Gotta Have ‘Em Travel Safety Gadgets
March 29, 2011 | Permalink
Road Warriors who love gifts probably hate this time of year… big holiday gifting times are months past, and while mom and dad still have Mother’s and Father’s Day, the rest of us have to think up excuses for self-gifting. To help out, we’ve assembled a list of a few affordable gadgets that can be rationalized as totally practical—maybe even necessary—travel accessories.
For actual road trips, we all know the importance of having an emergency kit in the trunk. One of the standard kit items is flares. While conventional flares may not carry expiration dates, their effectiveness can be impaired over time, especially if exposed to water or the kinds of high summer temperatures common in parked cars. The 9-in-1 Safety Flare, however, runs off a CR123A battery that not only has a 60-hour running capacity but also a ten-year storage life. Additionally, it is waterproof and safe to use in temperatures ranging from -40º to over 200º. Available for about $25 from Duluth Trading Company, the Safety Flare’s 16 LED lights flash in a variety of patterns across a distance of 1000 to 3000 feet (day/night).
Another useful upgrade for the car safety kit, especially given this past winter’s extreme conditions, is a travel electric blanket that runs off of the car’s 12-volt charger. Several companies market these in cozy fleece (most are around $25).
Who hasn’t dropped a cell phone in the dirt, or sweated all over an MP3 player? That’s exactly why Ringerwraps were designed. These clear plastic, disposable sleeves come in three sizes to fit just about any phone or player. No, maybe not as stylish as some of the jazzy silicone skins and cases we have for everyday use at home (where a ruined device is bad but not disastrous), but the little disposable wraps provide more complete, sealable protection while still leaving your device totally functional. Get these in packages of five ($10-$20, depending on size) online from http://www.cleverwraps.com/RingerWraps/RingerWraps.
Another electronics safety issue has to do with data security.In the past few years, a number of companies like GadgetTrak have developed personal electronics tracking software and services—most require a one-time fee or (especially for laptops) a yearly subscription (around $35.00 at GadgetTrak). Because of the kind of sensitive and professional information commonly stored on laptops, many travelers may be interested in Adeona, another security software program, developed by the University of Washington. Adeona is free—and maintains complete privacy of laptop contents—because it does not make use of a proprietary central service.
Remember those New Year’s resolutions to eat more fruits and veggies, but not thrilled with the idea of biting into a waxy and germy apple from an airport snack cart? Carrying a few Eat Cleaner Grab ‘N’ Go wipes ($10 for 30 individually-wrapped wipes) makes that problem (or excuse) disappear. The wipes are both biodegradable and alcohol-free, so they won’t flavor the food but do eliminate salmonella and E. coli bacteria. Additionally, they can also be used as hand sanitizers.
And speaking of germs, you’ve surely heard all about the bacteria happily raising generations of offspring on your damp toothbrush. Most toothbrush sanitizer devices tend to be expensive (and one more thing to have to squeeze into your bag). But now, Le Travel Store offers a combination toothbrush case and sanitizer (8” by 2” by 1”) that uses that same UV light to kill off bacteria. For under $20, you can toss that still-damp toothbrush into its case and into your bag right before you run to the airport, knowing that you’re not nurturing an invisible science fair project in your sundries kit.
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