Gorick
Professionals

Gorick's Travel Gear Recommendations for Virtual Conferences, Keynotes, and Podcasts

Last Updated:

December 7, 2023

Table of Contents

Earlier this fall, I shared my 22 must-haves for my home office setup.

Some of you asked how I bring all of this gear on the road.

The answer: I don’t!

Call me a nerd, but I actually have a dedicated set of gear (see below!) that I keep in my travel bag for delivering quality keynotes when I’m away from home. 

Virtual speaking equipment gear for traveling on the road with a backpack or bag, laid out on the floor showcasing microphone, laptop, lighting, tripods, and more.
My travel gear for virtual keynote speaking engagements, including my favorite Pixel G1s lighting set, my tried-and-true Peak Design travel backpack and tech pouch complement, and my must-have Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB microphone.

What’s in my bag (in rough order of have-to-have to nice-to-have):

Note: Prices listed are in USD and reflect the most recent update of this post in November 2023 and are subject to change.

To deliver talks in person

Investment: ~$26-$50

1. HDMI adapter

To make sure I have no issues with plugging in my laptop to the organizer’s projector system, I bring my own adapter to show my presentation slides. This adapter is the Vilcome 8-in-1 USB C Hub, available for $25.99.

Gorick’s note: I picked this one because it was, when I bought it, the adapter that offered the most USB 3.0 and HDMI plugs, not to mention an ethernet jack.

2. Presentation clicker

Although many IT teams should have their own clickers, I’ve had enough instances where the organizers didn’t have a clicker that I now bring my own. That way, I don’t need to stand by my own computer (or ask someone else) to advance my slides. This is the Logitech Professional Presenter R800, available for $46.99. 

Gorick’s note: I’m not the biggest fan of this clicker’s battery life, but it gets the job done.

To stay connected on the go

Investment: ~$12-$85

3. Ethernet cable (50ft)

At home, I use a 150-ft Cat6-rated Ethernet cord. On the go, I bring the 50-ft version, available for $11.99.

Gorick’s note: After experiencing a wifi outage twice before, I’ve vowed to never attend any important work calls or deliver any important presentations on wifi. So, I always carry an ethernet cable with me. I prefer a flat cable over a round for the sake of portability, even though flat cables are a bit harder to roll back up.

4. Ethernet cable (5 ft)

For times when I don’t need my full 50-feet cable, I’ll pull out its 5-foot sibling, available in a 6-pack for $14.99.

Gorick’s note: This is perfect for when the nearest ethernet jack is on or immediately behind my work table.

5. Webcam

My favorite portable camera (if you, like me, don’t want to lug around a dedicated DSLR camera) is the Logitech C920x Webcam, available for $59.99.

Gorick’s note: This is the webcam I used before I got my Canon DSLR camera for my home studio. With the right lighting, it really is quite decent. If you don’t have the money or space to get a dedicated camera when working from home, I’d suggest just buying this webcam and not worrying about the need for tripods and adapters.

6. Universal power adapter

If you’re going abroad, you’ll want to bring along a power adapter. I use the EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter, available for $22.99.

Gorick’s note: This is what I bring on international trips to make sure that all of my electronics can plug into the local sockets. I picked this one because it’s compact, boasts 6 USB slots, and works in 150 countries.

7. 3-port wall charger

This is the only wall charger I bring to charge all of my devices on the go. It’s the Anker Prime 100W, available for $84.99.

Gorick’s note: Given that I need to charge three devices every day—my MacBook Air, my iPhone 13, and my Apple Watch Series 6 (plus my portable battery bank on occasion), I could either carry around a wall charger for each device or carry a single charger that can charge most of my electronics at once. To minimize my charging time across multiple devices, I searched for the charger with the highest wattage. At the time of this writing, the smallest yet most powerful charger I could find was this one at 100W.

To sound great on the go

Body: Investment: ~$4-$62

8. Microphone

The best bang-for-the-buck microphone I’ve found is the Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB, available for $61.99.

Gorick’s note: My only complaint is that the mini stand it comes with is super flimsy and broke on me, forcing me to find another way to hold the microphone up.

9. Microphone windscreen

To prevent my breath from being audible, I use the OnStage Foam Ball-Type Microphone Windscreen, available for $3.95.

Gorick’s note: At home, I typically use a pop filter (which minimizes the “pop” when saying words with “b” and “p”) but I’ve found them to be more fragile than I’d like when I’m on the road. Instead, I pack this mic windscreen, which is not easily breakable in the slightest.

10. Microphone gooseneck stand

Also by OnStage, this 13-inch gooseneck stand keeps my mic exactly where I want it, available for $6.95.

Gorick’s note: Even before the mini mic stand that came with my microphone broke, I struggled to hold up my microphone in a way that would keep the microphone either off-camera or on-camera in the right orientation. After lots of research, I finally improvised a solution: a “gooseneck,” which is one of those long bendable rods that you often see with stage microphones. I like this goose stand because it’s bendable—but only when I want it to bend.

11. Microphone clamp

I use a Metal Table Mounting C Clamp by NEEWER (also the brand that makes my favorite light stand for at-home keynote speaking), available for $11.80.

Gorick’s note: This is what I use to clamp the gooseneck onto a table or chair back so that it stands up and holds the microphone close to my mouth. I’ve found the gooseneck-clamp option superior to a simple desk stand for my microphone for when I find myself needing to stand up or squish myself into a corner to achieve a half-decent backdrop for talks.

To look great on the go

Investment: ~$35-$90

12. LED lights x2

My compact lighting go-to is the Pixel G1s, available for $69.99. 

Gorick’s note: Good lighting is often the hardest to achieve when I’m on the road. A second light is useful for situations where the lighting is really, really bad. When I use just one light, I put it right in front of me, behind my laptop screen and webcam. When I use two lights, I put one to my front right and one to my front left.

13. LED light stand x2

The Lume Cube tripod is designed for webcams and lights, available for $34.99. 

Gorick’s note: I use this tripod for my LED lights, as my webcam will typically be fixed to my laptop. I picked these stands because they are sturdy (aluminum), can stand up quite tall at ​​30 inches, and fold up to a rather portable size.

14. Extra lighting where needed

If you want more control over your lighting, I recommend the Aputure Amaran MC RGBWW Mini On Camera Video Light, available for $90.00. 

Gorick’s note: I used these lights before the above travel LED lights. I bought these because I wanted the versatility of picking the exact color—until I realized that it was too complicated to use and was at the expense of a brighter light. I still have these lights and sometimes put them in the background to give a cool lighting effect. Amaran also makes my at-home softbox light.

To keep it all portable

Investment: ~$18-$300

15. Backpack

I rarely go anywhere without my travel backpack by Peak Design, available in the 45L size for $299.95.

Gorick’s note: I love this backpack and bring it on all of my trips, often as my only bag to hold all of my speaking gear, including my laptop. I love the different compartments, the light weight, and the ability to open the pack from the side rather than from the top.

16. Tech pouch

Also by Peak Design, this sling bag is available in the 6L size for $119.95.

Gorick’s note: I used to pack all of my electronics into different compartments of my backpack. But then I kept running into the same dilemma: What do I do when I need to use my backpack on a day trip and want to leave all of my gear in my hotel room? Now, all I need to do is pull my tech pouch out and I’m ready to use my backpack.

17. Packable backpack

For times when I only need to bring a few items with me (e.g., my backpack, jacket, and water bottle), I crack open this ultra-compact backpack by Matador, available for $158.29.

Gorick’s note: Traveling with a second packable backpack is a totally underrated travel hack. It takes up as little space as a sandwich, but, when needed, can expand to give you the equivalent of a second backpack. I use the Matador On-Grid Packable Backpack, but it has since been discontinued, so this is the second-best option from the same company.

18. Mobile phone charger

A power bank is a must-have if you use your phone as much as I do. I use INIU’s portable charger, available for $17.99.

Gorick’s note: There’s nothing worse than a dead phone on the go. I bought this mobile charger because it was, at least at the time, the mobile charger that offered the most charge in the smallest possible package. (This one’s not in the photo because I lent it to a friend at the time of writing.)

19. Mobile laptop charger

For keeping your laptop juiced up, I recommend the Anker power bank, available for $76.04.

Gorick’s note: Having found myself needing to use my laptop on the go, losing charge, but not having an outlet available, I decided to take matters into my own hands and buy this charger that’s heavy-duty enough to charge my entire laptop. This power bank has 24,000mAh (mAH, which I had to learn, refers to “ampere-hour”, or how much charge is held and how long it lasts). In comparison, the INIU one mentioned above is only 10,000mAh. 

20. Packing cube

After years of using plastic grocery bags for my clothes, I finally found a more elegant solution—the packing cube. This specific cube is by Peak Design, available for $29.95.

Gorick’s note: I actually have two of these—this small rectangular one and a medium-sized (square) one that I take on longer trips. Unlike grocery bags that tear, these packing cubes also keep my clothes in an easily stackable shape, allowing me to pack more stuff into my backpack.

21. Toiletry kit

This is the lightest option I’ve found for bringing my toiletries—and preventing leaks from ruining my other stuff. I use the waterproof case by Matador, available for $41.99.

Gorick’s note: I sometimes carry two of these, one for liquids and things that get wet and one for non-liquids such as my shaver.

22. Apple AirTag

To track the location of my valuables in case they are stolen or left behind I use the Apple AirTag, available for $27.00. 

Gorick’s note: I never thought I needed one of these—until I left my packable backpack behind in a restaurant one night. I keep two of these on me. You will need to replace the coin-sized 3V battery inside (these are the batteries I use.)

To stay healthy, happy, and productive

Investment: ~$10-$195

23. Water bottle: 

To stay hydrated on the go, I carry around this 36oz water bottle from YETI, available for $50.00.

Gorick’s note: I bought this massive 36oz bottle because it’s the largest diameter bottle that can still fit inside of my backpack’s outside water bottle pocket. Why such a large size? To remind myself to drink at least one of these per day when on the road. It also lasts me a good while in the car, on the plane, or in a hotel room.

24. Eye mask

To help me fall asleep as quickly as possible on a long-haul flight, I use a blackout sleep mask, available in a 3-pack for $9.98.

Gorick’s note: This is a must-have for red-eye flights or when you are flying across time zones and have just under six to seven hours of flight time. In those cases, every minute counts, so I try to take out my eye mask as soon as I’m settled in. This is also a lifesaver in a hotel room with thin curtains.

25. Tide To-Go Stain Remover pen: 

For those accidental spills right before an important event, I bring around a Tide To-Go pen, available in a 3-pack for $7.88.

Gorick’s note: I’m happy to report that I’ve only ever had to use this once, but I’m glad I had it when I needed it.

26. Noise-canceling headphones: 

(Discontinued)

My favorite headphones still have wires. I know: old school.

Gorick’s note: If you’re like me and don’t want to bother with dying batteries on your AirPods (or want to plug in for your in-flight entertainment), these Bose QuietComfort 20 are worth looking for, available for $194.49. I’ve used mine for 10 years and they are still going strong.

Other stuff you probably already have

Investment: ~$8-$800

27. Apple MacBook Air M1 2020

This is the thing I spend most of my days on: Apple’s MacBook Air, available for $799.99.

Gorick’s note: I’m not a gamer and don’t use any software that requires a ton of computing power, so the best laptop I can have is one that’s fast and light. The MacBook Air checks off both boxes.

28. Apple Watch

To count my steps, track my sleep, dictate voice notes to myself, set timers, dictate text messages, and answer calls without pulling out my phone, I use an Apple Watch, available for $369.

Gorick’s note: My Apple Watch was collecting dust for the longest time—until I realized just how useful it is to be able to do quick tasks without my phone. Now, I can’t live without it.

29. Sharpie Twin Tip Permanent Markers

To sign books, I use these Sharpies, available in a 4-pack for $7.62.

Gorick’s note: I like the option of having a thicker tip (for signing books) and a thinner one (for labeling anything, such as luggage tags if needed).

30. Ink pens 

For last-minute sign-in sheets, forms, and more, I use the Pilot Precise V7 RT, available in a 12-pack for $24.39.

Gorick’s note: Ink pens aren’t quite as versatile as ballpoint pens because the ink can smudge easily on glossy paper, but I like the feel of gel pens so bring one. For glossy paper, I use the thin tip end of my Sharpie permanent marker.

31. The Unspoken Rules

For the occasional giveaway after an in-person speaking engagement, I pack a copy of my book, available in hardcover for $17.99.

Gorick’s note: Many of my speaking engagement clients order copies of my book through me ahead of time. But, I still sometimes keep one book on hand as an occasional giveaway.

I hope this answers your question about what gear I bring with me on the road and why! If you’re interested in taking your home office setup to the next level, feel free to check out my previous gear post here.

Have questions about the gear listed? Curious about anything else? Join my email list at https://www.gorick.com/career-strategies! Each week, I’ll share a form you can fill out to ask me questions. I read each submission and do my best to answer each one.