1. A good cord management organizer for your bag.
Keep your stuff organized and together. I used to go into a meeting and inevitably have to pull my phone or computer charger out of my bag. What a mess! I would end up pulling a tangled mess of cables out and have to take the time to untangle the mess of knots like a first year boy scout. There are lots of cable and gear management systems out there. My advice... Pick ONE! and use it. Cocoon makes some good ones
like the one on the left but honestly what matters is using it. You won't understand how you got along with out it.
2. Get a great set of Bluetooth headphones.
Everyone has had the experience of having one of your earbuds yanked out by a passerby on a plane or on your car seat belt. Get rid of the wires. You may have a Bluetooth headset for your phone but it probably has many setbacks like mine did. Not being able to listen to music, or it not being able to pair to your computer, or maybe it falls out when you are running... or maybe it just drives you crazy with how silly that little bluelight is on the side of your head.
TheLG TONE (
Pictured) is a great affordable solution. It was recently reviewed at the Wirecutter
and this is what they had to say: If you're looking to buy a set of reasonably priced Bluetooth headphones, I recommend the LG HBS-700, also known as the LG Tone after testing many and researching them exhaustively for over 12 hours. Priced at $50, they do a solid job with music, voice calls, and everything else in between. .... LG’s Tone is light, portable, versitle and of course, cordless–making them perfect for a number of usage scenarios. Connecting them via Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR to your computer, smartphone or bluetooth-enabled MP3 player is dead simple, and as the headset allows for multiple connections, staying connected is even easier. There’s no need to re-pair your headphones every time you switch devices: just switch them on, choose the headphones as an audio input/output source and you’re good to go. Like most Bluetooth devices, they have an effective range of around 30 feet.
A Good set of headphones like this can really make any trip more enjoyable.
3. Individually sealed cleaning wipes - For your hands and your electronics.
You are going to go from taxi to terminal to gate to plane to rental car to fast food to meeting to dinner to hotel. You are going to come into contact with alot of stuff and you won't always have the opportunity to freshen up. Keep a hand full of any individually sealed wipes with you to make sure that your next hand shake doesn't carry the mayonnaise moisturizer from your sandwich.
4. Audiobooks - You think listening to a book is weird... get over it.
The absolute worst thing about audiobooks is that awkward look you get when you say to people "I just read the most interesting thing in the book I am listening to..." Other than that, Listening to audiobooks is one of the best things I have ever done for my personal development. I use www.audible.com but there are many many sources to choose from. I have gotten use to listening to the books at 3X speed and can finish a 15 hour book on the drive from Montreal to New York(5.5 hours). I have found this to be a great way to make valuable use of otherwise lost time.
5. Power! You need more power!
There is nothing worse then getting stuck on the ground in your plane waiting for the thunder and lightning to clear up so that the ground crew can come and let you off. The last time that happened to me I was able to get anew high score on Jetpack and completely blow my phone battery... intelligently leaving me with no phone/email/gps... lost. My son was pleased with the new high score which did earn me a high five and a hug ;-) ... but Otherwise... lost.
Since then I travel with two portable battery packs. There are all kinds to choose from and more coming along all the time. The pack on the left was tested and selected as the best of the bunch from wirecutter.com
and is available on amazon.com
6. A Local Sim Card... or travelling package from your carrier.
I have to be honest I have not yet found the perfect solution for this and I also face something of decision paralysis when I know that I will be traveling aboard and need to deal with this issue. As with most things "Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail." (John Wooden). A year ago I received a phone bill from a trip that blew my top. I realized that The cost of traveling for 2 days in talk, text and data could have paid for 2 full months of plan on a local carrier. So on my next trip I went and signed up for a pay as you go plan and swapped in my new SIM and was calling like a local. Great! Except for my regular number was now pointing now where and I could remember the number of my new phone to give people... nor did I want to give them a number that I wasn't sure I would keep. I believe the best solution for myself will be to have 2 phones with 2 plans and 2 different numbers.... I struggle with this.
Lifehacker has recently addressed this issue andhave some good advice here
... not sure they solve my problem... but maybe there is something there for you.
7. Get a Bluetooth Speaker for instant meeting spaces and a better hotel experience.
I have been using Jawbone's Jambox for more than a year now. I am not in love with this particular device... but I do love what a portable bluetooth speaker has done for me. I have been able to have conference calls in parks, I've been able to reach the back of a crowded meeting room making a presentation with my MacBook with no wires. I have been able to listen to music in the hotel room shower and have a decent movie experience outside at night by the pool.
I think my next one will be the Eton Rugged Rukus All-Terrain Portable Solar Wireless Sound System
... I have to read more and evaluate... but solar powered, cell phone charging, water resistant, ruggedness... sounds like the right device for me.
8. Tripit... Try it, Love it!
9. Scan, Save and Print your important travel documents.
You travel with a lot of important documents and have the potential to loose them all in the wrong situation. It is a great practice to scan, save and print copies of these items and keep them in a safe accessible place. Maybe that place is at your Mom's house in the cookie jar or maybe you keep them in a password protected device. The plan is to have them available in an emergency. If you are traveling unfortunately need them you will want someone to have the access to help you.
Here is a great thread over at theStack Exchange
if you would like to get into this a little deeper.
10. Travels secret weapon... Smile like you enjoy it!
Smiling and acting happy will make your whole travel experience better. I know it can be hard, but squeeze it from ear to ear. People will be nicer and happy to see you. Flights, hotels, restaurants... everything will be better.
Trust me... try it.