Outfitted with the right accessories—from airport-friendly bags and mobile Wi-Fi hotspots to essential travel and productivity apps—you can hit the road with all the amenities you need to stay productive and connected on your next business trip. Learn which electronics accessories and mobile apps can help you make the most of your time at the airport, get work done or just simply relax on the plane, stay connected and on course in the car and work and play at your destination.
Make the Most of Your Time at the Airport
• Breeze through security. Coddled in a TSA-approved laptop bag, your netbook, notebook or fullsized laptop can cruise untouched through the X-ray scanner.
• Top off your phone, tablet or digital camera battery while you wait. With a single universal charger you can power almost any device in your carry-on.
• Create your own personal hotspot. A 3- or 4G mobile Wi-Fi router can serve up broadband connectivity to all of your wireless devices.
• Screen wipes are great for keeping your smartphone or other touchscreens smudge- and germfree.
• Simply forward all of your airline, hotel and car confirmation emails to TripIt and it will create a mobile itinerary that you can manage and share online or via the mobile app.
• FlightStatusPro is a flight tracker app that seamlessly integrates with TripIt.
• GateGuru helps you find whatever you need in the airport from potties to power outlets.
Tip: Need to charge your devices between flights? By the time you reach one of the highly coveted power outlets in the airport, chances are another traveler has already claimed it. Just whip out your travel-sized power strip and you can easily share the outlet with a fellow flier.
Relax and Be Productive On the Plane
• Don’t shell out for the airline’s junk headphones. Travel with an airline headphone adapter and enjoy the aircraft’s on-board entertainment from comfort of your own buds.
• Immerse yourself in a movie, music or just peace and quiet. Noise-cancelling headphones will magically ward off any ambient noise coming from the aircraft and fellow passengers.
• Comfortably watch a movie, read an e-book or review a document. A tablet or smartphone stand props up your device on the seat-back tray for hands-free viewing.
• Create an ultra-portable work station. A Bluetooth keyboard and a stand transform your tablet into a perfect-sized in-flight document-editing, number-crunching device.
• Instapaper lets you capture Web articles, blogs and other content and easily save it (stripped of ads and other distractions) in a mobile-friendly format that you can read offline.
Bring something “paper” to read or jot notes on during the segments of the flight where portable electronics must be stowed. These can also be your “emergency backups” should you run out of battery life mid-flight.
Stay Connected In the Car
• Talk hands free. A Bluetooth headset is a no-brainer for using your wireless phone conveniently and safety.
• Don’t rent a GPS. Transform your GPS-enabled smartphone into a fullfeatured navigator with a car mount and your favorite navigation app.
• Connect to the rental car’s radio. Bring an iPod car adapter or FM transmitter to play your music and podcasts through the rental car’s sound system.
• Carry one charger, not five. A 12-Volt universal charger will re-energize your devices on the road without weighing you down.
• GasBuddy helps you locate the closest and cheapest fuel.
• Navigation apps like TomTom, Navigon MobileNavigator and CoPilot Live turn your GPS-equipped smartphone into a full-featured in-car navigation system.
• Enjoy streaming Internet radio anywhere you have 3G service. iRadio Suite or Pandora are just two of the many apps available.
Tip: BYOB: Bring your own Bluetooth. Dozens of states now have laws banning the handheld use of wireless phones; however, all permit you to talk on your phone using a headset.
On the Go
• A Bluetooth mini-speaker system is great for listening to your music and is surprisingly small.
• Don’t touch the hotel’s remote! Use your smartphone instead. With a simple infrared emitter that plugs into your phone’s headphone jack, you can transform your smartphone into a universal remote.
• Bring your own travel power strip with surge suppression. No matter how many stars it’s rated, you can bet your hotel’s rooms don’t have enough power outlets to keep your mobile office juiced.
• Easily share your documents and data among your devices. A portable network storage drive allows you to wirelessly access files on the hard drive from any Wi-Fi device.
• International power adapters are essential for overseas travel.
• Snap pics of your receipts, track your spending and electronically submit expense reports with Expensify.
• White Noise and similar apps create soothing, sleep-conducive sound effects on your smartphone.
• Use Yelp or TripAdvisor to locate and read reviews of nearby businesses and services. Open Table and Wine Spectator are great for planning business dinners, and Taxi Magic will help you get there.
Tip: While hotel wireless networks are convenient, they can unknowingly expose you to hackers. Before connecting to the hotel’s wireless network, follow these four simple steps to keep your laptop safe:
• Enable your computer’s firewall
• Disable file sharing
• Double check the name of the hotel’s network on the in-room instructions before connecting; do not connect to an unknown wireless network
• Ensure that you’re using a secure link (URL starts with “https://...”) to login to the hotel’s network