This is probably the most obvious essential for any trip. A wi-fi enabled laptop can be used at a hotel, coffee shop, and even in the car on the freeway (more on this in a minute). Most hotels offer free wi-fi on the property with a log in password that they give you when you check in. Also while you're out and about, most coffee shops, airports and some restaurants now even offer free wi-fi to their patrons. Some great businesses offering free wi-fi nation wide are:
- Panera Bread Company
- McDonalds (not all locations)
- Starbucks (must have an AT&T account)
- Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar
- Whole Foods Markets
- Krystal Restaurants has free Wi-Fi in 253 locations.
- Speedway Gas Stations
- McAlister's Deli has many locations nationwide with Free WiFi, use their location finder to check for access.
This is an essential survival tool for any geek on the road. A power inverter converts your DC power coming out of your car's battery and electrical system to AC power so you can plug in household devices. Some of the things it allows you to do on the road:
- use your laptop for an unlimited time
- recharge your batteries
- power a small TV and DVD player or gaming system on the go
- power a small refrigeration device for cold drinks and food on the go
- plug in lighting for camping or emergencies
To me this is an essential for the road warrior. The new iPhone 3Gs would be the ideal, but any phone with unlimited Internet access will work. You want to have a backup to get your email or access any emergency contact information that you might need over the net. I personally use the Blackberry Curve 8330. Some essential aps that a road warrior should look into:
- Google Mobile Ap - available for almost any brand of smart phone out right now. Check all of your Google "stuff" from the road!
- Viggo - available for Blackberry and HTC. Best RSS and news reader for mobile.
- Pandora (Mobile) - Pandora is exploding right now. A virtual streaming jukebox for Blackberry, iPhone, PalmPre and WinMo (be sure you have unlimited minutes!)
- Google Sync - sync your Google calendar and Gmail address book with your phone. Work in the cloud!
- Facebook Ap - receive and update your status and upload mobile pics from the road... uh yes! essential!
- Twitterberry (or other Twitter ap) - I would consider this an essential (even though my fiance wouldn't) - tweet from the road, plus upload pics and other Twitter essentials.
Flip Video Camera
(or other sub-compact HD video camera)
This is another essential for on the go video of your trip that can be easily uploaded to YouTube, your blog or web page so you can easily share your trip with family and friends during and after the trip. See my blog GetAFlip for more info.
A Good Book
After being geeky non-stop, take a second to just chill out with a good book, turn a page, stop worrying about where you can connect and just disconnect. Leave the laptop in the hotel room and turn the smart phone off (but keep it in your pocket for emergencies right?)
Spend time with your family / fiance
Especially if its your honeymoon... nuff said ;-)
I'll see you guys after I get back! Thanks for reading.
Photo by Major Clanger / Flickr