Don’t Leave Home Without These Mobile Devices
No matter where you travel this summer, be sure you are prepared to stay connected with your business by packing these essentials.
With summer heating up, travel is on many people’s minds. Whether for vacation or professional development, getting out of your workplace is not only fun but valuable for your mental health and productivity. But being out of the office should not mean having to disconnect from your business completely. For business owners looking to stay on top of things back at work while lounging on a Caribbean island or hiking mountain trails, there are a few pieces of technology that can help ensure operations run smoothly, even when you are on the other side of the world.
Of course, there are the essential devices every business owner will want to have on hand when traveling: a laptop, smartphone, or tablet, with a WiFi connection. Along with these, be sure you have a charger for each that fits into a wall socket, as well as a universal charger adapter—or better yet, two adapters. If you expect to be away from your hotel for extended periods of time, also pack an external battery that can give your phone or tablet additional juice, such as the myCharge AmpMax Rechargeable Battery or AmazonBasics Portable Power Bank. The Twelve South PlugBug and Belkin Travel Power Adapter FSL010 are also good portable power options. These are especially useful when trying to use tech devices in-flight, when an outlet might not be readily available.
If you are looking for a more on-the-go option, a smartwatch like the Apple Watch provides you with the access you need without having to carry a clunky device. If you are taking an especially adventurous trip this summer, the Sony SmartWatch2 and Pebble Steel watches are waterproof.
Connect with Others
One of the most important challenges to handle while working on-the-go is to connect with others. Fortunately, a number of inexpensive or free services are available that allow you to never miss a phone call or meeting, whatever continent you may be on.
For group conversations, dial-in services like FreeConferenceCall.com, Join.me, and GoToMeeting offer both free and premium services that include HD audio and video conference capabilities. Newbies like UberConference (which avoids the traditional dial-in PINs and allows for screen sharing) may also be worth considering.
For more casual updates and interactions, workplaces can benefit from messaging apps like Slack, Yammer, or Cisco Spark, which work something like a virtual water cooler for employees eager to avoid excessive sending of emails. You can ask for quick updates from other workers or chat about particular projects, elevating the conversation to an actual call if necessary. This recent article outlines the benefits and drawbacks of a number of these services.
Of course, with all these devices, chargers, and pieces of equipment, you will need something convenient in which to carry them. A solid messenger bag, such as one from Booq or Timbuk2, works well for carrying a laptop and its charger, as well as additional papers and supplies. If the shoulder bag option proves too burdensome, you might consider a lightweight backpack from brands like Herschel or Incase, which specialize in tech-friendly bags.
Speaking of “tech-friendly,” you may even want to pick up a piece of “smart luggage” to carry your mobile office. New products such as the Samsonite GeoTrakR include a locator in the bag itself, so you don’t have to worry about losing your luggage. Cases like the LeTrav Convertible Carrying Case convert from a water-resistant backpack to a boardroom-friendly leather briefcase—an ideal option for travels that may include both business and leisure.
For your smartphone itself, a waterproof case is a wise investment ahead of a trip. Companies like LifeBox and Hitcase offer visually appealing cases that protect your phone, whether you are beach- or lakeside.
But with all these devices and applications in place, don’t forget to set aside some time to unplug and enjoy the surroundings, wherever your travels may take you.
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