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You’d think I was some great photographer. Or a very popular blogger or tweeter.

Not really any of those.

But if you were to open my travel bags, you’d say, “My goodness, who is this person?

I tend to travel with so many electronics and cameras that I realize it’s probably impractical. Especially since I’m a novice photographer and just do it for fun, and when I blog from the road it’s just more of the hobby thing. This week we leave on another adventure—to Ecuador—and this time it’s no different. When you have a camera bag as hefty as mine with two DLSRs, an underwater point and shoot, and a Go-Pro-like camera all the cords get mixed up. I don’t have a problem with my white Apple cords (for iPhone and iPad), but it’s all those black cords that cause me great consternation.

And who wants to be consternated on vacation?

Solution: Colorful electrical tape!

The solution to my troubles exists in 3M’s Scotch electrical tape, which I found in the hardware section of a Kmart where they had all these colors conveniently in one package. (Hey, full disclosure here: I actually work for 3M, but I bought these and paid full price for them, just so’s ya know. Plus, I don’t even work in that division, so I’m not doing a shameless promo here.)

Colorful Electrical Tape

Colorful Electrical Tape

With the tape you can color-code your cords. For my Nikon D7000 I use red for the battery charger and for the USB cord. For my other Nikon I use white for both its USB and battery cords. For my Olympus underwater camera I use blue.  You get the picture. Now you don’t have to figure out which cord goes to what gadget.

My color-coded cords

My color-coded cords

Pack a power strip. Trust me, you’ll thank me.

Also, I wouldn’t dream of traveling without a power strip. I have too many electronics and can’t rely on just one or two outlets, which often seems to be the case. Besides lack of outlets in some hotels or other lodging (especially cruise ships), my travel guidebook warned that in Ecuador there are often power outages resulting in power surges, so traveling with a power strip with surge protection can also help with some added insurance.

My one essential travel item

My one essential travel item

Perhaps one day there will truly be one device that can do everything I want it to do, but so far that hasn’t happened. Let’s be honest, I’m just not going to be one of those people taking a photo with my iPad in the jungle.