What tech gear goes into your bag for a weekend trip? [Roundtable]
Just the necessities.
Whether it’s spent in the city or camping under the stars, Android and all other sorts of Google tech can make a weekend getaway even better.
This week we’re going around the table and sharing what goes inside our travel gear when we’re out of town for a quick trip.
When my wife and I take a weekend getaway, I am the dedicated gadget transportation engineer and charge wrangler. That means I not only have to tote a bunch of stuff but I also have to plan in advance to make sure I have whatever it is that we might need. I’m good at the toting part but pretty much suck at the planning part so I just cram everything that will fit into a nice Kenneth Cole leather messenger bag (for some reason my wife hates my gigantic regular messenger bag that’s kind of torn and ratty and may smell funny) and hope for the best.
On to the stuff. We each carry a phone, of course. Right now that would be a Nexus 5X for her and a BlackBerry KeyONE for me. In the bag, I manage to fit her Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 and my Chromebook, which has been the Acer R13 lately, and a 30,000 mAh Aukey battery pack along with a slew of cables of all different types. Everyone tells me I can leave my real camera at home, but I still carry it — a Sony a6000 that was totally a step backwards from my old NEX-6 and its viewfinder with a couple lenses and countless SD cards, adapters, thumb drives and clutter that’s just too good to throw away.
Add in a good flashlight and a 4″ S&W Model 629 if we’re going somewhere outdoorsy with bears and/or alligators, and we’re set.
When I jaunt, I rarely do so without a bag full of gadgets. Sure, the phone stays in my pocket, but like any good entourage, the supporting cast is never too far away. These days, most of my electronics charge via USB-C, so I always have a couple extras on hand just in case. Those cables plug into my trusty Aukey 6-port USB charger, of which two of the ports are Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0-compatible. When I’m not able to plug into a wall, my 9000mAh Nomad PowerPack juices my phones or USB-C laptops and lets me track anything nearby with a built-in Tile.
Because I’m a bit of a phone clean freak, my travel bag always has at least one canister of Whoosh! Screen cleaner, which is non-toxic and smells like citrus. And if I’m traveling by bus, train or plane, I bring my Kenu Stance USB-C tripod, which props up any phone in portrait or landscape for Netflix binges.
Lately, my bag has been the OnePlus Travel Backpack, which has been annoyingly out of stock for a while now, but is well worth the investment if you can find one. When I really need to protect my stuff, I turn to my Booq Pack Pro, which is $295 and not for everyone, but it’s built like a tank.
In the car, I am loving Belkin’s USB-C car charger with an extra USB-A port for the times I need to use a Micro-USB or Lightning cable.
On my head, I alternate between AirPods (come at me) and my new favorite wireless headphones, the V-Moda Crossfade Wireless 2, which are not only portable but sound amazing and last 15 hours per charge.
Oh, and this isn’t tech, but it’s just as important: when I travel I bring my Espro Travel Coffee Press and a baggie of coffee grinds so I can drink good-quality brew wherever I am. Because without good coffee, none of the stuff above does anything.
I try to keep things as simple as possible for a short weekend away from home. I’ll usually bring just one phone, actually, which is the Moto Z2 Force right now. But I’d feel just fine heading out for a few days with any of the flagships I’ve used so far in 2017.
Then I bring my typical zipper bag with the essentials: my Anker two-port wall charger, a compact Anker 10,000mAh battery and two USB-C cables (and a USB-C to Micro-USB adapter). Most of the time I’ll also clip the waterproof JBL Clip 2, Bluetooth speaker on my bag, just in case the weekend calls for tunes. Of course, I’ll have my MacBook Pro if I have to get any work done, but for any pure leisure trips, I pack my Galaxy Tab S3 with the keyboard case just to have something I can comfortably type on and have a bigger screen to look at.
For a trip that’s only going to take me away for two nights, I can typically pack it all up in a backpack. Right now that’s the Peak Design Everyday Backpack, since it’s big enough to carry clothes and necessities alongside all of my electronics and accessories in separate, safe compartments.
Let me begin by saying what comes with me when I leave the house, be it going to work or a day trip anywhere: My ThinkGeek Handbag of Holding holds one QC 3.0 charger (from the Samsung Galaxy S8), one 2-port USB charger (from the 2013 Moto X), two Micro-USB cables, one USB-C cable, one portable batteries, my Kinivo BTH260 Bluetooth headphones, my emergency Sony earbuds in an Altoids tin, a charger for my Chromebook and my Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e Chromebook.
Oh, and in my other bag for work, a BoltPower 18,000mAh Portable Battery and Jump Starter, because I drive a 2002 Honda and you never know when you’re going to need a jump at midnight.
If I’m going home to my parents for the weekend, I add in the charger for my LG Watch Style and the QC 3.0 charger and USB-C cable from my HTC 10. If I’m going to be doing any photo editing, I also bring a Surface Pro 3 and its charger.
If I’m going to Disney, I bring a couple of small batteries so I can swap out during trips back to the room, extra cables, and a Dakine crossbody tablet purse to hold my tech, my snacks, and my Mickey umbrella while I run around the parks like a giddy schoolgirl.
I don’t really go all in for accessories, and I drive a smart car, so traveling light is absolutely essential. This means that I only take what I need, which means my phone, and the chargers I need for it.
This means my Samsung Galaxy S8, along with my Belkin car charger since I use my phone for navigation and music on trips. I like to travel light, but I also bring the wall charger that came with my phone and my latest pair of toss-away earbuds.
I carry a lot of gear whenever I travel, and that typically includes two phones, a Bluetooth speaker, headphones, my trusty Kindle, a battery pack, and lots of cables. I’m currently using the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 as my primary phone, and I can easily count on the 5300mAh battery lasting at least two days. The second phone is a Galaxy S8+, which struggles to make it through the day on a full charge. That’s where Xiaomi’s 10000mAh Mi Power Bank 2 comes in handy.
Other accessories include a two-port Aukey wall charger with Quick Charge 3.0, Tronsmart USB-C to USB-A cables, a generic USB-C to Micro-USB adapter, a Bluetooth speaker — which currently is the $49 Mi Bluetooth Speaker — and Sony’s incredible MDR-1000X headphones.
I use a Grid-It Organizer to keep everything tidy, and just slot the organizer into the Xiaomi travel backpack. The $45 pack accommodates all of my electronics with room to spare, and there’s also a compartment for a 17-inch laptop and a tablet if I have to bring my MacBook Pro along.
What convenient timing, I’m just headed to Montreal for the weekend. For this trip I’m packing fairly light, and that’s reflected in the accessories I’m bringing along.
I’m going to be rocking the Galaxy S8 for its outstanding camera, so I’ve made sure to pack a couple USB-C charging cables and wall chargers, along with some microUSB cables for my family. I’m also super excited to try out the Frankenstein travel wallet (pictured) I created by using a 3M adhesive strip to attach a Ventev Powercell 3015c battery pack to my new wallet, the Artmi Credit Card holder. Sure, it compromises the wallet’s slim size, but it’s still no bigger than my old wallet and now I have the added benefit of having a full day’s charge in my back pocket.
Beyond that, I’m bringing the Anker SoundCore 2 to handle all the music, a Chromecast in case there’s a TV at my Airbnb, and my MacBook because it travels so nicely in my new laptop backpack I picked up on Amazon.
What are the things you have to bring along when you’re out and about? Fire off in the comments and let everyone know!