All iPads Must-have Travel Accessories?

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories' started by huskerchad, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. huskerchad macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    I took the iPad on its first vacation over Memorial Day. I also took my laptop. Here were the issues I ran into.

    1. The iPad is hard to charge--won't charge (while in use) from standard PC laptop USB ports, nor from my iPod's car adapter.
    2. I had to use the laptop to import photos, and then sync to the iPad
    3. Carrying it around was a bit awkward/worrisome--I ended up wrapping it in a big microfiber towel and putting it in the front pocket of my laptop case.
    Item 1 was mostly an issue because this was a car trip. I ended up buying a DC inverter that worked fine. As long as I can get to an outlet where I can use the 10w power adapter, this is a non-issue.

    Item 2 will be resolved by the camera connection kit, whenever mine finally ships. Is there a better way though? Would love to be able to do this over bluetooth. I'm jailbroken so if there are any apps that help with this, I'd love to hear about them.

    Item 3 is a work in progress. I have one of the rubberized "grip" containers, but it's more for holding the iPad than for transporting it. The Apple case is on the way, which will make it easier, but I still need a good place to put it when traveling.

    Basically, I want to take my iPad and NOT my laptop on trips. Literally the only thing I used the laptop for on this trip was to import photos from my camera.

    Any accessories that you consider must-haves for travel? Again, I am particularly focused on using the iPad with no supporting laptop/desktop during the trip.
  2. peapody macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    BT Keyboard for one.

    Case, headphones, camera kit, stand (if not part of case), charger. That should be good.
  3. Metlin macrumors newbie


    Jun 5, 2010
    Cambridge, MA
    As someone who travels regularly, here are the only things that you really need -

    • Travel adapter (if you fly, a charger for the plane)
    • Earphones/headphones
    • Camera cable if you think it's necessary (personally, I just wait until I get back)

    The key is to travel light and be minimal. Taking the kitchen sink is a rookie mistake, IMO.
  4. peapody macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    I think it depends on where you go. When he said travel - I took it to mean out of the country for an extended period of time. I would take my keyboard haha, if it is my only "computer".
  5. Metlin macrumors newbie


    Jun 5, 2010
    Cambridge, MA
    If it is outside the country for extended amounts of time (and by this, I'm assuming longer than a month), you should probably take a laptop.

    If you still want to avoid taking one, I'd agree with the external BT keyboard recommendation.
  6. freddy425 macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2010
    Southeast USA
  7. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    In regard to the travel part, I'd grab a bag from Waterfield (

    Get a bag with strap and the optional pouch for your misc stuff. The ultimate is for a naked iPad and the Exo is for an iPad in a case. I highly recommend their products and they are extremely durable.

  8. sandydlc macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2010
    I agree with the recommendations. As a frequent traveler, I have minimized my carry-on to just a large purse. It's fantastic.

    The only note I would add is to make sure and remove one of the batteries from the BT keyboard when you're not using it. It has a nasty habit of turning itself on while in your bag and draining the iPad's battery.

    I also carry an eye mask which is the only way I can sleep on a plane. It doubles as a shield around my Sprint Overdrive to keep it from getting scratched.

  9. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    Then you're at the weight of a sub-notebook, ie: MacBook Air / Sony Z.

    I can't seem to make my iPad replace my laptop as I would like to, in time it will come I realize... that's no problem because right now I find it no problem to replace my iPad with my laptop :p
  10. JonMPLS macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2010
    Hey, I hope it had a good time!:rolleyes:

    Just kidding . . . I have to travel with my heavy, ancient, corporate PC. But for killing time on the trip, the iPad is just about perfect. I pack the wireless KB in my suitcase and prop the iPad at a decent angle on the desk.

    I carry the iPad charger instead of my iPhone charger, but then just the basics like other have mentioned. And headphones for movies on the plane.
  11. sandydlc macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2010
    Not to go off-topic too much but does anyone have a recommendation on noise-canceling headphones that are in-ear? I have some Bose headphones that I love, but they are pretty bulky.

  12. niter macrumors 6502

    Sep 9, 2003
    Wow, that incase case is awesome. I am using the stm case which is perfect for daily travel. I was going to suggest it until you posted that incase one. That seems better for long distance travel, especially if you are going to carry the keyboard.
  13. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    Interesting you should mention that! I am at a friend's house, spending the night before we take off on a road trip tomorrow, and I've got the iPad and the BT keyboard with me. When I was looking for something in the bag I noticed that the BT keyboard had indeed turned itself on and so I promptly removed all three batteries (mine is the 2007 version) as a way of preventing any problems with the device. Glad I discovered it tonight in fairly short time before the thing indeed did nasty things and drained the iPad's battery!

    I have both iPads with me. One is in the ThinkTank Urban Disguise 60 bag along with my camera gear and the other is in the SF Waterfield Portable Muzetto along with my wallet, sunglasses and such. This is the first trip I've made with the iPad and not a computer; always before I've had a laptop as part of the gear..... I brought plenty of CF cards and will not worry about trying to do anything with the images until I have returned home. Haven't gotten my hands on a Camera Connection kit yet, or I would've experimented with that this trip.
  14. peapody macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2007
    San Francisco, CA

    I would take iPad + keyboard over a sub notebook, because there is still more versatility. You can carry the iPad on the go when you are outside of your hotel room, bring it back home to the keyboard when you want to stay in and rest and take care of business.
  15. Metlin macrumors newbie


    Jun 5, 2010
    Cambridge, MA
    Just how is the iPad more versatile than a laptop? I simply fail to see. A light laptop is infinitely more handy than an iPad, more so in a travel situation.

    You can do everything on a laptop from watching DVDs to easily connecting a camera or any other USB device to -- *shudder* -- doing work (for most of us, anyway). The presence of an actual full-fledged OS makes a huge difference.

    One laptop vs. an iPad (with severe limitations) and another piece of hardware (keyboard)?

    I'm typing this from the hotel in another country -- lying on my bed. I do not know about you, but I cannot imagine typing with my BT keyboard in here. It's not even physically possible, not without a great deal of inconvenience. The things that don't require a keyboard are if I watch a movie, listen to music, or play games -- but all those I could do on my laptop, too. In fact, most places where I use my laptop are places without a well defined surface. A BT keyboard necessitates that, and typing on the iPad without a keyboard isn't the easiest thing (e.g. typing it while laying on the bed is frustrating at best).

    Don't get me wrong -- the iPad is a great entertainment device for consuming content, but is severely limited otherwise. You either take your iPad and your laptop or you take your laptop. Taking just the iPad boggles my mind.
  16. RoarinRow macrumors regular


    Nov 10, 2009
    Elk Grove, CA
    Since I don't have the 3G version, my Mifi 2372 is valuable while traveling for net access.

    Wireless headphones are great for traveling. I have a Jawbone bluetooth headset so I can listen to my music.

    I have a Camera Connection Kit, but not using it cause my camera currently has a 16GB card, which is plenty.
  17. Aboo macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    I have been looking for an airliner adapter for the iPhone/iPad for some time. I too travel a lot and not being able to charge my phone/iPad on the TATLs has been pretty annoying. Any suggestions/links??
  18. Metlin macrumors newbie


    Jun 5, 2010
    Cambridge, MA
    I'd recommend the InCase Car Charger -- works quite well on a plane as well as in the car.

    You can also use an iPhone charger for the iPad -- it's a bit slow, but it works.
  19. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    As a past frequent traveler; been looking to lighten my load even in just day to day travels. For us guys out there I think I have found the perfect manbag for the iPad and have mentioned a few times in various threads. And that is the Skooba Netbook/iPad Messenger bag.

    Going to take this as an opportunity update things on how I use it as what I think is the perfect travel bag for the iPad....

    Think of it as a larger size "purse" with messenger bag styling. Over the last few weeks it has been a great work bag for me, and think will do well as a travel bag as well. this bag has tons of pockets for most anything!

    Working from the back of the bag, I place the BT keyboard in the back pouch without a covering or case so far. There is a zipper along the top flap to allow quick access to the main compartment. On the front side of the flap is where I keep my Skullcandy wired headphones for my iPhone. There is even a handle on that flap to carry it has a notebook bag; or even use it as I do for the Tamrac Zipshot tripod - the perfect carry about tripod for lighter weight cameras (under 3 pounds) IMO.

    Inside the main compartment is a vertical "sleeve" that works well with the iPad in an Apple Case. This design allows lots of the main compartment to be used for other things. Among them either my Leica D-Lux 3 in the rather largish fitted case or my Olympus EP-L1 in in a soft case with the 17mm or 20mm lens attached. (Bit of a photographer here so I want one of my favorite cameras to join me in travels.) USB charger cables go in to the mesh pouch in the main compartment. Camera charger and iPad chargers go to the bottom of this area is thin microfiber pouches. There is even space for my Rocketfish BT neck mounted headphones!

    The next pocket moving forward is perfect for my tickets, confirmations, and Passport. Moving past that is a large zippered area that has many pockets. This is where my iPhone goes, as well as spare batteries for the camera, and the camera connector kit pieces - even a Pioneer Memory Card Organizer loaded up with movies that I can load up on demand to the Photo App to free space for using the iPad as a photo storage device for the photos I take... freeing up memory perhaps on longer trips.

    One final note on pockets - there is a fold out pocket for a 16oz water bottle as well... in my city travels I really like this option...

    The biggest disappointment so far in this Skooba bag has been availability in color choices. LOL Ordered mine early on the release of the iPad - wanted the Charcoal/Abyss Black (did not want to wait for it at the time), so was able to score the Charcoal/Inferno Red model.

    Seems that many of folks like me found out about this bag... and the only color shipping right now is the Charcoal/Blizzard White for now. For the cost and functionality I could get all of the colors for less than the Muzetto for. While not leather and "super stylish" as the Muzetto it works better for those of us that wants lots of stuff with us.

    Thanks for the tip on that! :)

    Have to see how I might be able to make a sleep mask work double duty here as well. Have to ask, are they the thin cheaper ones or the more expensive plush ones?

    Will also suggest depending on the airline and aircraft you are on an inflatable neck pillow is nice to have as well... lost mine on my last trip... so I am not sure how it might fit in everything I have fitted in to this bag so far. LOL

    Sorry all for the longish post... but this bag does fit the needs in my mind for travelers...
  20. Aboo macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    Is this the one you use? Only some of the airlines that I travel on use the cigarette lighter type power port. I'm looking for one that does empower and cigarrette lighter kinda like the magsafe airline adapter.
  21. Hammie macrumors 65816


    Mar 17, 2009
    Wash, DC Metro
    A small messenger bag is a must whether you are a guy or a girl. I currently have one, another arriving tomorrow, and a third coming next month. (This will give me variety.) A smaller bag will be more convenient to carry and you will not be worrying about whether you left your iPad somewhere.

    As far as accessories, there are a few car chargers that are compatible. I have a four port USB with standard "cigarette lighter" port. I went on a car trip yesterday and had two iPhones and my iPad charging at the same time. I also threw my old GPS device into the mix and they all charged without any issues. I got mine at

    Another accessories that I carry with me is the wall charger and 30-pin connector. This will charge any of my portable Apple devices as well as any other device that can charge via USB (my old Blackberry, for example.) They make a six foot 30-pin cable, which I have, but I feel everything I plug in with it charges slower than with the standard three foot cable. Just a tidbit in case you. Were hoping for a quick charge with a longer cable.

    I also bring my Apple BT keyboard in case I plan on doing some more lengthy typing. I think I have only used it once, though.

    A microfiber cloth is another thing I keep in my bag. It helps the screen from getting too nasty.

    The last item I will probably take with me on trips but not on everyday duties is the Camera Connection Kit. Mine is coming next week, so I have no real experience and whether it will be worth it only on trips or for everyday duties. I'll know more in the upcoming weeks.
  22. notacon macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2009
    It really is a matter on how one likes to "work".

    I am a sales rep, on the road. I average around 150 overnights a year. I drive more than I fly....probably around a 3 to 1 ratio.

    The iPad has CHANGED my life.

    #1...I can never type while lying down on a bed with a lap top...EVER. In fact, the only way I can use a laptop in on a desk. I love having a full blown computer with me all the time, but, in all reality, I only need a full blown computer about 5% of the time. I can type on an iPad lying down where I never would with a computer. Any kind of major typing, I have to be at a desk anyway. I bring out my wireless BT keyboard, and my portable igear stand, and I can write anything that I can on a laptop...and I mean ANYTHING!

    Most of my writing is emails, and I have found that 75% of my emails can be typed on the muss, no fuss.

    #2....the iPad has lightened my load by a factor of 90%. With a few apps, namely Goodreader, I have been able to ditch ALL my catalogs...ALL my files....ALL my price lists. I could have done the same with a laptop, but then, I would be lugging around this 6LB monster everywhere I go, and bringing up my catalog and getting to a page and handing it to a dealer to read, on a laptop is patently absurd.

    The iPad is like carrying around a magic notebook....magic file cabinet....magic spreadsheet producer....and a magic writing tablet in a package that is just like carrying a spiral notebook. But, a lot more stylish and easier to use.

    #3....3G connectivity is key to the way I work. I am a dedicated Mac user, having suffered through a decade and a half of Windows hell, I finally saw the light and started using Macs almost three years ago. I love my Macbook, but the only way I can get internet connectivity, without wifi, is with my Verizon MiFi. It works OK. Expensive ($60 per month), it's another gadget I have to carry around. It is not instant on, and the wifi circle is quirky most of the time.

    With iDisk, I have access to all my files....any time I long as I have internet connectivity. Since I hate to use my laptop on my actual lap, like in an airport, or in my car, and using the MiFi is a pain in the neck for looking up a single file, I find that I just put it off for when I am at a desk, with wifi.

    With the 3G iPad, it is a simple procedure to whip out my iPad, holding it with one hand, navigating with the other, and in an instant I can navigate to the file I need, while on the phone talking about the information the person on the other side of line wants.

    I could go on, and on, and on with all the situations that an iPad has made my life easier, and more productive simply because it is not a laptop.

    So, thinking that the iPad does not have MUCH more capability than a laptop just boggles MY mind.
  23. jazz1 macrumors 65816


    Aug 19, 2002
    Mid-West USA
    B&W P5 Headphones Are Great Travel Accessory

    I prefer these for comfort over my Shure in-ears. The extra bulk over buds is worth it. The travel case fits nicely into a Timbuk2 Freestyle with the iPad in the back pouch of this messenger bag.
  24. Hammie macrumors 65816


    Mar 17, 2009
    Wash, DC Metro
    Great points, notacon.

    I can relate to some of that, especially the amount of information that you can arty around and have near instant access to.

    Thanks for sharing your insight!
  25. lokerd macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2010
    The same is true of a desktop.

    The ipad is to the laptop as the laptop is to the desktop. I hate working on laptops...when I know it would be easier and faster to do my work on my large 28" desktop monitor with dual monitor beside it. Sure, a desktop isn't portable...but it was for 1992 when I put a Mac LC and small monitor in a laundry hamper and took it to work with me for the day (I was a sub and traveled from room to room each day). So, in 1994, when I got my first Mac Duo 280c, I was pretty happy to be free from the desktop.

    I have 4 laptops in the house right now...11", 12", 15", and 17". They are all either too small to be productive on...or too large to travel with. Even the little netbook 11"...although small, and very light weight, it is uncomfortable to work on. And it is so slow when not plugged in, it is yet another tie you down brick of a device. The iPad is the ultimate in portability. I recognize that I have to sacrifice some features for that portability, much like I must sacrifice between working on the 17" laptop vs. the 28" desktop. But a laptop having a fixed monitor and keyboad sitting in my lap or on a table is about the most awkward work situation. In fact, in many situations when traveling to an event/show/conference, etc, not only have I carried an external mouse...I have carried an external keyboard so as not to be forced to use the keyboard directly under the screen at arms length. Anybody with "older" eyes understands the need to have the screen at a specific distance, etc. which isn't always the best typing position.

    But the biggest thing for me is the flexibility and portability of the iPad. I can get up and go at any time...and take the iPad with me. But also when I am at home, especially in for the evening, if I lay in the bed (or floor...back problems here) even my netbook is awkward to type on...or even browsing around...believe me...I tried it. I have two compressed lower discs...mainly from lugging around laptop for the past 16 years (actually...two years ago...I gave up carrying a laptop...and switch to a jump drive and google docs) and even sitting in a lazy boy chair is difficult with a laptop sitting in my lap...along with its lap rest and external mouse and powercord, etc.

    The iPad is just a MUCH better way to sit around the house and do a little light computing.

    But it is even better when it is time to get up and go. Sure, a larger computer is going to have more features. But, I can't imagine showing up to a doctors office and sitting around for a couple of hours, moving from one room to another room...opps finally the doctor...slip away the iPad...but no...he wants to see it, reading a book while working out on a terribly monotonous treadmill...but thanks to the oversized text of iBooks...the reading makes the time fly by, showing some of my pictures to my insurance agent, shopping at the grocery store, sitting on the internet in the car waiting on the wife on errands, shopping at the hardware store, showed some work to a potential client, showing my wife some video clips my students had produced at a restaurant, letting a kid play tic-tac-toe then another drawing game at another restaurant, etc., etc. on any other device. Sure, some of those activities could have been served with a large phone...but not nearly as well. And those are just a few of the places I used my ipad while out and about last week.

    Notacon made some really well articulated points!

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