Technology and Travel

Cody Bunch recently posted a quick round-up of what he carries when traveling, and just for fun I thought I’d do the same. Like Cody, I don’t know that I would consider myself a road warrior, but I have traveled a pretty fair amount. Here’s what I’m currently carrying when I hit the road:

  • Light laptop and tablet: After years of carrying around a 15″ MacBook Pro, then going down to a 13″ MacBook Pro, I have to say I’m pretty happy with the 13" MacBook Air that I’m carrying now. Weight really does make a difference. I’m still toting the full-size iPad, but will probably switch to an iPad mini later in the year to save a bit more weight.
  • Bag: I settled on the Timbuktu Commute messenger bag (see my write-up) and I’m quite pleased with it. A good bag makes a big difference when you’re mobile.
  • Backup battery: I’m carrying the NewTrent PowerPak 10.0 (NT100H). It may not be the best product out there, but it’s worked pretty well for me. It’s not too heavy and not too big, and will charge both phones and tablets.
  • Noise-canceling earphones: The Bose QC20 earphones (in-ear) are awesome. Naturally they let in a bit more noise than the bigger on-ear QC15 headphones, but the added noise is worth the tremendous decrease in size and weight.

On the software side, I’ll definitely echo Cody’s recommendation of Little Snitch; it’s a excellent product that I’ve used for years. You might also consider enabling the built-in firewall (see this write-up for enabling pf on OS X Mountain Lion; haven’t tried on Mavericks yet) for an added layer of network protection.

What about you, other road warriors out there? What are you carrying these days?

Update: Thanks to Ivan Pepelnjak, who pointed out that I had inadvertently swapped out the product names for the Bose earphones and headphones. That’s been corrected!

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  1. Colin Westwater’s avatar

    Retractable USB and iPhone cables. Really cuts down on the clutter. I like the Eagle Creek Pack-It Sacs for holding the loose items too

  2. Jason Boche’s avatar

    Pretty boring on my end comparitively speaking.

    Smaller 1-day conferences:
    iPad (unless I’m presenting, then luggable laptop)

    Larger multi-day Conferences:
    iPad on the floor by day
    Luggable laptop in the hotel room by night

    Customer site visits:
    Luggable laptop (for presenting, remote VPN, and everything else, plus a non-employer brand tablet doesn’t present itself as the optimal vendor presence and I was once told at VMworld to get it the hell out of the booth)

    International travel:
    Luggable laptop
    Receptacle converter
    VCDX issued power strip
    4 different USB cables covering all devices zip tied together – it sort of resembles an Indiana Jones whip – which is cool.

  3. Anas’s avatar

    I carry some of the items you have mentioned here. Additionally I carry my 4G LTE Verizon JetPack for internet access. Occasionally I will also carry my Kindle Paperwhite.

  4. slowe’s avatar

    Anas, thanks for your comment. I, too, used to carry around a 4G hotspot, but couldn’t justify the cost as infrequently as I used it.

  5. slowe’s avatar

    Jason, thanks for sharing your list! I love the “Indiana Jones whip” of bundled USB cables, you’re going to have to show me at the next VMworld!

  6. slowe’s avatar

    Colin, I’ve never been a fan of retractable cables, but I know folks like you who love them. Can you post a link to the sacks you mentioned?

  7. Colin Westwater’s avatar

    Scott, I have found the Amzer branded retractable cables pretty robust:

    These are the packing sacs I use for cables (they come in three sizes – this is the small):


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