• Pack lighter with these travel gadget substitutions

    2014-07-30

    Plenty of gadgets have become so ingrained in travel culture that they now seem as essential as sunscreen and a comfy pair of shoes. Though cameras, laptops and other devices can add a lot to a vacation, lugging them all around can be a hassle - and a horror if they get damaged. While the best solution for lightweight travel may be to just leave them at home and not risk frying your electronics, for many people that could feel like half of a vacation.

    Traveling with gadgets
    According to Consumer Reports, 94 percent of travelers pack at least one electronic device when they head on vacation. While most of those trips ended with everything intact, about 15 percent of people said that their device was damaged or lost after being checked, and another 6 percent that it was damaged just from being stored in the overhead bin. Instead of stowing them out of sight, the source said it's better to keep electronics in your carry-on, either in a padded case or wrapped in a thick piece of clothing. That could solve the problem of damaged devices, but it doesn't make them any easier to get from place to place. For that, NerdWallet suggested a number of travel gadget swaps for common items.

    Shutter swap
    Cameras are one of the most common pieces of equipment that people can't leave home without. Especially on big trips to faraway locations, most travelers want to make sure that they can save everything they see for posterity. A camera might be nearly impossible to do without, but it's also fairly easy to replace. DSLR cameras with removable lenses take the best pictures, but they also monopolize bag space like no other. NerdWallet recommended using a mirrorless DSLR to cut down on the weight, but they'll still add plenty of bulk to bags. Travelers who don't mind a step down in quality might want to consider a compact camera instead. It doesn't feature changeable lenses and the photos it takes aren't as sharp, but the difference should hardly be noticeable to anyone but a pro, and they have a much smaller footprint than DSLRs.

    Leave the laptop
    Laptops seem indispensable for business travel, but they can also be swapped for something smaller. A tablet is much easier to pack and better to use on the go. And in the worst-case scenario, replacing a broken tablet is likely to be much cheaper than buying a new laptop. Loaded up with the right apps, a tablet can do pretty much anything that a laptop can, at a fraction of the size.

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