Before we left the UK to spend a year travelling around South East Asia, Emily and I read all sorts of articles on packing lists for backpackers. We read articles on specific packing lists for South East Asia, general packing list for men and women and just about anything else we could find.
And these articles turned out to be really useful. The side opening rucksacks we bought were great and the packing cubes made life so much easier. Overall we managed to pack pretty well and take just about everything we needed. But what I didn’t know was that during my trip I would start travel blogging or fall in love with travel photography. The weeks before you leave for your travels are a blur of excitement, panic and a to-do list a mile long. (You can get some great advice on how to prepare for your travels by reading my article on 10 things to do before you Quit Pack and Go!)
Having recently completed our year long trip, I have had time to reflect there are a few little luxurious that I do wish I had invested in before leaving home. If I was leaving tomorrow, I would 100% invest in the following:
1. A decent portable 4k drone
“Buy cheap. Buy twice.”
I still remember my father telling me this when I was a child. But thats exactly what I did when it came to buying a drone. Rather than invest in buying a decent one, I bought a £50 drone called the Elfie. It turned out to be a pile of shite that was almost impossible to fly and took photos that would have been an embarrassment to the first camera phone that I ever owned.
Where ever we went on our travels, at some point we would hear the familiar sound of a drone taking off or landing. And the shots that they were taking were stunning. When we got to the Maldives, we met a guy who had bought his DJI Mavic Pro. I was seriously impressed by the tiny size that it folded down to, as-well as its stability in the air, its rang and the quality of the 4k video and photos it took.
Check out the: DJI Mavic Pro Drone – Grey
Example shots from the DJI Mavic Pro
2. A decent camera phone
When I was deciding what phone to take with me, I made the difficult decision to prioritise the handset being waterproof over having a good quality camera. I bought a Sony M4 Aqua and whilst the handset is ok, in hindsight I clearly made the wrong decision. Emily bought an iPhone 6S with here and despite it not having the same waterproof credentials as my phone, it also made it round the world and back again without breaking.
Where there was a difference was the quality of the photos that we took. Every time I used her phone to take a photo it made me a little bit sad because the quality of her photos were so much better than mine. Photographs last a lifetime and when I look back on mine, I know I will wish I had spent another £100 on a better phone rather than saving it.
Check out the: Apple iPhone 6S
3. A dive quality snorkel and mask
My favourite part of my trip was undoubtedly having so much time to explore the sea. I absolutely love snorkelling and got a real taste for free diving on my travels too. The water in Thailand, the Philippines and the Maldives was so clear it was unreal.
But one thing that often ruined out exploration was the poor quality masks and snorkels that we rented. The fogged up, leaked or broke, meaning you spent more time addressing these issues rather than enjoying the sea. As such, I do wish that I has invested in a dive quality mask and snorkel before I left the UK. It probably isn’t necessary to buy fins, but they do make the experience much more enjoyable.
You should check out the Cressi Pro Star Bag Snorkelling Set, which is endorsed by French freediving world record holder Guillaume Nery. They are dive quality and Italian made. You can also check out sets from Tusa, or Mares.
Check out the: Cressi Pro Star Bag Snorkelling Set