After a couple of months on the road with my laptop I thought that it might be useful to have a place for road warriors to make a list of those invaluable things to carry with you when you travelling by land sea or air.

This page should continually evolve with technology, and is not just the work of one person. The latest power-packs and hardware add-ons will be at home here.


In General We'll plug into the wall socket as often as we can, however, does your power supply have a variable input that covers volts over the range 110-240 volts? You'll need it to if you're going to use your laptop in Europe or the USA. You will of course need an adapter to convert you current plug into the one used in the place you're visiting. One other thing to consider is that if you need to plug your PDA/phone/MP3 player/camera in too then it's actually easier to take a multi-socket adapter that complies with your normal plug, and just use the one adapter to convert one wall socket.

Mains frequency varies as well as voltage. Most places use either 110V/60Hz or 230V/50Hz, but the other two combinations are possible as well.

In the Car You have to consider the voltage from the cars supply, cars are normally 12 volt, but commercial vehicles can be 24 volt. You'll need something that'll either convert that 12/24 volt supply up to 110/240, or use something that'll convert it to the DC input that your normal power supply provides. You will also need a smoothed power supply, since the power from a car engine/generator is extremely noisy and spiky, and will damage ordinary computer equipment.

On the Plane Depending on the carrier, the type of plane and also the class you travel, nowadays there is power avaialable on-board for you to use. Some airlines will provide you with a power adaptor, but these are available before flight as well.

Powering multiple pieces of equipment We all carry lots of electrical gear. IGO provide a number of solutions to this and other power problems.


Mouse Using the laptop trackpad/joystick can be tiresome over long periods, so taking a mouse is always a good idea. Of course there are various types, from the old serial to the latest tiny bluetooth enabled ones.

Keyboard There are a number of keyboards avaialable for the traveller. Cherry make some small ones, but it's also possible to get laser keyboards that pickup your fingers hitting a desk, or even a roll-up keyboard.


Monitor Most laptops have a monitor socket for attaching projectors, but is yours enabled?

Sound Not normally the top of the list, but does your sound setup work, with all the software you're likely to use?

Other Hardware

Card reader One of my favourite bits of kit is a 7-in-1 multi-media card reader. It enables me to take a card and read it directly rather than faffing about with trying to connect a camera/phone/pda just to get the data off its memory card.


VPN Do you have a VPN that you can use to connect to home or to work? You may want to read the VPN articles: PPTP-VPN and LinuxHints/PPTP-VPN.


Live Distro Taking a live distro for trouble-shooting is invaluable, and great for demos of linux too! If you use a USB, Knoppix can use this as /home, which means that you're effectively carrying your working environment with you wherever you go. Also useful for transferring files between Linux and Windows systems too, of course. :)

System Distro On the last trip I had a hdd failure, and without my Debian disks I was powerless to do anything. At the absolute minimum take a netinstall disk, but if time and space allow, take a full install; of course something temporary could be done by installing your live distro disk

LinuxHints/TravellingWithLinux (last edited 2010-07-25 10:55:37 by AdamTrickett)