With the world reopening borders post-pandemic, we’ve seen quite an influx of travelers worldwide, especially to the U.S., where the borders have been open a bit longer. Whether you’re traveling to the U.S. for business or pleasure, there are a few items you should make sure to pack in your tech survival kit. With so many technological restrictions and travel advisories, it’s essential to be prepared for anything. Here are some of the must-have items for your tech kit when traveling across the U.S.:
A backup battery or power bank
No matter where you’re traveling, it’s always a good idea to have a backup battery or power bank. Whether your phone runs out of juice or your laptop dies in the middle of a work presentation, having a backup battery can be a lifesaver. Charging stations are becoming more and more common in airports, hotels, and other public places, but they’re not always reliable. A good power bank should be able to charge your devices multiple times before needing to be recharged. You can find great options on Amazon by reading reviews and comparing prices.
An international power adapter
If you’re traveling from outside the U.S., you’ll need an international power adapter to charge your devices. Most adapters will work with devices that have a standard USB port, such as laptops and phones. Check the voltage of your appliances before plugging them in, as some adapters only work with specific voltages. You can find suitable adapters on Amazon or at your local travel store.
A portable WiFi hotspot
If you’re traveling to an area with spotty cell service or no service at all, a portable WiFi hotspot can be a lifesaver. Whether you want to stay connected to work or just need to be able to access Google Maps, having a portable WiFi hotspot will give you the peace of mind of knowing you can always get online. Many WiFi hotspots now offer unlimited data, so you don’t have to worry about running out or being charged extra fees.
A VPN is a must-have if you’re traveling to an area with repressive internet laws or want to be extra cautious about your online security. A VPN, or virtual private network, encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through a server in another location, making it appear as if you’re accessing the internet from that location. This helps get around government restrictions on certain websites, access geo-blocked content, and protect your data from hackers. There are many reputable VPN providers available. Just be sure to do your research to find the best option for you.
Your phone’s SIM card
If you’re traveling internationally, you’ll need to ensure your phone’s SIM card will work in the country you’re visiting. Most phones these days are unlocked, which means they can be used with any carrier, but if yours is locked to a specific carrier, you’ll need to get it unlocked before you leave. Once your phone is unlocked, you can purchase a local SIM card when you arrive at your destination, giving you access to data and minutes at a fraction of the price of using your home carrier’s international roaming rates.
If you’re traveling for business, chances are you’ll need to bring your laptop with you. Even if you’re not traveling for business, having a laptop can be a lifesaver. From being able to kill time with Netflix to getting some work done on the go, laptops are incredibly versatile and can come in handy in various situations. If you’re worried about your laptop’s security while traveling, consider investing in a laptop lock to keep it safe.
A backup hard drive
Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, there’s always a chance that something could happen to your computer or phone, and you could lose all your data. If you’re a photographer or videographer, you know the importance of backing up your work. No matter what industry you’re in, though, it’s always a good idea to have a backup of your important files. Whether you’re worried about losing your work to a computer crash or theft, having a backup hard drive can give you peace of mind while traveling. Pack a backup hard drive (or two) in your tech kit to avoid this nightmare scenario. That way, if something happens to your device, you’ll have a backup of all your essential files. You can find portable hard drives with various storage capacities to fit your needs and budget.
A travel router
If you’re staying in a hotel or Airbnb, chances are you’ll have access to WiFi. However, WiFi quality can vary significantly from place to place. A travel router can be a lifesaver if you need to be able to work online or stream video while you’re traveling. A travel router allows you to create your own WiFi network wherever you are. You can connect all your devices to the router and use the internet without issues. Many travel routers also have built-in VPNs so that you can stay safe and secure online.
These are just a few tech must-have items for your trip to the U.S. You’ll also need to pack all your usual travel essentials like clothes, toiletries, and any medications you might need. But if you’re planning on using any technology while traveling, these items should definitely be on your packing list. Safe travels!