The number of corporate travelers is on the rise after years on the decline, according to a USA Today article about business travel, reversing a trend that started with the 2008 recession. Professionals new to business travel will quickly find that staying productive on the road is more difficult than in the office without the right accessories. We have compiled a list of five laptop accessories you must have for the road for the newbie road warriors and veterans alike.
TSA Checkpoint-friendly Laptop Bag
TSA checkpoints already take quite a bit of time to go through, so why make it more difficult for TSA personnel to check your laptop bag? If you end up at one of the inspection stations with a TSA agent, you want their check to go as smoothly and quickly as possible. To facilitate this, the TSA recommends you utilize checkpoint-friendly laptop bags. They give TSA screeners easy access to an unobstructed view of the bag’s contents, without having to pull everything out and put back in. This laptop accessory can save you time and potentially a missed flight.
- Messenger Bag: Everki Black 14.1″ Urbanite Laptop Vertical Messenger Bag
- Backpack: Everki Black 18.4″ Titan Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Backpack
Wireless Travel-size / Compact Mouse
A notebook track pad is insufficient in the office, why settle for one out of it? But frequent travelers find full-size mice to be ergonomically less than ideal on the road, because of size and heft while in use or storage. It can be especially difficult to use a full-size mouse on a small surface such as your leg or a pull-down tray. A compact travel-size mouse addresses those concerns by being a small and light laptop accessory.
Alternatively, you can also use a trackball mouse. The mouse itself doesn’t move, rather you just move a ball with your thumb. But the downside with a trackball mouse is the learning curve. As for Bluetooth™ vs. standard wireless models, both will do fine, though Bluetooth mice do not need a wireless receiver if your laptop has a built-in receiver. Wireless RF mice always require a USB dongle to be plugged in.
Universal Power Adapters
We recommend a universal power adapter as a backup to your primary power adapter or if you carry more than one notebook. Just in case the power adapter that came with the laptop fails or if you don’t want to carry different power adapters for each notebook. Universal power adapters come with a variety of power connector fittings to accommodate a wide variety of laptop models. This is one laptop accessory you should have just in case.
Whether in the office or on the road, others shouldn’t be able to hear what you’re listening to on your laptop. It can be distracting to them and you won’t get the privacy or audio quality you want. We suggest a pair of noise-canceling headphones to eliminate the ambient noise. You should probably get one for use in the office anyways, unless you want be that person.
- Over-ear: Sennheiser HD 380 Pro Monitor Headphones
- In-ear: Beyerdynamic iDX 160 iE Dynamic Premium In-Ear Headphones
Wi-Fi Signal Booster / Hotspot
An internet connection may not always be available for business travelers, which can certainly put a dent in productivity. To prevent that, we suggest traveling with a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot device as a backup. When purchasing one, you should research whether or not the model you want can support your wireless carrier. Alternatively, some such as the Freedom Spot use their own wireless networks for data.
Bringing a laptop alone isn’t enough to stay productive. Any seasoned business traveler will tell you that you need to do some preparation. Let us know in the comments—what laptop accessories do you have in your arsenal?