Useful Laptop Accessories for Travel
Laptops have become an invaluable tool for travel, whether it’s planning your trip and managing your bookings, staying entertained on the plane or during airport delays, and uploading your photos while you’re away. And especially now that the world has been hit by the digital nomad craze, it’s a crucial piece of tech for remote workers who travel while also continuing to make an income online each day.
Sure, it’s easy to hit the road with just your laptop and not pack any extras. But there are some incredibly useful accessories that can enhance your user experience, safety, efficiency, battery life, and more. Here are just some of the accessories you may want to think about packing alongside your laptop the next time you travel.
Most backpacks these days come with a dedicated laptop sleeve, and this is essential for traveling with a laptop since you’ll be moving around and need to protect your tech.
Find a functional bag that’s lightweight and provides ample interior and exterior pockets that will allow you to easily organize your laptop and accessories so you can locate items quickly and easily. Keep in mind you’ll be using your laptop backpack both for airport transit and moving throughout your destination, so you want something that’s practical for day-to-day use as well as offering security features like those found with anti-theft backpacks which have integrated locks and lockable compartments along with slash-proof straps.
You want a bag that is durable and will protect your tech from dust, rain, spills, and drops. Look for a bag which offers quality padding, secure compartments, water resistance and maybe an optional rain cover, and is made of abrasion and tear-resistant material.
Some laptop backpacks even come with features like a solar-powered USB charging port, Bluetooth speakers, and velcro separators that can be used to secure items like cameras and lenses.
Headphones are both beneficial to yourself and a common courtesy to others when you’re traveling, especially if you’re using your laptop in public places like a busy airport terminal, quiet places like a public library or an airport lounge, or condensed places like the plane.
Regardless of whether you’re planning on listening to music, watching Netflix, or joining a zoom meeting, it’s important to respect those around you and you want to ensure you’ll be able to hear clearly yourself.
You have a choice here, everything from basic cheap headphones at the airport to wireless earbuds which come with quality sound, noise cancellation, and rechargeable cases. Go with something compact and lightweight to travel with so it’s not taking up too much space in your luggage.
Portable SSD Drive
Whether you’re a digital nomad who’s working with large files, or an everyday tourist who takes a thousand photos per minute, it’s important to travel with a portable SSD drive to back up your documents.
While portable HDD drives may be more common, there are many advantages of using an SSD drive when traveling. They are smaller, faster when it comes to reading and writing data, and because they use a microchip instead of moving parts to save files you are far less likely to see files damaged or corrupted if you accidentally drop your drive.
Laptops may not have the space to store everything you need themselves, and hard drives these days can offer a huge additional storage capacity. You can easily find drives that offer 1-2TB of storage yet are still small enough to fit in a small laptop bag compartment.
Make sure it works with both Mac and Windows laptops, in case you need to use someone else’s computer while traveling or you purchase a different laptop yourself in the future, and consider something that’s water and dust resistant, especially if traveling through humid climates or rugged rural destinations.
Don’t upload any files online while you’re traveling without using a cybersecurity tool like a VPN. Especially if you’re working overseas as an expat or digital nomad, a Virtual Private Network is essential for securing the privacy of your connection so that you’re not compromising your data or files.
You can also use a USB Type-C Flash Drive for backing up and storing files if you’re looking for something cheaper or after something much smaller than an SSD drive. A USB flash drive will take up almost no space in your luggage.
A tech pouch is something which organizes all of your tech accessories including cords, batteries, flash drives, SD cards, etc. Having a lot of loose pieces of tech roaming around your bag makes them difficult to find and more susceptible to damage.
A tech pouch is often a zippered, clam-shell designed pouch that contains numerous pockets straps, and zippered enclosures within to keep all your accessories organized and secure. They are usually compact so as to reduce the amount of space taken up in your laptop bag or carry-on.
Be sure to find a pouch that at least offers some sort of water resistant material and enough compartments to hold all the accessories you would like to travel with.
You’ll want to keep your cables and cords to a minimum when you’re on the move, but an HDMI cable is worthwhile as it allows you to hook up your laptop to a TV or external monitor. Maximize your resolution by choosing a high-speed HDMI model.
If you’re moving between hotels or Airbnbs, linking your laptop to the TV can be a huge asset especially if you want a better device to view photos, watch films, or even work remotely. Find a cable which is braided which is less likely to experience fraying, and remember that each new hotel will have a completely different layout so you’re wise to go with a longer cord in order to accommodate varied arrangements.
Accessories You Can Leave at Home
There are a huge range of fantastic laptop accessories that enhance the experience of working from home or the office, but accessories like wireless keyboards, cooling pads, lap desks, external pro webcams, etc, can usually be left at home.
Anything bulky or heavy which can’t be easily packed in your luggage, or may easily break in your luggage, isn’t worth traveling with. In a worst case scenario, if you’re a digital nomad who needs certain tools or accessories, like a webcam, and you plan on setting yourself up in a destination for an extended period of time, you can usually hit the shops when you arrive at your destination.
If you do choose to travel with a lot of bulky expensive tech, just make sure you have coverage under your travel insurance policy for your tech should your bags get lost or stolen.