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Gadgets to go: The ultimate tech travel-kit

The Business Bargain Hunter shows you what to pack for every possible tech scenario.
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By Rick Broida on
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1 of 12 Rick Broida/ZDNet

Travel smarter, not harder

These days I don't travel much for business, but when I do, I do it like a pro. That's because I've learned a few things from my time in planes, trains and automobiles -- like what to pack for every possible tech scenario: not enough outlets, unreliable hotel Wi-Fi, too many cords and so on.

And not only what to pack, but how to pack it. (That's the first item on my list of essential tech for your travels.) Of course, because I'm the Business Bargain Hunter, I made sure to assemble this kit on the cheap -- though in some cases (like with headphones), it's worth splurging.

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2 of 12 Joto

A travel electronics organizer

Turn chaos into order in one elastic swoop. This organizer from Joto (about $17) uses elastic bands to easily contain cords, chargers and all your other loose stuff.

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3 of 12 iClever

A 4-port power adapter

No more running out of charging ports for you! For about $19, iClever's 4-port BoostCube+ offers folding prongs, smart USB ports and an 18-month warranty.

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4 of 12 Cafele

A retractable 2-in-1 cable

Kill cord-clutter dead with this retractable 2-in-1 cable from Cafele (about $14). It combines a 3-foot Lightning/microUSB cable into a single spring-loaded carrier.

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5 of 12 Photo by Rick Broida/ZDNet

A travel router/wireless drive/mobile charger

The RAVPower FileHub Plus (about $40) is like the Swiss Army knife of travel tech, combining a travel router, wireless hard drive and 6,000mAh mobile charger into a single pocket-size package.

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6 of 12 iWalk

The only power bank that makes sense

Mobile charger: essential. Mobile charger with built-in cables: awesome. The iWalk 10,000mAh power bank (about $38) stows Lightning and microUSB cables, but also has a standard USB port for charging anything else.

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7 of 12 Beam Electronics

A dashboard mount for your rental car

It's hard enough navigating a strange town, so pack an air-vent mount (like this one for a measly $8) and keep your phone near eye level where you can see it.

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8 of 12 Nomad

A wallet that's also an emergency charger

This lovely tan wallet is also a 2,400mAh mobile charger. It's not cheap at $99.95, but because it's always with you, it can really save the day. I've owned one for a couple years; it's well worth the bit of extra rear-pocket bulge.

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9 of 12 CNET

Seriously good noise-cancelling headphones

If you're going to splurge on any piece of travel tech, make it noise-cancelling headphones. They make flights tolerable by drowning out nearly all noise. The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 lists for $200 -- already a lot less than similar 'phones from Bose and Sony -- but you may be able to score a deal. I found them for around $139; your mileage may vary. Either way: BBH seal of approval.

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10 of 12 Rick Broida/ZDNet

This backup phone

Imagine the calamity if your phone got lost, stolen, broken or dropped into a sewer grate. Goodbye contacts, appointments, travel details, etc. That's why a backup phone is critical. So grab the ridiculously decent Motorola Moto E4 ($120), sync up your data (even if you're an iPhone user) and toss it in your bag -- just in case.

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11 of 12 Skyroam

This global mobile hotspot

The no-brainer to end all no-brainers, the Skyroam Solis is a mobile hotspot that delivers high-speed data in over 100 countries -- for a flat rate of $9 per day. You can buy it for $150 or rent it for $10/day (service included).

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12 of 12 Ace Teah

This pen

A pen? Really? Yeah, really: This one doubles as a stylus and triples as a stand for your phone or tablet (excellent for watching videos). It's a really comfy large-barrel pen, too. A multi-color six-pack runs all of $8, so give one away to anyone who says "Cool pen!" and score some new business while you're at it.

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