2012 Gift Guide: Travel Gadgets

Airline customer service aside, traveling has become easier and more comfortable than ever thanks to travel gadgets for entertainment, utility and safety.

Here are a few of my favorites:


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Sony Personal 3D Viewer HMZ-T2 “Avatar” just doesn’t have the same impact when viewed on a tiny iPhone screen. Sony’s new Personal 3D viewer, which feels like watching a 750-inch HD, 3D screen located 65 ft. away, might even make coach bearable. $800, Sony.myCharge Peak 6000 Here, here road warriors! This clever technology will turn any bag into a portable station capable of charging three devices at once. Includes built-in USB charging cable and USB port along with micro-USB and Apple connectors. 6000 mAh battery provides 27 hours of talk time. $100, Amazon.Steripen Traveler portable water purification system Don’t drink tap water when visiting certain countries—unless you carry a Steripen, which uses ultraviolet light to kill 99.9 percent of viruses, bacteria and protozoa. $50, Brookstone, Northbrook Court and Westfield Old Orchard.
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ZOMM wireless leash Find my iPhone is a terrific feature, but it’s better not to lose your phone in the first place. The ZOMM wireless leash connects to your phone via Bluetooth, and sounds an alarm if you accidentally leave it behind. $46, Amazon.Solar Joos Camping trips will never be the same with the Solar Joos portable charger, which can charge practically any type of mobile device. One hour of sunlight equals two hours of talk time. $149, REI, Northbrook.Livescribe’s Pulse smartpen When in Rome, do as the Romans do. But if your Italian is a little rusty, don’t forget the Livescribe Pulse Smartpen, which will translate, speak and display any phrase you write on its small OLED screen. $120-150, livescribe.com.
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TripButler If you’re tired of paying exorbitant international data roaming fees, check out TripButler mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. For a fixed daily fee, TripButler offers international data using local 2G and 3G connections, and will connect up to five devices at once. Rental price varies by country.


See the rest of our gift guide here.