“Face wipes? Really, Howie? Really?” That was the number one question / comment to my post last week (among co-workers, friends, and blog readers!). Yes, really.
The number two question was, “What’s in your laptop bag?” I’m a geek, so I’ve probably got way too much for the average road warrior. Keep in mind, I’m a sales engineer at a mobility company. Here we go…
- Laptop — Dell E6510 – Gets the business done. I used to carry two of these (work and personal separate), but it just became too much and I decided I no longer needed the separate laptop.
- Three Laptop Batteries – Yes, three. You can NEVER have too much power. Those who say they never have power issues are probably kidding themselves. Running out of power is never an excuse for me.
- Laptop power cable — Just one. It works on most AC outlets with Delta. That said, it is 90W so it doesn’t work on some of the older airplane AC outlets that only support up to 75W.
- Monster Power Adapter — One of my best $10 investments. Surge protector with three outlets and a USB port for charging. I’ve had three or four different ones and this is by far the one I am happiest with.
- Verizon 4G MiFi — Internet anywhere? Yes, please. All of my smartphones are 3G. 4G is better. Make sure if you get one of these you apply / upgrade to the latest firmware available.
- Logitech Bluetooth Travel Mouse + Mousepad — In general I hate using the touchpad / nub on my laptop. If space allows I use the mouse.
- iPhone/iPad charger — Duh. Power.
- BlackBerry Playbook Charger — Charges the BlackBerry Playbook AND my BlackBerry smartphone (primary device). Think of it as a rapid charger for the phone as it has a higher output than a standard blackberry charger.
- iPad 2 — Cut the rope & Bloons Tower Defense, along with some work.
- BlackBerry Playbook — Great for watching videos… and some work.
- Motorola Droid X — Great for games… and some work.
- iPhone 3GS — The Delta app is the best on iPhone along with being able to deposit checks using an app from my credit union with the camera… and some work.
- BlackBerry 9790 –Work, Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook (the only phone / tablet with an actual carrier voice & data plan … hence the MiFi)
- GRID-IT — the holder of all nick-nacks.
- 1GB USB thumb drive — just big enough to get most everything from point A to point B via sneakernet when needed.
- Jawbone Era headset — hands-free is a must on the road. I typically use it most when I’m in a hotel room, airport lounge, or, of course, in the car. It is not a fashion statement.
- Long USB Cable — plugs into the Monster power adapter and usually charges the Mi-Fi. (The Mi-Fi will not charge on a laptop USB port & provide Internet connectivity at the same time. This allows me to charge + use.)
- Short USB Cable — from the Jawbone Era. I use it to charge Bluetooth, or my BlackBerry.
- iPhone / iPad charging cable — self explanatory.
- Griffin Powerjolt Dual Universal USB Micro — 2.1 amp output and one of my latest editions as a recommendation from a co-worker. I’ve been in the car more often than I had been when on trips. This has been a savior. Its output is 2.1 amps and it can charge an iPad + something else. Usually you can get an iPad but nothing more.
- Neoprene cases for phones / tablets — Even though my company owns all of the equipment, it’s my responsibility to take care of everything. Never more than $10 per case.
- Pens — always have at least two pens on me.
- Business cards — Show me a person in sales without a business card.
- Notebook — Paper. Gotta have it for meetings, or notes, or something where an iPad / laptop just won’t cut it.
- Folder with papers — Random notes, handouts, stuff to go through.
- Folder for receipts — Can’t lose receipts, otherwise my business trip becomes a personal trip.
- Bose QC-15 headphones on a carabiner — Wearing them now as I write this. For the longest time used in-ear headphones and was content — until I tried these on. No way would they ever fit in my bag. So with a carabiner, they’re hooked on, dangling, to my laptop bag.
- Flyertalk bag tag – -There is no excuse for any of us to not have one of these!
So — that’s what’s in my bag. What’s in yours? What should I add / remove?
Something I wanted to mention is a New Limited Time Offer Business Platinum Card with 25,000 Points. The Business Platinum card typically does not offer Membership Rewards points on sign-up.
With this limited time offer, the sign-up bonus of $450 includes lounge access, $200 airline credit, and 25,000 points. Is it the best deal in the world? No, but it is an indication that American Express is still looking for new customers and is willing to offer points as sign-up bonuses. It is a card that, to the best of my knowledge, has not offered points in the past.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49