When I want to hit the road – whether it is for vacation or for business – I like to be able to grab and go. That’s why I arm myself with some of the most travel-friendly technology around.
Hacking your travel doesn’t just come down to getting the right price on flights or picking the right accommodations. It has a lot to do with what you do in advance of traveling; things like preparing for travel at moment’s notice (such as keeping travel essentials packed at all times) or having the right gear just for the purpose of use while traveling.
If there’s one thing I hate when travelling, it’s having to grab my main power adapters to take with me. They are conveniently set up for home use – and are inconvenient to get at once I’ve done that. That’s why having a dedicated power supply solution when you travel is key.
If you’re a Mac user who happens to also have an iPad or iPhone with you on the road, then the TwelveSouth PlugBug is the way to go. It allows you to simultaneously charge your Mac laptop and the iDevice of your choice – and use only one outlet while doing so. This handy little device will let you leave your main power supplies at home, and reduces cable clutter in your travel bag as well.
If you’re not a Mac user, a great option is the Belkin Travel Adapter FSL010. Suitable for PC laptops under 17″, it also has the ability to charge a wide variety of mobile devices, and won’t take up a ton of room in the process.
Much like with power adapters, you don’t want to be taking your home audio solution with you when you hit the road. And while you may not always need to have a portable sound system when you travel, it’s nice to have that option if you’re going to be conducting business on the road and want some music (or podcasts) to listen to “sans headphones”. This is where picking up a lightweight – and yet versatile – audio solution comes into play.
Sphear speakers are pretty innovative, and they won’t put a huge dent in your wallet either. They form a ball (or “sphere”) when not in use, making them easy to pack. They are USB or battery-powered, meaning there’s no excess power cables you’ll have to find an outlet for – and it has a USB port built-in so that you don’t use one of those valued ports when the Sphear speakers are being used. So if you want something lightweight, versatile and inexpensive – the Sphear speaker set may be for you.
The JAMBOX by Jawbone is pretty awesome – but it’s also a bit pricey. This wireless speaker is small, wireless and sounds absolutely great. But at a price tag of $199.99 USD, you’re going to want to use them for more than when you’re on the road. I use mine in my home office and take it with me when I travel, and being able to simply pop it into my bag and know it’ll be good to go with my devices means that I’ve got one less thing to think about. There’s value in that.
If you’re travelling for work, then having a good bag or tow is a must. I have a couple of great messenger bags by Booq that I alternate depending on what devices I plan to use during my travels. Booq carries a wide variety of bags, sleeves and backpacks – and they are top-notch. Booq also uses something on many of its products called “Terralinq”. Terralinq may help reunite you with your lost bag once it has been located and reported to Terralinq, meaning you’ve got a shot at regaining any valuable cargo that may have been in the bag. Each Booq bag with Terralinq carries a unique item number on a metal label. When you register your product, it links that unique number with an identity – yours. That way, if a registered bag be reported as lost…and then found, Terralinq will attempt to contact you with a bag’s location and the finder’s contact information. And a bit of peace of mind on that front never hurts.
As for more conventional luggage, the Roots line of luggage has never steered me wrong – literally. I have a bright orange hard shell suitcase that has wheels that steer with ease. It’s also a remarkably roomy suitcase, and because it is so compact I can use it for short or long excursions. I never have to worry about it being over-sized when flying, either. IT always goes on the plane with me, meaning I can “deplane” and go. It’s both efficient and effective.
With cloud computing hitting its stride, travelers are now able to keep very little in terms of physical hardware with them when they hit the road. Provided you can connect to Dropbox, iCloud or other cloud-based storage solutions, the need to bring any physical storage when you travel is not necessary. Or is it?
While I use the cloud a great deal for my storage – especially for syncing across devices – I have learned never to put my faith on these solutions entirely. So I keep a few USB thumbdrives both at my desk and in my travel bags so that I’ve got some for those “just in case” moments.
I also like to have a bit of fun with them, so I tend to use Mimico USB Drives. But…to each their own.
Today’s grooming products are as advanced as the iPad I’m writing this article on, so I’d say they are definitely a “tech” of sorts.
Having dedicated grooming products for when you travel is essential, and I like to use the same products abroad as I do when I’m at home. So whether you buy travel cases and pour your home grooming products into them as you go or buy travel-sized portions of your products, it’s best to stick with the same stuff no matter what.
I am a big fan of the OM product line, which offers a variety of hair, skin and shaving products for both men and women. Much of them come in travel-sized options…and there’s even a travel shaving brush available for those guys who want to go with a brush shave while traveling.
What are your “go-to gear” when traveling? Leave your suggestions and thoughts in the comments below.
(Photo credit: Keyboard to Book Travel via Shutterstock)