David J. Danto
Business travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion
The Traveler’s Toolbox – Update #5
“What do you have in this thing?” is what colleagues often ask me when they attempt to lift up my flight carry-on bag (my “personal item” as it were.) Over the last few of years I published a series of blogs ( 1, 2, 3 and 4) that listed a number of devices and tools that I keep with me when I travel. Things change rapidly in technology, and my bag will have a bunch of new items (assuming we ever travel again in a post pandemic world) so here is the latest update. Click the links in each section to see some examples of where to get these cool travel tools.
· Let There Be Light – I have admittedly reached the age where I may get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. When one travels and might wake-up in a different hotel room every night, it is sometimes hard to remember or see where the bathroom is. Leaving the bathroom lights on and its door open unfortunately makes the hotel room too bright for me to sleep. Some properties install nightlights in the bathrooms, but far too few of them do that. To solve this problem I carry a small round LED nightlight that plugs-into the usually easily accessible bathroom outlet. These have light sensors built-in, so they only turn-on when it’s dark in the bathroom. I always buy more than one, as, sadly, I sometimes have been known to forget to unplug them on my check-out day. They’re available under many brand names and not very expensive. I prefer daylight color temperatures to warm-white – but searching any on-line merchant will yield many inexpensive versions for you to choose from.
· It’s A Blended World – I‘ve become something of a picky eater when I travel (as my entire family stops what they’re doing at this moment and looks at me with the standard “no-shit” expression.) Being able to make a healthy shake, smoothie or protein drink while traveling has been completely out of the question – until now. There is a new BlendJet 2 on the market that is small, powerful, USB rechargeable, and easily disassembles for cleaning. With it, travelers are able to grab any fruits and vegetables they can find and make great and healthy drinks on the road as easily at home. It’s only 9” x 3”, but can pack while disassembled, so it can fit easily into any carry-on. (I got the purple one…)
· Speak And Hear Clearly – I’ve listed and recommended many headphones and headsets in the past for taking unified communications and video calls on the road and at home, but sometimes you don’t want to be wearing a headset. Poly (the combination of the former Plantronics and Polycom companies – and in full disclosure, now my day-job employer) has released a stunningly good portable speakerphone called the Sync 20. It’s actually the first in a series of Sync devices, starting at the smallest 20 and including the larger 40 and 60 models. The microphone array has superb pick-up quality (as you can hear in this independent analyst demo) and the speaker is music-listening quality. The internal, rechargeable battery is so powerful that you can use it to charge your mobile device as well. Click here to get more info on the Sync 20 and the whole Sync family.
· Let There Be Light, The Reprise – Now that most of us are working on video all the time, one urgent but often overlooked element of a great video call is lighting. I’ve probably mentioned in the past that when I work from my desk at home I use a relatively inexpensive desk lamp from Trond as my “key and fill light.” It’s dimmable, and can adjust to tungsten (indoor) or daylight (outdoor) color temperatures – all for about $20. When I travel however, I still take video calls from hotel rooms, airports, etc. – and I need good lighting there too. The smallest good light I’ve found is the Litra Torch. It has three dim-to-bright levels and a strobe mode (which I can’t for the life of me figure out a use for.) It’s very bright for a very tiny device. Slightly larger but a bit less pricey and chock-full of more features is the Lume Cube Videoconference light. This one can infinitely change color temperature and light levels using a rotating dial, and is also very bright for a small device. The Lume Cube also has an LED readout telling you what level you’re set at, the remaining battery life and other information. If you’re on video as much as I am I’d definitely suggest you get one or more of these lights, or be as crazy as I am and get all three.
Finally, here is the actual quote from the prior (my fourth) installment of my Travelers Toolbox blog:
“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. I’ve 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 driver’s 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. I’m not really sure how much it helps but it does make me feel better.”
How was that for foreshadowing in a blog I wrote back in July 2018? In the sea of terrible news of 2020, I can at least be happy that real brand-name Purell in travel sizes is apparently back in-stock and available.
Please let me know if you find these tips useful and/or if you have any of your own. I’ll keep putting them together for future blogs.
This article was written by David Danto and contains solely his own, personal opinions.
All image and links provided above as reference under prevailing fair use statutes.