David J. Danto
Business travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion
The Traveler’s Toolbox – Update #6
“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, 4 and 5) 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 always have a bunch of new items, 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, Again – While it’s true that as a ‘techie’ I’ve never met a flashlight I didn’t like, the new crop of flashlights under the category of “COB” (which is short for chip on board) are truly remarkable. In the size of a 50-cent piece, you can have a rechargeable light that brings the equivalent of daylight to a space – for about ten bucks. The one I have been ordering and recommending the most produces 2000 lumens and has a built-in clip and magnet. I keep it on the night table when I travel so it is always in the same place when I wake up (where ever that might be.) It charges with a standard USB-C cable, so it takes one of my standard charging cables the infrequent times it needs to be recharged.
· Recharging Spaghetti – The older I get the more stuff I travel with that needs to be plugged-in overnight. That fact, plus my recent adventure on a cruise (where they’re generally nuts about things plugged-in) has forced me to optimize my chargers once again. I still use the Anker PowerPort 6 - 60W/12A 6-Port USB Charger on my night table to plug-in my iPhone, iPad, watch and the light above, but at any desk in the room I’ve switched to using this small Flat Plug Power Strip. It has a built-in USB charger with three ports. Also, I purchased a couple of these 6 in 1 Charging Cables (which are honestly more accurately described as 4 in 1) that use only one USB port (either A or C) off a charger and provide pig-tails for two lightning, one micro USB and one USB-C. With these together I rarely run out of plugs for my travel devices.
· It’s A Blended World, Again – I covered the BlendJet 2 in my Travelers Toolbox #5 – a device that could help travelers make great and healthy drinks on the road as easily at home. Well, now they have come out with a new Orbiter Drinking Lid for the unit which makes it even more convenient and less messy. Sliding the little lever is easier than screwing and unscrewing the top, so this makes a past pick even better.
· The Best Earbuds, Period – Full disclosure – this is a product made by the company I currently work for. If that takes away from anything I say here – guilty as charged. But…wow…the engineers that designed and built these things had us travelers in mind. The HP/Poly Voyager Free 60 UC + is the travelers’ ultimate earbuds. Three sizes of ear-cushion, a case that charges the buds, three levels of noise cancellation, an audio pass-through mode and more in a tiny form-factor – but that’s just where it starts. The case has a full touch-control surface – adjust settings, volume, audio device, etc. You can use it for music listening, conversations on your mobile device, or video calls on your computer (with the included USB dongle.) And if all that weren’t enough (‘but wait, there’s more’) the case also doubles as a Bluetooth transmitter. You can plug it into the IFE system on an airplane and then use the wireless earbuds while flying instead of being tethered to the seat. I recently wrote a blog you may have seen about finding these earbuds on an airplane when my mask accidentally pulled them off my face. These are probably a tiny bit less noise blocking than the bigger headsets I used to travel with, but the form factor is so much smaller to pack and take with me that it more than makes-up for that. If you fly often, buy these – period.
It's great to be traveling again with the pandemic fully in the rear-view-mirror. I’ll keep experimenting with new tools for my travel bag and letting you know which ones work the best. Please do 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.