When I travel to Maui or any other place in the world I always bring these must have travel gadgets and here’s why:
1. Portable Charger for cell phones
Nowadays everyone uses their cell phones for everything to make their lives more convenient. In Maui I mainly use my cell phone for GPS navigation, to look up addresses, yelp for places to eat, call for more information and general self absorbing selfies. And if you have a phone like mine that drains the battery life by 5% for every text you send, a portable charger comes in handy.
Here’s why: Yes, you can charge your phone while driving. But what if you’re off hiking, eating or lounging around at the beach? With a portable charger, you can juice up your cell while you have fun. By the time you want to get going, your cell phone is back to life. Plus it’s good for emergency situations.
You want one that is small, compact, light, compatible with most phones, easy to use and packs a lot of power. I really like the Jackery Mini
- Compact & light weight
- LED indicators for battery strength
- Up to 6 months of stand by time
- Charges my phone to 100% in about an hour
- Less than $12, it’s a stocking stuffer!
For something beefier you can try Jackery Giant+ that features 12,000 mAH and dual USB ports. Another alternative is a cell phone case that also charges your phone like Mophie. I personally don’t like them because they make my phone bulky and heavy and they’re quite expensive. Depending on what phone you have they cost anywhere between $30 to $100. The newer your phone is, the more it’ll cost. The portable ones are just more economical.
2. Underwater camera
If you want to show the world what you saw while you snorkeled in Maui, you need this. Before the days of modern water proof cameras I would buy disposable under water cameras and they still sell them at the ABC stores. But the problem with them is that you’re limited to how many pictures you can take, can’t see what you just took and you have to get them developed. Then when you see the printed pictures, you realize how shitty of a photographer you are. The beauty with underwater digital cameras is that it’s instant gratification. You can see what you took immediately, if you don’t like it, try it again.
Here’s why: Don’t cheap out and get a disposable camera or waterproof baggy for your cell phone. They’re just not worth the headache and disappointment. A solid underwater digital camera can capture moments and experiences without the worry. You’re already spending a lot of money to travel to Maui, so you should invest in a good underwater camera to capture it. Afterwards you can share all the cool underwater photos you took with your family and friends and they’ll be impressed not only by the quality of the pictures but also jealous you got experience something adventurous and was able to document it. Plus you can take selfies underwater!
You have a few choices on what to get:
- Underwater house casing: If you already have a solid point and shoot digital camera, it may already have a separate underwater casing you can buy. Check the manufactures product catalog. My Canon S95 and G9 had an official underwater casing that I bought and it was amazing. A bit bulky but the pictures were clear and I could go down to 100ft deep without any problems. There’s also after market products you can look for but make sure it fits your camera and read reviews for it. Be sure to always do an underwater test with tissue paper to check for leakage before using your real camera with it. Underwater casings range from $100 to thousands, just depends on durability and the type of camera you have. For example, the Canon 5D which is a full frame professional DSLR, it’s casing cost $2k! While my S95 casing cost $200.
- All in one water proof digital camera: Get this when you don’t already have a good a point and shoot digital camera. These cameras function as a regular point and shoot camera plus can take underwater photos! There’s the Canon PowerShot D30 or FujiFilm XP80 or my personal favorite the GoPro Hero4 Silver. The GoPro Hero5 Black just came out too which has 4k video, a built-in screen and is water proof without a housing! These cameras are light weight, easy to use, very portable and the quality is great! The cost as low as $100 to $500.
- Waterproof cell phone case: Get this if you’re crunch on time to do the necessary research to find a decent underwater digital camera or you’re tight on budget. The ABC stores in Maui sell these at around $20 a pop, or you can get cheaper ones on Amazon. These are usually a thick plastic bag that can fit most cells phones. Another option and for better quality is to get an actual underwater case that fits your phone model, LifeProof sell cases that are water proof, snow proof, mud proof and drop proof! These go for $50 to $100.
3. Laptop or Tablet
I do most of my planning before I travel to Maui. But sometimes I have to do last minute planning and research while in Maui. Here’s why: It’s difficult and inefficient to do this from my cell phone when I need to read a lot of detail because of the small screen size. So having either my laptop or my iPad with me with a bigger screen size makes research and planning much more easier and more productive. So bring this if you already have one. But don’t go out of you way to make this large purchase for this trip.
4. SD Card
If you’re like me I take a bunch of photos, selfies and videos so I want to make sure I have enough storage to capture all these moments. For just $12 you can get a 32GB microSD card or for a few bucks more you can get the 64GB version. These will go great with your cell phone or underwater digital camera or GoPro. Here’s why: You don’t want to end up in the middle of your dream vacation and realize you don’t have enough storage to capture the rest of your trip. You can buy them on the island but they’ll be pricey. For just $12 your worries will go away.
5. Mini Surge Protector + USB Charger
With so many gadgets that you’re bringing, cell phone, camera, tablet, etc you’ll need to charge these items daily. The Belkin Mini Surge Protector makes it is easy. It features 3 power outlets and two USB ports. Here’s why: you can charge all your gadgets from a single place and rest easy knowing your gadgets are safe from unexpected power outages.