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HOKKAIDO GUIDE: WHAT BAGS/ GADGETS DO YOU NEED?

Safe and very durable. Get yourself a PacSafe bag the next time you travel. Its also great for everyday use!

Pacsafe VIBE 20L Backpack, Cross body bag and AntiTheft RFID wallet. Since I began traveling, I’ve invested on Pacsafe for my hand carry bags. These trio of anti-theft bags have unique zippers and lock mechanisms that give me some peace of mind whether I’m squeezing my way inside the MRT or walking around the cold streets of Shibuya. The Vibe 20L is lightweight and comfortable and it even has a multipurpose 13in laptop or hydration pack sleeve. It has two side stretch pockets for a water bottle and the other for my tripod. It is made of nylon twill and polyester which are also water repellent so I don’t have to worry about my stuff getting wet.

I’ve had the cross body bag for almost four years now and this is where I usually put my important documents, passport and smartphones so I can easily store and retrieve it when passing through airport security. It can fit two smartphones, a pocket wifi and a powerbank. Again because of the exomesh slash guard material I don’t have to worry about cut and run and the zipper lock protects it from being opened by pickpockets. Lastly is the bifold wallet, which is already my fourth as the first three had already worn out after daily use. It has a zippered note slot and strap which I could attach to my belt to prevent pick pockets while its RFIDsafe blocking material keeps my cards secure from skimming. 

Cherry Roam, a reliable and affordable Travel Wifi

For this trip I also brought several new gadgets to try out. The first is the Cherry Roam pocket wifi from Cherry Mobile. The CherryRoam features a 4-inch touch screen display with compact built, exterior, and real-time data monitoring. It is packed with a Qualcomm 4G LTE chipset – enabling fast connectivity especially at 4G speeds and allows up to five (5) users to connect. It can also be used as a local WiFi device as it houses two (2) Nano SIM card slots. More than that, CherryRoam also doubles as a power bank with its 5,350mAh battery and 15-hour standby time. For only Php250, users can enjoy 1GB internet data up to LTE speed, valid for three (3) days to their favorite travel destinations in Asia, and Php550 for 1GB valid for three (3) days to Europe and America, to name a few. Customers can purchase any data packages weeks or even days before their scheduled travel. They have the option to control their usage through the CherryRoam app which can be downloaded in Google Play or App Store.

With the app, users can manage their data packages, monitor data usage, or top-up credits – offering more convenience and ease to the consumers. The device retails at Php6,990SRP but is also available for rental. Visit www.cherryroam.com.ph fill-out the required information such as travel dates and your preferred data package. The device can be delivered to their doorstep or can be picked up at accredited hubs such as Travel Club outlets. 

Even if you are not much into social media, it’s very important to have internet connection when you are in a different country. Google Maps and a Translate app can save you from being lost. Also make sure you have updated all your apps before your trip. Japan may have a lot of Wifi spots but if you’ll be traveling to different places, finding and connecting to a hotspot every time is inconvenient and time consuming. There is also no guarantee that you can get a pocket wifi at the airport unless you pre book a device so it is still advisable to bring one with you. Also some hotels only have WiFi in the lobby and it’s hard to connect when you are in your room.

Next is my new favorite powerbank, the Baseus 10,000 mah wireless powerbank. I’ve been using the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 both of which support wireless charging so it makes sense to have this in my every day carry (EDC) instead. As a Tito, we tend to forget some stuff and for me it’s usually my charging cables, making my extra battery utterly useless. But with this device all I have to do is place my phone on top of the charging plate and it’s good to go! It offers Quick Charge 3.0 and even has this metal plate which you can slide into a slit and serve as a support stand so you can place your phone vertically or horizontally if you want to watch a movie while its charging. I also love that it has a digital battery indicator on top so I know exactly how much juice it has left before it needs to be recharged. Throughout our five day trip, however, I only had to recharge it once, so it is a really a good choice for those who have phones that support wireless charging.

Now the last gadget I brought with me is the DJI Osmo Mobile 2, which I got from Digital Walker. Besides souvenirs what else do you bring home from your trips? Stories—endless amount of stories, and if a picture paints a thousand words, videos best capture those “wish you were here” moments. 

 The Osmo Mobile 2 is a handheld smartphone gimbal that helps you capture smooth, cinematic movement. It features a lightweight design, 15-hour battery life and simpler controls than other gimbals. It’s a big improvement over its predecessor, and if you have a pretty good phone already, I think this is a more practical choice than getting the P23K Osmo Pocket. 

This gimbal is remarkably easy to use, just download the DJI GO app. The controls are pretty intuitive, there is a joystick for movement and panning, a simple slider for zoom, and a couple of other multi-function buttons to change modes. The only challenge I had was how to initially balance my phone but after that, everything else was easy and you can operate all of the controls with one hand while holding the gimbal. 

Compatibility isn’t an issue and you can use it with the overwhelming majority of smartphones. You may just need to remove your phone case if has one of those rings or if its odd-shaped like a unicorn or teddy bear. Total payload for this gimbal is around 240g and works perfectly with most of the bigger phones like the iPhone X, Samsung S9, Huawei Mate 20, Mi Mix 3 etc. 

The Osmo Mobile 2 keeps your phone and your video steady and sharp by reducing vibrations big and small and features several other modes like Timelapse, Hyperlapse, MotionLapse to further inspire you to take more travel footage.

Because it’s not a super big investment, it’s worth it for the aspiring filmmaker, vlogger or the hobbyist who wants to make videos with the stunning cinematography of more expensive professional equipment. 

Personally, I got it because I really want to try vlogging and having a stabilizer makes it way easier to create better, more watchable content, because let’s face it no one wants to watch videos that induce vertigo. 

NEXT WEEK: HOKKAIDO HIGHS AND WHOA’s The must visit places, eats to avoid and how to Winter-proof your smartphone!

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