Hosteling

Launching Ultimate Packing List .com

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Posted on / by Alex Berger

My last update mentioned a number of different projects. While most are still under way and keeping me terribly busy, I’ve completed and launched The Ultimate Packing List, which can be accessed through http://www.ultimatepackinglist.com.

I found myself regularly answering a multitude of questions for friends who were about to embark on their 1st, 2nd or 3rd trip abroad. More often than not I was able to contribute a lot, but left out important details – or found that they were too close to their departure date to act on some of the advice/suggestions I had to offer.

There are a multitude of great travel tip posts out there.  In fact, just about every travel blogger who’s spent any time writing has written up a tips and tricks post at some point or another.  That said, most have great information but are either too comprehensive (and have been turned into multi-page resource sites which are overwhelming) or too basic (and lack a succinct, yet comprehensive approach to delivering the tips and tricks needed).

Additionally, there’s not a one stop shop out there that streamlines finding and potentially purchasing hostel/backpacking specific gear. You can read through posts which randomly suggest (and even in some cases link to) various items they recommend but it’s usually scattered and leaves the travelers scrambling to claw together a solid list.  Which is a problem further confounded by big box stores which have too many options and completely unnecessary items.

My answer? Create a website with 3 basic pages. That’s it.  The K.I.S.S. principle in action – An extremely comprehensive travel tip post targeted specifically for 20-30 something travelers. A page to display videos outlining what and how to pack submitted by experienced travelers and a final page that interfaces with Amazon to deliver a storefront delivering rock bottom Amazon pricing on a very limited list of hand picked hostel/backpacking relevant and recommended items.

I’m currently looking for new packing videos and always open to travel tip or gear suggestions – so without further ado – hop on over, check it out and let me know what you think!

Alex Berger

I am a travel blogger and photographer. I also am involved in academic research into the study abroad and backpacker communities.

4 Comments

  • Dave and Deb
    July 2, 2009

    I love your Ultimate Packing List website, what a fantastic idea. I looked at your gear guide and I am going to do some research on the ultra flip camcorder. If I decided to buy, I will definitely go through you and give you the sale. Just wondering,what you do use for long term travel for storage for hard drive camcorders. I have always used hd cassettes because I didn't know how to store large amounts of video. Thanks.

    Reply
  • AlexBerger
    July 2, 2009

    Thank you for your kind words! I recently upgraded from the 1st generation flip Ultra to the UltraHD. So far i'm liking it every bit as much as I liked my 1st gen version. It's slightly larger than the Mino, but takes AA batteries which is a huge asset when on the go. The one difference is that the UltraHD 2 hour version shoots in .mp4 format – which is ideal for Mac users, but can be a bit more of a headache for PC users, since you have to convert the video before you can edit it with windows movie maker.

    The cool thing about the Flip and other similar cameras is that they're basically a flash USB drive with a video camera attached. You can download/copy the files to any computer and then burn them to a CD, store them, or transfer them to an external hard drive. The price of small external hard drives has come down so much that it's a great way to do it.

    Not necessarily recommending this one – but with slim, mobile HD's like this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0012GQZZU?ie=… (affiliate link) you can plug it in to laptops or desktops as you go. Download and transfer your files, then be on your way in no time. Cool thing is, 320GB is way more than you'd ever need (120 minutes of video is 8GB on the FlipUltraHD). So you could dump – what? 40 full camera loads on the HD before filling it up.

    The other cool thing, is that you can upload to YouTube in HD now – which serves as a decent backup (though, i'd never use it as my primary because of the encoding process and quality loss).

    Reply
  • Dave and Deb
    July 2, 2009

    I love your Ultimate Packing List website, what a fantastic idea. I looked at your gear guide and I am going to do some research on the ultra flip camcorder. If I decided to buy, I will definitely go through you and give you the sale. Just wondering,what you do use for long term travel for storage for hard drive camcorders. I have always used hd cassettes because I didn't know how to store large amounts of video. Thanks.

    Reply
  • AlexBerger
    July 2, 2009

    Thank you for your kind words! I recently upgraded from the 1st generation flip Ultra to the UltraHD. So far i'm liking it every bit as much as I liked my 1st gen version. It's slightly larger than the Mino, but takes AA batteries which is a huge asset when on the go. The one difference is that the UltraHD 2 hour version shoots in .mp4 format – which is ideal for Mac users, but can be a bit more of a headache for PC users, since you have to convert the video before you can edit it with windows movie maker.

    The cool thing about the Flip and other similar cameras is that they're basically a flash USB drive with a video camera attached. You can download/copy the files to any computer and then burn them to a CD, store them, or transfer them to an external hard drive. The price of small external hard drives has come down so much that it's a great way to do it.

    Not necessarily recommending this one – but with slim, mobile HD's like this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0012GQZZU?ie=… (affiliate link) you can plug it in to laptops or desktops as you go. Download and transfer your files, then be on your way in no time. Cool thing is, 320GB is way more than you'd ever need (120 minutes of video is 8GB on the FlipUltraHD). So you could dump – what? 40 full camera loads on the HD before filling it up.

    The other cool thing, is that you can upload to YouTube in HD now – which serves as a decent backup (though, i'd never use it as my primary because of the encoding process and quality loss).

    Reply

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