I’ve been a road warrior and globetrotting goddess for years, and I generally love the process of packing. (Weird, I know.) But business travel and all the extra gear and gizmos … well, that took a minute to get organized.
Recently I overheard a comment as I was gathering my baggage at baggage claim after a business trip. I was looping my computer tote over the handle of one suitcase, and then my rolling carry-on over the handle of another suitcase. (Yes, that’s 4 total bags – it was long trip and I needed lots of supplies.) A woman remarked, “Now that’s smart” as I easily wheeled everything away.
I wanted to tell her that my business travel wasn’t always as smooth. So this week I thought I’d share some of my favorite tech travel accessories that I can’t travel without.
1. Lo & Sons O.M.G. Computer Tote
Believe me when I say I spent more than a year (maybe longer) looking for the perfect computer tote. If I’m going to invest in a bag, it has to really work for me.
My perfect computer tote had to be functional and stylish. I had a lot of criteria on my list:
- Padded computer pocket
- Interior pockets
- Exterior pocket
- Pen loops
- Zipper close
- Feet on the bottom
- Could be worn as a cross body bag
I searched high and low, and when I found this bag—believe it or not, from a video on a Facebook ad—I knew I’d found “the one.” The Lo & Sons O.M.G. bag is pretty close to perfect. Not only does it meet all of my criteria, there are some things I hadn’t thought of, like a hidden zipper pocket to stash a pair of shoes. Genius!
And, it has a back panel that can be slipped over the handle of a roller bag, so it’s perfect for travel. It holds a ton of stuff, too. It’s like a clown car at the circus—I’m amazed at how much I can put in there and it still closes.
These folks really did their research to come up with a nearly perfect business bag for women.
My only complaint is that the bag slouches over to one side. This happens whether it’s full or empty, whether there’s a computer inside or not. I’m a little weird about my bags having good posture (I know, it’s an odd thing) so it makes me a little nuts. But it’s a small thing compared to the enormous value and features of this bag.
I’ve had it over a year and it’s been shoved under an airline seat, tossed on the seat of my car and hung on door knobs, and it still looks brand new.
It comes in a variety of colors, both exterior and interior (hello, lavender!), and a choice of gold or silver hardware. I have the smaller O.M.G. bag ($275). A slightly larger version, the O.G. ($295), is also available. (Tip: Get 15 percent off your first order when you sign up for their emails.)
2. USB Hub
My computer (a Dell XPS 13) has only two USB ports. If one holds the USB for my wireless mouse, and the other holds a micro USB flash drive 24/7 (since my hard drive is full with just Windows on it!), then there’s no place to hook up chargeables (phone, ear buds, etc.), another flash drive, my travel printer, or my camera. Clearly, not a workable situation.
Enter the USB hub. It’s lightweight, portable, and provides me with four additional USB ports. I haven’t noticed any lag time in saving or transferring files. It’s the perfect “extension cord” for all my storage and charging needs.
I purchased mine a few years ago off Amazon. This one is the next generation to mine, and it’s only $10.
3. Mesh Bags
I’ve never met a zippered pouch I didn’t like. It’s kind of a thing with me. (I was voted Most Organized in my graduating high school class after all.)
Keeping things neat and tidy when I travel is important to me. And there’s usually nothing neat and tidy about cords and cables. So, I use a see-through mesh bag to keep all my chargers, cords, my mouse pad and mouse, my USB hub, and even a few extra batteries contained but accessible. I like the mesh because I can see what I need at a glance. It saves from rummaging around inside an opaque pouch.
The cords and such are kept in the middle size bag. (Tip: If you don’t have duplicates of all your necessary charging cords, keep a checklist inside the bag so you bring everything you need every time.) I use the other two mesh bags for various supplies depending on what I need for a trip or event.
I’ve had these pouches for a few years, and can’t remember where I got them. These are similar and inexpensive at $9.
4. Travel Light Ring
Round “halo” lights are indispensable for shooting videos. For travel though, they’re a little bulky. So, I found this rechargeable mini light for $13. It has varying brightness levels and clips onto my iPhone to take spontaneous videos. I’ve even used it on my laptop screen during video calls, or to take photos (like the ones in this post!).
5. Lightweight Mouse Pad
Is it old-fashioned to use an external mouse? Oh well, call me old-fashioned. I received this lightweight, nearly thin-as-paper mouse pad at a design blogging event several years ago. I’d never seen a mouse pad so thin! I cut it down to fit into my mesh pouch and it’s been with me ever since.
I found this one on Amazon for $6, or check out mouse pads at office supply or electronic stores to find the thinnest one you can. It may not seem like much, but every ounce counts when you’re traveling!
I would recommend a lightweight travel mini mouse, too, but mine (Logitech brand) stopped working after only three months, so I can’t recommend it. (And yes, I changed the batteries!) If I find a mini mouse that works great, I’ll be sure to post about it!
(Note: This post originally appeared on my travel blog at The Globetrotting Goddess. None of the links are affiliate links, just there for your convenience. Enjoy!)