Top 5 travel gear: Electronics

Earlier this week I wrote a Top 5 guide for your first business trip, including mostly packing-related items. Some of the comments 5-23-14-1reminded me that as much as I think about how to pack, there is more to travel then packing efficiently! Electronics (and their chargers) are a critical component of successful business travel. While the average traveler likely has more than five electronics in their bag, there are five that I consider essential.
1. Smartphone. This one is obvious, but I would place my phone above my computer in importance on work trips. On my most recent trip I only opened my computer twice, using my iPhone almost exclusively to communicate and do all my work. With a headset you can easily have meetings, listen to music, and watch streaming TV. You can use apps to find your next meal or check into your flight. Use GPS to get to your location. The possibilities are endless!

2. EReader. Some people can use their tablet or phone to read books. If that’s the case, you are lucky that you can leave something behind! Unfortunately, after a while reading on my phone or iPad my eyes start to hurt. My Kindle Paperwhite solves that problem—it holds up to 1500 books and weighs the same as a small paperback. Love it, and bring it on every trip.

3. Portable charger. Many airplanes have places to charge your devices, but the one time you count on it is the one time there won’t be one. A portable charger takes up the same amount of room as a lipstick but will charge your phone or other small device twice.

4. Surge protector. If you want to be the star of your next conference (or your next airplane waiting room, for that matter) pack a surge protector in your bag. There are never enough plugs! If you’re traveling internationally, swap it out for an adapter that has USB slots.

5. Computer/tablet with keyboard. This one is definitely obvious, but the Home Warrior wanted me to include it. Whether you’re more efficient with a laptop or an iPad and keyboard, some kind of keyboard will definitely help you get your work done.

Honorable mention: flash drive. I reach for a flash drive on almost every single trip! They are inexpensive but can make the transfer of files so much easier.

Hopefully this goes without saying, but don’t forget the chargers for each of your devices. Devices that can be charged using a mini-USB can all use the same cord—for example, my Kindle, iPad keyboard, and portable charger can all charge using the same cord. Anything I can cut out of my packing list is a win!

Readers, what are your most important electronics?

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