Business travelers are always on the hunt for the next gadget or item that will help make their lives easier, compact and more productive. Products that offer functionality and portability are a necessity when on the road, and no one wants to waste their time on something that doesn’t work.
According to the Global Business Traveler Association (GBTA) the average business trip covers 268 miles and that number increases to 945 miles if the mode of transportation is by air. On average, business travelers have two overnight stays per month, meaning valuable time spent away from the office.
With all those miles being logged by these road warriors, it’s no surprise that a product which can make life easier is highly coveted. So what are the must have accessories any business traveler needs? If you ask, you’ll likely get the same answer and that’s anything that offers more power or more access and of course, it must be streamlined as space is at a minimum.
It goes without saying that a sturdy suitcase, laptop bag and toiletries bag are all essentials when working on the road. But, what other accessories are pivotal to the business traveler? What are the latest and greatest innovations in technology which help business travelers? What are the accessories used by the “cool kid” business traveler, what accessories should be avoided all together and what are the best apps for business travelers?
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External Power Source – A smartphone that holds a charge for the full day would be ideal, but that’s not always the case. A pocket-sized power accessory will keep your smartphone going all day, which is essential to the business traveler.
Portable Hard Drive or Thumb Drive – Printing documents can be difficult when on the road. Saving documents to a portable hard drive or a thumb drive allows employees to easily have documents printed from any computer.
Portable Hotspot – Offering this little gem to employees who travel will save your company money in the long run. Business travelers will no longer need to search for or pay for WiFi, making it easier than ever to work remotely.
Headphones – If traveling by air, it’s imperative to have a good set of headphones. While a pair of brightly colored headphones may look cool on some, traveling with a bulky set of headphones might take up too much space. If that’s the case, opt for a pair of in-ear headphones which block outside noise and are compatible with your computer, smartphone and tablet.
Google Glass – While it remains to be seen what the future holds for Google Glass since Google announced in January of this year it would stop production of the Glass prototype but would continue working with the technology in new ways, there’s no denying the fact that from a business traveler’s point of view, it is a genius invention. A product that is compact, wearable and offers the same convenience as a smartphone could one day be a business traveler’s essential.
Smart Watch – Much like Google Glass, the smartwatch offers the same compact, wearable technology as a smartphone, but it also has apps, text messaging and often times a full day’s charge. While wearing a watch may be foreign to most young people, according to UStravel.org, the majority (26%) of business travelers are aged 45-54 years old, and you can bet that wearing a watch, especially a smart watch is alright by them.
Used by the Cool Kids
Powerbag – The business traveler knows that a power source is essential, and while some may choose to use an external battery, why not just use a powerbag? A powerbag comes with its own battery, plugs, and ports and offers plenty of pockets for all of your gadgets.
Gadget Organizer – There are many options on the market, but a gadget organizer will keep all of your small electronics in one place. Compact and easy to pull in and out of a larger bag, a gadget organizer will definitely make the business traveler’s life simple when going through airport security, and it will stop the need to dig through a bag looking for a phone that has fallen to the bottom.
Tablet Keyboard - Many road warriors may choose to travel with a tablet as opposed to a bulky, heavy laptop. If this is the case, a keyboard is necessary. Most tablet keyboards are powered by Bluetooth and can be used with the most popular tablets.
Travel Accessories to Avoid
Wi-Fi Detector – This is just another accessory to carry around. If business travelers are carrying their own hotspot, the Wi-Fi detector becomes obsolete.
Ostrich Travel Pillow – An Ostrich pillow is a pillow which fits entirely over your head, leaving only a small opening for your nose and mouth. While it may be fun to totally shut out the world, it seems to be an unnecessary, bulky item which will take up too much space. Not to mention the fact that it looks foolish.
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Best Business Traveler Apps
Dropbox – If you use multiple devices – a home computer, work laptop, tablet, smartphone - this app allows you to access documents and photos from all locations in one spot. Perfect for those of us who have at one time or another realized we don’t have access to a needed document.
TripIt – This app keeps all of your itineraries in one spot – air, hotel, rental car. It’s like traveling with a personal assistant and there will be no more standing in front of a check-in clerk frantically looking for that E-mail with the hotel confirmation number.
Gate Guru – The app will keep all airline information up to date and will send a notification of canceled flights or gate changes immediately. It will also allow access to valuable information about each airport including closest amenities, maps and tips, including how to navigate the airport and restaurants in each terminal.
MiFlight – Ever wonder how long the wait lines are for security check points? MiFlight gets its information from social sharing, so there’s a chance the wait times can be a little off, but it’s worth a try and could be a valuable resource for busy business travelers.
According to the GBTA, three-quarters of business travelers are married, meaning they are spending time away from their families. Any accessory that keeps road warriors connected to those they love, whether it’s a smartphone, a smart watch or a tablet, should be on the top of every business traveler’s list. And business travelers are great for the economy where according to the GBTA, business travel in the U.S. contributed $491 billion to the U.S. GDP in 2012. So, keeping these employees connected to their bosses is also a priority.