My Kindle is my most-used travel item via Find Us LostI frequently get asked what my most-used travel item is. Though my mind immediately goes to our travel photography gear (of course, we couldn’t do our jobs without it), my must-have for any trip is my Amazon Kindle. I use it every single day when I’m traveling.

It took me a long time to get on board with using a Kindle, but it’s hands down the most practical item I have. My entire reading collection is on it, and I can download any book I’d ever want on the go – which constantly comes in handy. At the airport, on the beach, when I’m wide awake with jet lag. I used to read exclusively on vacations, but now I read all the time because new material is constantly at my fingertips.

I’ve recently made a goal for myself to read at least one book a month to further my career (some of my favorites are below).

I used to be one of those people who would pack multiple books on vacation. I’m not sure how I survived travel before having a Kindle (for starters, how was I reading in bed without a light?!). I love browsing bestseller lists while sitting by the beach, and the fact that I can read a book recommendation and download a new book within a minute.

When I was in my early 20’s I rarely read, as I was so limited with free time in and out of college. But a few years ago right before we moved abroad, something changed. I picked up my Kindle one day to read before bed, and somehow, reading became my nightly routine. It’s not that I have more free time (if our recent travels are any indication, I have much less), I just became hooked on my Kindle again.

Besides the main convenience factors (especially the long-lasting battery and light that doesn’t keep me awake) what I love most is how much having a Kindle has encouraged me to read more. I signed up for a Kindle Unlimited membership for $9.99/month a couple years ago and I’ve never gone back. It’s encouraged me to break out of my comfort zone and read even more. Lately, I’ve been binging on books that help freelancers and small business owners. I love anything that helps my professional development since I’m no longer working in an office.

I should mention here: though I’ve always loved reading, Jacob is the opposite. He never enjoyed books when he was growing up. When I first encouraged him to get a kindle he was completely against it, saying that he would never use it, it would go to waste, et cetera. He finally gave in to my persuasion (and it took a lot of persuasion) and let me buy one for him. Flash forward to now and he reads in bed next to me almost every night.

If you’ve never owned a Kindle before, I’m going to briefly break down the differences between each one and why they’re important:

My Kindle and backpack I travel with via Find Us Lost
Traveling with my Kindle in Udaipur, India

Side note: you might recognize the backpack above, as it’s also one of my favorite travel companions. It has a built-in pocket for a laptop and e-reader!

 

All-New Kindle (Version 9)

  • Internal memory 4GB, which holds thousands of books
  • Not waterproof
  • Wi-Fi only, does not have 3G Connectivity (my old Kindle had 3G and the one I use now does not. I actually find this to be frustrating as I frequently think of a book I want while at an airport without Wifi. But if you plan ahead this shouldn’t be an issue).

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Kindle Paperwhite (What I Use)

  • Waterproof
  • Large internal memory (you can choose 8 GB or 32 GB)
  • Wi-Fi and 3G Connectivity
  • Ability to play Audible audiobooks with Bluetooth

Kindle Paperwhite (Refurbished)

    • Same as above, offered on Amazon at a discount since its certified re-furbished
    • Not waterproof, since it’s an older model
    • Internal memory 4GB, which holds thousands of books
    • Wi-Fi and 3G Connectivity
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Kindle Oasis

  • 7″ screen, which is 1″ larger than the others
  • Waterproof
  • Large internal memory (you can choose 8 GB or 32 GB)
  • Wi-Fi and 3G Connectivity

Amazon’s “Customizable Options”

Amazon gives you the option to customize your Kindle before check-out. I haven’t ever run out of storage, which may also be because I typically read books using my monthly membership and “return” books frequently. Regardless, I find that 4GB or 8GB holds thousands of books so the 32 GB seems unnecessary.

Two things I do recommend purchasing:

  • “Without Special Offers” upgrade. This means you won’t receive ads on your screen. In my opinion it’s worth the extra $20. A major upside to reading on your Kindle rather your phone or iPad is removing outside distractions, so having ads ruins the experience.
  • “Free cellular connectivity” upgrade. This allows you to download anywhere – regardless of whether or not you have WiFi. Think of it as a one-time fee for what a phone plan would be. I love this because I’ll often forget to download a new book and will want to buy something while on the road or at the airport. It’s saved me a few times when I have a long flight ahead of me!

Kindle Unlimited Membership

I highly recommend having a Kindle Unlimited membership. It’s $9.99 a month for access to thousands of books. I love this membership and have been using it for years. It even incentivizes me to read more since I never feel guilty downloading a new book, as it’s all included! I’ve only paid out of pocket for 2 books in the last year, both of which were by authors who released brand new books. Otherwise, everything I read has been included in my membership.

If you’re just trying to get back in the habit of reading and don’t want the pressure right away, here are some of my favorite reads as of late:

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Other Accessories

I didn’t think a case was necessary until I saw Jacob pull out his (brand new) Kindle during our trip to the Greek Islands, only to find that the screen was cracked in half. If you want the extra protection, here are some sleek and stylish options that I love:
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Photos are from our recent trip to India. I hope this post has inspired you to incorporate reading more into your life (and travels!). Comment below with any good reads, I’d love to know what’s on your list.

My Kindle is my most-used travel item via Find Us Lost
Traveling with my Kindle in Udaipur, India