The business travel lifestyle is a rush to prepare everything hours before your flight leaves. Fortunately, technology can counter your frustrations. While electronic boarding passes and check-ins have increased the fluidity of airport travel, a carry-on bag full of cool, timesaving gadgets can turn any flight into a relaxing and productive adventure.
Reduce Cord Clutter
If you own at least three electronic devices, it’s likely that you own three cords to recharge them and they all use a different kind of connector. Unfortunately, tech manufacturers haven’t caught on that travelers are tired of carrying bags of cords with them.
Innergie’s Magic Trio has a possible solution. A review on Mashable explains the Trio as a single cord with three connectors for devices that use the mini-USB, micro-USB or 30-pin connector. At the other end is a standard USB connector. Add a USB to AC adapter and you can charge nearly all of your devices with this one cable through your laptop USB or wall outlet. The company also has plans to add a lighting connector once licensing is worked out with Apple.
The cord is designed so you can only charge one item at a time. If you’re used to charging everything overnight, you’ll have to spread out your recharging activities. The price: $20 on Amazon.
The smartphone is to the business traveler what the Swiss Army knife is to the outdoorsman. It goes where you go and you rely on it for many things. Most business travelers have their peripheral vision tuned in to always be aware of where an outlet might be to charge. But if you’re right in the middle of a call, taking photos, or sending files, that may not help.
The MyCharge device is about $20 on Amazon, and comes to the rescue with added power to keep you going when battery life runs out. This pocket-sized gadget charges from your laptop’s USB. Depending on the model, you can have from four to over 20 hours of power for your phone. The smallest unit powers only iPhones while the largest one charges iPhones, Blackberries, Nokias, Samsungs as well as various tablets.
Listen to What You Want
Make sure you’ve packed your T-Mobile Bluetooth headsets , especially if you’d rather listen to your audio book, instead of that baby crying three seats over. The Samsung HT1700 starts out at $39.99, and so many lovely colors to choose from. Switching between music, listening to podcasts, or making notes from a recorded interview and a phone call is tedious. Having headphones that can accommodate all of your audio activities, is the efficient way to go.
The Plantronics Blackwire 700 Series USB headset will do all of the above and connect to your phone via Bluetooth for $150. When a call comes in, you just hit the “Answer” button and the headset will switch to the phone. They aren’t noise canceling, but they will reduced the sounds from the people sitting next to you at the airport terminal. Any gadget that reduces the number of other gadgets, you have to carry in your bag, is a big benefit.
Make a Good Show of It
You arrive at the hotel conference room or at the client site to do a presentation. You’re prepared and your presentation is ready to display. That’s when you find out their projector is unavailable or broken. You could have everyone huddle around your laptop screen. Or you can set up your own projector.
The 3M MP180 Pocket Projector is about the size of your portable hard drive. CNBC says it can display a presentation on the wall or screen for up to two hours. It comes with 4 GB of internal memory. Microsoft Office files can be stored in the memory meaning you don’t even need your laptop. Cables are provided to connect to your laptop, as well as Bluetooth capability. A micro-SD card gives you additional storage. It costs $350 to $500 on Amazon, but is well worth the expense— especially if it can retain a client or close a deal.