The holidays really get going this week with Thanksgiving, and travel is certainly one of the most stressful parts of this time of year. But there are small ways to make things simpler and time pass faster. Here are a list of five tech travel accessories that you shouldn't leave home without.
1. RCA Dual USB Portable Charging Station: If you're an avid reader of this site and travel often, chances are you tote a lot of gadgets along with you on the road. But those tech goodies need to be charged, and for long-haul flights, you might want to charge MP3 players and laptops in the terminal before take-off. Even though newer terminals have more electrical sockets abound, it's not very courteous to take up more than one, and sometimes you're lucky if you can find one at all. But with the RCA Dual USB portable Charging Station (MSRP: $19.99), you can plug in up to five devices thanks to the three sockets and a pair of USB ports around the side.
2. Digital Luggage Scale: The standard allowed weight for checked luggage without any surcharges is $50 per bag. But if you're adding gifts and other knickknacks (perhaps stuff you picked up on vacation), there's a possibility that you could be over. To double-check at home or the hotel before having to chuck stuff at the airport, consider picking up a tiny digital luggage scale, which retails for $19.99 at The Container Store. It registers the weight of your bag within seconds, saving you time, money (hopefully) and the embarrassment of having to rearrange your stuff at the check-in counter during the holiday rush.
3. Bluelounge Cable Clips: Power cords seem only destined to be tangled in a laptop bag, purse, backpack, whatever. That doesn't have to be the case anymore. There are actually a growing number of tangled cord solutions these days, but the Bluelounge Cable Clips are an affordable (MSRP: $9.95) and ultra-compact option, with three sizes to choose from for anything as thin as earbuds to something thicker like a computer cable.
4. Headphones Splitter: When traveling with a buddy, it's sometimes fun to listen to the same music on the same MP3 player. But listening out of one earbud can be annoying and you can't really pull away. To solve such a problem, get a headphones splitter (MSRP: $15) that way you can plug in two sets of headphones in one 3.5mm jack. This is also helpful in the case that one of your TVs on the plane doesn't work, and you have to share with the person next to you.
5. iStand: For the smartphone-loving crowd who don't want to carry a laptop or netbook but still want to watch their own movies on the flight, there is an option: get a tiny stand. Sometimes stands are included with protective cases. In case one isn't, think about getting the pocket-sized iStand (MSRP: $4.99). Available in five hues, the rubberized silicon stand props up a smartphone or MP3 player (i.e. iPod touch) in either landscape or portrait view.
Is there a gadget accessory that you don't leave home without and makes your travels all the easier?