When you like to keep your travels as flexible as you can like I do, a small laptop is pretty much your best and most trusted friend when going solo. Along with your choice of hostel with free wifi, you are all set to tackle the unknowns and random events of travelling. The main reasons I choose to take my macbook with me are:
- I can find and book cheap flights or tours when I need them
- Skype/Facebook/Twitter so you can keep tabs on your loved ones for free compared with a phone bill
- Movies for rainy days in hostels
- To store all my photos
You would be an idiot if you didn't take one. For my Europe trip I took an Olympus SLR. Great camera, but it wasn't one I could just shove in my pocket, or record videos with. So for my next trip, I've downgraded to a little Canon point and shoot with HD video. Cost me $75 bucks and will be worth every cent! Make sure you have a small cover for it for daily use plus a larger bag that fits the camera plus all its cords and charger to keep it all in one place.
Whatever you do, don't use international roaming!!! Its just not cool. My plan of attack was to bring an old unlocked phone from home, and I brought a 'Travel SIM' from my local post office before I left. Worked a treat in all the different countries I travelled to. If you are staying in one country for majority of your trip, I know of a lot of travellers who just brought a SIM when o/s and used that. I found travel sim super easy to recharge over the internet (yet another use for my macbook) - I didn't have to try and recharge using a receipt with instructions that were in another language. So make sure you consider these options before you jet off.
Music is essential for long train commutes or flights. I wouldn't leave it off my list.
Power Adaptor/Power board
This is an important one. Not all countries have the same adapter holes... so you will most likely need a converter. Check the requirements of the country you are going to... Make sure you get one of these otherwise what is the point of bring all your gadgets? I also like to bring a small power board too, as sometimes the hostels don't have a lot of outlets - and add sharing a room with 6 other people to that equation. The least amount of space you can take up, the happier everyone will be.
An Electronics bag
So you have a million cables for all your goodies above? My final plan of attack is to bring a bag designated to my electronics stuff. There is nothing worse then having power cords getting tangled in your undies in your pack. I keep my camera and its specific cords in one bag, which includes my phone cords and my iPod stuff (I guess you could say all my small electronic gadgets are located in my camera bag) and I also take another bag for my larger electronic stuff such as laptop cord, power adaptors and my power board.
So there you have it. Everything I need for the road.