Relevant to Your Interests: Travel Tech to Take on Your Trip

Are you part of the subset of humans taking a spring trip, but that also need to work a spell while you’re on vacay? Even if it’s just on the plane, more and more work-from-homers or office-flexible people are working while they’re out and about. Here’s a list of things to make traveling with your tech a bit easier — just don’t forget to actually have fun on your trip, okay? All work and no play makes…no wait, that’s a really creepy quote, we’re not gonna invoke that. Have fun!

Backpack of Manageable Size


Remember when I wanted a Herschel backpack for Christmas? Well I totally got one and I’m here to tell you it is, indeed, lightweight and amazing. It’s also pretty water resistant—I’ve been caught out in rain and snow and none of my tech has gotten ruined. Big thumbs up from me! Herschel Heritage backpack, $60.



Going abroad? Make sure you take an adapter kit so you can plug in anywhere. I know better to recommend the last one I used, because the last one I used caught on fire lalalaa. So instead, I’m pointing you toward the Insignia Travel Power Adapter, $30.

External Phone Battery


Long days at a conference? Long wait at the airport? This will solve your battery drain woes. A friend has this one and its worked even on my slightly broken phone: Sentey Power Bank, $33.

Cable Management

Cable Management

Pulling a tangle of cables out of your backpack is the worst! Well, I can think of a million things worse than this actually, but it’s still not fun! I’ve included two different things here — one is a Grid, which will contain a lot of things, not just cables. And then these handy re-usable twisties that aren’t those weird velcro ones that collect hair and dust from the airport floor. Grid-It, $15; Rubber Twist Ties, $3.

Wifi You Carry


I used a Karma at a conference with no wifi — a tech conference with no wifi, can you believe it? Luckily the audience was packed with awesome nerds, one of whom shared their Karma with me and it was nice! Quick, enabled me to live tweet panels and talks. A+, would Karma again. The hardware is $149, and you can either get unlimited data for $50 per month or pay as you go.



Y’all, headphones. Always headphones. Forever headphones. Other people are loud and do not know or care that you are working. Headphones. But even though those big honking noise cancelling ones are luxurious and amazing and will probably drown out small children on the plane, the downside is that then you have to carry them around. Go for low-profile headphones instead. Now I did some research on noise-isolating and noise-cancelling earbuds; by and large, they’re pricey. For example, Bose’s noise cancelling earbuds are 300 fucking dollars and are optimized for just a single brand of device (either Apple or Android but not both, which is like, they’re $300 headphones, why not both?), but every review I’ve found says they’re essentially magic. So if a splurge is in your immediate future, go for it friend. For those of us wishing for a budget-friendly alternative, there’s always Monoprice, which you can has for $11.

And Don’t Forget The Fun!


Treat yo’self to a silly, fun accessory and take photos on your vacay! Your Instagram feed will either thank you or be secretly fuming from jealousy. Ollo Clip 4-in-1 Lens for Yr Phone, $80.

What are your must-have travel tech accessories?

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A.E. Osworth

A.E. Osworth is part-time Faculty at The New School, where they teach undergraduates the art of digital storytelling. Their novel, We Are Watching Eliza Bright, about a game developer dealing with harassment (and narrated collectively by a fictional subreddit), is forthcoming from Grand Central Publishing (April 2021) and is available for pre-order now. They have an eight-year freelancing career and you can find their work on Autostraddle (where they used to be the Geekery Editor), Guernica, Quartz, Electric Lit, Paper Darts, Mashable, and drDoctor, among others.

A.E. has written 542 articles for us.


  1. I can attest that the Grid is super useful and everyone needs one. I have a big one for at home to keep things tidy and a smaller one I take on trips.

    External phone battery is great (I have that one too! Multiple charges saves my life), but what about external phone memory? I use my phone for pics but even with only essential apps it gets full fast… Anyone have suggestions?

    • It totally depends on the kind of person you are with tech but the most “tech-forward” option for your storage woes are to use the Cloud if you aren’t already! There are a ton of options out there for apps to get that will sync your awesome photos, but be careful with using a lesser known or newer site as you never know how long they are gonna stick around. This link lists a few options but there are tons more to explore!

      If you are super fancy and do professional photo editing I believe Adobe developed a mobile version of Lightroom to help you get your photos organized and sunc to your laptop as well. Hope this helps a little!! Either way just don’t let your tech keep you from taking photos ?

      • Thanks for the link! I already do use various cloud services (dropbox for backing up school files, evernote for personal notes, etc), but still not doing it for photos as much. Mostly because I have soooo many photos and don’t usually want to pay monthly for the space (not when I already have devices–like a computer and external–that I can back up, just have to do it manually).
        I guess I am also thinking about a quick way to get photos off my phone (for memory reasons) when there is no available wifi. I lived in Japan for a while, and although it’s getting better, there is a lot less public wifi there (than in America, my place of origin) so I am not used to expecting it yet (tbh, even most of the free public wifi I try to use in America is pretty shoddy, not reliable enough for me yet).

  2. This external charger saved me when I was doing field work and my phone kept going in and out of service and causing my battery to drain:

    I also have the huge Bose over-ear noise cancelling headphones which allow me to kind of sleep on airplanes. (I believe the optimization only refers to being able to use the volume controls built into the cable, btw. I’m pretty sure I’ve been using the Android one with my iPad)

  3. This is so relevant to my interests! How did you know? Thanks so much :)
    I am super aware I need a travel adapter for when we come over to Canada in May and that one looks amazing, the ones from supermarkets seem so flimsy. I’ve wanted the grid for a while and it’s so good to see it recommended. They have so many types which my little nerd brain gets overexcited about.
    Also I have the Aukey 3 in one phone lens clip which is £15 from Amazon uk and is awesome, not sure if it’s available in the US or how it compares to the Ollo but I love it and £15 is pretty reasonable.

  4. I don’t really travel (for work or otherwise), but portable chargers are super handy! I definitely recommended having one if you’re toting around a phone or other devices that might need charging. =)

  5. I travel all the time, so I loved reading this – thank you!

    I can speak personally to earbud organization – it’ll save you a lot of frustration. My girlfriend got me a customized pair via Etsy which I love, and Etsy has lots of different options.

    If anyone is looking for a laptop bag, I’ve switched from a messenger bag to a backpack – after killing my shoulder lugging it around, it falling off my luggage when I would try to pull it down the street, enough was enough. My new backpack is AWESOME. I spent a little more than I wanted to, but considering it was on sale and it got great reviews, I went ahead and bought it. Best decision ever! Super comfy and fits all of my things, including two computers. Here’s the link if anyone else is having the same issues I was!

  6. The Grit It is cool, though I don’t think it would work for me. Rather, I have a small padded case from Eagle Creek to wrangle all my adapters, cords, spare battery packs, etc.

  7. Personally all the reviews I have read, put mee audio m6 sport for one of the best under $20 and it’s suppose to be sweat proof. I plan to get one.

    That backpack looks very nice and it’s waterproof too? Do they make one that is a bit larger and more beach oriented model?

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