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Gear & Resources

Video Gear. Be Ready: You’re Gonna Need some Stuff!

Your phone is a great camera. For most things. The iPhone 7 Plus, Google Pixel XL, and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 can all shoot in 4K resolution and have image stabilization, and their new models will just get better. So it comes down to whether you like Android or iOS. Our only advice: If you’re shopping for one, get the most storage you can. Video takes up a ton of space.

Try a Lens

Wide-angle lenses take in more light and widen the field of what the viewer sees, which is especially useful in tight spaces like cars. It’s a small difference that’ll set your pone video apart from everyone else’s. Moment lenses (starting at $80) come in macro, telephoto, wide, and fisheye varieties. You’ll need to buy the $30 case, but that ensures that the lens is always perfectly mounted.

Get a Joby

The Joby Gorillapod (starting at $20) has bendable arms that let you mount your phone on tree branches, a skateboard for tracking shots, or just hold it as a sleek selfie stick. It’s great. There’s a reason that every vlogger uses one and the inventor is a millionaire investing in flying cars.

You’ll Want a Microphone, too.

Built-in microphones are just okay. They usually give you static. On YouTube people won’t even watch a video if there’s static. It can be a simple lapel mic like a Rode smart lav or upgrade to the best microphones on the market either the Rode VideoMic Pro or a Sennheiser G3

When outside a mic makes sure you capture just the voice, no static or background a must for travel vloggers.

Move Up From Your Camera Phone. Eventually.

The Canon EOS 80D has a huge sensor, a flip-out monitor, and quiet and fast autofocus. The only downsides are its bulk and the fact that it doesn’t shoot in 4K. The Sony RX100IV is exceptional, especially considering its small size. It has video auto focus and a big sensor for low-light shooting. It’ll do buttery-smooth slow-motion at 240, 480, or even 960 frames per second. It can’t match the vividness you get from Canon’s lenses, but the small size means having it everywhere, and it shoots in 4K.

Canon EOS Rebel T6i – One of the smallest and lightest DSLR cameras on the market. Perfect for traveling. Takes high quality pictures, but is a fraction of the size of other, comparable cameras.

Don’t Forget the Lighting

Natural light is always best. But it’s not always an option. The newer 160 light attaches to the top of camera or a stand. It uses LEDs so you get better color accuracy than you would with tungsten or fluorescent light.

The Gimbal Mount

Whether you’re shooting with your phone or an expensive SLR rig, a gimbal will help you stabilize your shots and prevent your videos from looking like they were shot by Blair Witch after 16 cups of coffee. For your phone – especially larger ones like the 7 Plus and the Pixel LX – the Zhiyun-Tech Smooth Q  takes only five minutes to set up. It works basically like a car mount: Your phone sits in the cradle. After getting everything balanced on all three axes using the gimbal’s two sliders, you can power on the motors that will ultimately control the movements. It was much easier than I expected.

A Favorite Accessory

HISY Bluetooth Camera Remote – The only piece of hardware I’ve spent money on was a shutter button. It’s a button that you can Bluetooth-remote on your phone so you don’t have to tap and hold the photo button, even in Snapchat. I can put my phone on a tripod and record without having to have my hand on the phone.

Favorite Books for Travel Bloggers

 

Vagabonding. By Ralph Potts There’s nothing like vagabonding: taking time off from your normal life—from six weeks to four months to two years—to discover and experience the world on your own terms. In this one-of-a-kind handbook, veteran travel writer Rolf Potts explains how anyone armed with an independent spirit can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel.Vagabonding is an accessible and inspiring guide

Four Hour Workweek. – By Tim Ferriss  There’s a good chance you have read, or at least heard of this one. It is, after all, the book that started me and other on the path to do the unconventional and be an entrepreneur. Also, check out his other two best sellers: The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Chef.

Walden. – By Henry David Thoreau Thoreau called it an experiment in simple living I call it a perfect travel book to prioritize life goals.

TECH SIDE OF TRAVEL BLOGGING

The tech side of travel blogging can be confusing and scary – especially if you come from a “non-techy” background like we do.

Over the years, we’ve tried out HUNDREDS of different products and services, from email providers to camera equipment to photography courses. Some were great… some were awful.

We’ve put together this hand list of tech resources to save you hundreds of hours of time and potential frustration. What follows is a list of only products and services that we use and recommend.

Now, you can stop worrying about the tech side of things and start working on what really matters – creating allocation independent lifestyle that allows you to travel, live, and work from anywhere in the world!

HOW WE DO IT

These are the applications, tools, and resources that we use daily and recommend to all of my clients and friends. All of our best kept secrets!

Build Your Online Presence- Keep it Simple WordPress – An easy content management system (CMS) that is great for blogs, galleries, portfolios, business sites and more.

Macbook Air 13” – I used to travel with my Macbook Pro, but it was just too bulky for traveling. The Air is the perfect blend of size and performance.

Monster 2 Go Outlet – Handy multi-plug and USB outlet.

Travel Smart All-in-One Adapter/Converter – Have used the same one for years, all over the world, and it still works perfectly.

Seagate Slim Plus Portable External Hard Drive (2TB) – Never travel anywhere without an external backup. We backup to the cloud (dropbox and/or Google Drive) and an external hard drive. This one can’t be beat. I travel with at least two!

Iphone 7 Spare – I download hundreds of Audio books from Audible and tons of podcasts to this spare phone.

Kindle Paperwhite – I don’t go anywhere without this thing. Being able to travel with hundreds of books, makes this item indispensable. If you are one of those, “I only read real books,” people, give this a try. You can enjoy a book, decompress your brain at night, and NOT be tempted by the internet.

JBL Micro Wireless Ultra-Portable Speaker – Are you a music lover? This blend of quality and affordability make this a great way to listen to music on the road.  

External USB Modem – Plug this tool into your laptop and grab an internet connection through the cell phone data network anywhere (the beach anyone?). If you are going to be traveling frequently in developing countries where Wi-Fi isn’t as widespread, you’ll want one of these in your bag.