The Best Accessories for the Business Traveler

By CEA’s Digital Answer Man, Jim Barry

Having traveled on business for more than 30 years I can say categorically that it’s never been easier to stay connected to home and office, simply to do business, than it is today with the latest electronic gadgets. But for many of us, it’s the accessories that really make the gadgets shine by making them easier to carry along, to connect, to use and last longer.

Virtually every road warrior travels today with a portable computer and a smartphone for business and many take along a portable music/media player for entertainment. For many a smartphone is all that’s needed to make calls check e-mails and access or exchange vital business information. For those who prefer or require a computer life has gotten a lot simpler – and the briefcase lighter -- in the past several years with the proliferation first of netbooks and now tablet computers. Each of these advances has brought with it an abundance of accessories to make them even easier to use and bring along.

For notebook and netbook computers you want a carrying case that’s lightweight but sturdy. There are lots to choose from even a fair amount that are “checkpoint friendly” like the “AeroPro” line of cases from Sima Products that don’t have to be removed to pass through airport security.

For the legion of iPad or other tablet users there are cases galore including leather models that double as a stand for the unit and others that integrate a Bluetooth keyboard from companies like Belkin and Kensington.

There are also many standalone Bluetooth keyboards for tablets and for smartphones for those who don’t care for the virtual touch screen keyboards. If you prefer a mouse to the touchpad on a notebook or netbook there are many wireless and wired options from companies like Logitech and the MogoMouse from ID8Mobile that is stored in the PC card slot in the computer.

If you like to take your reading with you in a Kindle or other e-reader there are plenty of skins, covers, reading lights to add to the reading pleasure available from Amazon, Sony and others.

Headphones or earbuds are another must carry item for today’s business traveler whether they’re used for listening to an MP3 player, watching videos on a tablet or simply blocking out the noise on a long flight. Celebrity-endorsed models like the “Beats by Dr. Dre” are hot sellers. Noise-canceling models in either buds or around the ear models can be found from a wide variety of companies including Able Planet, Koss and Sennheiser.

Touchscreens have become the standard for new hand-held devices and tablets and that means – fingerprints and smudged screens. Fortunately there are a number of screen cleaners in small containers with just the right cloth to keep the screen clear. Monster has “Monster Clean” that comes in a neat little pouch with flat spray pouch and microfiber cloth while Digital Innovations has “Screen Dr.” line of cleaning fluid in several size packages for home and travel use along with microfiber cloths.

Safe travels.

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