There’s so much technology you could buy to improve what you do on your travel blog, but whether you need it is debatable. Obviously as a blogger you need some sort of laptop, and a camera… but really, that’s it. You could have all the essential equipment for travel bloggers you’ll need to set up for less than £200.
In reality though, I bet you want a lot more. I love a bit of technology. I was even voted Little Miss Gadget in my Year 11 school yearbook for my love of pagers and my the amount of different phones I’d owned!
I’ve asked three of my favourite travel bloggers what equipment they use, but first we’ll start with the technology that I’m currently hauling around the world with me…
(All the photos are affiliate links)
My essential travel blogger equipment
MacBook Air 13-inch
With everything else I need to carry I wanted the lightest laptop possible. I had the normal one before and it made such a difference to the weight of my bag. I’ve been a Mac user for a long time and there’s no way I’d go back to a Windows computer. I went for the larger option because of the design aspect of blogging, and it’s just better for the eyes if you’re looking at it as much as I do.
I definitely should’ve gone for the more expensive one with more space though.
Cameras / phones
One of the stupidest financial decisions I made before starting to travel full time was to sign up to a two-year contract with Three for an iPhone 5. I was totally sucked in by their Feel at Home scheme. It’s been six months and I’ve spent about £700 with them so far, thanks to their ridiculous charges and clauses. And I’ve barely used the contract as I haven’t been in the UK. I wish I’d just bought a SIM free one, like the one above, for only £300ish and then worked it out as I went along.
18 months to go!
Windows Nokia 1200
I worked with Microsoft as a travel advisor for their products and this Nokia 1020 was one of the phones I received. The camera on it is brilliant for close up shots and for videos. It’s great to travel with two phones as you have a back up if the battery dies (particularly at festivals) and you can have one for your normal phone number and one for a local SIM too.
Canon Power Shot SX240 HS Camera
I carry this Canon point and shoot as well as the camera phones above so I have a zoom. It might seem a little excessive but I think it’s good to have another back up and the zoom on camera phones is usually awful. This camera also has quite a good microphone on it I found when it came to making my video from Saint Lucia.
Go Pro 5
I still need to get to grips with the Go Pro but I’m definitely getting closer to understanding it! I like the screen functionality on the latest one – it means you don’t have to point and shoot blindly. I got some cool footage while I was skiing in Japan, and I made a cool little video of my time hanging out with the stingrays in Belize. If you want to report back from your extreme adventures then I’d say a GoPro is absolutely essential. My iPhone kept cutting out at the top of the mountains in Japan as it was too cold – and obviously you couldn’t take it underwater either. My aim is to get good enough at surfing to be able to attach it to my board but there’s no way I could trust myself now, not with my wipeout record!
Joby GorillaPods are great for if you don’t want to carry around a heavy tripod but you still want to be able to take photos of things without actually being behind the camera. You can bend the legs to wrap around anything and they’re really light. I’ve got the one with the extra attachment to hold your phone. You can also use these for a better selfie or to hold the camera steadier. You can attach phones, GoPros, point and shoots and DSLRs to these.
Take a look at a comparison of the best travel tripod for you to try, and buy, here.
Go Pro mounts
If you’re planning on doing anything active while using your GoPro, which is kind of the point, you’ll need to buy an accessory kit so you can attach it to something. I got a kit for Christmas but the one above looks pretty good, with connectors and attachments for every circumstance. The ones I’ve used most are the wrist strap for skiing and I also had it mounted on my head at one point too. I sent the chest mount home when I sent my winter clothes home as it was just too bulky in my bag, but it depends on what you’re planning on using it for.
Yep, I went there. I’d advise you to get a selfie stick with a bluetooth attachment like the one above. I didn’t, and had to buy it separately.
Portable back up charger
I take so many photos and videos my phone runs out in no time. Step in this little soldier. This portable charger has two days of charge in it and is easy to keep along side your other electrical items. This has been a lifesaver more than once – well maybe not a lifesaver, but a face saver. It comes with loads of different attachments so you can use it for lots of different things.
1TB external hard drive
Number one rule of life: have a back up plan. For me it’s this 1tB Store n Go hard drive. It’s so important to back up all your photos and work regularly. I learned that the hard way when my laptop just stopped working in Romania, and then my phone was stolen. I back up with this hard drive while I’m travelling as it’s nice and small and then I have another beast of a hard drive at home with everything I’ve ever done on it. Apart from the month’s work I lost in Romania, of course.
Four way socket extension
With all this technology you’ll be fighting over the plugs. Keep things simple and carry a three- or four-bar English plug with you. Cheaper than getting a load of adaptors and it keeps your prongs safe when the plugs are in your bag.
And a shed load of charging cables
A grand total of 7 charging cables. All wrapped up neatly with hair ties and stashed together in a waterproof see through bag.
PlanetD’s equipment essentials
- Unlocked iPhone
- Canon DSLR
- Portable Hard Drive
“Well, I won’t go for the obvious and say laptop, but that is essential. You need to be mobile. But I would say an unlocked smartphone is number 1. We use the iPhone. It takes amazing photos and we can share on social media in real time. We even take a lot of video with our iPhone and we can get a lot of work done on it when in transit. It’s our most important piece of equipment outside the computer.
A good camera is next. Even though phones are taking over photography, it’s still important to have a good camera. One, if you start working with brands and destinations, you are going to look a lot more professional if you have professional gear. We use Canon DSLRs, but you can go to a mirrorless system that is more affordable and will keep your gear nice and light. The Sony A series or Fuji X series are good choices and make sure you invest in good lenses. Lenses make all the difference. That’s already three if you include lenses, but we want to be informative, so we are going to suggest a portable hard drive. It is essential to back up your photos and it keeps your laptop clear of clutter. We have seen too many people keep all their photos on their memory cards and then lose all their hard work. Make backups on a hard drive and then when you get home, back them up to another hard drive. Use online storage if you can too. We like to have two backups. Yes, it’s important.”
– Deb from theplanetd.com
TimeTravelTurtle’s equipment essentials
“This really depends on what your aim is. Once upon a time, I would have said that a DSLR with a good 50mm lens was one of the best things you can have. These days I think you could get away with just a phone and make that part of what you’re known for. Particular equipment is important only in particular situations – so if you’re planning on doing a safari, having a good zoom lens would be very beneficial.
Overall, though, I would recommend good editing software as the number one thing you need. So Snapseed on mobile or Lightroom on a computer are my recommendations. Editing software gives you the opportunity to start creating a certain style that people will associate with you, it lets you match the mood of your pictures to your story, and means you can manipulate the same shots for multiple uses.”
– Micheal from timetravelturtle.com
BackpackerBanter’s equipment essentials
“I’d say a GoPro, a selfie stick and an iPhone 6 – they’re the most used pieces of camera equipment and pretty much all my images are shot using them. I carry a Canon 7D SLR and variety of lenses but they rarely get used anymore!”
– Chris from backpackerbanter.com
So, essentially when you’re getting started you need some sort of laptop and a camera. A good phone will do – we’ve all said you don’t need an expensive DSLR. As you go you can start getting more technical with bigger and better equipment. You need to learn how to edit your work, both written and visual to create your own style and you need to back it all up regularly!