Travel Spotlight: The Tech-pert’s 5 Must-Have Gadget Picks for Travelers

Travel Spotlight: The Tech-pert’s 5 Must-Have Gadget Picks for Travelers

Image by Joi Ito from Inbamura, Japan (whatsinyourbag) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

It’s summertime, and that means vacations. Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, car, bus, or boat, you’ll want to stock up on gadgets and gear that can make your trip fun, efficient, and memorable. Make room in your carry-on bag for these five items.

Apple iPad 2

Tablet: Apple iPad 2

Sure, it’s a painfully obvious choice, but there’s simply no better way to keep entertained, informed, and productive while you’re on the road. The iPad 2 ($499 and up) is good for everything: games, music, movies, books, navigation, and even snapping photos. In fact, with its front-facing second camera and FaceTime software, you can keep in touch with the folks back home–Jetsons-style.

Nook Color with apps

E-Reader: Barnes & Noble Nook Color

If you can’t swing an iPad but want most of the same amenities, look to the Nook ($249). The color version of Barnes & Noble‘s e-book reader (which is especially good for magazines and children’s books) has evolved into a capable tablet, one that can play Angry Birds, stream music from Pandora, access your Microsoft Office documents, and much more. Think of it as a Kindle on steroids.

Kodak EasyShare Touch

Camera: Kodak EasyShare Touch

Every road trip needs a camera, but it’s not easy to pick the right one. I prefer something that can slip into a pocket, but has optics good enough to snap world-class photos–and videos. The Kodak EasyShare Touch ($149.95) not only meets those criteria, but also solves the long-standing problem of how to share your snapshots. Just press the bright red Share button, then choose one or more destinations: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, e-mail, or even your Kodak Pulse frame. The next time you plug the camera into your PC, Kodak’s software automatically routes each photo wherever it’s meant to go.

Kodak Playsport Zx5

Camcorder: Kodak PlaySport Zx5

Yes, I’m sweet on Kodak gear these days. And who can blame me? The Playsport Zx5 pocket camcorder ($179.95) captures full 1080p video on dry land or underwater, where it can dive up to 10 feet and live to tell–make that “show”–the tale. I found the device’s controls admirably easy to use, most notably the Share button, which works like on the EasyShare Touch to easily share video via e-mail, Facebook, YouTube, and other services. The Zx5 is available in three snazzy colors: red, aqua, and black.

Verizon MiFi 4510L

Mobile Hotspot: Verizon MiFi 4510L

Internet access isn’t quite as ubiquitous as you might think. If you want fast access nearly anywhere you travel, pack Verizon‘s MiFi 4510L (currently on sale for $49 with two-year contract). This mobile hotspot taps Verizon’s speedy LTE network and shares that connectivity with up to five devices. That means you can download new Nook or iPad apps and upload EasyShare photos on the run. Just be prepared for another monthly bill: The MiFi runs $50 or $80 per month depending on which data plan you choose. But, man, it’s worth it!

Self-proclaimed cheapskate Rick Broida has been a technology writer for over 20 years. He has authored over a dozen books, including, most recently, “How to Do Everything: Palm Pre.” Currently he writes the Cheapskate blog.

Rick Broida has spent the last 25 years writing about technology in all its forms. A self-proclaimed cheapskate, he authors an eponymous blog for CNET. He is also a contributor to CNET's iPhone Atlas and Ehow Tech. Broida's book credits include the best-selling "How to Do Everything with Your Palm Handheld" and the more recent "The Cheapskate Rules: 21 Easy Money-Saving Tech Secrets."

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. SavingsIQ at 12:11 am

    yea, gotta agree with you on the iPad 2. it’s a great travel gadget, especially for those long plane rides and you want to watch a movie or catch up on some shows.

  2. Kenny01 at 3:36 pm

    Between the iPad and the Nook Color, I think I’d go with the Nook. It’s smaller and therefore easier to carry around on the go, and you can get it to work as a full functional Android tablet with enough know how.

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