Travels with Tim and Lisa

"If my discoveries are other people's commonplaces I cannot help it – for me they retain a momentous freshness" (Elizabeth Bowen)

Travellers’ Tips (the electronic luggage)

Posted by Lisa Hill on October 28, 2010

I’ve been meaning to post about this for a while…

Backpackers who travel light may well be scornful, but for those of us who cart about a bit of electronic luggage on international holidays, the chargers can be a bit of a problem. 

The spouse and I between us have an iPhone, two cameras, two iPods (essential to make long haul flights bearable), an iPad and a Kindle (essential if you are travelling in countries where you can’t buy books in English) and a netbook (which has facilitated the blog you are reading now).  I also brought the lead to transfer photos from my camera to the netbook in case the camera card is temperamental but have mostly not needed it  (I upload my photos to Google photos regularly so that if my stuff gets lost or stolen, at least I have my photos).

All these things need charging and the chargers are mostly not compatible with each other.   And of course, the Australian electricity system is not compatible with either Europe or the UK so we have to have two adaptors as well, and share them.  Which means a power board and extension cord too, just in case the requisite power point is in a silly place (which it so often is, especially in boutique hotels).

Last time we travelled these leads were a pain in the proverbial and if there are any inventors out there who are working on a nice wireless solution sign me up to be a guinea pig please!

Anyway, in the meantime, I would like to share with you the handy little ‘carry-bag’ that I have for my share of the wiring.  I bought this (which is meant to be a handbag) on our Vietnam trip in 2007:  

Spread out like this, the three zipped compartments can be seen.  One takes the Kindle charger and the camera lead, one takes the camera battery charger and the other takes the charger for the netbook (which is currently attached to the netbook on which I am writing this which is why it’s not in the picture).  The little square compartment is just the right size for one adaptor.  I considered sewing another one onto the other side but that would make it bulky so decided not to.

The advantage of this little carry-bag is that it keeps my share of the leads all together so that I don’t lose them, but it’s flexible in shape.  I can spread it flat like this or fold it in half or scrunch it into a corner of the suitcase depending on what’s in my carry-on bag at the time. 

Any fool who can sew could make one of these, and a smart entrepreneur who mass-produced them in strong but lightweight see through material would make a fortune.

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12 Responses to “Travellers’ Tips (the electronic luggage)”

  1. debbie walters said

    I have something very similar and it was my life saver for the three months i was away-we also had local phones that needed charging on top of all my aussie tech gear-it kept me sane and them safe!!!!

  2. Now that’s very timely Lisa as we are packing for HK tomorrow and I’m wondering what on earth to do about all those dang cables. I might look out for something like this over there if I can’t see anything tomorrow. I have put one of those little silk purses you tend to be given as gifts to use for my iPod and cable but I need more as you say with netbook, kindle and camera as well.

    • Lisa Hill said

      Sue, in HK you could download a photo and give it to a dressmaker and they’d make you one in five minutes!

      • You’re right. I might just do that. I was thinking about it last night as I was tossing and turning, and thinking it’s a bit like an oversize jewellery roll isn’t it? Anyhow…I’ll think about the HK idea.

  3. kimbofo said

    This is the invention T & I need to work on to make our fortune! 😉

    • Lisa Hill said

      BTW Kim, if like us you have adaptors first bought many years ago, you may be interested to know that there are now ones that are good for both UK & Europe all in the one gadget. They may also be ok for Asia, I don’t know what they have in China…
      I saw them in a luggage shop called Dixons in Rome.

  4. kimbofo said

    Cheers, Lisa. We have a box of adaptors for everything from UK, Oz, USA, Scandinavia etc. I believe that the Chinese use same system as Oz, so that’s one less adaptor to worry about.

    Oh, and my Kindle has landed, and I’ve just ordered a little Samsung netbook. Taking into account my BlackBerry, digital camera and iPod that means I’ll be travelling with more electronic equipment than clothing!

    • LOL Kimbofo … it’s a Samsung Netbook I am using in Hong Kong right now, and have used for various trips (including two business ones) over the last year. It works a treat though I am always glad to get home to the lovely screen on my MacBook Pro I have to say. I’ve brought my Kindle but have hardly touched it – but the time we sightsee and do emails etc I’m ready to crash…

  5. Louise said

    Ah, very good idea Lisa. I just stuffed our various chargers, cords and adaptors into the side pockets of my suitcase, which wasn’t totally satisfactory. I even managed to leave the iphone charger in Sydney, before I even left the country.

    • Lisa Hill said

      *chuckle* Makes you wonder how we’re going to manage with electric cars, eh? I can just see myself ringing work to say that I forgot to charge it and can’t come in LOL.

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