Make your next gadget-laden journey as painless and productive as possible with PC Advisor's expert advice for mobile business travellers.
Before you go
Take your iPod instead of your laptop An iPod (and other portable USB storage devices) can hold computer files, Outlook data, Internet Explorer favourites, desktop wallpaper, and in some cases, applications. Connect the iPod to a borrowed PC, and voilà - it's like having access to your own computer. Later, synch the iPod with your PC back home. The Migo (about £15) and MojoPac (about £25) utilities each provide this capability.
Get your faxes as email attachments eFax claims to be the biggest digital-fax network in the world, and will securely forward faxes as PDF files in an email. There's a 30-day free trial.
eFax - send your faxes as emails
Pack your laptop bag with five essentials You should always take a grounded (three-prong) extension cord with at least three outlets so you can recharge multiple gadgets; blank CDs, for transferring files to another PC or burning tunes to play in the rental car; an RJ-11 phone cord, because you never know when you'll need one; an ethernet cable, for the same reason; and your AC adaptor, with airline and car power adaptors.
Research your seat Before booking a flight, head over to SeatGuru.com. Charts reveal which seats on domestic and international flights have the greatest width and pitch and provide in-seat power ports.
Research your airline seat with Seat Guru
Get a multipurpose, wheeled carry-on Want to minimise the hassle of juggling two carry-on bags? The smartly designed, wheeled Victorinox Coliseum Wheeled Overnight Brief (£350 inc VAT) features an external pocket big enough to hold a laptop bag, plus a capacious interior for clothes, reading material, and other items.
On the next page we get on the road again...
On the road again
Get directions on your phone The free Google Maps for Palm, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and smartphones from Vodaphone shows nearby businesses, gives directions and displays images of your location.
Google Maps on your mobile will give you directions, and help you find suitable businesses
Use your phone as a modem Most Bluetooth phones (and some others) include data-modem capabilities, enabling you to use your phone to wirelessly connect your laptop to the web. Check with your carrier for a connection kit and compatible data plan.
Go to an airline lounge to stay connected If there's no hotspot at the airport, you can often connect through a lounge. With a Priority Pass you gain admission into 500 lounges in some 300 airports, including all the major UK airports. Standard membership is £69 per year plus £15 per visit.
Enjoy a better class of airport lounge with Priority Pass
Find a hotspot Listing more than 120,000 hotspots worldwide, JiWire.com is the place to go when you're sniffing around for a Wi-Fi connection. And its Hotspot Helper software ($25 per year; free 10-day trial) lets you locate hotspots offline, too.
Create your own hotel room hotspot Some hotel rooms still offer only wired broadband access. But a portable router - such as Apple's AirPort Express or Linksys's Wireless-G Travel Router - lets you create your own wireless network, so you're not shackled to the uncomfortable guest-room desk.