You may not always have the luxury of traveling by air for your business travel.

Indeed, most trips require some quality time in the car, either when visiting remote branch offices, if several clients are clustered nearby or when employees in the field need supervision.

If you want to be an intrepid business road warrior, here's a rundown of some of the indispensable tools for your trip out on the highway.

Power Trip

Even if your laptop isn't a power hog, if you're using your car or SUV for field work, you're going to need a 12V DC to 110V AC converter. At some point you'll need to recharge, and you may be a long way from an outlet.

Most plug into your cigarette-lighter outlet, and some newer cars even have 12V DC outlets for just such a device.

Radio Shack ( RSH) has a couple of models that do the trick. The DC-to-AC Mobile Power Inverter that generates 60 watts costs $30, and $40 can get you a 12V DC-to-110V AC Car Power Inverter that puts out up to 140 watts.

Check the rated power consumption of your laptop and get a converter that supplies all the power you'll need. And be sure to only use it while the engine is running, otherwise you could be stuck in the boondocks with a dead car battery.

But an even easier route is to find out if your laptop manufacturer makes or recommends a car adapter. Compaq, Dell ( DELL), Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ), Sony ( SNE), IBM ( IBM), Toshiba, Acer and others all make auto-power adapters for their portable, laptop or notebook computers. And getting an original branded converter will help ensure that you get the right voltage and wattage for your unit. has a very large inventory of original-part car adapters, and at prices about one-third less than the original brands.

Want more? Check out TV video.Russell Vines discusses his tips.

I've also had very good luck with my Targus Universal Auto/Air Adapter, which has several tips to fit many different types of laptops.

Advantageous Positioning

One road warrior fact of life is that you'll need to know where you're going, and you will occasionally get lost. Maps can help, but Global Positioning System devices can really simplify your life.

The Global Navigation Satellite System uses a group of 24 satellites that enables a GPS receiver to determine its location, speed and direction. Now, personal GPS devices are as ubiquitous as they are feature-filled and reasonably priced.

If your automobile or SUV doesn't have a built-in GPS, don't fret, you can get one with all the bells and whistles for a relatively few bucks.

The DeLorme Earthmate GPS with Street Atlas ($70-$160) can interface with your laptop to help put you right where you want to be.

The Earthmate uses a blend of U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps, updated street maps and aerial imagery to let you navigate in real time on 2-D and 3-D maps. The Earthmate also profiles steep climbs in advance to help you avoid certain treacherous roads.

TomTom has some of the most popular satellite navigation products, and although they are bit more expensive ($400-$500), they have some remarkable features.

For example, the TomTom GO 910 speaks 36 languages in more than 50 different voices and can even announce street and place names. It has a 20 gigabyte built-in MP3 player and doubles as a hands-free car phone kit using Bluetooth technology.

TomTom also has motorcycle and PDA navigation units, in addition to the car units.

Magellan and Garmin ( GRMN) also make very popular car GPS devices, with the prices mostly between $300 and $500.

Safe and Sound

Although it may seem like an idea from your spinster aunt, a first-aid kit will also come in handy. You probably won't need to know how to remove rattlesnake venom, but some Band-Aids, antiseptic wipes and pain relievers will definitely be useful.

The gold standard for first aid kits is the American Red Cross Personal First Aid Kit. For $13, you get everything you could ever need in an emergency, and a nifty vintage-looking canvas bag to carry it around in.

And don't forget the AAA. I've been stuck almost everywhere in the U.S., and the AAA always came and either changed my tire, jumped my battery or jimmied the door lock to get my keys out, all for no additional charge beyond the annual membership fee.

Considering that it also provides free maps and travel info for the complete U.S., can help book flights and hotels and even negotiate a new car price, the cost of under $100 a year seems quite a bargain.

So now you have everything you'll need to be a total road warrior. Just don't forget the tunes.

Russell Dean Vines is Chief Security Advisor for Gotham Technology LLC and a bestselling author. His most recent book is The CISSP and CAP Prep Guide: Platinum Edition, published by John S. Wiley and Sons.

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