5 Gadgets for Business Travelers

October 25, 2013

Doug Shockley

Doug Shockley, vice president, Business Development and Global Events at www.GES.com, has over 22 years of industry expertise.

Like many in our industry, I spend more time on the road than in the office, and I know the importance of working seamlessly regardless of my physical location. Recently, I read an article in Forbes that gave some really great advice on what every business traveler should carry. The writer shares that business travelers are bringing their own gear to be self-sufficient wherever they go. To stay on top of this technology, here are five things that business travelers should never be without according to Forbes:

1. Personal Wifi- Hotels and airports are famous for gouging visitors on internet connectivity fees, and rates usually go up proportionally to the quality of lodging. Most wireless carriers now sell WiFi hotspots that provide on-demand internet wherever there’s a cell signal. For the same cost of a day of connectivity in some hotels, you can have a month of personal internet in your briefcase, and in a pinch you can also use it as your home internet. And, it’s a personal connection, so there’s less to worry about stray lurkers peering in on your browsing habits. Try Clear‘s wireless hotspots or your current mobile provider for a few options, or if you’re a light user, Freedompop has plans that are free for under 500MB/month.

2. Backup Battery Packs- With so many devices powered through a USB port it’s now possible to bring back up power to your phone, Wi-Fi hotspot, tablet, portable speakers and a host of other devices with one single battery. Kensington has a variety of batteries that will do the trick, while Mophie has a pretty nice product line as well.

3. Business and Travel Ready Tablet- The newest generation of tablets is well equipped to handle most business needs among office applications, email, PDF viewing and images. Instead of drawing lines between brands, pick your favorite and optimize it for your business use. Make sure that you (or your IT person) have everything seamlessly connected between your notebook, desktop and tablet. Make sure that email shows up immediately and in the right place. And perhaps most importantly, make sure that you have the right apps for the task at hand. An itinerary planning app like Tripit and a flight searching app like ITA Software can help you plan your next trip, while preloaded movies and TV shows can take the boredom away from flights.

4. Noise Canceling Headphones- Bose paved the way for digital noise-cancelling headphones in the consumer marketplace, and now that competing equipment is developing, costs are starting to go down. On the lower end, CNET recommends the noise-canceling Monoprice over-ear headphones that are “about 70 percent as good as the Bose QC15s for a little more than a third of the price.” For a more thrifty approach, consider the in-ear headphones that act as earplugs as well as speakers – without the noise-cancelling circuit they can costs as little as ten dollars.

5. Ultrabook Computer- Reasonable processors are finally starting to fit into the smaller form factor laptops that are ideal for business travel, giving users enough power to open up a 100-page PowerPoint file and stream Spotify at the same time. And with the growth of the tablet industry, Ultrabooks, the low-weight-high-power class of notebook computers, are very competitively priced. The savvy traveler can fit both a low-profile computer and tablet into her carry-on with enough space for an extra pair of shoes and a change of clothes, but pick the right unit that’s best for you. Apple’s Macbook Air at just under $1,000 has been widely popular in the community, while Lenovo’s X1 Carbon and Samsung’s ATIV Book 9 are both commendable devices. (My personal favorite is Dell’s Inspiron 15z Ultrabook, it even has an option for a touch screen!)

What are your favorite travel gadgets? Share them below with our readers.

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