Bringing your own laptop, tablet or phone along while traveling internationally makes everything a lot easier.
You can serve as your own travel agent; scoping out activities, curating restaurants, making bookings and reservations and navigating unfamiliar areas. Plus, with some companies maintaining remote-work flexibility into 2022, you can work a bit while traveling so you don’t have to use up all your allotted time off for one trip.
But packing your tech isn’t as simple as stuffing it into your suitcase. You also need to find a way to keep it charged, connected to the internet, safe and easily accessible. On top of that, different regions use different types of electrical plugs and voltages; if you haven’t brought along the right adapter or converter, your tech is rendered useless.
I encountered these challenges in early May when I traveled from the US to the UK, tagging along with my partner on a business trip. We incorporated both work and leisure into our travels — a practice becoming increasing common in the form of the digital nomad lifestyle. To keep our devices functional and secure, we relied on a number of tech accessories.
Here are the gadgets that enabled us to stay online during our international trip. For even more tips,from CNET contributor Geoffrey Morrison, a seasoned traveler.
Before I purchased this handy little case, I would store my small electronics and wires by simply cramming them into my backpack. I’d have to dig around and pray I’d pluck the one I needed from the heaps of tangled chargers without having to dump everything out.
No more of that. Outfitted with pockets and zip-up compartments, the Thule Subterra PowerShuttle is perfectly suited for organizing small tech-adjacent doodads: AirPods, adapters, a webcam, small charging cables, spare earbuds and dongles.
One particularly helpful feature is a hidden cutout in the exterior pocket that allows a cord to pass through: You can stick a phone in that pocket for easy access while you charge it up using a powerbank you’ve placed inside the case.
If you have a larger assortment of chargers and long cables, upsize to the Subterra PowerShutte Plus or this double-layer option from Amazon.
This portable charger saved my iPhone’s arse on numerous occasions, adding hours and hours to its battery life. Though the chunky 5.9-inch unit (which weighs just under a pound) bogged down my backpack a bit, it certainly pulled its weight, refueling my phone’s weary battery while eliminating the need to duck into a cafe in search of an outlet.
While traveling, I needed to recharge my phone much more often than I’d expected to. I put a real strain on my iPhone’s battery, mapping out public transit routes, cueing up boarding passes, snapping photos, researching nearby attractions and food, scanning QR codes and religiously refreshing the West End’s virtual ticket booth for dirt-cheap last-minute seats . I’d gulp each time the battery icon turned