Tech for travel. Ideas?

Ciaran
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An interesting article about Tech products specifically related to travel. The Smart Backpack is an interesting on. Does anybody have any experience with this type of backpack? Or also other 'tech for travel' suggestions?
https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/christmas-tech-gifts-for-the-travel-enthusiast-1.4119307?fbclid=IwAR00hu1J0tV4Balnb7SJHTLRbVFJAfuToqvoEgJ43h6E4cFIgnQoVyQ6ru0
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  • RainCaster
    RainCaster My deskMember, Beta Tester Posts: 55
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    A small power strip is really important for foreign travel. Only one adapter plug is needed then. I have one like this that I have used for many years. https://www.fospower.com/chargers/3-outlet-8-3in-mini-portable-travel-extension-power-strip-15a

    Also, a large battery for recharging your phone/tablet on those airliners that do not have USB outlets for charging. There are so many different ones, see what's available for you that works. I also carry a set of high end in-ear buds that do a great job of isolating the noises on board a plane. Not everyone finds these to be comfortable, and good ones are expensive. ($150US++) I use ones from Etymotic 
    CiaranMcGruffDutchMansmarkham
  • eJony
    eJony Member, Beta Tester Posts: 45
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    @Ciaran
    Nice article. I agree with @RainCaster's suggestions for mini travel power strip, active noise cancelling earbuds/ear phone, and power banks are crucial. I would add to his suggestions:
    1. Mobile Hotspot Router (I use a Netgear nighthawk that can allow multiple WiFi clients to use a single wired ethernet connection or allow multiple WiFi clients to use a single SIM for LTE data).... check to ensure that your GSM channels are going to be supported if you need the LTE capability.
    2. Universal power adapter (there are lots of options, but the power plug in Australia is different that the plug in the UK which is different than the plug in the US. Having a single adapter that lets you convert (and can have a few USB type A connections to charge mobile devices or power banks) is always a huge convenience. 
    3. A nice cable bag to hold the appropriate cables, USB dongles, and memory cards. And you wouldn't believe the number of times I've been saved by my 50 foot super thin ethernet cable.
    4. An extension cord for those tricky situations. Like the ethernet cable, an extension cord can also help when the plug is far away from when you need power.
    CiaranMcGruff
  • vulcansheart
    vulcansheart Member, Beta Tester Posts: 117
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    A travel battery bank is a good idea, especially with multiple high power outputs to charge things like tablets and laptops.
    A must for my travel is a good set of headphones or earbuds. Active noise cancelling is a BIG plus!
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    Ciaran
  • Ciaran
    Ciaran Administrator Posts: 1,180
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    edited December 20, 2019 #5
    @Raincaster, nice about the power strip. I have been traveling quite a bit of late and my basic 'tech travel kit' (aside from devices) : 
    •  a satchel (yes, a satchel, not a 'man bag' :smile:) with a section for various cables for devices (phone, tablet & laptop), 
    • noise cancelling headphones (@vulcansheart, completely agree with you on this. I actually also always bring a small pair of old school headphones. If the battery dies on headphones during a noisy flight... :neutral: )
    • Universal Power Adaptor, as you say @eJony, this is a huge convenience and saved me in some places
    • Powerbank - I have a decent power bank, but I also have a few cheaper (and I think free in most cases) that I do keep as a 'last, last' resort. They generally wont charge up, but will maintain a power percentage for an amount of time to get to a proper charge (has saved me in the past at music festivals...where if your battery does die, can feel like you are caught in the wilderness :smile: )
    I find, for me, the above are the 'essentials'. I suppose where is the line when it is just a bit too much.....the Smart back pack, looks cool, but is it really needed. I dont know anybody with one so I cant gauge at this stage.
    Ciaran (Admin at Fing)

    Marc
  • vulcansheart
    vulcansheart Member, Beta Tester Posts: 117
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    edited December 20, 2019 #6
    This might be borderline paranoid, but I actually bring a spare cell phone on longer and more distant trips. If my phone gets damaged, I can pop the SIM and throw it in the spare.
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    CiaranMcGruff
  • Ciaran
    Ciaran Administrator Posts: 1,180
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    @vulcansheart I dont think so, I think thats a good idea if you have a spare. I recently got a new phone. Whilst my old phone doesnt work great any more, it does work. And if I was stuck, it could do a job for me. I am actually going to put it in my travel bag now along with the cable. Better it is there (where it may actually be of benefit) than sitting in a TV cabinet gathering dust :smile: cheers
    Ciaran (Admin at Fing)

  • Marc
    Marc Moderator, Beta Tester Posts: 2,889
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    I always bring one of those RAVPower small USB wall chargers.  That and a lightening, micro USB and Apple Watch cable.  The plug part folds into the brick wall charger when not being used so its small when not in use and covers pretty much everything I take.
    Thats Daphnee, she's a good dog...
    Ciaran
  • rooted
    rooted Gulf Coast, USModerator Posts: 892
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    I bought one of these bags when I was traveling a lot 6 months ago, sort of an EDC with room for a 11" tablet or laptop, pockets for cords, adapters, etc with room to spare. I love it.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B06Y6949RT

    MarcCiaran
  • rebel_network
    rebel_network Member Posts: 1
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    I travel for work a lot and this is in my EDC: 
    Cocoon Grid-It: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004799SLW/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_RduaEbPRFMJ9G
    A 'Spider' Mobile Phone Holder - Useful for holding the mobile on the seat in front during the flight, so I can watch a movie, or it fits in the dash of the rental so I can use my sat-nav. (Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/acObj-lxph-w8818-Spider-Holder-Smartphone-Black/dp/B01F8ILVGA/ref=sr_1_8?crid=2MZW9WX6GTZWD&keywords=spider+mobile+phone+holder&qid=1577140586&sprefix=spider+mobile,aps,163&sr=8-8
    )

    I'd also say, spare cables are a must and a small travel router for VPN access back home.

    Ciaran
  • DGP
    DGP Member, Beta Tester Posts: 38
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    A chance! Have a FingBox built into that bag !!
    Ciaran
  • Pops7272
    Pops7272 Member, Beta Tester Posts: 16
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    Travel adaptors, extension cables, Mi-Fi unit with a roaming SIM (I am in the UK and use a 3 Sim for it's Go Roam package - see http://www.three.co.uk/go-roam), a Skyroam Solis unit (for those countries not covered by by 3 Sim), various USB cables, chargers and converters, standard HDMI cable with mini/micro adaptor, Amazon Firestick and/or Chromecast, and a TP-Link wireless router - great for places where you have to pay per connection (eg cruises), USB powered light (to use as a night light).
    Ciaran
  • Bryce
    Bryce Member Posts: 20
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    When traveling with a group of people (like family for instance) I take a mini usb powered Wi-Fi router so the entire group can use one Wi-Fi connection provided by the accommodation and share it with all the groups devices. Some accommodation providers charge Wi-Fi by the connection still, this lets you away with only one connection charge.

    Pops7272attzonkoAldereteCiaran
  • JayBee
    JayBee Member, Beta Tester Posts: 2
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    I'll  advocate for the power bagel. Don't laugh at the name, just Google it. A power strip, a double usb charger, a multi-way foreign plug adapter, an extension cord, all in one package. It's about the size of, well, a small bagel. Used it many times at airports or meeting just to share a lone power plug. 
    https://www.amazon.com/MOGICS-Bagel-Black-Universal-Travel/dp/B01J1CGSQM

    Jim
    baergrizzMarcCiaran
  • attzonko
    attzonko Member, Beta Tester Posts: 13
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    What about security on the go? I have been playing with the idea of using Torbox when traveling. Does anyone have any experience with it?
    Ciaran
  • BillG
    BillG Member Posts: 1
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    When we travel, we do a fair bit of hiking in wilderness areas and so we get great value from a 15w Anker Solar Charger. As we try to hike when it is reasonable weather, I attach it to my pack and charge my battery bank as we walk.

    MarcCiaran
  • Marc
    Marc Moderator, Beta Tester Posts: 2,889
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    JayBee said:
    I'll  advocate for the power bagel. Don't laugh at the name, just Google it. A power strip, a double usb charger, a multi-way foreign plug adapter, an extension cord, all in one package. It's about the size of, well, a small bagel. Used it many times at airports or meeting just to share a lone power plug. 
    https://www.amazon.com/MOGICS-Bagel-Black-Universal-Travel/dp/B01J1CGSQM

    Jim
    If this thing was also was a power pack, I would be jumping all over it!
    Thats Daphnee, she's a good dog...
  • Ciaran
    Ciaran Administrator Posts: 1,180
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    @BillG, wow, I have never heard of this. That is a great idea, do you have a link for this product? I do like a hike during the summer and that sounds great.
    Ciaran (Admin at Fing)

  • Ciaran
    Ciaran Administrator Posts: 1,180
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    @JayBee Thanks for this, looks great, I also never heard of this. How long would this last, lets say charging 2 phones and a head set? 
    Ciaran (Admin at Fing)

  • attzonko
    attzonko Member, Beta Tester Posts: 13
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    What about security on the go? I have been playing with the idea of using Torbox when traveling. Does anyone have any experience with it?
  • attzonko
    attzonko Member, Beta Tester Posts: 13
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    What about security on the go? I have been playing with the idea of using Torbox when traveling to make sure 
  • baergrizz
    baergrizz Member, Beta Tester Posts: 6
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    I'll toss another +1 for the Power Bagel. I carried a variety of power strips before finding this thing -- it is compact, has a fuse, and a more-or-less universal adapter. I currently use the Tofu MARU https://zentofu.com/tps.php which is similar. I carry everything in a slick "Tech Pouch" from Peak Design -- https://www.peakdesign.com/products/tech-pouch which helps contain and organize a variety of USB sticks, SD cards, cables, dongles, adapters, business cards, ID badges, a pen, pencil, Sharpie marker, etc. In addition to holding my MARU (which can be used as the power supply for my USB-C MacBook) and a power bank to keep the devices charged. 
    I use a Kensington combination cable lock to secure my laptop to a table or something when I am traveling.
  • baergrizz
    baergrizz Member, Beta Tester Posts: 6
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    (For some reason, it looks like my post was eaten, so I'll try again)
    I agree with @JayBee on the Bagel. I also use a Tofu MARU, which is similar https://zentofu.com/tps.php but can also serve as the power supply for my USB-C MacBook. 
    I keep everything in a Tech Pouch from Peak Design https://www.peakdesign.com/products/tech-pouch
    which does a great job at keeping everything organized and contained when I am on the road. 
    I still carry a few spare USB sticks and SD cards in addition to a powerbank, pen, pencil, Sharpie marker, business cards, microfiber cloth, and whatever cables I need to keep my gear powered. 
  • attzonko
    attzonko Member, Beta Tester Posts: 13
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    What about security on the go? I have been playing with the idea of using Torbox when traveling. Does anyone have any experience with it?
  • attzonko
    attzonko Member, Beta Tester Posts: 13
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    What about security on the go? I have been playing with the idea of using Torbox when traveling to make sure 
  • baergrizz
    baergrizz Member, Beta Tester Posts: 6
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    I'll toss another +1 for the Power Bagel. I carried a variety of power strips before finding this thing -- it is compact, has a fuse, and a more-or-less universal adapter. I currently use the Tofu MARU https://zentofu.com/tps.php which is similar. I carry everything in a slick "Tech Pouch" from Peak Design -- https://www.peakdesign.com/products/tech-pouch which helps contain and organize a variety of USB sticks, SD cards, cables, dongles, adapters, business cards, ID badges, a pen, pencil, Sharpie marker, etc. In addition to holding my MARU (which can be used as the power supply for my USB-C MacBook) and a power bank to keep the devices charged. 
    I use a Kensington combination cable lock to secure my laptop to a table or something when I am traveling.
  • baergrizz
    baergrizz Member, Beta Tester Posts: 6
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    (For some reason, it looks like my post was eaten, so I'll try again)
    I agree with @JayBee on the Bagel. I also use a Tofu MARU, which is similar https://zentofu.com/tps.php but can also serve as the power supply for my USB-C MacBook. 
    I keep everything in a Tech Pouch from Peak Design https://www.peakdesign.com/products/tech-pouch
    which does a great job at keeping everything organized and contained when I am on the road. 
    I still carry a few spare USB sticks and SD cards in addition to a powerbank, pen, pencil, Sharpie marker, business cards, microfiber cloth, and whatever cables I need to keep my gear powered. 
    T46DMA
  • Dexter
    Dexter Member Posts: 5
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    I know I'm late to the discussion but I'm with @RainCaster on the power strip & headphones.  Both must-haves for my int'l travel.  Also agree with @eJony as I have the same setup - I bring everything on that list.  Of particular note is the portable router.  I use the tripmate and it works well when connected to the hotel via ethernet.  Having a portable router allows the use of a chromecast.... giving all my normal streaming services on the hotel's television.  This is my primary purpose of the router when traveling.  
    I must admit...  the bagel looks like it will be on my list for the next overseas trip.  :) 
    Ciaran
  • kltaylor
    kltaylor Member, Beta Tester Posts: 1,231
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    Portable router is a great thing to have, but I've found another solution to help me with my smart devices while at work.  I use a piece of software called Connectify that allows you to turn your internet connection on a laptop device, and use that device as a hotspot for your wireless devices to connect to.
    What's exceptional about the software (besides the one-time price for a Pro version) is how it handles the traffic from your wireless devices.  If the hotel is monitoring its network, it will only see the laptop device as being connected and transmitting data, and not the individual devices connected wirelessly.
    This is useful if where you're going charges you per device to access their network (an insane cash grab if you ask me, but I digress).
    In the app that resides on your laptop will show you which devices are connected, and how much data is flowing through the laptop to it.  It also has a built in ad-blocker to keep those pesky things at a minimum.
    Connectify has a free option, but I wanted to have a pro account so I can name the hotspot network what I wanted, just to be a bit less conspicuous at work.
    "There's a fine line between audacity and idiocy."
    -Warden Anastasia Luccio, Captain
    Ciaran
  • Ciaran
    Ciaran Administrator Posts: 1,180
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    That sounds excellent @kltaylor, and the benefits you highlight are great. Hotels charging per device? Thats a bit harsh....I understand if people are running some kind of advanced operation from their bedrooms with 20+ devices....but realistically, who, with that level of tech would be doing that? I would agree, seems like a bit of a cash grab, but maybe I am missing something.
    Ciaran (Admin at Fing)

    kltaylor
  • Pops7272
    Pops7272 Member, Beta Tester Posts: 16
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    Some cruise lines certainly charge per device, so a portable router is very useful.  I use a TP-Link TL-WR802N to get around this.
    kltaylorCiaran