David's Take: Things I Usually Take With Me While Travelling Overseas

David Susilo

Published: 03/21/2018 10:24:35 AM EST in David Susilo

David's Take: Things I Usually Take With Me While Travelling Overseas

It came as a surprise that my articles on the things I packed for CES has helped quite a number of readers plan for their own trips to CES. One reader suggested I expand on the topic, and write a similar article with tips on what to bring along for overseas trips, and some of my favourite gear.

Know the voltage

Make sure you know the voltage of the destination country, as well as the country where you might have a layover, or be passing through. Most laptops and phone chargers tend to have global voltage compatibility. Dell, Lenovo, Apple, and Belkin, from my experience, always have global power supply. Other manufacturers only use USB powered chargers, so as long as you can find a USB outlet (5V 500mAh or higher), you should be fine.

Always carry a global plug adapter

I've been using Skross branded adapters for the past decade or so, chosen for their reliability and build quality. For worldwide trips, I always have my Skross Pro Light USB World, which includes 100V-240V to USB capability. You can never have too many USB outlets to accommodate all your gadgets.

Never leave home without a powerbank

You'll never know when the next time you'll find a power outlet. Also, mobile networks aren't always as powerful in other countries as they are in Canada. For example, in Toronto, my iPhone 8 Plus battery usually lasts 10 hours for regular use. In Jakarta, however, I can never get more than five hours for even less rigorous usage. Thanks to my Puregear PureJuice 5K powerbank, which also doubles as a phone charger, I can use my phone for a full day in Jakarta. To connect the powerbank to the phone, I use a Skross Alarm Cable with dual heads (Lightning and micro USB connectors) so I can charge all the gadgets I take with me, including my wireless headphones/earphones.

Take several chargers

Given how often we use devices like smartphones, and for how many different tasks, I recommend bringing a wireless charger (or two) during travels. I brought a Belkin BoostUp wireless charging pad for on-the-go use, and a Witti Candi wireless charging stand for my nightstand. This way, I had one for use at home or in the hotel, and one for on-the-go and didn't have to keep plugging and unplugging a single device.


Depending on the activity, usually one pair of shoes is enough. But make sure you don't wear a brand new pair, or your feet will ache. Allow the shoes to stretch by wearing them for a week or two before the trip. And don't forget to pack enough socks - to be safe, I often pack two pairs for each day I'll be away.

Buy a prepaid SIM

I highly recommend everyone buy a SIM card locally. Usually, the price is cheaper at your destination instead of using the roaming option. In Jakarta, for example, I only spent about $30 for the entire month that I was there, covering all of the talk, text, and data I used (approx 13GB). If I used the roaming option, it would have cost me more than $1,000. However, make sure that your phone is already unlocked by your network.

Check with your carrier, and if your phone isn't unlocked, ask them to do it. As of December 1, 2017, all phones sold by any provider must be sold unlocked, or unlocked by the carrier for free.

In order for you not to be charged roaming fees, make sure you remove your Canadian SIM card while still in Canada to avoid accidentally turning on your phone at your destination and being instantly charged a roaming fee. Even easier: simply go to your phone's settings and turn off Data Roaming.

I have used the above methods and types of devices for my overseas travels for the past two decades, and the strategy has always worked really well.

What are your favourite gadgets for travel, or tech travel tips? Tell us in the comments below.

Article Tags:  david's take, travel, gadgets, overseas, tips, tech, sim card, portable charger, mobile, smartphone


David's Take: Things I Usually Take With Me While Travelling Overseas

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