3 Must-Have Gadgets for Business Travel


NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Having spent far too much time overloading my lumbar lugging this or that bit of electronics around the globe, I've learned that tools that do double duty are the key to saving time and money as you travel. Think of it as an electronic riff on the belt that's brown on one side and black on the other. Gymwear that doubles as a swimsuit. You get the idea.

But it is not like electronics makers make doing more with less easy. Apple, Dell and Microsoft take a certain glee in forcing you to use only their software, peripherals and online markets, so finding tools that do two or even three things is not easy. If you can, though, you can do more with less as you travel. Here are three items to do the yeoman's work of many while on the road:

Innergie mCube Slim 95 Universal Adaptor ($100)
Having had to swallow the outrage of paying Apple thirty bucks for a mere iPad replacement charger, the notion of getting more for my recharging dollar is not an abstraction. And among the deluge of aftermarket chargers, adapters and thingies that inject electrons into portable business devices, Innergie has the juice right now. This slick looking, approximately 4-by-2-inch adapter comes with nine different power tips, a ubiquitous USB port and enough power to drive your phone, laptop and iPad. With a bit of luck, it could be the only charger you'll need. If you're like me and detest charger cable fettuccine, the mCube is for you.

Westone UM56 Universal Fit Eartips ($157.50)
You know those really nifty, custom in-ear headphones you see worn by the singers on American Idol or the Super Bowl halftime show? Westone is one of the makers of those kinds of custom ear buds, and chances are that whoever you saw wearing them spent close to $1,000 on them. Well, no longer. The leaders in in-ear monitors now ship a universal-fit eartip that can be made from a do-it-yourself, in-ear impression kit. The process is not as complex -- or biologically dubious -- as it sounds, and this method runs about a fraction of the cost of full-on custom in-ear monitors.

And talk about a handy thing to have around. Not only will these Westones do away with bulky, active noise reduction headphones when you fly, since these also make plane flights quiet, but they will transform even the nastiest temporary office into a musically inspired, productivity-building oasis. With some practice, you can even sleep with these babies. Bottom line: Is $160 really too much to spend for some peace and quiet on the noisy, bumpy road? Absolutely, positively not.

Paper Shower (Six-packs start at $7.50)
Why didn't someone think of this sooner? Lincolnshire, Ill.-based startup Paper Shower -- yes, this is its only product -- has come to market with a stroke of personal-hygiene genius: a wet and dry towelette in one package. The Paper Shower combines a surprisingly pleasant-to-the-skin, low alcohol mix wet wipe with a high-quality dry towel. So you can both clean and dry your hands, face or whatever with items of, how shall I say, "defined microbial lineage." This might just be me, but having a real way to deal with the nasty client lunchroom stain or the mystery spot on the rental car seat or the rest of the questionable surfaces we all face on the road solves a whole world of problems.


>>4 Must-Have Gadgets for Business On the Go
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>>Tech Tools for Hard-Core Business Travelers

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