This is the time of year when everyone hits the road for vacations and family reunions. That means having a lot of time on your hands – on long flights, bus rides, car trips, airport waits, and more. Fortunately, there are a wide range of gadgets that provide top notch entertainment and can be helpful as you travel. Here are our top 5 picks.
Say what you want, but if you are a reader, you can’t get a better e-reader than this. With a clear crisp screen in two sizes, great battery life, access to over 300,000 books, plus newspapers, magazines, and blogs, and free wireless internet access so you can grab a new read no matter where you are, the Kindle is a clear winner. Avid readers know what a rush it is to be able to carry your entire library with you wherever you go!
The ultimate gadget. It’s a mp3 player, a personal video player, a PDA, an internet device, a handheld gaming device, an ebook reader, radio, and more, all in a sleek sexy package. Load it up with tunes and videos, use the free Kindle or Stanza apps to read books, surf the web, consult a map, play with one of the 65,000 apps available – it just doesn’t get much better than this. It’s also a much nicer way to carry around a travel guide. Instead of looking like a tourist, you look cool.
Despite the rumors to the contrary, satellite radio is still alive and well. If you’re taking a long car trip it’s the only way to go. No more signal fade outs, poor reception, or having to find a new station to listen to all the time. SiriusXM brings you a wide variety of commercial free music along with talk, sports, and children’s programming, too. Get a radio for your car or truck or check out the free app for the iPod Touch and iPhone.
Driving anywhere? You need GPS. No more fumbling with maps or pulling over to ask directions. Just make sure you pay attention to what it tells you or you may arrive at your destination with the words “recalculating route” permanently etched on your brain. Make sure it’s loaded up with the most up to date maps of your area and those you intend to visit.
It goes without saying that wherever you go you need one. Aside from the obvious safety factor, having a phone with you is just simply convenient. Make dinner reservations, use it as an alarm clock, buy tickets to an event – you’ll find a million uses for it. Is your vacation taking you out of the country? Be sure to check your provider’s coverage map and international rates to avoid any surprises.
Roaming charges, especially for data, can add up. I have a colleague who took a business trip to Canada and didn’t check. He plugged in his air card and checked his email, watched some YouTube videos, streamed music, and downloaded a large Windows Update. When he got home a $600 phone bill was waiting for him. If you travel out of the country a lot, consider picking up a prepaid phone and SIM at your destination. It’s usually a lot cheaper than using your own!
So there you have it. What are your must have gadgets for traveling and why? Leave a comment and let us know!