I’ve been racking up quite a few frequent flyer miles on business travel lately. So today I figured I’d share some of the essential tools and gadgets from my road warrior toolbox. These are the tools and gadgets I’ve come to absolutely rely on – the ones that make me more productive when I’m sky-riding at 35,000 feet, waiting in an airport lounge, or driving a rental car somewhere between here and there. And since I’m a bit of a geek, the list certainly has a geeky twist to it.
- Travelpro Crew 7 Expandable Rollaboard Suitcase – Hey, if it was good enough for George Clooney in the movie ‘Up in the Air,’ it’s good enough for me. But in all seriousness, I have gone through my fair share of luggage and this is the perfect suitcase for the hardcore road warrior. It’s big enough to cram a week’s worth of clothing into and small enough to use as a carry-on.
- Cradlepoint CTR-350 Cellular Travel Router – The CTR-350 is a great mobile Broadband/Wi-Fi router. It’s designed to use a mobile broadband data device (I’m using Sprint’s 595U) and provide access to it via Wi-Fi. It works right out of the box in the default configuration, though you probably want to enable wireless security after testing it out, or else everyone will have access to it.
- Sprint Aircard 595U – Okay, so I figured I couldn’t make my CTR-350 recommendation in bullet #2 without also mentioning the awesome mobile broadband device I use with it. I been through a few different mobile broadband devices over the last few years and this is by far my favorite. It’s fast, reliable, and easy to configure. It gives me endless hours of fast broadband access on the go, which is precisely what I require. Note: My company also let me try the Sierra Wireless Overdrive Hotspot. And while cool in concept, it just doesn’t work as reliably as the CTR-350 and 595U do in combination.
- Apple iPad or Amazon Kindle – I know, I know… Why own both, right? Well, I owned a Kindle for reading books and then I went out and bought an iPad for everything else. The Kindle is still better for reading books, but the iPad is much more versatile. I rarely take both with me on the road at the same time, but I always have one or the other. It just depends on whether I think I’ll be doing more book reading or more online reading, tweeting, etc.
- MacBook Pro 13.3 Inch Laptop – It’s small, super quick, reliable, versatile… pretty much the best darn laptop I have ever owned. And it looks sexy too. If you don’t own a MacBook yet, you should consider giving this one a try.
- Kensington iPhone Battery Pack and Charger (and my iPhone) – The iPhone is a no-brainer. But what’s the best accessory I’ve ever purchased for my iPhone? Well, that would be the Kensington iPhone Battery Pack and Charger. It’s compatible with the iPhone 3GS/3G/2G, some iPods, and any mobile device with a mini-USB connector. I have charged my iPhone from empty to full with this life saving road warrior device many times.
- Dropbox – This online file storage service works flawlessly and is extremely easy to integrate. It allows me to grab documents, presentations, custom scripts, etc. and view them on my iPad or Macbook on the go. Dropbox also allows me to create public links to my files (even really large files) so I can share them with others via email or social media.
- Persol 2720 Sunglasses – Polarized crystal lens guaranteed to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays wherever you are. Oh, and James Bond wears them too. So yeah, I feel ten times cooler when I have them on.
- Multi-Use Car Charger – Because a cell phone with no battery juice is useless when your rental car breaks down on the side of the road during a long road trip. My multi-use car charger allows me to charge up to four devices at once. This unit turns one auto cigarette lighter port into two, has two USB charging ports, and provides a heavy-duty 20 amp capacity.
- Small Moleskine Notebook – These days, almost all of my work is performed digitally on my Macbook or iPad, but when it comes time for a brainstorming session my Moleskine notebook is my tool of choice. The analog nature of the Moleskine notebook and a ballpoint pen somehow sets my mind free when I need to grind out a few new ideas. And it’s so ultra portable, I pretty much bring it with me wherever I go.
What are some of the best travel gadgets and tools you’ve used recently? Do you have any additional recommendations for us geeky business travelers? Please share them with us in the comments.
Photo by: Victor