Technology on the road

How do you manage to run devices and access Internet when travelling Australia and going off the grid?

Sort out your equipment:

Set yourself up with decent Internet – We chose to get a Netgear Internet dongle on a plan with Telstra (50GB for $70p.m.). There are loads of options when it comes to Internet plans. Be savvy and check and compare plans. Telstra offers some awesome deals however they are rarely advertised, so periodically check what’s on offer before signing up. Telstra offers the best coverage for all states other than North-Western Australia (Gibb River Road) and The Northern Territory. We relied solely on Telstra for all of our devices and travelled along the Gibb River Road and to many other remote areas and had no service, however friends of ours who had Optus often had coverage when we didn’t. The best advice would probably be to go with Telstra and have an Optus pre-paid sim (to be activated if necessary) to ensure you have optimal coverage. For some, it may be best to use prepaid Internet so that if you are in a zero coverage zone for a significant period of time you don’t have to pay for a service you aren’t using. If you have a great amount of data available on your phone plan then you could also consider only using that and hot spotting your other devices to share the connection.

Get yourself an inverter – We use an Engel inverter ($50-$60) to charge our laptop when we are running on our solar power. Our inverter will even power the printer, charge the GoPro and SLR. It is really handy to have if you like going off the grid for a while.

Engel inverter.jpeg

Load up with 12V chargers for your other devices – if you are running i-Pads or tablets they will easily charge off of 12V chargers.

Consider whether or not you need a printer. I picked one up along the way and now that I have it I use it, however we managed for quite a few months without. We went for cheap, light and compact. Works an absolute treat. We bought an Epson printer from Officeworks ($69).

Get yourself a GoPro! It doesn’t have to be the newest model, in fact we have a Hero 4 which is quite old now given that the new ones are a Hero 6. The GoPro takes awesome underwater footage. They are so easy to use and the footage is easy to download. I download it to my phone and use the Quik app to make our footage into short videos for social media. The GoPro is waterproof and child proof! Our kids have taken it down numerous water slides. If you want to see some of our footage, all you need to do is go to our personal travel page which is https://www.facebook.com/Rok-n-Van-134619150459981/ and check out some of the videos I have posted. The only pitfall of the GoPro is its lack of ability to zoom.

GoPro.jpeg

If you are in the market for a new phone, then you absolutely must check out the Samsung Galaxy. You almost don’t need an SLR if you have one. The photos that they take are amazing, with outstanding quality. I do use the SLR over the Samsung for the zoom capacity. When comparing the Samsung Galaxy photo quality to the i-Phone, there is a vast difference in what they produce. I would definitely recommend anyone to go for the Samsung Galaxy S8/S9.

For those planning their lap this is our personal experiences with technology and travel. Consider what your needs are. In the meantime, I hope this blog gives you a starting place for your planning.

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