There are some basic things that you’ll always want to bring with you, regardless of where your travel destination may be. You need your passport if you’re traveling internationally, as well as some of the local currency. You’ll want to have your credit card too, as well as some clean clothes and some basic toiletries. In this day and age, though, your travel gadgets could prove to be far more important to you than having another outfit to wear for the day.
Some absolute essential immediately come to mind. In addition to the various gadgets and gizmos that you might want to bring along, don’t forget to bring their accompanying chargers and cables. If you’re the kind of person who travels with a DSLR or one of those mirrorless cameras, you might pack some more lenses and batteries. But as you lay out all the gear that needs to somehow fit into your bag, what are some of the most essential pieces of technology that you should always bring with you on the road?
Let’s start off with the most obvious. Smartphones have come to the point where they can effectively replace many of the other gadgets that you may have previously brought separately, like a GPS or an MP3 player. There are so many travel apps, including translation apps, that become so useful when on the road. If you’re traveling internationally, having an unlockedsmartphone is even better, because it means that you get a local prepaid SIM and save on roaming charges. Beyond the smartphone, it’s up to you whether you want to also bring a tablet, an e-reader, and/or a notebook PC.
Checkpoint-Friendly Laptop Bag
If you do decide to bring your laptop along with you and you are traveling within the United States, I would recommend that you get a TSA checkpoint-friendly bag for your laptop. These are available as backpacks, messenger bags, briefcases, and all sorts of other designs, but the key here is that they are designed such that you don’t have to remove your notebook from the bag to get through TSA security. They usually fold flat with the notebook portion being semi-separate from the rest of the bag. The Mobile Edge ScanFast Collection laptop bags are a good example of this.
Surge Protected Power Strip
Most hotel rooms are seriously lacking in available power outlets, especially for people like me who travel with way too much gadgetry. It pays to bring along your own powerbar, so you gain some extra outlets for charging your camera batteries, laptop and so on. Several models come with built-in USB ports for charging smartphones and tablets too, but the Accell PowerSquid surge protector and power conditioner is even better by having each outlet separated on individual outstretched “arms.” This way, you don’t run into the common problem of having your chargers block the other power outlets.
Speaking of problems with hotel rooms, Internet access can sometimes be a challenge. Older hotels may only offered wired Internet, so how are you supposed to connect your smartphone or tablet? Travel routers like the D-Link DIR-505 are a great solution for turning that Ethernet cable into a Wi-Fi hotspot. They’re super compact and easy to use. For hotels that charge you per device for Internet, travel routers can net you substantial savings too. Alternatively, you may consider getting a MiFi-type device for portable Internet access.
USB Portable Battery
When you’re at home, you can charge your phone. When you’re at the office, you can charge your phone. When you’re traveling, though, you’re presumably out and about to soak in the sights and sounds of your destination. There are few things worse than having your phone running out of juice with nary a power outlet in sight, so do bring along a spare rechargeable battery like a ZAGGsparq or TYLT PowerPlant to ensure you stay topped up and connected to the world.
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