Research, analysis, and thought leadership for enterprise communications.

My Travel Tricks

by in Telecom

I am not a hardened road warrior but do typically travel a few times a month. Here’s a few of the devices and practices I rely upon:

  • Power Strip: I carry a small power strip. It has 3 regular outlets, and one USB charging port. I keep it in my carry-on bag for airport use. It’s particularly helpful on international trips as a single adapter gets me everything I need – just be sure your devices can handle 220v.
  • T-Mobile: I pay about $30/mo for 2.5 GBs on T-Mobile. Key features of T-Mo include VoWi-Fi and included international roaming. I had no additional charges on my recent trips to Mexico, Prague, and France. Coverage was weak in HI, but I was able to connect on Wi-Fi. Google Fi also uses T-Mobile and VoWIFI and adds in Sprint.
  • Pen: I keep in my carry-on/briefcase a Cross Multi-function pen. It has pencil, highlighter, blue, and red ink. It seems to get most use on planes with a stack of reading material.
  • 12′ USB cable: I tend to use my phone as an alarm clock and I like it by the hotel bed. Finding power is getting easier, but I solved the problem with a long USB cable.
  • Headphones: I wear passive noise filtering headphones on flights even when not listening to anything. Mine are very small and very effective. For sleeping I usually play one of my relaxing playlists. If you are not into listening – then get some nice foam ear plugs. Background noise is far more disturbing than most realize.
  • Eye Cover: If you need to sleep on a plane – then an eye cover and ear plugs or music are imperative.
  • Evernote Premium: I find this to be the best solution for business card scanning – though not ideal. Open to hearing some alternative solutions. I find Evernote pretty useful in general.
  • Clear Card: When I got it initially it only worked in Denver and Orlando – my two most frequent airports. Since then the program has expanded. It’s a bit pricey, but I think it’s worth it. Always a short line and the PRE line is getting longer.
  • Contigo Mug: It’s hard to find, but Contigo makes a mug that has a hook handle. I generally fill this pre-boarding after security. It is leak proof, and easily hooks onto the seat back pocket. I enjoy my beverage while others are waiting for flight attendants to serve drinks. Also useful in taxis. A Starbuck’s paper cup is a liability as it can’t really be put down anywhere.
  • Video Entertainment: I usually have a few videos on my laptop. For more current features, my DISH Hopper allows me to move current content to Android or iOS. The problem is I don’t like watching content on small screens. Some phones have HDMI-out so it could be connected to a hotel TV. Getting video on to a hotel TV is not trivial. The simple way is HDMI from laptop or mobile. Another option is to carry a Chromecast and a mini access point. A slightly more expensive and less versatile option is to carry a Miracast receiver for the TV. This will work with my laptop, but not my phone.

Misc. Best Practices


  • Always print boarding passes – don’t waste valuable battery life on the ground.
  • Recently, I’ve been taking the bus to/from the airport. I only know how to rush to the airport and find the bus ride relatively relaxing. The hourly schedule isn’t too bad because I never realized before how long it takes to park/shuttle at the airport. I buy prepaid coupons at the local grocer so I don’t need to worry about exact change.
  • Simple rule of gluten free makes a huge difference on airport food choices. Eliminates pizza, burgers, fried chicken, beer, sandwiches – I end up eating burrito bowls, nuts, BBQ, Jamba Juice.
  • I don’t like all the information Uber grabs, so I won’t install the app. However, it is less expensive than taxi’s and I honestly feel guilty getting in a taxi at the airport for a short ride. My next phone will support multi-user (like Moto-X) so I can install Uber on a cordoned off area of the phone.
  • Passport. I used to keep my passport at home unless traveling internationally. However, last year I lost my driver’s license at the airport on my outbound flight – a trip that happened to have multiple flights. Although technically TSA does not require ID, not having one makes things very unpredictable. As a result, I keep my passport in my carry-on bag now. Also has the added benefit of a quick get-away should I need one.


Spread the word:

Telecom in Your Inbox

About this Post

Dave Michels By

Dave is an independent analyst focused on enterprise communications. he provides public content on TalkingPointz and other industry websites, and also works with clients directly.