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Technology offers the potential to make travel a smoother ride with more opportunities for capturing and sharing moments along the way.
But for some reason, we have all fallen into the tourist traps presented by gadgetry instead. It usually follows a pattern of spending too much money on countless items we don't need that end up becoming a burden along the journey.
As someone who prefers to travel as light as possible, here are some tried-and-true tips on how to make the most out of toting the fewest gadgets and entanglements possible.
Tablet & Keyboard
Logitech iPad Mini Keyboard
Many people argue that vacations are a time to shun email and whatnot, but I’m unapologetic in wanting to stay connected — even if it is just to keep my inbox somewhat tidy and send a few messages to friends here and there. However, I absolutely hate having to lug around a laptop. Even a 13-inch MacBook Air demonstrates its weight when crammed into a carry-on tote or suitcase.
In my experience, a marvelous alternative has been pairing my iPad mini with a keyboard. Logitech has already established a solid reputation in building sturdy and reliable keyboards for the entire iPad family, with the battery life usually going and going for hours at a time before demanding a recharge.
I’ll admit that even for my small hands, getting used to the sized-down keyboard took some time and adjustment.
But having the iPad mini loaded with all of my digital books, magazines and movies combined with the ability to be productive (or just to get some letter writing done) pretty much enables me to do anything I want while on the road.
Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad mini. Available in black, white, and purple. MSRP: $79.99.
Bluetooth Wireless Headphones
Headphones are a must for any trip, especially on airplanes where you’re trying to drown out the noise of four engines or four crying babies (or all of the above).
My biggest problem with most earbuds is that the cords always become tangled into a gargantuan mess, either in my bag or around my neck as I (foolishly) attempt to balance my iPad and a meal on the tray on the seatback in front of me. That’s followed by another pet peeve with noise-cancelling headphones being that they are usually bulky and very thirsty for battery juice all the time — a frustration for long flights.
LG offers a stellar entry that alleviates all of the aforementioned afflictions. Not only does this almost weightless headset offer high-quality audio and fit virtually anywhere (I kept it around my neck most of the time — even through security metal detectors), but it charges via standard Micro USB. That battery charge feels like it lasts forever sometimes — or at least it survived a nine-hour haul from Istanbul to New York immediately followed by another six-hour jaunt to San Francisco.
LG Tone Ultra HBS800 wireless stereo headset. Available in black and white. MSRP: $119.99.