This is a topic that changes frequently as tech is always changing. I will be taking my iPhone and digital camera to France this summer. I know the last time I was overseas, in 2019, that I found an external battery to be very useful for charging my phone during the day as it went down quickly when we were out and about taking pictures. Does anyone have a current recommendation for an external battery or other must-have tech items? Thank you.
I just got a new iPhone and the rep said I probably would not need a power bank but I'm taking mine anyway. I got an Anker 10000 for Christmas - it's about 8oz so some weight to it but I'll take it anyway. With my old iPhone I ran out of juice in Venice last Fall when using CityMapper app to get to a museum and back.
I've got my Apple Watch and iPad Mini as well. I always want to have books available!
I'll use my phone for pictures. I haven't carried a camera in years but I know others might be choosy about quality. I'm just taking pictures for myself.
I just packed my tech organizer last week (or tried it out as it is new too) and have my Pulse Oximeter in there as well. I started taking it during the pandemic along with a thermometer so that will stay.
Not exactly a tech item but don't forget adapters for whatever countries you are visiting.
The best so far, my European adapter, finally one that does all. I own the one below but I'm sure there are others as good.
@Steve, that looks like a great adapter. It looks nice and flat and I like the various ports.
Also..forgot AirPods and actually a variety of earbuds. One for my phone, one with the old kind of post plug to use on AudioGuides in museums.
Recent article I saw about Swiss train conductors, very common excuse is My phone battery died so can't show you my ticket. They don't care to hear that.
You now need your phone all the time so have a power bank and/or a charger with the correct adapter.
The only tech to take is stuff you're actually going to use, plus a charging only (no data) USB adaptor.
If you're carrying a powerbank, buy a cheap one, don't forget you'll be carrying it wherever you go. Remember to turn off WiFi on your phone, you'll save huge amounts of battery power.
Madame N, this power bank is what the NYT is recommending right now as being the lightest power bank out there - only 6.3 oz. Zendure Power Bank 10000mAh I have an Anker power bank that I like - it's out of stock but Best Buy has it on sale now. About the same weight and USB-C charge
I also needed an adaptor and bought this one on Amazon - it's nice because it has a couple of USB-A ports and a USB-C as well, plus 4 AC outlets for a nice price. I haven't had a chance to test it yet but it looks good so far and it has good reviews.
Other tech items you might like is an AirTag (especially if you check your bag). It tracks the device inside in case it gets lost. Mine came in handy last year in Germany. You can buy them on Apple or any other tech place, including Amazon.
I bring my AirPods - keep in mind that you won't be able to use them on board with the airline entertainment screen without an adaptor (like the AirFly Pro) but can use them with your phone. If you don't want to get the adaptor but want to use your own earbuds instead the airline's, make sure you bring earbuds that have the headphone jack and not the lightning connector.
Heads up that the adapter/charger Steve shared has rather low-powered USB plugs, They could charge slowly, or, if multiple are used at once, each device could get so little power that it might not charge at all.
I've never had a problem with charging, even with multiple devices connected
We have external batteries and I find them convenient when staying in place, but awkward when on the move. I use my phone a lot for mapping, etc. After dealing with that I decided to buy a phone case that contains an extra battery. Mine holds a 150% charge and I can easily use the phone while it’s charging. I have an iPhone and I bought it on Amazon.
My iPhone and my iPad get me on my travel way, very nicely ... NO extra battery packs or "charging stations" required.
While we carry our MacAir computers and Kindles while traveling -- out and about I just have the Iphone which doubles as a computer, camera and in a pinch a Kindle -- so at any one time I have just the one device on me in a bandolier cross body carry case. My old phone had a battery that was wearing out so I also carried an external battery back but with a new phone with a long life battery I don't bother. Will use one when it becomes necessary. We have the computer and Kindle back at the apartment for uploading photos etc.
As a traveler I have committed myself to carrying as little as possible while out and about. Most days that means ONLY the phone/camera and a small attached purse for a few things like money, key and cards. Not being a pack mule with a giant purse that contains everything one could ever need has complete transformed and improved my travel. If we do day trips out of town we carry one backpack and take turns carrying it -- for the extra sweater, water bottle, lunch etc.
Like you, I almost always travel with a real DSLR camera in addition to my cell phone. In addition, I carry the following.
An Anker PowerCore Lite 10000—this has saved my bacon in the past. When using Google or other maps, it really chews down your battery quick. I recently got a solar charger for my phone as a Freebie as well, but haven't tried it on a trip yet. Both are roughly the size of my phone, so they're easy to carry around.
I carry one European-style outlet adapter and plug into it a 6-foot extension cord with three outlets on the end. That way, I only need one adapter, and if the plug in the room is inconveniently located behind a piece of furniture, I can have all my stuff plugged in somewhere easier. No need for 3-prong outlets for anything that I travel with, and all of my items are dual voltage.
This is a luxury, but I own a little table-top Belkin stand that has holders and chargers for both iPhone and Apple Watch (something like this, but I have an older model). I like having it by my bedside so I can see the time and glance at late night texts from either emergencies (I am a landlord), or people who forgot that I am six times zones away. And when I wake up, both are charged and ready to go (my iPad and camera/flash batteries plugged into the above-mentioned adapter).
I would never, ever, use a cheap external battery - I'd much prefer the named brand (Anker is my go to), just b/c of the risk of thermal runaway of the LI battery, esp on a plane.
But always bring multiple cords and I have my tablet to use in the hotel and on the plane as well.
I use my phone for everything except reading, for which I bring my Kindle.
the risk of thermal runaway
Which is why I charge both my iPhone and iPad with lower watt Apple charging blocks. At home I charge my iPhone with a 5-watt block and a 10-watt block when travelling in Europe. I use an 18-watt block for my iPad, both home and away.
@periscope - i'm not talking about thermal runaway in your phone's LI battery, i'm talking about the potential in the external, LI battery
I carry one European-style outlet adapter and plug into it a 6-foot extension cord with three outlets on the end. That way, I only need one adapter, and if the plug in the room is inconveniently located behind a piece of furniture, I can have all my stuff plugged in somewhere easier. No need for 3-prong outlets for anything that I travel with