Living as an expat abroad can be challenging, but thanks to the latest technology, there are now several gadgets available that can help resolve our most common expat problems and even help enhance our expat lifestyle. Some of these items may already be in your possession and there are also some items that you may have overlooked. Aside from the usual gadgets that anyone living abroad should have, like a smart phone or a laptop, here are 10 must have gadgets for anyone living abroad.
Photo: Ben Andreas Harding
Use: Photography, Video Recording, Adventure Documentation
Price Range: $300 – $500
GoPro has become one of the hottest gadget sensations recently and it has proven to be a great way to document and share adventures and important moments in people’s lives. GoPro cameras are small personal high-definition cameras that can be attached in almost anything and is usually used for outdoor activities. If you are an expat who wants to relish every minute of life abroad, this is the ultimate gadget for you.
2. Portable Scanner
Use: Scanning Documents, Pictures etc.
Price Range: $40 – $100
Portable scanners scans and saves documents, photos, periodicals or practically anything else that you can fit into it. When you’re living abroad, scanners are always handy for an immediate need to scan documents while on the go. This device is not bulky and can be taken anywhere so even if your living accommodation overseas is not spacious, you can still have a working high resolution scanner that won’t take too much space on your desk. You can even bring this scanner for business trips and save yourself the effort of finding a computer shop to scan documents urgently.
3. Portable Printer
Use: Printing Documents and Graphics
Price Range: $200 – $550
There are limited options when it comes to small portable printers. Right now, the biggest manufacturers that have portable printers are Hewlett Packard (HP) and Brother. Brother’s “PocketJet 6 Plus with Bluetooth” is Brother’s smallest portable printer in production today. This printer can print text and graphics via USB or Bluetooth connection and it can be connected to any Windows and Mac OS computers or even your Smartphone. HP’s portable printer “Officejet 100 Mobile Printer” can also print via bluetooth and USB, but is slightly bulkier than Brother’s Pocketjet. Portable printers are very useful for anyone living abroad. You won’t have to scope out local printing shops and since it’s not bulky, you’ll have no problem bringing it along when you’re moving. Useful gadgets like these are definitely expat must haves.
4. SteriPEN Water Purifier
Photo: Adam Baker
Use: Instantly purifies drinking water
Price Range: $80 – $100
SteriPEN’s UV Water Purifier is a pocket water purifier that you can simply dip and stir into water to make sure that it is safe for drinking. It has proven to be effective in eliminating certain types of harmful bacteria and microbes that can be found in water. The SteriPEN is not bulky and very easy to carry so when you are moving a lot, it is best to make sure that you have a proper working water purifier that is not too bulky and hassle to move. You can also carry the SteriPEN when you go camping or hiking anywhere to make sure that your water supply is safe.
Photo: Juliette Culver
Use: Automatic Room and House Cleaning
Price Range: $400 – $600
A Roomba is a robotic vacuum cleaner that can vacuum your room and your house on its own. This is the perfect house cleaner for anyone who doesn’t have enough time to vacuum their whole place themselves. Roombas can be order online to be shipped anywhere in the world or you can check the local appliance centres in your host city to buy one. You can leave your Roomba to clean for you while you go to work or even while you travel.
Photo: Andreas Kambanis
Use: e-Book Reader
Price Range: $85 – $300
Kindle is Amazon’s e-Book reader that allows its users to buy, browse, download and read e-books, periodicals, blogs and other types of digital media through wireless networking. This e-Reader enables you to take your entire book collection with you at all times. Some may argue that reading actual books is still better than reading digital e-Books, but for us expats moving abroad, it’s not really very convenient to carry around your whole library every time you move. Kindle will allow you to store more than a thousand books, depending on the type of Kindle that you purchased and it’s very easy to carry around no matter where you travel.
7. TrackStick II
Photo: Jane McGonigal
Use: Satellite Route Calculator and Tracker
Price Range: $130 – $160
TrackStickII is a small USB device that you can put in your car, your bike or even just carry it around while walking and it will store data of your routes via satellite and navigate the streets for you via Google Maps. As an expat getting to know your new host country, it’s not easy to find the best routes in the city and you might find yourself a bit lost with in a car with a faulty navigation system. While your smartphone can show you a map of where you are, TrackStick II can assist you by showing you where you came from and the best route to go to where you’re going. Not all countries and cities have local apps that can guide you with city navigation, so having a gadget like this that can calculate your routes anywhere in the world through satellite navigation can be really useful.
8. External Hard Drive
Photo: Doug Kennedy
Use: External File Storage
Where to Buy: Tech Retailers, Department Stores, Online Stores
Price Range: $30 – $250
External hard drives are a must have even for people who are moving anywhere. External hard drives are now very compact and can store up to 5tb of data. They are very easy to find at any tech retailers or department stores and can be very affordable depending on the size and brand that you choose. The best brands in the market today for external hard drives are Seagate, WD, and Toshiba. These portable hard drives are designed to be more durable so they can be taken and carried anywhere you need to be.
9. Universal Plug Power Charger
Use: Charging, Power Outlet Adaptor
Where to Buy: Belkin, Hardware Stores
Price Range: $25 – $60
This gadget is a must for obvious reasons. Not all countries have the same kind of outlets and voltage and most of your gadgets and chargers coming from your home country may have a different plug and it wouldn’t be very economical to buy a separate adaptors and plugs for each of your gadgets to fit in your host country’s outlets. Universal plug adaptors and chargers are available in almost any hardware store; they even make ones with USB plugs to make things easier for anyone who is travelling. Keep a power charger like this handy while you’re living overseas. You’ll see it will save you a lot of time and money.
10. Digital Luggage Scale
Use: Accurately Measures Luggage Weight
Where to Buy: Hardware and Department Stores, Amazon
Price Range: $15 – $20
This is one of the most common gadgets that anyone who travels overseas must have, yet so many neglect the importance of owing one. It’s a very simple and handy digital scale that weighs luggage and bags. Most of the time, when you travel back and forth your home country or even just travelling to nearby places in your host country, you would need an accurate scale to know how heavy your luggage is and avoid a very tedious and costly excess baggage when you check in for your flight. Digital luggage scales are available almost anywhere and there are many brands to choose from. Go get yourself one of these and save yourself the hassle of opening up your bags and re-sorting your items when you check in at the airport.
Living Abroad, Gadgets, Gadgets for Living Overseas, Expat Lifestyle