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, but as a minimalist packer I do not think 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 you 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 chargers, 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?