This is a guest post by one of my readers, Paul. He’s a road warrior, marketing guy and dad. I’m always interested in what people carry around for technology, curious whether I have the best gear. I plan to break down my backpack in a future post. But, for now, here’s what Paul recommends as his go-to tech:
I was a road warrior for so many years that some personnel at United, Southwest and a few convention hotels in Vegas knew me by name (not good). And, now with a family, I travel frequently for business and pleasure. I’m curious though, what electronics do people take with them on the road? Here’s what I always carry in my electronics “go” kit. Note, this list does not include my iPhone X which is with me everywhere except the pool. The contents adjust depending upon where and what. But this is the always “ready to go” minimum.
I’m wed to the Apple system as my wife, mother, son, babysitters and I have (too) many phones, iPads… alas, between us I’m the de facto IT guy. I love the 9.7″ iPad paired with a Logitech keyboard case for checking email and writing comfortably on the road, watching movies, scanning travel blogs and reading books via the amazing Kindle app. (When both are on WIFI, I can stop reading on my iPad and start reading from the same spot on my iPhone — love that!) I don’t have the most recent iPad. Honestly, I buy refurbished units and they have served me well, updating them whenever it is time for our son to get a new (to him) iPad.
Apple AirPods and Sony WH-H900N h.ear on 2
I love the AirPods for walking around, conversing and wearing unobtrusively at airports while observing the swirl of people (side note: not everyone loves AirPods). Great sound, sufficient battery life for me and comfortable enough for a side sleeper to wear when napping on a plane. I tried the Bose QC series and did not like the fit. After too much research, I selected the Sony h.ear on 2 headphones and LOVE them. In fact, I often take work calls on them. Best of all, I bought them on eBay as an “open box” item and they were delivered sealed in the original box. My Sony headphones came with an adapter to plug into antiquated multi prongs on planes.
Anker PowerCore Battery
Anker makes a number of different battery sizes, but the 20100 mAh will charge a ton of devices (you can see Ed’s breakdown of the charging capacity of various Anker batteries). How many of you travel with spouses and kids who “forgot” to charge their devices before leaving home? I’m the power source for our household. Cannot imagine leaving home without at least one. Anker products occasionally go on sale on Amazon, so wait for a low price if you can.
Anker Lightning Cables
I’ve bought and thrown out so many cheap, broken cables, it’s nearly a tragedy. But, I discovered the Anker brand of Lightning cables and like them for their long life and variety of sizes and colors. You’ll find them in our cars and in my “go” bag. We put them into use when on planes, trains and in automobiles. Having forgotten that they were charging in the USB port on planes, I’ve gotten up quickly and had them pop out of the USB connector with no ill effect. YMMV. These go on sale occasionally on Amazon as well, so watch Pizza in Motion for sale updates!
Anker Braided Cable
iPhone Charging Case
I’ve tried a number of iPhone X charger/carrying cases, but have not found one yet that works really well. One brand lasted six months, another just one month. Maybe my rotten luck. This Smiphee unit has served decently, but sometimes needs to have the phone inserted multiple times to get charging properly. Do you have one that you like a lot?
Travel Surge Protector
Nothing ticks me off more than hotel rooms with too few or poorly placed electrical plugs. When flying domestically for trips of 2 days or more, I always take Belkin’s magical SurgePlus USB Swivel Surge Protector and Charger that has three plugs, two USB ports and can swivel like a Cirque dancer. (BTW, if you forget a wall plug for your USB powered device, most hotel flat screen TVs have USB ports on the back — assuming you brought a cable, voila, you can charge your phone). I have given these Belkins units away as holiday gifts — at first the recipients have scoffed, (yes, boring gift), but within months, most have thanked me for giving them such a versatile travel tool. Make sure to purchase the 2.1 Amp version for tablet/multiple device charging.
International Travel Adapter
Over the past three years, I have tested multiple travel adapters and have found THE winner. POWERADD has a smashing device that has worked exceptionally well so far in the UK, Japan, Croatia, Hungary, France…. Two USB ports, outlets for two plugs and a microUSB dongle (for which you can buy an inexpensive USB to Lightning adaptor for the iAddicts amongst us). Comes with multiple wall connectors which easily slip on/off. And it’s surprisingly affordable at roughly $25. Paired with the Belkin SurgePlus, we are almost always charged up and ready to go overseas.
Two more things are always in my electronics “go” bag, but low tech. The first is a pen wrapped with 1 foot of gaffer tape. The pen part I hope is obvious. Gaffer tape can temporarily fix just about anything and is easier to get on/off than duct tape IMHO. And the second is, earplugs. Sometimes, even when I have my Sony headset on turned to volume 10, I can still hear the wailing little kid two rows behind me. (Poor kid). Earplugs under a noise cancelling headset = guaranteed quiet for Paul.
What do you carry? What are your travel electronic essentials?
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