I hate touchpads on laptop computers. What to do when traveling? The obvious answer is a travel mouse, yet I seldom see people using them. My preferred model has a Xerox brand name stamped on it, probably because it was a promotional giveaway; I bought it on eBay for $5. Since it is optical, I can use it on any surface, even the fabric of an airplane seat beside my leg. It has a spring-loaded pulley in the center of its cord, so you don’t have to extend more wire than strictly necessary. Because it was so cheap, I don’t worry about damaging it. Because it’s so small and light, I don’t notice it in my computer bag.
I tried other travel mice but like this one best. Identical versions are on eBay (without the Xerox logo) for 99 cents plus shipping, or you can buy one with a JMTek brand name from Amazon for slightly more money.