These are my 5 must-have devices for business travel now

These are my 5 must-have devices for business travel now

After a two-year hiatus, I recently started traveling for work again. It was nice to get back on the road, seeing different parts of the country and seeing all the people I hadn’t seen in, literally, years.

But before my first trip, I felt like I almost forgot what to take with me on the trip.

Also: The 5 Best Travel Tech Gadgets

What cables and wall adapters? What about a laptop or an iPad? How about a device to keep me entertained on long flights or to kill time in a hotel? So many decisions.

After three trips to New York in six weeks, here are five devices that have been a staple in my backpack now that I’m traveling again.

Apple MacBook Air (M2)

Apple MacBook Air (M2, 2022) on a wooden surface

Image: Cliff Joseph/ZDNET

I picked up the 2022 version of Apple’s MacBook Air because it’s not only powerful enough to do just about anything I need, but it’s so light and compact.

Honestly, the first time I traveled with it, I had to check my backpack twice to make sure I hadn’t forgotten it. I can’t say the same about putting my iPad Pro with the magic keyboard in my backpack.

I really like the new design, even with the notch on the screen. It’s incredibly thin, and freeing up the two USB-C ports by bringing back the MagSafe charging connector is something I appreciate.

Exam: Apple MacBook Air (M2, 2022)

Apple sent me a MacBook Air with an M2 Apple Silicon processor, 8 GB of memory and 512 GB of storage. It’s not quite the base model – at least in terms of storage – but it’s the first Mac I’ve used in probably a decade with just 8GB of memory. And truth be told, it went well. I noticed memory-related sluggishness when editing a lot of photos in Pixelmator Pro, but other than that, 8GB of memory was more than enough.

Purple firewall

Firewalla Purple and iPhone on green background

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

I’ve gotten into the habit of never connecting to hotel wifi when I’m traveling. However, that recently changed after I set up and learned to use what amounts to a portable firewall. The Firewalla Purple can connect to an existing network, such as your hotel’s Wi-Fi or Ethernet, and then create a secondary Wi-Fi network for you to connect all your devices.

Also: Firewalla launches Purple: its must-have network security device

The Firewalla Purple then monitors harmful activity and blocks any malicious activity. But to further my privacy, I actually set up Firewalla’s Site-To-Site VPN feature which creates a secure connection between the Firewalla Purple and the Firewall Gold Plus that I have installed at home.

Not only is all my local traffic in the hotel protected from eavesdropping (and I don’t have to worry about setting up a VPN on every device I have with me while traveling), but all my devices act as if I was connected to my home network. This means I can access my local NAS or take advantage of ad blocking via Pi-Hole.

Also: Public Wi-Fi Security Tips: Protect Yourself Against Security Threats

If you’re overly cautious or paranoid (like me) about your internet security, the Purple is a fantastic travel device.

Apple iPad mini

iPad Mini 6th generation on blue background

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

The iPad Mini is a fairly recent addition to my travel gadgets. I bought a used one Sixth-generation iPad Mini to be used as a digital tablet dedicated to taking notes. I have one Second-generation Apple Pencilof course, accompanied by a Paper-like screen protector this gives the screen a real paper feel, instead of a slippery surface when writing on it.

Exam: Apple iPad Mini (6th generation): unmatched portability and power

I treat the iPad Mini strictly as a device used to create and manage notes, or read news, Kindle books, or similar content. It really is the ideal tablet for consuming information.

Anker 747 Charger

Anker 747 charger on red background

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Instead of carrying multiple chargers and wall adapters, I use Anker’s New 747 Charger. It’s pricey, but offers three USB-C ports and a more traditional USB-A style port, with a total combined output of 150W.

Also: What is Gallium Nitride (GaN) Charging Technology?

It uses Anker’s GaNPrime technology to deliver the right amount of power to the devices that need it, when they need it. So, for example, I can charge the MacBook Air, iPad Mini, my iPhone and power the Firewalla Purple from a single device at their maximum speed.

Also: Anker’s Latest GaNPrime Power Products

My biggest complaint about it is how heavy it is. Because of this, it falls out of most wall outlets, which is why Anker includes a plate that fits around the adapter and has a bunch of little suction cups to hold it against the wall. It’s an extra room, and while it’s not a big deal, it’s kind of a hassle.

Apple AirTags

Apple AirTags on the surface

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

I’ve had to go through the ordeal of a lost suitcase once in the last 15 years of travel. I hated the whole experience. The airline shrugged, said they would get there eventually, and asked me about my hotel. A day later my suitcase arrived with two broken wheels and looked quite battered.

Also: How to change the battery of your Apple AirTag

While a Apple Air Tag won’t prevent any of my bags from getting lost, at least I’ll know where my suitcase or backpack is, and maybe I can help the airline locate the bag and get it back quickly. And maybe it will be less damaged?

I have an AirTag in my backpack and another in my suitcase. On family trips, we have one in every bag and suitcase while traveling.

#musthave #devices #business #travel

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