David J. Danto
Business travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion
The Travelerís Toolbox Ė Update #4
ďWhat do you have in this thing?Ē is what colleagues often ask me when they attempt to lift up my flight carry-on bag (my ďpersonal itemĒ as it were.)† Over the last few of years I published a couple of blogs that listed a number of devices and tools that I keep with me when I travel.† Things change rapidly in technology, and my bag has a bunch of new items this year, so here is an update.
∑ I Finally Gave-Up The Wires Ė I have always been very particular about flying and wearing headphones.† The Bose and equivalent over the ear and/or on-ear, noise canceling headphones sound great, but they can get quite uncomfortable.† If youíre like me, airplanes get hot and these headphones make my ears too warm.† They also get in the way if you are a side sleeper or have easily messed-up hair.† I used my Sony noise cancelling earbuds happily for years, bit the wires were always a pain.† Then Plantronics came out with this new Voyager 6200 and I ditched the wires.† They are meant to be worn around the neck, and have earbuds on attached wires for easy insertion and removal.† These are just an awesome tool.† The noise cancelling can be turned on or off, the sound is terrific, and they also work as a headset if a call comes in.† Are they the best sounding headset I ever had?† No, but I think of them as I do any multi-function tool.† If it gets me 90% of a number of functions then itís better than carrying multiple devices that each do 100%, and the convenience of draping them on my neck and forgetting about them unless I need them is awesome.† I hope they produce a next generation of the unit that has a ďduckĒ button, so one can hear outside sounds without removing the earbud, and an ability to take a wired input as well.† On those rare flights that still have an IFE system I have to use a portable Bluetooth transmitter which is a bit of a pain and doesnít reliably hold a charge for extended periods of time.† A simple wired input jack would make that unnecessary.
∑ Carrying a Back-Up of Everything Ė Many people today keep documents in various cloud storage systems.† I just canít bring myself to do that.† With all the failures and breaches we read about daily I personally donít feel cloud storage of documents, photos or anything else is safe.† I happily use cloud services for real-time collaboration, but the only drive I trust is one I can hold.† When I travel I keep this back-up with me on a small portable drive.† The Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive is small, light, and can hold every document I ever worked on.† I make sure my PCís hard drive is synced with my home NAS, and then with this little external drive, using a piece of shareware called FolderMatch.† Then when I travel, if anything happens to my PC I can use anyone elseís Ė or a new one Iíd buy Ė and still have all my files.† I find it to be a foolproof system for storing everything I need.† This drive is easily under $100 for a two terabyte version, and is now available in a five terabyte version for not that much more.††††
∑ More Charging Ports Ė I previously recommended this little gem from Tech-Matte with five ports and the ability to push 2.4 amps out of four of them as a single charger to carry.†† It is still functioning well (but no longer available to purchase), so Iíve now switched to an Anker PowerPort 6 - 60W/12A 6-Port USB Charger to get an extra port.† And, if thatís not enough for you, they even have a ten port unit available.† I find I only need to carry one of these (and the combination PC power supply, USB charger I previously recommended in one of my product reviews) for trips of any length, and I can charge everything (iPad, iPhone, spare iPhone battery cases, Headsets, Apple Watch) just fine.
∑ Ready To Present Ė I am often asked to present at conferences and seminars.† Many times Iím not able to use my own PC, but instead have to use one thatís been placed in the room by the organizer Ė and 80% of the time the organization that made the arrangements forgot to order a wireless presenter.†† I find it easy to just carry my own everywhere I go.† My PC power supply bag has my PC charger, a wireless mouse, a few tiny USB drives, and the Doosl Wireless presenter.† I like this one because it has a sliding on-off switch that canít accidentally be turned-on and drained, and it has all the features I need (PowerPoint forward and backward and a laser pointer.)†††
And I still carry that 2 ounce bottle of hand sanitizer I mentioned in previous updates in my bag.† With all the continued news of pandemics, flu viruses, outbreaks, etc. Iíve become a little paranoid about the shared surfaces I use in airplanes and rental cars.† The first thing I do when I board or get in the driverís seat is take out the bottle, squirt a blob into my hands and wipe-down the steering wheel, gear-shift, knobs, tray-table, armrests, etc.† Iím not really sure how much it helps but it does make me feel better.†
Please let me know if you find these tips useful and/or if you have any of your own.† Iíll keep putting them together for future blogs.
This article was written by David Danto and contains solely his own, personal opinions.
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