Road Warriors

Keeping in touch while you're mobile is a must. Carrying a technology survival kit can help. Seasoned business travelers talk about what it takes to stay well connected and productive.

things don’t go your way in another country,” says Davis. “Technology is very expensive to operate in some countries, so we have to honor that.” Davis was in Israel when she had to send an e-mail at the hotel, but the service wasn’t operating when she needed it. Some countries, says Davis, don’t like guests to use technology directly, or the service only operates at certain times during the day or night to reduce costs. “Expect those inconveniences, and write your e-mails offline so they are ready to go when the services are up and running,” she advises.

A number of international hotels are installing high-speed broadband voice, data, and Internet services to cater to business travelers. The Singapore Marriott Hotel, the latest unit in the technologically advanced hotel chain, has installed a high-speed wireless network on its grounds to cover rooms, cafes, restaurants, and its convention center.

For temporary office space overseas, HQ Global Workplaces (www.hq.com) now has more than 500 centers in 25 countries where you can rent an office with high-speed Internet access, administrative support, printers, copiers–and coffee.

Although all these tools cover a lot of ground, most travelers have a wish list that includes two things: a unified global wireless area network to make travel from country to country run more smoothly and compact, all-in-one devices that incorporate cell phones, pagers, enough memory to download e-mail with attachments, and screens that support color and graphics–all of which will run independently if one service or program happens to crash.

“We are now beginning to see the possibility of images displayed as part of eyewear. Hopefully, soon, we’ll be able to use this new technology for viewing reports, e-mails, etc. I can’t wait to try new things,” says globetrotter Davis. Until then, there are plenty of traveling tools and devices to help keep you moving smoothly along.

Make Every Moment Count
Whether you’re traveling in the United States or overseas, you’ll encounter the inevitable delays. Or your technology just won’t work. Planning for problems will make the wait go faster and help you make the best of frustrating situations. Here are some tips on making the most of your travel time.

  • Don’t rely solely on technology. “My cell phone dropped in a puddle once and didn’t work even after it dried, so I had to spend $200 for another one when I was on a trip,” says Taylor.
  • Back up your data. Take a good old-fashioned floppy disk on the road so you can access documents if and when networks are down.
  • Battery patrol. Make sure your batteries are charged and you have extras packed away. Take two to three laptop batteries for a cross-country trip or a flight overseas. Be aware of standards overseas, and take along a bag of voltage and telephone adapters, since voltage differs from country to country.
  • Keep your schedule flexible. Don’t overbook your time; delays can ruin the best of plans.
  • Prepare for downtime. Download and then draft e-mail messages onto your hard disk so you can work when you’re sitting on
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