Millions of people travel for work each year. Each person will require certain things that will differ from trip to trip. But there are some constants: If you bring along gizmos, gadgets, or any electronic devices, there are specific things you can bring with you to support those items.
Let’s assume you are bringing a laptop and a phone. (I don’t think it’s legal to travel without those anymore.) What can you bring to help you get the most out of those devices while traveling? Below are some must-have gadgets for your business-trip packing list.
Laptops are mostly self-contained, and there isn’t much that you need to use them. Make sure to pack your power cord and an extra battery if you have one. Mice work better than trackpads, but if space is limited and you won’t be working inside your favorite CAD or BIM program, leave the mouse at home. If you insist on bringing a mouse, try to get a smaller one, one that will work on multiple surfaces. Don’t forget to check the batteries of your wireless mouse.
I think I can assume that a business traveler will have at least one smartphone. Regardless of the brand, bring your charger. I suggest that you also get a mobile charging pack. There are several of them on the market, and they can give your phone a full charge. That can be a lifesaver if you can’t get to an outlet. If you have multiple phones, try and get two phones with the same type of charger. That will eliminate one extra cord.
If you are going to be on a trip that requires a long travel time, extra batteries/chargers are obvious. But consider bringing extra gadgets to play with on your journey. If you regularly use your phone to casually play games to pass the time, get a small, portable gaming device. Run down the batteries on it instead of your phone. An alternative to that might be a tablet. Portable music players can also prolong your phone’s battery life for the same reasons. Run down your MP3 player instead of your phone. Don’t forget your e-reader. You can load it up with several books before you leave. That way, you won’t have to worry if it can connect to the Internet to get your books on your trip.
Internet access can be terrible on a trip. Don’t expect your hotel Internet to be usable, especially if it is free. Consider budgeting to pay for Internet access, unless it’s something you really won’t need. You can bring your own Internet if your phone has a tethering plan. Keep in mind, doing that will occupy your phone, drain your battery, and use your data. If you will need Internet access, consider a MiFi, which provides a wireless hotspot attached to a data plan. Most carriers have a service available. If you don’t want to get multiyear plan, check out a prepaid plan that you can get for a month. That way, you pay for the Internet only as you need it.
Sometimes there are non-gadget things that you need to bring. Make certain to have plenty of business cards with you. Some people prefer business cards to exchanging email or Twitter addresses. Plus, you can have all of your contact info ready to hand out. Don’t forget to bring a notepad, pens, highlighters, and a USB jump drive. These things are small and easy enough to carry with you.
No matter what the reason you are traveling—to give a presentation, attend a seminar, meet with clients, visit a satellite office, or see a demonstration—your gadgets have needs. Consider what you need beforehand, pack all of your cords, and pack extra devices to help conserve the battery on your phone and laptop.
For more tech-savvy travel tips, check out Travel Tech: 10 Must-Pack Gadgets for Geeks on the Go.