I used to travel. A lot. While I might not be the jet-setting playboy anymore, that doesn’t stop me from making sure that I have all the necessary gear when leaving the house. So, whether you’re going someplace sweet for summer vacation or you want to be prepared for all eventualities on that next business trip, go with this quick pre-flight checklist. You can thank me later.
1. The right laptop. Yeah, I know – obvious, right? But everyone has their own set of needs. I’m currently rocking an HP ENVY 14 Spectre. It’s great in a pinch, boots quickly and can last a good, long time. It also doesn’t hurt that it continues to turn heads when I yank it out of my bag. Other smart travel options I prefer these days include the recently-announced ENVY 4 / ENVY 6 and, of course, the HP SpectreXT (or the SpectreXT Pro if you’re business-minded). When you’re traveling, every extra pound in your bag adds up, so make sure you are using something to suit your needs and won’t weigh you down in the process.
2. An external mouse. Sure, it’s great to know if the touch-surface on a laptop is comfortable, large or responsive, but if you’re going to spend all day in a coffee shop juggle spreadsheets, spring for an external mouse. Your hands will thank you later. (I know that Greta has a thing or two for mice that make a fashion statement…so, there’s that).
3. A portable surge protector. OK, you might think I’d recommend something like this just to keep your electronics safe when you’re plugged in – and there is certainly that bonus to getting a travel surge protector. Me? I’m a little more practical. When is the last time you went to an airport and you’re fighting people to use the few, scarce free outlets. It’s like I’m on a quest! Well, with something like this, you can make new friends and share and outlet. I found this option at the HP store to get you started. Oh, and this reminds me, a nice feature of the Spectre is that its slim travel charger comes with a charging USB port in the brick. Nice, right?
4. USB Drives / SD cards. This is a more sneakernet travel tip for when you’re nowhere near an internet connection or you just want to get files from your PC in a hurry. I always keep a blank SDHC card in my computer. Handy if you have a digital camera and need to swap in a new card, for example. I also always have at leastone blank USB flash drive to move documents between PCs.
5. Power cables, cables to charge your smartphones…dongles, security keys – that is a lot of extra gear sloshing around in your bag! Best advice I could give on this one: Keep it all together! Obviously, you can find a pocket inside your swanky laptop bag to stash them all, but I like to take it a step further and keep all those extra bits of gear together. For that I recommend getting a tiny wire bag…a Grid-It….or, if you wanna be unique, check out this lifehacking project where you can create your own wire storage in a vintage book.)
All right, there’s my five quick tips for today. If you have any travel-bag suggestions, I’d love to hear ‘em! (I could probably use them!)