Maybe somewhere during the holiday crunch last week you paused for a moment and realized just how much nonsense we lug around with us for the sake of technology — between the power cords, adapters and carefully wrapped electronic goodies, most luggage cases end up looking like the waystation for tech support. It’s this waste of space that’s edging out more important travel packages, like presents and clean underwear, so here are a few products we’ve been using to maintain our connectedness while keeping the packing light.
Universal A/C Travel Adapter
Forget all of those travel adapters you’ve bought to meet each region you visit, or carrying around multiple adapters for country-hopping. The Universal A/C Travel Adapter is a mildly-priced must-have for power anywhere — covering more than 150 countries, the adapter adapts to each region’s plug system with collapsible plugs and prongs making it a perfect fit no matter where you’re at (there are even handy clues on the backside marked “USA, Japan, Europe, China, Australia, and Thai” if you find yourself trying to force a connection that won’t seem to work). The Adapter also features a power indicator, safety shutter and surge protector so you’re properly protected. For $10.99, don’t leave the country without it!
USB 5-in-1 Daisy Wheel Universal Adapter
…and let’s not forget the need to charge up all of your goodies while you’re on the go, too. The USB 5-in-1 Daisy Wheel Universal Adapter is a two-set package: you get one retractable USB cable (30″ fully extended) that connects the wheel to your computer, and the wheel itself that’s ready to hook up to your USB Mini 5 pin, USB Mini, USB Mini B, USB B, and USB Mini 4 pin plugs. Buyer beware, though — this is for charging only, the wheel does not let you sync your devices, so don’t get frustrated when you can’t pull your pictures off of your camera. But for power on the fly (maybe you’re only traveling for a couple of days and want to be sure you don’t run out of juice), the 5-in-1 is a great tool for keeping your cameras, phones, mp3 players and PDAs charged. Also available from usbfever.com for $12.99.
5-in-1 USB Cable with iPod Dock connector
Lastly but certainly not least, there’s the 5-in-1 USB Cable with iPod Dock connector. Similar to the wheel, the USB Cable is built to charge your electronic gaming devices, plus it goes one better than the wheel and actually lets you sync up your iPod so you can charge and change your playlists while traveling (it’s the little things, right?). Though the USB Cable is a little more bulky with its white bound-together cables vs. retractable zip line, it’s got all of your major entertainment electronic needs covered — with USB-iPod, USB-PSP, USB-NDS Lite, USB-NDS, USB-SP and Mini USB 5 pin connections you’re ready to charge up all of your travel entertainment electronics (if the port names didn’t give it away, this includes your PSP, NDS Lite, iPod, NS and SP). Word to the wise, though — don’t try charging more than one device at a time, it just doesn’t work. Also available from usbfever.com for $12.99.