7. Headphones Whether you want to catch up on season 2 of Portlandia during your flight, or listen to some music while you work in your hotel room, you should have some headphones in your laptop bag. You can use a simple pair of earbuds if you want some headphones that take up little space and weigh next to nothing, or you can use some larger, higher quality headphones that generally have better sound and do a better job of blocking out other noises around you.
8. Pain medication This is not a gadget, but it's a must-have for traveling. Headaches tend to strike at the least convenient time possible, and purchasing a Tylenol or Advil from the store in a hotel lobby is often quite expensive. You should have a travel container or your pain medication of choice available.
9. Coffee This is also not technical, but vitally important for coffee drinkers. In case there isn't a Starbucks available, and the mediocre coffee from the miniature pot on the bathroom counter in the hotel isn't cutting it, you should carry around a stash of Starbucks Via packets. I have an assortment in my laptop bag, including coffee, iced coffee, and the Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher drink.
10. Business cards The concept is a little "yesterday", but people do still exchange business cards. Sure, it seems simpler and more efficient to just add contact info to your smartphone or tablet since you're going to have to do that anyway with the information from the business card, but you've got the cards so you may as well use them.
Some of these things may never even be used, but Murphy's Law suggests that the one time you travel without them is the one time you will really need it. So, stock your laptop bag now, and be prepared.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.