There’s no better time to exploit the usefulness of gadgets than when you’re traveling. For entertainment or comfort or convenience there’s a myriad of options to explore. Here’s a list of my pick of the best ones that can really make a difference to your traveling experience. A travel-lover on your gift list is sure to be delighted with one of these!
1. The Power Monkey
The iPhone is just about the handiest gadget around with its small size and legion of apps. The only problem when you get app-intensive (such as when you’re traveling) is the lack of battery-life hampering your usage. This is where the Power Monkey comes in. It can re-charge your phone, iPod, camera, or other electronic devices, when you’re not near a plug. Its huge power reserve can deliver up to 40 extra hours on your iPod! Includes an adapter for overseas charging. A $69 lifesaver!
2. The Amazon Kindle
With a one week battery life (two weeks with the wifi turned off) the Amazon Kindle can supply your reading needs for even the longest journeys. An anti-glare screen allows reading, even in direct sunlight, of any of the 1,500 books you can store in its memory. From a potential library of over two million titles, you’ll never run out of reading options and many pre-1923 out-of-copyright books are absolutely free. Even the books you pay for are priced at a reduced rate for the Kindle. A portable library for $189.
3. The Apple iPad
For online reading, tweeting, Facebooking, movie watching or just plain internet browsing, the Apple iPad is a lot more convenient than your standard laptop. The battery lasts up to 11 or 12 hours depending on application usage, so the iPad can keep you entertained for all but the longest international flights. There’s some crossover with the Kindle, but with the versatility of the iPad (with 200,000 apps!) you have a lot more options besides just reading to keep you occupied. Work or fun for $499.
4. The Solio Universal Hybrid Solar Charger
If you’re out backpacking or engaging in any other activity that might leave you far from an electrical source, the Solio Universal Hybrid Solar Charger can do what the Power Monkey can’t – use the sun’s rays to charge up your cell phone or iPod. It can also charge from an electrical outlet, and store that power for up to a year. Solar power for $99.99.
5. A Clip-On Bottle Holder
This handy carabiner has a doohickey attached that slips over the neck of any water bottle, enabling you to clip it to a belt loop or backpack. Staying hydrated while traveling can be tricky, especially while rushing through airports and waiting at terminals, never mind just on the flight. This little gadget makes sure you’ve always got a water source within easy reach. A great gift at $7.85.
6. Eagle Creek Compact Comfort Travel Pillow
What gadget list would be complete without a travel pillow? If you’re on a long, overnight flight, having a good neck pillow makes a huge difference between a restful sleep and a sore neck. The Eagle Creek Compact Comfort Travel Pillow is easily inflatable with only two quick breaths, and deflates at the touch of a button. Save your neck for $19.85.
7. The iPod/iPhone Video Projector
No larger than a candy bar, this iPod Video Projector can project up to a 60″ video image on an adjacent wall or ceiling, so I can watch movies in my most favorite position possible – prone. (Preferably with a more than substantial vessel of tasty popcorn parked precariously on my chest.) Useful when staying in spartan accommodations, this ensures you have some nighttime entertainment covered. This pocket-sized projector isn’t just compatible with iPods – it is also works with any other video device with composite outputs, such as video cameras and laptops. $379.95.
These travel gadgets go a long way to keeping any traveler entertained, in touch, rested, and happy. Any one of them can make a perfect gift for your favorite traveler (or for yourself)!