I like to travel light because about half of what I carry is on my back. When I pack, I consider every ounce because even if something is going into my small 22″ rolling case, I still have to carry it up steps and such. So I am always up for a new travel gadget or bit of technology that makes my traveling easier. Since I recently posted my travel destination wish list, I decided to post this companion list, my travel device wish list. The following are the three items that will, no doubt, be coming along with me on future travels:
- The Chargepod: A 6-way charging device that allows you to charge multiple mobile electronic devices with a single power cord. The Chargepod is compatible with thousands of devices such as iPods, cell phones, Bluetooth headsets, PDAs, digital cameras, navigation units, mp3 players, digital readers and portable gaming systems. It uses voltage regulator technology and interchangeable power adapters to safely charge all of electronics regardless of manufacturer or model, and even works in the car. Whether I’m staying in a hostel, a mom and pop motel, or an upscale hotel, I almost always find that there are not enough receptacles to charge my laptop, cell phone, iPod, and various other devices. I end up charging the cell phone in the bathroom and unplugging the lamp next to the bed to charge the laptop, forcing me to work in semi-darkness. Then in the morning, I have to remember what-all I plugged in and where, so I don’t leave anything behind. This device would solve a major problem for me. It’s only $39.95 for the unit, or $79.95 with a bundle of the most common adapters.
- The Amazon Kindle: This device also makes my wish list because of the weight issue. When I travel long term, I usually start out with three books, which is all the weight I feel I can justify. As I read these initial books, I leave them behind and trade for new ones at the “share libraries” found in most hostels around the world. Wile it is an acceptable solution to not being able to carry a lot of books on extended travels, the sad truth is that the books I get in trade are never as the ones I leave behind. Sometimes the pickings are pretty darn slim. The Kindle solves this problem. It is an electronic reader that holds more than 200 books in digital format. Its display provides a sharp, high-resolution screen that looks and reads like real paper and it is lighter and thinner than a typical paperback, weighing only 10.3 ounces. Through Amazon.com, more than 190,000 books are available for download, including more than 105 of 112 current New York Times best sellers, most of which are priced at $9.99. Best of all, the device is wireless, so books can be downloaded wherever a wireless network is available – did I hear somebody say coffee shop??? The Kindle is a bit pricey at $359, but in my opinion, worth every penny.
- The Notebook Buddy: This device provides a low-tech solution to a high tech problem. My laptop generates so much heat from the battery that it is uncomfortable to sit with it in my lap for extended periods of time. At home, I have taken to placing several large magazines between the bottom of the laptop and my thighs, but I can hardly carry a pile of magazines with me when I travel. The Notebook Buffer is a fabric mesh cooling pad made of thousands of little springy pieces of plastic, allowing for air flow under the laptop. The pad can be rolled up and stuffed in a carry on bag. At $18.95, it’s the deal of the season.
I’m thinking stocking stuffers – my own, of course. What devices would you like to see in your Christmas stockings?