Travel Essentials for Marketers

Harris Fellman, Micheal Savoie, Heather ValeIf you’re an internet marketer who does a lot of traveling, obviously you’re going to take your laptop with you most of the time. Hey, even if you’re going on vacation, you want to be able to check your email, and your Twitter feed, and your Facebook page, maybe send out an autoresponder message or two, and just generally make sure everything’s running smoothly while you’re gone, right?

Oh, wait… if you’re really organized, you can schedule a lot of that to happen automatically while you’re gone, and use your iPhone or BlackBerry or some other gadget to check your email, if you don’t have an assistant to do it.

But for me, I’m probably still going to want to take my laptop so I have the option of doing some work while I’m on the road.

So let’s talk about what you need to do to make that as painless and effective as possible.

First of all, if you’re going to travel with your laptop, it’s a good idea to consider getting some laptop accessories. For instance, you might want a backup battery in case yours runs down and you don’t have anywhere to plug in.

You’ll probably also want an external USB mouse — and hey, this goes for when you’re using your laptop at home, too — because really, who wants to wrestle with an awkward little scroll pad? In fact, I always turn mine off because otherwise I inadvertently start opening programs every time I rest my hands between bouts of typing.

Of course, taking a laptop through airport security can be a pain, but it’s much easier if you have the right bag that allows you quick and easy access while not weighing you down. Even better if it’s going to fit in front of you on the plane so you don’t have to worry about shoving it in the compartment overhead.

Laptop Bags - Photo by RojerSometimes I’ll put it in a notebook bag that has lots of pockets in it for extra stuff, like my iPod and a few books or magazines. The best ones, in my opinion, have wheels built in and/or can be worn as a backpack; that takes more of the pressure off your back and shoulders during transport.

But lately I’ve really been intrigued by the lightweight and fashionable laptop sleeves. They’re inexpensive, funky, and come in a variety of colors and textures — in fact, you can even get one with your favorite sports team logo on it if you like.

Generally they don’t have handles or anything, but you can tuck them under your arm, or into a bigger carry-on bag… and they keep your computer from getting scratched or banged up. In fact, most of the time, you don’t even have to take it out of the sleeve to go through a TSA checkpoint at the airport.

If you need more storage for extra files, or you want to transfer something to another person’s laptop, be sure to bring along a USB drive.

Oh, yeah, and if you’re going to a seminar or event of any kind where you’ll be meeting other people, you’re going to need — wait for it — some business cards. I know, I know, it seems old fashioned compared to everything else I’ve just talked about. But sometimes technology just can’t take the place of tried-and-true networking tools.

Which reminds me of one more thing… don’t forget to bring your smile, and use it as much as you can.

(At the top of the post, that’s Harris Fellman, Micheal Savoie and I demonstrating the principle at a workshop a few years ago).

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