Technology is a pain in the butt and you know it. You managed just fine before the tech boom and you’ll do just fine without it on the road. These are just some of the reasons technology is more of a pain that it’s worth when you’re traveling:
Extra luggage: Lets be honest. You know you are going to be cramming everything and the kicthen sink in your rucksack, despite your attempts to cut down on the junk. Packing away a computer/video camera/other gadget plus the chargers, plus the adapters really adds up! Do you have room for all that stuff? Cuz we know we don’t.
Can’t get unplugged: Part of the allure of travel is setting off on your own, relying on your own wit, skill and navigational talents to get around. In the everyday, real life world, there is constant pressure to be accessible 24/7. When you’re traveling, you don’t need to conform to this. Ask yourself: is the world really going to end if you don’t answer your email every day? Probably not.
You don’t need it: Do you really think a GPS will be necessary in Paris? I mean, we know the streets can be confusing, but that might be a bit of overkill. How about your translator while you’re in Bali? Not worth it: you can get on just fine without it. A video camera? What do you think your journal and plain ol’ point-and-shoot are for? Just because you can bring it doesn’t mean you should. And besides, if you absolutely must email the folks back home to let them know you made it out of the jungles safely, there are internet cafés all over the world.
Forced separation: Technology makes you stand out – which isn’t always a good thing. It can alienate you from the people you are trying to get to know: both travelers, who may not understand or appreciate your attachment to technology, and locals, who believe technology further distinguishes you as the ‘rich foreigner.’
Adaptability: Just because you have the technology doesn’t mean it is going to work in the country of choice. Internet access is scant in many developing countries and there is no guarantee that you will be able to plug in at a café in Europe either. GPS is illegal in some countries and the download-to-computers feature on PDAs is worthless without the appropriate software on the computer, which can be very hard to find.
Marie Javins also gives compelling reasons to avoid technology in her article High-tech travel – not what it’s cracked up to be.
>> For the other side of the story, check out Why You Should Bring Tech Travel Gear With You