Traveling for business isn’t like it used to be. We no longer just tuck a laptop and charger into our bag and smartphone into our pocket. Today’s traveling businessperson needs much more.
Part of the reason is our increased reliance on technology in our day-to-day lives. A recent survey commissioned by Rogers found that more than half of Canadian travelers would rather have forgotten to pack their underwear than a mobile device. Of those surveyed, 72% say they rely on their smartphones when traveling to stay in touch with friends and family back home, 59% use them to search the Web, 49% use GPS or maps, and 42% log onto social media.
Thankfully, new data roaming options from carriers like Rogers, Telus, and Videotron are making it more affordable than ever for Canadians to travel with their smartphones, and use them comfortably as they do at home.
With that said, here are 5 must-have additional gadgets for travel.
1. A portable charging bank or charger
Ideally, opt for one that has the battery capacity to charge a smartphone, and other mobile devices, more than once. Nowadays, depending on the type of phone you have, and how many devices you need to charge (GoPro camera? Tablet?), a single extra charge just won’t cut it. One like the Scosche goBAT 4400 has a 4,400mAh lithium-in battery and 1-amp USB charging port that can recharge a fully-drained iPhone 6 up to two times over before it needs recharging itself. Plus, it doubles as a flashlight that can come in handy during emergencies, particularly if you’re on a road trip and encounter car troubles along the way. US$20
2.A good pair of noise cancelling headphones
The latest trend is to go wireless, which can be particularly convenient while traveling and cramming yourself into tight spaces, like an airline seat. The Sony MDR-100ABN wireless headphones also include noise cancelling technology to help cancel out distracting ambient sounds like an airplane engine or background chatter on a train. The Automatic AI Noise Canceling function will analyze your environment, and select the most effective noise canceling mode to suit it. So you can comfortably catch some ZZZs on the way to your destination, or just relax with a good movie or some favourite tunes. $470
3.A travel charger
If you’re traveling to another country, you may need a travel charger with the required voltage to be able to plug in everything from your tech gear to a blow dryer. But even when traveling locally, it’s a smart idea to bring one along so you can maximize a single outlet in a hotel room to charge multiple devices. The Skross World Travel Adapter Pro+ USB comes with dual USB ports for charging two USB devices at once, plus receptacles for Italy/Switzerland, Australia/China, U.K., U.S., and Europe. The 3-pole travel plug can work in up to 150 countries, and boasts input voltage of 100V-250V. $80
4.A protective phone case
While you might not need ultra-rugged protection, it always makes sense to ensure your phone is housed in some kind of casing before traveling. STM makes the Solace II high-impact polycarbonate cases that offer protection for an iPhone, but still maintain a slim, soft-touch, and stylish design. They come in either gold or black for the iPhone 6 or 6s Plus, and with Quick Release Crowns (QRC) for easily taking the phone out when needed. $130
5.A carry-on-friendly backpack
Whether style or function is of utmost importance for you, you’ll want to ensure that your carry-on backpack meets airline specifications. Griffin’s Survivor Backpack is Transportation Safety Administration (TSA)-compliant, and can hold a 15” laptop, full-sized tablet, and smartphone in padded and weatherproof compartments. Adding more protection for your precious tech gear is an internal shatterproof plastic shell that surrounds the main compartment, along with honeycombed sidewalls for providing more impact protection, and sealing the contents from the elements. This backpack would be ideal if you’re going on an outdoor adventure, but provides ample protection for those short business trips as well. US$226