Why You Should Only Pack 2 Electronic Devices on Your Vacation

When visiting a country that often brings people to tears with its beauty, you don’t want to skimp on the things that help you capture the moment. That may be a pen and your journal, charcoal and sketch pad or your favorite camera.

On my trip to Peru, I brought my two favorite cameras and a journal.

Camera #1 is my Fuji X100T - It’s a medium sized, lightweight yet incredible camera. It’s tack sharp, truly impressive when taking pictures in very low light situations, and has a simple, easy to use design.

Camera #2 is my iPhone 6 64 GB - The video is incredible and it’s really easy to take panoramic photos. It’s often difficult capture the awe of incredible places. For me, video is the answer when the photos just aren’t good enough. I love hearing the sounds of a river or waterfall, and watching friends' faces light up at the beautiful sights we’re taking in.

We go on vacation to get away and recharge. Connecting to the internet, especially social media and email, can seriously hinder that process.

But if you can’t completely let go, I would encourage you to only bring your iPhone and not your computer.

If that’s not enough for you, here are a few bullet points that explain why should you leave your other devices like a laptop at home:

  • You’re more in the moment: The longer you’re away from outside influences, the more those things start to fade away and you can truly be present. Let the stress slip away.
  • Less stuff to carry around: All your gear adds up. It’s not just the laptop, but the charger and other cables you would use.
  • Less risk of loss due to theft or damage: Do you want the weight of “what happens if some one steals my bag?" hanging over you the whole trip?

Now, let’s see what this X100 can do...

This is Moray, my favorite site of the whole trip. Something about this place is incredible. You stand at the top and look down and think, what did these people know then that we don't know now? Each level has it's own temperature. From top to bottom there is a 27 degree difference (Fahrenheit). As you're walking along the trail you go from hot to chilly depending on the wind that catches you.

The X100 lens is so sharp!

This scene in real life had me in tears it was so incredible. I wish it translated better in camera.

The low light sensitivity is awesome. I was able to get great shots of everything I wanted in a really dark museum without using a flash. In fact, I've never used the flash on this camera. It has never been necessary.

I wish I took photos inside this place. The garden through the doors was just as dramatic as the lighting outside. So beautiful, and you would have never known walking by.

This shot above is a big reason I love this camera so much. It's not a great photo, but I would have never gotten this shot with my old camera, and my iPhone would have done a poor job too.

This is the famous Machu Picchu. It's a city in the clouds and absolutely stunning. Taking photos  just seemed futile after a while.

And this is why I love my iPhone so much!

Video... Be sure to click the gear and switch the playback to HD. The quality of YouTube at 480p is pretty bad and doesn't show off the video at all.  These aren't going to win any awards, but they help me remember the moment.

Our guide surprised us with a flute player creating the sound track for our walk through Pisac. Little touches like that made the trip stand out.

Here you really get a sense of how high up we are and how steep this mountain is. You wonder how in the world they got these stones up here from miles away.

The Fuji takes decent video, but the iPhone does a much better job. It smooths everything out automatically, the quality is outstanding and it focuses much faster than the Fuji.

Since you’re going to be taking a lot of photos and videos with your iPhone, you’ll want to make sure you have enough space to store these items. Not just on your phone but on iCloud too in case of theft or damage.

Let’s take a look at how much space you have available on your iPhone. Go to Settings > General > Usage.

Usage is broken up into three categories: Battery, Storage, and iCloud Storage. Today we’ll just look at the last two.

Storage: This is how much space you physically have available on your phone to take photos and videos, store apps etc. You cannot upgrade this storage. To have more, you have to buy a whole new phone. I would recommend having at least 5 GB free.

I used 15 GB on this trip, your milage may vary.

*If you’re in the market for a new phone, it’s really convenient having 64 GB instead of the baseline 16 GB. With everything we do on our phones now, it’s easy to fill them up.

iCloud Storage: This is how much space you have on Apple’s servers to back up your phone. You get 5 GB for free. I pay $0.99/month for 20 GB of iCloud storage. This was just enough to make sure my phone was always being backed up on my trip. When I had wifi.*

Before I left I had 15 GB free. I just checked my phone now and it turns out I’m almost out of space. To free up that space, I’ll make sure that I’ve imported all my photos and videos to my computer, then delete them from my phone. After that, I’ll have plenty of iCloud storage again.

*If you need extra help in this department, please reach out to me! I can straighten all this out for you and your family on site or anywhere in the world.

Only taking these two devices left me feeling free to be in the moment all through the trip. You can walk around not worried about all the gear you left at the hotel or in the car, and not be weighed down with a bunch of stuff in your bags.

In addition by not checking in with email and social media, you can slowly let it go and just enjoy where you’re at, being present and relaxed.

If you’re interested in the X100T and the accessories I recommend, click here.

If you want to see more pictures of my trip, click here.

Question: What do you take on your trips and why?