19 essential tech gadgets for any seasoned business traveler

Whether you're on a road trip or heading on a long-haul, transatlantic flight, you'll need these essential gadgets to keep you connected, productive, organized, and entertained.
1 of 20 Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Road trip? International flight? Here's what you will need

Whether it's a road trip to the next state along or a transatlantic flight across the pond, you'll need an assortment of technology to keep you connected, powered up, and organized.

From luggage to power sockets and accessories, world-compatible phones and entertainment, we've compiled a list of the best gadgets, gizmos, and essentials for any business trip either domestic or abroad. (And don't forget your passport!)

What's hot on ZDNet: Two factors reveal Apple’s real mission with iPhone 5C | Why Apple went 64-bit with the iPhone 5s | 8 big tech announcements we're expecting this fall | Voyager 1 enters interstellar space - an incredible journey

Related content: 5 tips to travel smart with mobile gear | Essential business travel tech: Speakers, power cells and backup | Essential gadgets for summer travels | Travel tech security tips | Top apps for travel on a shoestring | 8 apps to simplify business travel | 5 travel tips using your smartphone camera

2 of 20 Flight 001

Grid-it (organization system)

World travelers often have an assortment of gadgets that can fling around by unruly airport baggage handlers, or simply filter through your clothes in your luggage -- but no longer. Grid-it is a simple organization system made up of dozens of elastic bands that hold devices firmly to the inside case. It's slim and features a rear zippered pocket for more storage.

3 of 20 Zappos

Timbuk2 Copilot Roller (luggage)

This compact but expansive roll-on luggage bag comes complete with wet and dry storage compartments and is perfect for most airline check-in requirements. It's light and durable, and is perfect for short-haul trips.

4 of 20 Travelon/Amazon

Travelon luggage tags (organization)

One of the many pet peeves to air travelers is finding luggage as it rolls along the pick-up belt. With a unique-looking travel tag, it's far easier to see your bag as it rolls along the conveyer belt. These tags are bright and colorful, and will save valuable time when you're heading out to your final destination. 

5 of 20 Kensington

Kensington AbsolutePower (power accessory)

Power is one of the key things that many forget when traveling long haul. This accessory keeps your devices, including laptops and USB-powered devices charged with up to 100 watts of power. It's small, light, and comes in a range of detachable adapters that can power up a range of devices, including iPhones and other smartphones, and almost every kind of laptop on the market. 

6 of 20 Amazon

Universal plug adapters (power accessory)

If you're traveling to a different country, you'll need a number of plug adapters so that any power cords you bring with you so you can plug-and-play instantly. If you know the country you are going to, buy at least two so that your laptop and phone can receive simultaneous charging.

7 of 20 Nokia

Nokia 301 (world-compatible phone)

Heading abroad? You'll need a phone that works with a foreign SIM card so you can make phone calls and access data on the cheaper scale. According to sister site CNET, the Nokia 301 is, and looks like an "updated version of a typical Nokia cell phone," with a solid candy-bar shape with a four-way navigation button. Crucially, it's light and simple to use, and quad-band for multi-nation use. At the same time the phone can reach speeds of up to HSPA, or 3.5G, allowing for fast mobile tethering on the go.

8 of 20 Logiix

Logiix USB Power Cubes (USB power adapters)

These "power-cubes" are power outlet plug-ins that offer a single USB charger point, which makes sense seeing as many devices nowadays are USB powered. These wall outlets are ultra-compact, so much so that the prongs are fold-up when not in use. These are particularly ideal for laptop owners, such as the MacBook Air, which only come with two USB ports but multiple USB-based devices 

9 of 20 EatSmart

EatSmart Precision Voyager (luggage scales)

Whether you're popping over the border for a quick-trip or making a long-haul flight, most come back with a few gifts or additional items. Make sure you don't bump your luggage weight limits with one of these compact, lightweight (crucially!) and accurate luggage scales to make sure you fall within airline guidelines.

10 of 20 Innergie/Amazon

Innergie PocketCell (phone battery pack)

With more power accessories, high-end smartphone users will know full and well that modern day devices, despite their glitz and feature-set, may not last the full day. This pocket-sized power accessory will keep your smartphone powered up all day, with fast charging capability and a "magic cable" for the three most common devices out on the market, including micro-USB, mini-USB, and the 30-pin iPhone connector.

11 of 20 Kensington

Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2 (tablet keyboard accessory)

As many travelers are swapping their bulky, heavy laptops for tablets, one of the main disadvantages is access to a keyboard. Kensington's KeyFolio is a universal removable keyboard for the most common 10-inch devices, and compatible with most Android devices. Powered by Bluetooth, it includes a stand to secure your tablet at the perfect angle.

12 of 20 Amazon

Brookstone HDMI pocket-sized projector (pocket projector)

This pocket projector is perfect for presentation on the fly. It cranks out 1080p high-definition video up to 60-inches diagonally, and connects all HDMI-based devices. It can run for up to two hours on a single charge, and includes dual built-in speakers. All this, and it fits in the palm of your hand, or even in your pocket. (And, if you want to crank it out to play games from your smartphone in your hotel room, we won't tell anyone.)

13 of 20 Sennheiser

Sennheiser MM70s (in-ear headphones)

These in-ear headphones are perfect for deep bass and vibrant music, while blocking out outside noise. And these headphones, which rest in your ear, come with an inline remote, including volume control, for call controls. These headphone are a universal 3.5mm fit and work with the very vast majority of smartphones, tablets and laptops.

14 of 20 Google

Google Chromecast (video streamer)

Business doesn't have to be "all business." One has to take into account the lesser-considered in-hotel entertainment. Google Chromecast is a cheap, USB-based device that allows you to stream video content from your laptop or smartphone over Wi-Fi connections for quick and easy TV or movie viewing. It plugs into most modern TVs equipped with USB ports, but requires your smartphone on hand to act as the remote control.

15 of 20 CNET Asia

Kindle Paperwhite (e-reader)

For those not hooked up to their smartphones or plugged into a movie, there's always the humble e-reader. Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite is simple, easy to use, and can pack hundreds of e-books into a tiny and compact e-ink display. It also lasts days on battery, so long as the in-built Wi-Fi connectivity is turned off. It's considered one of the best e-readers around by sister site CNET Review's team.

16 of 20 CNET

Canon PowerShot SX260 HS (point-and-shoot camera)

Canon's point-and-shoot camera is one of the best snappers around, suited for almost every kind of photographer, whether casual or advanced. It boasts excellent photo and video quality thanks to its 12-megapixel CMOS sensor. Its battery life isn't great, but for the price, the quality, and its compact nature, it's ideal for taking those quick photos that you would likely miss if you had a larger digital-SLR packed away.

17 of 20 Apple

iPod touch (entertainment device)

The latest 2012 fifth-generation iPod touch is a thinner, lighter "iPad for your pocket," as described by CNET's Reviews team. It includes a 4-inch high-resolution display perfect for keeping you company on the road with a clear audio quality, or entertained on a flight with a sharp and crisp display. And for the low $299 price point, it may be lacking the phone function, but who needs that at 30,000 feet when you're disconnected from the world anyway?

18 of 20 Joby

Joby GorillaPod (camera tripod)

For those who opt to keep their smartphones with them instead of a digital point-and-shoot camera, you'll more often than not need -- particularly for those fabulous "selfie" shots -- a good, reliable, and flexible stand. The GorillaPod stand can angle your phone at any angle. With its flexible tripod legs, they can wrap around objects. It's quick to set up, and easy to use, and can really help capture that moment without the need to keep your hands glued to your mobile device.

19 of 20 Apple

Apple Airport Express (Wi-Fi networking)

Whether you're in a hotel room and limited by one-device-only connectivity, or you're at a workplace and need to connect multiple devices to one place, the Apple Airport Express is ideal. It taps into existing Wi-Fi networks as a single device -- so for hotels, you pay once and once only -- and multiple other devices can tap into your own private network. It saves on costs and keeps your devices in sync when you need it the most.

20 of 20 CNET

Last thing: Passport

And one last but very important thing: don't forget your passport. You probably won't get very far without it, particularly if you're flying internationally!

Related Galleries

Holiday Zoom backgrounds: Christmas cheer, New Year's Eve, and winter scenes
3D Rendering Christmas interior

Related Galleries

Holiday Zoom backgrounds: Christmas cheer, New Year's Eve, and winter scenes

No PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X? These game consoles take you back to the future

Related Galleries

No PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X? These game consoles take you back to the future

Winter Zoom backgrounds: New year, new virtual meeting decor
Wooden lodge in pine forest with heavy snow reflection on Lake O'hara at Yoho national park

Related Galleries

Winter Zoom backgrounds: New year, new virtual meeting decor

Bond, James Bond: The Tech of Sean Connery's 007

Related Galleries

Bond, James Bond: The Tech of Sean Connery's 007

Miss baseball? Zoom with a virtual background of your favorite team's stadium

Related Galleries

Miss baseball? Zoom with a virtual background of your favorite team's stadium

Best apps for life under lockdown

Related Galleries

Best apps for life under lockdown

Obsolete tech: Gone but not forgotten
obsolete tech gone but not forgotten zdnet

Related Galleries

Obsolete tech: Gone but not forgotten