had along our Cannon Powershot SI120 for those type of shots. I didn't get a Joby for SLR as previous versions were not rated well to handle those type of cameras. The newer generations might have improved on this.
(By the way, if interested in more information about photography, check out a great blog - Digital Photography School)

Rechargeable Batteries - The batteries from the "Rechargeable batteries charger - saves money saves planet" post fame, are still running great. Same four batteries were reused through out the trip with the charger, which is light and small, and recharges the batteries quickly and with plenty of juice to last through thousands of pictures. - not actually exaggerating here, as per final count, we ended up taking close to 3000 photos on the trip.

GPS - was also with us on a trip as we did a road trip from SF to LA after renting a car. We saved probably around $200 bringing our own. And it saved us time since I was already used to operating our Garmin and following its directions. It also came in handy in finding streets once we left the car in a parking lot and went wondering around town.

Our San Francisco excursions/tours

 Did You Know?:
- Virgin America has electrical outlets at each seat. These include a regular outlet and a USB one. They also have free wi-fi on board.

What do you take with you on a long trip? Leave a Comment

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