To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries. Aldous Huxley
We live in an age when one can be connected twenty-four hours a day- not preferable on a vacation. This same era gives us endless aids and gadgets without which our parents and grandparents managed fine. Still, few would turn down items that make traveling easier, more comfortable, and more convenient. Here are a few among multitudes.
It always rains on tents. Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds for the opportunity to rain on a tent. Dave Barry
This thing is amazing. No more juggling dictionaries with guidebooks, sunglasses, your camera, transit tickets…though it’s not Shakespeare, you can quickly be understood in instances when speed and efficiency count. Ask for directions in Mongolian, order a meal in French, and bargain at an outdoor market in Urdu. Sometimes all you need is a start before gestures, maps, and limited English appear. Listening to the gadget function may draw a crowd. The 52 language Xplorer Talking Translator translates over a million words and 100,000 travel phrases, and then clearly pronounces them. It also has a built-in voice/memo recorder, FM radio, metric and currency converters, dictionary, and travel games. Includes leather case, ear buds, and two AAA batteries. (5¼ x 4 x 1″ in case; 7 oz) $249.00
For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.
Renting a car during your time away? In unfamiliar locales, it’s easy to lose the vehicle. You might need to get back to a transit stop or even your hotel. Simply push a button to mark a current location and this little guide will direct you back. Unlike complicated GPS systems, this has only a button to switch compass mode and one to set up three starting points. Accuracy within 5 yards using satellite signals. Counts down the distance as you approach. Backlight button illuminates display. Remembers your “waypoints” when powered off. Weather resistant. Half the size of a cell phone (3 ¼” x 2” x ¾”) it fits easily on a key chain. Requires 2 AAA batteries. Lifetime guarantee. $79.95
If you have enthusiasm, you have a very dynamic, effective companion to travel with you on the road to somewhere. Loretta Young
Left: earPlanes- Whether your ears are sensitive or you simply have an inopportune headcold, these soft, comfortable, hypoallergenic silicone buds gently relieve pressure on the ears. One pair is good for a round trip flight. Remove when airplane reaches maximum altitude. Noise reduction rating (a bonus) 20 on a scale from 0-30. 3 sets- $11.99
Top Right: No-Jet-Lag- If, unlike Henry Kissinger, you can’t cat nap at will and melatonin doesn’t work, use this successful (since 1990) product that somehow manages to address the symptoms of jet lag. Each packet contains 32 chewable tablets, sufficient for about 50 hours of flying time. Safe for all ages and does not react with other medication. No side effects. $13.50
Bottom Right: TripEase- Six homeopathic ingredients come together to treat motion sickness. Really, you can’t be the only one who stays at the pool that day-think of missed adventure. Just take a tablet at the beginning of the trip and one each hour you feel poorly. Compatible with other medications, safe for all ages, will not cause drowsiness; no side effects. 32 chewable tablets. $11.85
Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection. Lawrence Durrell
Left: Travel Smart Mini Iron- This one’s about the smallest on the market. Great for a weekend in the country or months on tour. Avoid hotel pressing bills without taking up valuable suitcase space. Lightweight, dual voltage heats up to 300 degrees f in minutes. Comes with generous 8’ cord and heat resistant storage pouch. Needs adapter when using outside of the country. 4 ½” x 2 ½” x 2 ½” $25.00
Right: Dual-Voltage Travel Garment Steamer- Some things don’t need to be pressed, just hung up and steamed out. Look as fresh as if you travel with your own butler. Even if he doesn’t care, you do. 10 minutes steam time. Includes detachable bristle and lint brush. Handle folds away. 8’ cord for convenience. Storage pouch included. Requires adapter outside the country. 7 ¾” x 3 ½” x 3” $32.00
The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. Saint Augustine
The Credit Card Sized Cell Phone Charger- This ¼” thick, cordless power hub can actually be stored in your wallet. Want to call home while still on safari or arrange for pick up from the Amazon? Recharges any device with a micro USB port. Lithium-ion battery can fully recharge a phone in transit before it needs recharging itself. Connects to device with 1 ½” fold out micro USB cord. Recharges in one hour via the included USB adapter. Lifetime guarantee 3 ¼” x 2” x ¼” $29.95
You can’t expect the entire world to come to New York to see you. You have to travel to them. Theodore Bikel
The Only Talking Luggage Scale- Announces the weight of your bags! Avoid overweight luggage fees or at least anticipate them. That original sculpture is carefully packed now- between shorts and socks. What about the second-hand books you couldn’t resist, cologne, chocolate, and, oh, the new shoes?! 3 ½” Backlit LCD with built-in speaker. A female voice, of course. Remember Star Trek? Accurate within 1/10th of a pound. Display in pounds or kilograms automatically turns off after 60 seconds to preserve power. Includes two CR2032 batteries. Lifetime guarantee. $39.95
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