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Gini Dietrich

Travel Essentials for Speakers, Authors, and MarComm Pros

By: Gini Dietrich | July 5, 2012 | 
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Last week, Shonali Burke wrote a blog post called, “Travel Essentials for PR Pros…Or What’s in Your Wallet?

Because it’s the day after the Fourth and most Americans are probably wondering how they’re going to get through today without a nap, I thought I’d copy her and do the same.

It’s a fun little exercise and won’t require a ton of thinking from you.

But mine has a twist.

Because I’m on my 14th straight week of travel (I don’t know how consultants do it), I’ll give you a sneak peak as to what is in my travel bag.

  1. MacBook Air. When I spoke at Social Slam earlier this year, Mitch Joel took the lovely photo above to showcase not only my social networking prowess, but also my keyboard condom. Yes, it’s pink. Yes, I love it. What’s it to you?
  2. iPad. I really, really wish I could travel just with my iPad, but it’s still too hard to create content on it. Consuming content – blog posts, articles, books – is great, but actually trying to upload a video or write a blog post is too hard. So it travels with me for the consuming part of my content day, but not the creation. That’s why I still travel with my Mac.
  3. iPhone 4S. I’m a huge phone snob and have to have the latest iPhone (I make fun of Mr. D because he still has the very first iPhone introduced). The phone keeps me completely connected while on rental car buses, figuring out where I am when I run a new city at 5:00 in the morning, and even killing some time with Words with Friends while waiting to get off a plane.
  4. Book. Yes, I still travel with a real book. The problem is you can’t use your iPad during takeoff and landing (which is ridiculous) so I am typically reading two books – one during that time and one when I can use electronics. Right now I’m re-reading The Great Gatsby in hard cover and reading Toni Morrin’s new book, Home, on the iPad.
  5. Presentation Tools. I carry a DVI adapter so I can present from my Mac and not have to rely on someone else’s PC for the projector to work. I also have a handy, dandy Logitech remote so I’m not confined to a small space in order to advance my slides.
  6. Dropbox. I wish the cloud existed when I started Arment Dietrich. We would have saved a TON of money in servers and giving people (cough, me, cough) remote access to files.  Dropbox not only allows you to access to your files from any device, you can get to them without an Internet connection, which is extremely important when you’re in the air and the flight doesn’t have WiFi.
  7. Mophie. The other day, I was in the Baltimore airport charing my laptop before we got on the plane. This very nice man told me he left his charger at home and asked if he could use mine. I loaned him my Mophie and, because he’d never heard of it, I think he fell a little in love with me for introducing him to it.
  8. Flip Camera. I typically use my phone for quick videos, but the Flip camera works just a tad bit better. A trash can flipped upside down makes a perfect tripod and the USB connection makes it easy to upload while on the run.
  9. Notebook. As connected as I am with technology, I find most people think you rude if you use your iPad for note taking during meetings. Even if that’s all your doing, people’s perception is you’re tweeting and Facebooking and emailing and not paying attention. So I still carry a notebook where I actually write meeting and interview notes.
  10. The Essentials. I have probably six different lipglosses, Excedrin for migraines, my migraine prescription, pens (I now carry three fat Sharpies for signing books, as well as regular pens), gum, and snacks (that darn Pete the Tapeworm doesn’t do well for more than two hours).

I carry all of that in an oversized purse. Even though it seems like a lot, it’s very light and super easy for me to throw over my shoulder and go.

What about you? What’s in your {travel} wallet?

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

118 comments
mountaingreensky
mountaingreensky

This is a good list! I travel a lot for my job at Dish, so I’ve become a master in packing. One thing you should add to the list is a charger! No matter how much I travel, the charger always escapes my memory; it’s the worst! I wish I could use my iPad like a laptop too. I just end up bringing it along for sheer entertainment purposes. Flight delays go a lot quicker when I can just watch TV like I was at home or the hotel. I have the free Dish Remote Access app that allows me to connect to my home TV through the sling adapter, so watching 30 Rock is my favorite way to pass time at the airport. Otherwise, I bring a good book along for the ride too.

converter plugs
converter plugs

Great list. But when your going out of the country please do remember carrying a converter plugs unless you want all this gadget to be lifeless when you get there.

3HatsComm
3HatsComm

We have this cool power brick, it's a surge protector/charging station that can be turned to fit most outlets, and has USB ports for charging other devices. Works great for most cameras, phones (except for iPads). FWIW.

Shonali
Shonali

I need to get Mophie! I remember you talking about it before. I have a Flip too, but I stopped using it in favor of my iPhone & "mobile video studio" (that you saw me use!)... it's one less thing to carry, and I already have so much in my bag. 

And thank you for the h/t. I'm very sorry it took me so long to get here, but yesterday was one of those days...

Latest blog post: In Praise of Freedom

QudosAnimations
QudosAnimations

I wish I had as many gadgets as you! The most important thing when I travel is my laptop, which handily, my backpack has a built in laptop sleeve for! Also in total agreement that having a pen and paper and a *real* book to read are essential.. 

Tinu
Tinu

You have saved my mind from the heat. The a/c is broken, and I think a trip to a hotel thus late would be a waste. But you! I read "Toni morrin" as Toni Morrison --- my all-time favorite author -- and was shocked to find she ad come out with. Book when I was .... Indisposed. Now I have the 1st chapter on my iPad and te physical book on its way to me tomorrow ? You blessed creature, you,

GlennEscobar
GlennEscobar

I like the idea of a separate flip camera, I hate relying solely on my 4s, but would want something simple and light like it. Instead of the Morphie, I have a small rechargeable backup battery with a USB port. It will recharge my 4s about five times or juice my iPad for several hours. It's also refilled lots of my friend's phones once they found out I had it and can easily do so while we run around together. I can usually refill it every night so it never runs down, but if necessary, I'm sure it would keep my iPhone charged while on a weekend long trip. I also carry a paperback book but of the same novel I'm reading on my iPad. It's just far more convienient to break it out when the iPad would be too conspicuous or in bright sunlight, like by the pool or at the beach when fortunate enough :-) Good suggestions overall. It's nice hear what other people carry and why, particularly amoungst techo-urban warriors.

wagnerwrites
wagnerwrites

I am even more grateful to you for #2. I was feeling like a dolt because that's why I bought my iPad but it just doesn't work for a professional writer like me, even with the Pages app. My HP laptop is redonkulously heavy, so your #1 is in my future. #8 gave me some comfort, since I still own one. #9 was proven recently when I couldn't get my bluetooth keyword to work with the iPad in a client meeting and everyone laughed at me for being too pretentious to use pen and paper. And I live and work in Silicon Valley!

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

I read The Great Gatsby ever year. For the past 20 years.  The rest of the list is great, but that made me want to drink a glass of wine with you even more.

jelenawoehr
jelenawoehr

Baldassare Castiglione's "Book of the Courtier" and Sun Tzu's "The Art of War." I never travel without these two books. It's like the Swiss army knife set of the literature world. They can be used as a conversation-starter if you want to talk, a leave-me-alone signal if not, they're full of quotes to throw into conversation and sound smarter, and if you run into a dilemma on your trip, one of the two has a suggestion, guaranteed.

 

Also, a tiny, super-powerful flashlight besides the app on my phone. Just because my best work friend is also a mountain man firefighter and has impressed upon me that you can't count on battery life and you should never be without a light source, especially in a strange place. I've never needed it for anything more intense than helping someone find the keys they just dropped, but I'm from Colorado and it feeds my survivalist instinct in a healthy way, when I can't carry an actual Swiss army knife on the plane.

 

Oh, and my custom-made cephalopod thank-you cards, so I can send people my thanks before I leave their city and it arrives faster!

StaceyHood
StaceyHood

I usually get  @ginidietrich to carry my stuff, but in return I have to carry her hair accessories and a box of Sharpies. Seriously, I try to carry light as i can, there were several witnesses to me hand-writing(yes I did) notes at Social Slam. I have a few other gadgets I carry as well; extended battery case for my phone, an external USB charger that takes regular batteries, depending on how long I'll be, I may just bring my iPad or longer than 2 days, I bring my ultrabook and iPad. Excedrin & sinus congestion pills are a must for me.

MichaelBowers
MichaelBowers

As someone that puts on conferences I appreciate when the speaker brings things that allow them to use their own equipment if that is what they want to do. I am always afraid that someone will show up with a Mac, want to use it and not bring the DVI Adapter (it happens all the time). Then I end up scrambling asking other speakers or people in the audience if they have one. 

 

I also appreciate that you bring your Gini approved book signing pens. You are a PRO!

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

You are such an Apple Honker! LOL

 

I used to travel a ton. It was before smart phones or tablets. Just had an HP notebook (b2b industrial sales people don't get macs because their employers tend to be cheap bastards). an Moto RAZR yes the original one. And that was it. That was all I needed. I had a business VPN and was good to go.

 

Not sure why you need all this swank stuff. Your life is too much clutter @ginidietrich you need some Zen for work. Streamline. I suggest you just get a little Netbook and you can keep your IPhone what else do you need? Spend the extra luggage space on a 25 year old massuese named Hans.

alexandrakirsch
alexandrakirsch

@ginidietrich Hey there - going to shoot you an e-mail today about my Chicago trip!

mikeduerksen
mikeduerksen

@ginidietrich Always carry a very small reporters notebook in my back pocket. Still prefer to doodle, take notes, jot down ideas on paper.

JayDolan
JayDolan

So you carry all of Dropbox with you? Must be hard to travel with a server farm.

 

In all seriousness, though, I typically have my Macbook Pro, my Kindle Fire, a Notebook and my pens, a whole bunch of drawing paper and sharpies, and my IPhone. 

 

I do need a new bag though, the current one is facing the end of its days.

DebraCaplick
DebraCaplick

The tech side of things has been thoroughly covered, so I won't go there. What I don't leave home without is my little mesh bag "borrowed" from a larger travel toiletries kit that holds: pens, pencils, highlighters, spare lead, a Pink Pearl, paper clips, binder clips of assorted sizes, a travel stapler and extra staples, mini-scissors, staple remover, assorted Post-it Notes, a travel-sized emery board and fingernail clippers, spare flash drives and whatever change I ditch out of my pockets before going through security. It all fits in that little  4 x 6 x 2 inch bag, and goes neatly in a purse or carry-on. I also carry aspirin, safety pins, a mini-sewing kit, cough drops, sunglasses, regular glasses (for when the eyes and the contacts refuse to cooperate), extension cord and small power strip, USB drive extender, and an empty water bottle with Crystal Light flavor packets to fill up after I get through security, instead of paying a fortune for bottled water at the airport. And on my last trip to NJ, I found a wonderful cellphone wall charger that also converts to a USB AND a car charger, so I don't have to carry multiples.

RebeccaTodd
RebeccaTodd

Oh, and because I believe strongly in power nails, I always have a bottle of the Essie shade of the day (always, always red) for touch ups.  Chips look so tacky! 

RebeccaTodd
RebeccaTodd

I used to have the vintage 3G iphone...was actually quite sad to have to replace it, even if iMessage is a thing now. I have to say those foldable flats make my list, as I blew heels out of 3 different pairs of shoes during sales season this year. (I am a power walking maniac). Chocolate covered espresso beans and Starbucks via coffee for obvious reasons. I also do the old school notebook for the same reason. A couple of CDs of good music for the rental car. My belkin thingy that charges my iphone in the car. All (with my laptop) in my awesomesauce Kennith Cole travel tote. It's green and perfect, and also holds my mini purse that just has regular life stuff all in one spot, and it still fits in the carry on limit for flights. Oh, and I usually have a pair of Betsy Johnston cashmere legwarmers (I'm not kidding!) as I always wear skirts and dresses and sometimes I get cold! 

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@mikeduerksen Me too. I've tried to do it electronically. It's just not the same.

DebraCaplick
DebraCaplick

 @JayDolan Jay, that was my question about Dropbox, too. Their homepage isn't exactly full of information.

DebraCaplick
DebraCaplick

And I forgot to add chapstick to the list.

jelenawoehr
jelenawoehr

 @ginidietrich Well yes... :) not even to read anymore (though I do reread the Castiglione frequently, Art of War is basically memorized now so not so much) but because of how many interesting experiences I've had as a result of them, and how fun is is to turn people on to Castiglione for the first time who had no idea some Italian courtier in the 16th century described modern politics and business to a "T."

mikeduerksen
mikeduerksen

@ginidietrich Thanks for following, Gini. Have a great Thursday afternoon!

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

 @ryancox @ginidietrich @jasonkonopinski @DebraCaplick I love how Apple has totally brainwashed the media industry workers into over paying for their gear. Everyone has an IPhone and a Mac Laptop. Is there any rebels in marketing/advertising/pr/tech anymore?

 

Makes me weep and mourn that such an edgy group would all fit in at an American Cross Roads Camping Jamboree. No more pink hair, tattoos, piercings. All Anne Taylor clothes and men with loafers.

 

I am getting Trump to fire you all. and he can be found at the American Cross Roads Camping Jamboree in his 75 foot custom Airstream.

DebraCaplick
DebraCaplick

 @ginidietrich TSA lets you get away with scissors with blades less than 4 inches - all the knitters and cross-stitchers are a powerful force in the flying community, and protested mightily when TSA banned scissors in carry-on luggage.I also forgot to list my Pay-as-You-Go Verizon Wireless Internet doggle - it's bailed me out when other Internet wasn't available.

DebraCaplick
DebraCaplick

 @HowieSPM  @ryancox  @ginidietrich  @jasonkonopinski Why me? I'm an Android person - I have that phone with the optional keyboard that turns it into an ultrabook. I bought a used iPad 2 only because my Apple-brainwashed students keep using the Pages app for their papers, and I need to be able to open them. For laptops, I am an HP fan - I've abused mine over the years, but they pretend to be Timexes and just keep on tickin'!

StaceyHood
StaceyHood

 @HowieSPM Yes there is Howie! I bought an ultrabook instead of a Macbook Air and it works just fine and is lighter than an iPad.

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