Destinations Magazine

A Packing List Dissection - Things I Want

By Livingthedreamrtw @livingdreamrtw
A Packing List Dissection - Things I Want Last year we published a three part series entitled "A Packing List Dissection" where we took a closer look into my packing list for a long-term journey of 151 days.  The series was broken into three segments that looked at items I needed, items I did not need, and items I couldn't live without.  One year later we've definitely changed our ideal travel style a little bit and have been on several shorter trips using a similar packing list to what I had for the long-term trip.  After having more time with the same old stuff, I have come to the conclusion that there are just some things we want to add to our travel packing list.  Not surprisingly, they are all technology based.
For each item, we're taking a good idea / bad idea approach as every "want" has their own challenges and drawbacks associated.  We fully believe that the good vastly outweighs the bad, but before we make the leap into purchasing any of these new travel companions, we would take a bit of time to consider the ramifications other than just on a cost aspect.  (Photo "Inside Lens" by boogy_man)
HD Camcorder
Right now our overall video making experience is rather lacking.  I used to travel with a FlipHD camcorder that was, for lack of a better word, never used.  The quality of the video on the camcorder itself was fine, but I could not get past my model having an extremely narrow lens angle.  This makes most films appear to be zoomed in quite a bit even though we are at the camera's furthest setting.  When trying to make a video for this website, it is hard to get a reasonable frame with one of us in it.  A proper HD camera would be an amazing solution for this problem.
Potential downside: Another item to carry in our already over packed bags that we may or may not take out on day trips.  This may be one of those items that sounds good in theory but is never used like our larger SLR lens (55-200 mm).  Good for when you need it, but a waste of space otherwise.  For now we will just settle on the HD film on our point and shoot camera and may invest in a new one with good video features in the near future.
One SLR Lens (18-200 mm)
As mentioned previously, we carry two SLR lenses (18-55 mm and 55-200 mm). In theory these two lenses sound great, but in practice it is very rare that I actually swap up to the bigger lens or even have the larger one on me when we go out.  Larger lenses do exist as a combined 18-200 mm and even 18-300 mm, and is something I would so desperately upgrade to if it wasn't for two noteworthy downsides.
Potential downside:  The two main downsides for a combined lens is cost and safety.  Cost as these lenses are substantially more expensive than the price of the two separate lenses (by 200-500%) and safety as if you damage it, you're pretty much out of luck without insurance.  Even though only having a larger lens would not be ideal, at least there is that backup as a good peace of mind (unless you keep the 18-55 mm of course).
iPhone or Other Smart Phone
For those who know us well, you should know that we never travel with a phone.  Our only communication with the outside world is either through Skype or through email or instant messaging services.  This was partly out of necessity as an international data plan was never allocated in our budget nor do either of us own smart phones.  Unfortunately, this is one technology that is leaving us behind in a blogging style we can see being very important down the road - live blogging.
Why is live blogging important?  Well, having a smart phone that can send out a media picture at a moments notice to our 1,000+ community on Facebook would be nice and boost the ways we can be interactive to levels we've never had before.  We also would have better access to wifi to search for a map if we get lost, open translation apps on a whim, and make a phone call in an absolute emergency.  It would be very hard to say no to that if it wasn't for the price and a few other slight downsides.
Potential downside: Unfortunately for us we still like to disconnect and enjoy our time while traveling; so as much as live blogging every little detail sounds great, it would be hard for us to stick to.  For now, all of our live blogging still happens but we're just a few hours late when we make it back to our hotel at the end of the day.
Google Glasses
Ever since seeing the preview for Google Glasses several months ago, my mind has been churning with the possibilities that they could provide for travelers.  It would be like taking the smart phone concept and ramping it up to the next level.   Looking for your hostel?  Get the answer from the glasses.  Want to quickly find a good restaurant nearby?  Get the answer from the glasses.  Pretty much every topic a traveler will face will be simplified if these ever go mainstream, and trying them out would be something we'd be eager to do.
Potential downside: There are actually several downsides we can see with Google Glasses.  First off, I would probably get robbed and have them stolen.  Technology like that goes for a lot of money and it would be blatantly obvious that you have it.  The second one would be the premise itself.  Would we be better travelers with such a technology?  On the surface, the answer would be yes.  All the challenges of travel would be erased.  But I cannot help thinking that some of these challenges are exactly what we are looking for when we go out to see the world.
Finally, the biggest downside to Google Glasses that I see?  Wearing them.  I'd be taking them off all the time just to get a proper photo of myself.  You know when they get phased out for Google Earpiece or whatever the next gen product is, people will look at the style like it is an old flip phone.
When considering the things we'd like to include in our packing list, a common theme emerges.  They are all technology, they are all expensive, and they are all something that could be targeted for theft. We like to travel with the mindset that if anything gets lost, damaged, or stolen we would not be upset by it as they are just belongings, but as items become more and more expensive, our thoughts may end up changing if the worst were to happen.  For that reason, we may not be upgrading to any of these technologies anytime soon. 
How about you?  Are there items you want to take with you but are stopped due to space limitations, costs, or logistics?  What are they?  Comment below and let us know!
A Packing List Dissection - Things I Want

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