Travel Hacks: 5 digital packing tips before your next holiday

October 12, 2016

As some of you might know, I am just back from exactly a year of travelling around the world. I've seen and experienced so much during this time but now I am back for good. I've some general advice for those who are thinking of doing the same which I've written on my Medium journal (more musings and travel writing there). However, I was thinking that I will write a few more travel tips and lifehacks for you guys (like what food to bring when backpacking) that I know from personal experience. Personally, I'm sick of those travel packing videos because they are so common so I thought I'll do a digital one instead. We are so digitally connected to our devices and media these days, it only makes sense to be prepared for anything, including scams or theft!



The key here is prepping BEFOREHAND. Because once that plane lifts off the ground, you're on your own! So here are 5 pro tips on how to pack digitally for your next (long) holiday.

1. BACKUP (contacts accessible via cloud)

OK this is really common sense, but backing up everything in your phone and laptop (if bringing) is very important. This means phone numbers, messages and photos/videos. While I leave the heavy media in my HDD, I uploaded all my contacts onto the cloud - both iCloud and Google's. Because you never know if you might need to access them via a computer/a new phone, and to me contacts are the most important because I can only memorise a couple of numbers! The plus side of backing up is also to free up space in your devices for new memories because you can delete the older photos/videos.

via GIPHY

2. DOWNLOAD all your digital media needs

Source: GIPHY
This is the real packing. Before I go on my trips, I always made sure I have enough entertainment in my laptop and phone to last a train or bus ride. That means movies/TV shows that you've been meaning to catch up on. For music, now that I've got Spotify, it will make sense to download a couple (maybe 20) of playlists on both devices so you can have music even without Internet. Music is SO important. Don't do this digital packing right before you leave - you don't want to miss a flight because you need 10 more seconds to finish a download!

3. GET ACCESSORIES IN ORDER

These are digital peripherals you will need when travelling. Get them BEFOREHAND or you might find yourself paying 30 bucks for a cable because you don't have a choice. Also consider repairing and having screen protectors/covers on your phone before leaving. Here are some common accessories:

- 2x phone cable and optional battery bank (cannot pack in check-in luggage)
- International adapter with at least two USB ports (you can buy from Qoo10.sg for S$4)
- SIM card tray pin (or earring)
- Camera cable and charger (if you have)
- Spare SD cards (for your camera or non iPhones in case of space constraints)
- Plane audio adapter (S$2 in Challenger or S$3.90 on Qoo10) if you don't want crappy headphones
- Bank dongle(s) for overseas credit card verification *IMPORTANT*
Source: mrbrown.com

4. ESTABLISH CODEWORD WITH FRIENDS/FAMILY

This is not necessary a packing tip, but something you have to establish in case of hacking. Say you've gone to the hostel's computer forgot to log out of your Facebook/Gmail or lost your phone (non-password protected) and someone gains access of your account. They could ask your family and friends for money or try and scare them, or pretend to be you. In this case, they should know to ask for the password or codeword before they know it is you. So tell your friends/family VERBALLY to request for a mutually agreed and random codeword like.. seagulls. This will probably never happen but it could so just prepare for it!

My codeword has something to do with this guy. Haha. (Source)

5. UPLOAD PHOTOS AS FREQUENTLY AS POSSIBLE

This is again not really a packing tip, but it makes unpacking much easier, as well as mitigates any potential loss. The trick here is to make use of WIFI whenever possible on your trip and upload your photos from camera/phone onto Facebook (or your cloud) so that if your phone gets stolen or lost, it's not a huge loss. It's just a simple habit to have while travelling. You can make the photos visible to only you on Facebook if you don't want to spam people, or make it visible only to a select list of friends. Trust me, there is A LOT of inertia to upload photos after a trip, so do it during!

Source: GIPHY
So there you have it! I hope this is useful. If you guys have any other digital packing tips/tricks please feel free to share in the comments section.

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