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2 Must-Haves for the Road Warrior

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Traveling for work is not for everyone, but it does offer an exciting change of pace and routine for those up for the challenge. Whether it's finely-tuned social skills or adapting in uncomfortable situations, most people who travel regularly for work have a certain system for surviving the strain of new environments. In fact, I am going to suggest two must-haves for the frequent flier/traveler.

1. A Mini-Keyboard

The laptop is an awesome tool and works well for diverse work locations. However, it is from an ergonomic standpoint because your hands are too high and your monitor is too low, resulting in a stiff neck and a sore back and shoulders. This is where the mini keyboard comes in: you can ensure good ergonomic posture by keeping your monitor at eye level, while placing the mini keyboard in your lap. That way you get a more neutral posture and type to your heart's content without hurting after hours in that position.

A nice option for travel is the Ultra Mini Keyboard, which fits in the palm of your hands, thus allowing you plenty of space for other travel necessities on your suitcase.

2. Portable White Noise

Good white noise can make a world of difference in a noisy airport, loud hotel, or new work environment. It allows you the comfort and familiarity of home even while away by allowing you to:

  • Block out irritating noises (or people) around you
  • Relax regardless of time of day
  • Sleep peacefully in spite of the world around you
  • Focus on work as you need to
  • Adjust to jet lag

Besides being portable, you may want to consider actual size and how much space you have in your carry-on. Additionally, what kind of white noise do you want? There are lots of sound options, most of them inspired by nature to lull you into relaxation for better sleep, or alternatively to help you tune out distractions for better focus.

Personal tip: I find that a consistent hum (such as a waterfall) helps me sleep, whereas a diverse nature soundtrack with intermittent birds or waves helps me stay focused by inserting random changes in sound. A great portable white noise option is the Travel Sound Therapy System, which is compact, affordable, and offers 17 nature sounds, dual time, alarm clock features, and jet lag reduction sound.