This is a tough one for a lot of people. Some would argue that a cell phone is vital especially if you’re travelling solo. In all the years and places I’ve been, I’ve never travelled with a phone. Actually it wasn’t until Christmas of 2016 that I bought a small kindle device to take with me that had any type of GPS on it. However I realize I’m in the minority.
One thing I do travel with is my laptop. It allows me to get work done at airports research places for the next day in my hotel. But, I could easily travel without one if I wanted to save myself the hassle. If you need internet access, I’ve gone into internet cafes to send out updates. The hotel may even have a business center. If you’re in a city, there will typically be an Apple or Microsoft store you can pop in to send out a quick email and check the internet (for free!). The point is that you CAN travel without all these electronics if you wanted but having some devices does make it easier.
For me, I take a map of the surrounding area from a metro station and wander around. If it gets stolen or misplaced, I can easily grab another one. However, a lot of times, I feel like using common sense is easily the best way to get around. I call it island logic. If you’re on an island, there really is nothing to worry about. It’s an island…if you get lost, pick a direction and start walking until you hit water. Then pick another direction and walk until you hit a dock. It’s pretty simple. Want to get to the castle or fort at the top of the mountain? Start walking uphill. When you can’t go further, you’re probably there. I think a lot of people tend to over complicate things and become so focused on not getting lost that they forget to use common sense. I’ve seen people walk around blocks for hours trying to find a specific bar when all they wanted was a beer.
If you do take electronics with you, I would recommend taking an universal adapter with you so that you can charge your devices in any situation. Also, having a travel size surge protector with USB ports is a fantastic thing to have as well as a small power bank to give you a quick boost until you can fully recharge. Not only can you charge multiple devices but it’s probably the easiest way of meeting people. It’s such an easy icebreaker for people especially when they’re in a bind and need a quick charge. It’s a small $20 investment that not only will make your life easier but also makes you approachable and is a fantastic way to meet people.