I have just returned from a two week vacation in Ireland. We traveled the entire island, starting in Dublin in the Republic of Ireland, then heading southwest and the north to Northern Ireland in the UK. It was a great trip and it gave me the thought to share how I travel with what I need for technology to stay connected and if necessary, do some work.
When traveling overseas, the first thing you have to worry about is having the right power adapter. There’s a handy app called Plugs of the World that will help you identify the right plug based on what country you are visiting. It available on the iTunes Store for iPhone and Google Play for Android.
Once you know what plug type you need, you need to get an adapter. I prefer a multi-adapter so I have one adapter with plugs for all the countries I will visit. My current adapter of choice is Lewis N. Clark’s Global Adapter with USB. This is a relatively compact adapter with a slide selector to pick what country you are in. Plug the adapter into the wall, plug in your cord and you are powered up. This adapter also has USB ports so you can plug in charging cables as well. This is quite helpful when you need to charge your laptop, smartphone and smartwatch all at the same time. With this adapter, you can do it all from this single adapter. The pictures are of my older model, which only has a single USB port. The correct version has dual.
The next thing you need to have is all the cables and adapters you may need. The pictures below are of my accessory case that I keep in my backpack at all times. It has every adapter and cable I need to keep myself connected and charged.
This picture is the other side of my accessory bag.
1. Microsoft SurfaceBook Power Adapter. 2. Apple Watch Charging Cable. 3. Ethernet patch cable. 4. FlatOut Lightning Charge/Sync Cable. 5. USB Ethernet Adapter. 6. ScreenBeam Mini2. 7. Scosche boltBOX Retractable Lightning Cable. 8. Mini USB hub. 9. Lightning Audio/Power Cable. 10. FlatOut Micro USB Cable.
Those are my gadgets. Here’s a brief explanation of what I use each one for:
HooToo Travel Battery/Wireless Router.
This is a great little device, albeit a little heavy. It’s a portable battery with USB ports to charge a smartphone and a tablet. More importantly, it’s also a wireless router. I use this to connect to hotel WiFi networks and then make a secure connection to this wireless router so that any information I send wirelessly is encrypted to this router and then sent over the hotel network. It has a collapsible AC plug and can run off its battery so it’s incredibly versatile.
Qmadix Dual USB 2.1 Amp Rapid Charger.
This is a lightweight and small dual USB charger with a collapsible AC plug. It will charge two tablets, two smartphones or one of each, at the same time.
Scosche smartBOX Retractable Micro USB/Lightning Cable.
This is my go-to, retractable iPhone/iPad/micro USB charge and sync cable. I prefer retractable cables for neatness.
Scosche MagicMount Vent.
This is a small car mount that connects to a dashboard air vent to hold my iPhone. When having to drive when I travel, this allows me to safely use my iPhone for navigation, as described in this post.
RapidX X5 5 USB Port Car Charger.
This is a great car charger when you have people in the front and back seats looking for power. Definitely check it out.
WEme 4-in-1 Mini DisplayPort Audio/Video Adapter.
This is a great adapter for any laptop with a mini displayport. This allows you to connect to VGA, DVI, HDMI and audio.
Microsoft SurfaceBook Power Adapter.
This is my AC power adapter for my laptop.
Apple Watch Charging Cable.
Ethernet patch cable.
Also self explanatory.
FlatOut Lightning Charge/Sync Cable.
This is a short, 12″ cable that I like to have, just in case.
USB Ethernet Adapter.
In the rare case when I don’t have access to a wireless network, this allows me to connect hardwired.
This is a great little device for wirelessly displaying content from your laptop to a TV or monitor with an HDMI port. This supports Miracast and WiDi devices.
Scosche boltBOX Retractable Lightning Cable.
This is a retractable lightning only cable, for the iPhone/iPad.
Mini USB hub.
I got this little gem from a conference I was attending. It’s a very small device, with a built in USB connector that expands one USB port to four.
Lightning Audio/Power Cable.
If you have an iPhone 7 or newer, there is no headphone jack. This adapter allows you to charge your phone and use headphones through the single lightning port.
FlatOut Micro USB Cable.
This is a short 12″ cable that I like to keep on-hand.
Last, but not least, this is the accessory bag I use. You can see it’s relative size from these pictures. I’m quite pleased with it.