The latest travel gadgets make life easier for the road warrior
Business travelers are always looking to avoid the many hassles they inevitably face in a day in the skies or on the road.
Packing the right electronic essentials is daunting enough. David Pogue, The New York Times’ technology columnist, helpfully dumped out his carry-on, a padded messenger bag, and wrote about its contents. His cache includes his Apple laptop, a power adapter, a camera (a Nikon D80 or a Canon PowerShot 880), noise-canceling headphones (Panasonic RP-HC500), car inverter to charge his laptop in the car (Sears the DieHard Power Inverter 400), Ethernet adapter, IPod earbuds, and a USB PowerStick, which is a small universal charger that he uses for his cell phone.
Consider these additional suggestions from world-weary travelers:
iPhone applications— Simultravel GPS Lite is a free application that lists nearby hotels, including rates and directions; World Mate, which costs $9.99, is an itinerary manager, real-time flight status, tip calculator, currency converter, weather forecasts, world clock, and more. (HardwareZone.com recommendation)
The Blue Travel Set— Call it a cousin of the Snuggie—you know, the blanket with sleeves—but this one has an extra feature. Pockets are built into it for holding MP3 players, cell phones or other portables. It also comes with a blow-up pillow, and it costs $28 from Patina Stores. (Mobile magazine recommendation)
Travel power strips— One weary traveler, frustrated by too few and too-inaccessible electrical outlets in hotel rooms, carries a Belkin Mini Travel Surge Protector with USB Charger or the Monster Outlets to Go Power Strip, both about $15. The Belkin model has three grounded electrical outlets plus slots to charge two USB devices. The Monster power strip has four outlets and a cord that conveniently plugs into one of the outlets so it stays compact. (Larry Magid, technology analyst for CBS News, recommends these.)
The LugBuddy— This is a simple contraption, but a lifesaver at $15. It’s an elastic cord that allows travelers to carry any size bag on top of the rolling bag by strapping it to the handle. Because it’s adjustable, it can hold a wide duffel bag, a briefcase or a jacket. (Phil Baker of PeterGreenberg.com, recommends this.)
Trace Me Luggage Tracker —This tag, which you strap onto your briefcase or luggage, contains a unique serial number and barcode that is linked to your personal information, stored with Immobilise.com. If your bag gets lost, luggage handlers will scan the tag. Then you’ll get a text and e-mail telling you that it’s been found and what to do next. This saves you from writing all your identifying details on a luggage tag, and it costs only $21. (Mark’s Technology News recommends this.)
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