Road Warrior: International Travel Must-Haves

A big client just took your advice and is expanding into an emerging market. Exciting news. That is, until you realize you’ve now got to pack a bag and help the client establish a new beachhead far away from your accustomed five-star hotels and room service. For the road warriors that have to fend for themselves on the road less traveled, we offer the following suggestions.

AirPort Express AirPort Express

For $99, Apple sells a simple plug-in device that can make almost any hotel a wireless wifi makeshift office. Just plug the hotel’s Ethernet cord into the back of AirPort Express, and you can connect up to ten devices—Macs or PCs. And at just over 7.5 ounces, it’ll take up far less room than a bag of cords. When you’re back home, the same device can beam music or movies from your computer to a networked home stereo or TV.

iTRAVL NTL series iTRAVL NTL series

If you’re worried that your two years of high school Spanish may leave you at a loss for words when traveling the world, Ectaco’s electronic translators may come in handy. The best-in-class speech recognition technology allows you to say what you want in English and have it repeat it back in any one of more than 20 languages. It can also help convert English text into the language of your choice. The device, ranges in price from $380 to $750, depending on functionality and the number of pre-programmed languages.

Unlocked iPhone Unlocked iPhone

Identical to the best-selling models we’ve previously reviewed, except now they are being sold without the required two-year contract. The advantage of the unlocked iPhone for overseas travelers is that by being to go with your own carrier means that you can purchase local SIM cards. Local SIM cards will give your iPhone a local number and thus bypass roaming and out-of-network data fees. The unlocked smart phones are more costly (ranging from $649 to $749, depending on memory size) than the locked versions, but the fee savings will more than make up for the difference for any consultant planning on spending significant time outside the U.S.

SteriPen SteriPen

Now that we’ve dug into all the coolest gadgets, there’s a basic need that has to be addressed. Without getting too graphic, Road Warrior suspects there’s probably universal agreement that it’s difficult to get much accomplished when the local water makes you ill. But not to fear, the SteriPen will clean a 16-ounce cup of water
in about 48 seconds. There are no filters or tabs required, just plug (wait a minute) and chug away. The H2O device runs on four AA batteries and retails on line at
various retailers for about $50, plus shipping and handling.