The Best Gear to Go [Success Magazine]

We asked several “road warriors” to tell us about the technology they use to take the stress out of travel.

Success Magazine Mar/April 2007By Rebecca Allen
Success Magazine, March/April 2007
[Interview with Jaya Schillinger]

TECHNOLOGY IS TAKING the stress out of business travel by allowing workers on the road to keep up with the office. Success spoke with several experienced road warriors about what equipment works best for them.

Jaya Schillinger, entrepreneur and president of Inspiration, Inc., travels often for speaking engagements. Her two main pieces of equipment are a Dell Latitude D800

Dell Latitude D800 and a BlackBerry 7290. “I like the blackberry because it lets me respond to e-mail at any time, even in places where it would be impolite to answer the phone,” Schillinger says.

She chose the Dell for different reasons, however. She traded off a little extra weight for its wide screen (which she feels is worth it), and because it’s compatible with the D/View Notebook Stand. The stand holds cords and plugs for peripheral office equipment, and keeps the laptop steady at just the right height and angle.

Schillinger recommends bringing along a Brookstone Tempur-Pedic Eye Mask on overnight trips. “It’s the only thing that lets me really sleep on a plane,” she explains.

Shel Holtz, vice president of new marketing for Crayon, also travels frequently for business. He carries a lot of gear, but what he uses the most often are his Sony Vaio SZ laptop and Palm Treo 650 smartphone.

Holtz has many good things to say about the versatility of the Sony Vaio’s many sizes: “When I used the ultra small, I could have it open in coach and have enough room–even with the seat ahead of me reclined. Now I’ve switched to a larger size because I give presentations and like to be able to read off the screen clearly from a distance.”

He likes the SZ series because it has modes to extend battery life, increased security (such as a fingerprint reader), and a bright enough screen to use outdoors. The Palm Treo is a smartphone (combination of cell phone and PDA capabilities) these phones can access the internet and e-mail, and often have miniature keyboards. that comes with a full keyboard, which makes it more convenient when Holtz chooses to check his e-mail. He can also use the phone to record interviews.

Holtz’s first piece of advice for new travelers is to always carry a simple power strip with their gear. Sometimes you’ve got to plug in your laptop, phone, iPod, and more at the same time,” he says, “but you never know how many outlets you’ll get in a hotel room. Carrying a power strip has made everything more convenient for me.”

Alan Gahtan is the principal of Gahtan Law Offices, which focuses on information technology and e-commerce laws. When traveling, his primary concern is phone communication, and so he recommends the Cingular 8125. It’s a smartphone which uses Bluetooth to allow him to synchronize, his phone and his computer: “I have it set to synch up every fifteen minutes. That way I always get my e-mail quickly.

I can also use its wireless capability with my laptop.” He also recommends getting a VoIP-enabled Wi-Fi handset, such as the F-1000, especially when traveling internationally. It can use the same Internet Wi-Fi hotspots as a laptop to make phone calls. Paying for access to hotspots is generally much cheaper than paying for international roaming on a cell phone.

New Wi-Fi handsets are coming out all the time, many designed to work with popular services like Skype or Vonage. Some can even a serve dual function as a landline.

Finally, Gahtan recommends travelers look into external battery packs for their laptops: “If you’re on a long plane ride, you’d be surprised by how much longer your power lasts than you’d expect.”

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About the Author

Jaya Savannah - Chief Inspiration Officer. Strategy Coach for Holistic Businesses. Trainer, speaker, and writer. Spiritually aware, yet street smart. Elephant lover.