Essential business travel tech

A few weeks ago while perusing Pinterest I found an article titled, “19 essential tech gadgets for any seasoned business traveler” on zdnet.com. I was intrigued–19 gadgets? Had I missed some miracle item that would solve all of my travel woes? Alas, no. The list had some good stuff on it, but included things like a suitcase, multiple portable battery packs, an iPod touch and a world phone, a camera, and other items that either overlapped of duplicated something. I like the idea that there are certain things a business traveler needs, as a minimalist packer I do not thing tech gear should take up so much space. So I set out to put together my own list of essential tech gear.

Smartphone. Whether you have an iPhone or Droid, a smartphone is the essential multi-tasking tool of travel. You can check email, use the internet, take pictures and movies, and a million other things. Trust me, if you have the right phone youKindle paperwhite do not need an iPod touch, camera, and world phone.

EReader. I take my Kindle on every trip, and if you are a reader I recommend you do the same. Nothing beats the convenience of downloading a book and reading it immediately, and plane delays are a lot easier to bear if you’ve got your entire library at your fingertips. A comment on the 19 gadgets article said that if you’ve got a tablet you don’t need an eReader. This may be true for some, but the backlighting on the Kindle app on my iPad gives me a headache.

Laptop/tablet. Obviously if you’re going somewhere for work, you need your computer. I use my computer for most work-related activities, but often bring my tablet so I can work more easily in transit. One thing the article got right: if you’re bringing a tablet and hoping to use it for work, a keyboard is a necessity. I have the Logitech UltraThin Keyboard Folio for my iPad Air, and it is a rockstar.

Mobile chargers. I have a couple of smaller mobile imagechargers, and they come in handy all the time. Sitting on the runway for an hour and phone running out of juice? Running late and no time to charge iPad before flight? No problem. I also always have the car charger for my iPhone/iPad. For trips with lots of driving I also bring a cord to plug them into the car and listen to my music while I drive. A lot of rental cars these days have USB ports, but not all.

A few things that I thought would be useful on some trips from his list are the portable projector and tripod. I also just got the Grid-It as a gift, and will try it on a trip soon.

Readers, what are your most essential tech gadgets for business travel?

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  1. I totally agree with you on the smartphone- you don’t need a camera and worldphone if you have the right one. I also bring:
    – iPad. It’s my e-reader on trips, although I like the looks of that keyboard, even though it’s pricey.
    – Netbook. I just got a new laptop that’s quite light, so that may take the place of my netbook.
    – iPod nano. For running.
    – Garmin Forerunner. See above.
    – Belkin travel surge protector. It makes me the most popular person at the airport or conference site because I’ve just turned a regular outlet into a three-outlet, two USB-port charger.
    – Instead of bringing ALL my chargers, I bring that Belkin surge protector and, if I have to drive, a car adapter that lets me plug in the USB cable for my phone (which also makes an awesome GPS).

  2. Christine, I just looked up that Belkin travel surge protector and it looks phenomenal. Also solves the problem of (lack of) outlets in hotel rooms – thank you!

  3. @Elle, you’ll love it. It’s an awesome charger. I’ve had mine for five years and it’s still going strong. It lives in my laptop bag.

    Also, the other essential gadget I forgot is my pay-as-you-go mifi hotspot. It’s great when you can’t get a wifi connection, like when you’re on a train or in a conference room that for some reason doesn’t have wifi.

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