As technological devices continue to be integrated into vital positions in our lives, the gadgets that keep us connected have become as important as the other basic necessities on our travel checklists
With our digital assets becoming more significant and prominent in our everyday life, it is important to go digital with ease in any situation. Here is an essential gadget checklist to ensure all your needs are covered before you go on a holiday or a business trip:
Keychain USB flash drive
No matter what you do, a flash drive can always come in handy, especially if and when you need to transfer bulk data from one digital device to another. You can use one to carry a suite of portable apps, like Photoshop Portable, or even a complete operating system (OS) such as the one Google recently introduced. So it does not hurt to have some extra storage in your pocket. If you are concerned about losing it, especially since they are usually small, I recommend packing a model with a keychain that is sturdy and thin so your digital and physical keys will be all in one place.
When you are away from home or in an unfamiliar place, the last thing you want to do is get stuck somewhere with a dead phone. Moreover, if you connect your smart devices, like tablets or smartphones, to your laptop, you want to make sure you can transfer photos or other files quickly. I also recommend that if you need to charge or connect your mobile device to a power outlet or to your laptop, always keep your cables short. There are many good and durable micro-USB cables online and you can find one compatible with your Android or Windows Phone from your local tech store. Just be careful when you choose the connection type, as Micro-USB is used for most Android phones and tablets, while a Lightning connection cable is required for iPhone 5 and up, iPod Touch (5th generation), iPad (4th generation) and up, iPad Mini and iPod Nano (7th generation).
Even if you have a micro-USB cable, your cable problem is not necessarily solved. There is still the AC adapter of your laptop, headphones and potentially a wired mouse. In fact, tangled cables are a significant annoyance that you will encounter during your peaceful vacation. Keep them all easily on a short leash with cable shorteners. There are a wide range of styles to neatly organize the cable chaos. You can also find a useful wrapper for your AC adapter to get your PC or Mac power cables in order.
Sometimes you do not need a fully-fledged portable computer in your bag. A good tablet would do the job on the go, but writing an email or your next report on a touchscreen can prove to be a difficult task. In this case, you will need a portable keyboard for your tablet device. Each brand has a different take on what a tablet keyboard should be. There are some keyboards that once you attach the device via Bluetooth, a laptop-like layout appears. You can also get a small wireless keyboard to speed up your writing on both a tablet and a smartphone.
USB battery pack
An external battery pack lets you charge your other mobile devices without the need for a wall outlet. They are extremely useful on vacation, where you might be in a tight spot for some extra energy. There is a myriad of different portable battery chargers whose compatibility varies by device. You need to choose the right one for your needs that aligns with the devices you own. Emergency chargers that can even power laptops exist, but they are a bit bulky. Moreover, unless you absolutely know that you will need it, it is not practical to add it to your travel bag. Packing a small and handy battery pack that can charge your smartphone and tablet with different ports is a better way to keep your digital connection in check on a trip.
Universal plug adaptor
It is cheap, does not take much space and is useful. So there is no reason not to pack one of these on your international travels. You never know when you will need a different plug in your hotel or meeting room. You can buy a good but inexpensive one from any electronic store. Just do not forget to buy at least two: One for your laptop and one for your phone.
Reading books on paper might be better in your daily life, but when you are travelling, you need to do more with less. That includes not carrying around too many hardcover books. An e-book reader like a Kindle will not only ease your burden, but it will also give you enough digital storage to keep your entire library with you while you travel. Digital books are pretty cheap and easy to find on the web. And with an e-ink display, e-book readers are much friendlier for your eyes than traditional tablets and smartphones. These gadgets go easy on the battery too, so you can read your favorite Stephen King book for up to a week on a single charge without worries.
Touchscreen winter gloves
If you go on a winter vacation or a business trip to a cold region, having a pair of gloves to keep your hands warm is essential. But what if an urgent email drops in your box when you are throwing snowballs? If you do not want to get frostbite every time you try to use your smartphone, buy a pair of capacitive touchscreen gloves and wear them whenever you are out in the cold. These gloves not only keep you warm, they also let you use the touchscreen of your smartphone with your thumb and index fingers. These gloves are easy to find at almost any outlet store and are reasonably priced.
Not all hotels offer free Internet connections. If you are in a paid Wi-Fi zone, it will drain your battery if you always rely on your smartphone's 3G or 4G connectivity. So it is wise to carry a 3G (or 4G) stick around in case you cannot use public hotspots. Many carriers around the world offer mobile broadband Internet access via USB sticks or wireless hotspots that resemble routers. You can buy a reasonably-priced one from your carrier and share your data connection across your portable devices.
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