When it comes to business travel, I'm no Tom Hood. Tom travels so much, he needs Google Maps just to figure out what city he's in.
Still, I spend my fair share of time on the road, and with all of that running from here to there, I've stumbled across a few things that have made life on the road a bit easier.
Let's take a look:
Skooba Satchel V.3
I've spent my entire professional life looking for the perfect laptop travel bag. This might be it. The Skooba Satchel V.3 comfortably holds:
- my big, honkin' Dell laptop and all of its cords;
- my iPad and iPod, a bluetooth keyboard and a bunch of other peripherals;
- a book or two (although, let's face it: if you've got an iPad and the Kindle app, you're not carrying books around — and that gives you even more space);
- a change of clothes, assuming it's just a quick one-night layover; and
- pretty much anything else you can imagine. This thing has pockets and pouches everywhere.
It's light. It's rugged. It takes a beating. It's super easy to add and remove my laptop during trips through security. In short, it's the best laptop bag I've ever used. Check it out here. Seriously, this thing rocks. Don't leave home without it.
Special thanks to my college pal, Lorri Diggory, for finding this one for me.
No more dead batteries! Developed by Ecosol Technologies, the Powerstick is designed to recharge nearly all of your gadgets without the need for wall chargers. Keep the Powerstick charged via USB, then use it to provide a little extra juice to your phones, mP3 players, tablets, digital cameras and more.
It won't give you a full charge, but it should tide you over until you find a nearby outlet. Best of all, it comes with six adapters to fit most gadgets, including Apple, Samsung, Nokia, mini USB, and micro USB.
Thanks to the folks at CCH, who handed out Powersticks to attendees at the 2011 CCH User Conference.
Travel extension cord
Why an extension cord? Because hotel rooms are apparently designed these days to prevent access to electrical outlets. I've actually had to move hotel furniture — big stuff, like beds and dressers — to find an empty outlet.
If you defy the odds and actually locate a free outlet, you can make the most of it by plugging in a travel extension cord. Most will give you at least three additional outlets and a couple of USB ports, and will double as surge protectors. If you do a lot of international travel, look for one with universal outlets that accept plugs from other countries.
You'll find a ton of well-reviewed, reasonably priced options by searching for “travel extension cord” on Amazon.
Want to know what I hate most about business travel? Tracking expenses. I'm the world's biggest baby about stuff like that — just ask the MACPA's finance folks. To me, business travel is nothing more than a fat wallet bursting with receipts, all of which have to be scanned and submitted when I get back home.
But Tom Hood has an awesome idea that I can't wait to try.
If you're using Evernote (and if you're not, you should be), simply create a “Travel” notebook, then take a photo of each receipt as you receive it and save the image in your Evernote “Travel” notebook. Give your finance folks digital access to the folder, and they can take it from there.
Makes you glad you've lived this long, doesn't it?
Now tell me: What's your favorite travel life-saver? Let's build the definitive road warrior gadget list right here.