Ed Bailey  /  AP
The BlackBerry 7100T is a must have to make your business trips more convenient, according to Forbes.com.
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updated 9/30/2004 1:01:57 PM ET 2004-09-30T17:01:57

There are many ways in which business has changed in recent years. Three-martini lunches are out, neckties are optional, and when you're on the road you are expected to be as productive and accessible as you would be in the office.

This isn't always easy — or possible. We have all suffered from wireless dead zones, or adapters not working overseas or the inability to dial into an office server. Moments like those make us feel absolutely helpless, causing stress enough to induce an ulcer.

Back in the old days, people's choices were pretty limited when it came to keeping in touch with the office or clients when on the road. Aside from a map to all handy Western Union offices and the odd carrier pigeon or two, business travelers were pretty much on their own.

Today, the savviest business travelers can arm themselves with the latest technology to slay virtually any kind of communication dragon. While even the best cell phones may not work if you're touring a steel mill outside Beijing, it's good to know that you are better equipped than your competition.

The most important (and basic) equipment any traveler should have is a laptop, but for those who are constantly on the go, purchasing a light-weight model such as the new Sony X505 is key. This laptop weighs under two pounds, and is made from durable nickel carbon so it will stand up against wear and tear. For those who bounce around between different offices, purchasing a tiny memory key, such as the Kanguru Fire Flash, is an inexpensive and easy way to transfer data. Since the key is the size of a thumb, it won't add to the weight of carry-on luggage.

Travelers who find themselves in remote locations, whether on an oil rig in the middle of the North Atlantic or a taxicab in Bangalore, can purchase a phone which is guaranteed to provide reception nearly anywhere in the world. A satellite phone such as the Iridium 9505 allows users to make and receive phone calls from the all over the globe. It does not, however, have good reception in office towers, so to play it safe always carry two phones, such as the new all-in-one Research In Motion Blackberry 7100t, which is a combination phone, PDA and camera.

Even the most dedicated road warrior makes time for a little fun while away from the office. Slip a tiny digital camera, such as the new Olympus C-7000 Zoom, in your suitcase, which is one of the smallest and lightest in its class. Travelers who can't bear to be separated from their CDs should snap up Dell's version of Apple's iPod, called the DJ Digital Jukebox, which sells for far less than its competitor.

But even when equipped with every possible high-tech toy and diversion, sometimes the solution to your problems doesn't depend on a microchip or a wireless connection. Ft. Worth, Tex.-based Virtuoso, a network of high-end travel agents, recently polled 6,000 of its agents about the lifestyle habits of its clients in the May 2004 LuxeReport. When asked which travel accessories one should never leave home without, the agents said international cell phones, digital cameras, PDAs, MP3 players — and Ambien sleeping pills.

© 2012 Forbes.com

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