TripCase Blog

Five Must-Have Gadgets For Travelers

Must Have Travel Gadgets

I’ve traveled around the world, attending conferences and events, capturing content and staying connected. Throughout those travels, I’ve had a chance to test countless gadgets and gizmos, to see how they perform ‘out in the field.’ I’ve also come to discover which gadgets I absolutely must have in my bag when I travel, and which ones seem like a great idea at home, but don’t quite live up to their promise when I try to use them. I’ve been able to whittle my travel gadget-bag down to the just the essentials, and want to share those with you.

1. Portable Power Banks - I carry this one from RadioShack, but you can find them all over. The key features you want to look for are size and capacity. Most smartphones today have a 2,000-3,000 mAh battery, so this 6,000 mAh pack can fully recharge my phone at least twice over. It also has 2 USB ports, so I can charge two devices at once. It recharges via microUSB, so I can typically use the same cable to charge my device that I use to refill the power bank. I carry two of these in my bag, so I’m never tethered to the wall when I’m out of juice.

LEEF Bridge 3.0

2. LEEF bridge USB drive – With any trip, there are always documents that I need easy access to. The LEEF bridge USB drive has both a standard USB plug and a microUSB plug, so I can use it with my laptop or my Android-powered tablet or phone. It’s saved me on more than one occasion, and it’s really small, so it doesn’t take up much room. Sure, you could also use something like DropBox or Google Drive, but the LEEF bridge is nice because it doesn’t rely on an Internet connection.

Belkin Portable Power Strip

3. Portable Power Strip – While traveling, I always plug my gear in at night, so I start the day with everything full. This Belkin portable power strip makes that easy, as long as I have at least one outlet. It’s also a great way to quickly make friends at a conference or the airport, where outlets can be hard to come by. The two USB ports make it easy to refill the portable power banks mentioned above, as well.

4. Noise-cancelling headphones – When you’re travelling, there are an endless array of sounds polluting our hearing and trying to distract us. A good pair of noise-cancelling headphones can help me escape an upset baby sitting across the aisle, or make a noisy downtown hotel room bearable. Look for ones with active noise cancelling  - these usually have a switch to activate and do the best job of filtering outside noise.

Nesting Dolls

5. Nesting bags – For my carry on, I use two bags. One is a large backpack with lots of pockets – this helps me know where everything is, so it’s easily accessible and doesn’t have me rummaging for a cable or headphones. It also has a padded pocket for my laptop. Inside this bag, I have a smaller satchel, also with lots of pockets. When I get to my destination, I can leave the larger bag in my hotel room, and wear the smaller satchel out and about – it lightens my load and makes it easier to only carry what I need for the day.

What gadgets/gear do you find invaluable on a trip?

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Why Managers Should Continue To Code

If you are a manager in a software development company, there is a good chance that you are not coding anymore. A typical organization does not expect managers to be writing code and contributing to products that are released. This usually results in managers stepping away from coding and the details that go along with it.

Coding

But is this how it should be? Let me tell you my story. Continue reading

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Airlines Adopt Smaller Carry-On Allowances

Carry-On Header

Recently, major airlines including American, Delta, and United have adopted new maximum dimensions for their carry-on baggage allowances. The industry standard used to be 22in x 15in x 9in, but those have recently shrunk, according to George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog.

Continue reading

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From Hackathon to Hands-On

In the middle of June, Sabre held the “Innovation Garage” – an event combining a Hackathon with a business-case pitch. It’s a competition where everyone in the organization could present his or her best idea to invent something new. If you’ve read my recent articles you’ll know my overall excitement for the event, and my enthusiasm for our latest technologySabre Dev Studio.  I’m proud to report to you that in the 24-hour contest, my team planned, programmed, and presented a fully working feature that improves the TripCase experience in a totally unique way. Although we didn’t take first place this year, I’ve never felt more successful.

Working all night long is an intimidating thought, but pulling together an excellent team made all the difference. It was crucial to team with people who have the technical skills and optimistic attitude to make the project a reality. Let me tell you who was on my team: Continue reading

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How To Be Productive On Your Next Business Trip

Traveling for business can be fun – it’s a great way to see the world and experience the different cultures of your partners, coworkers, and clients. However, it can also be a big drain on your productivity if you’re not prepared. Here are a few ways you can maintain your productivity while you’re on the road.

StayProductive

1. Setup an email auto-response or out-of-office message – if you’re constantly traveling, you may be tempted to skip this. However, a properly created auto-response can help funnel inquiries to an assistant or coworker who may be able to respond more quickly than you. It can also set proper response expectations for your contacts, freeing you from the urge to respond immediately.

2. Choose a hotel with the right amenities – instead of looking for a hotel with a great pool or on-site sauna, look for hotels with an on-site office center, dry cleaning, or other business-centric offers. Being able to work properly and have the support you need will help you feel more relaxed in the long run.

3. Keep an ethernet cable in your bag – don’t gamble on the hotel WiFi – it may be a slow connection, or you may not get a strong signal in your room on the 20th floor. Most hotel rooms have an in-room ethernet port, and a wired connection is usually much more stable, reliable, and faster than wireless. A 6-foot ethernet cable won’t take up much room, but it’ll give you enough slack to get comfortable while working.

4. Use TripCase – OK, so this is a bit of an obvious one, but TripCase can keep you focused on work, since you won’t need to waste time shuffling through various confirmation emails or worrying about whether your flight is delayed or on time.

What’s your best trick for staying productive while traveling?

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