This alarm clock may seem gimmicky at first, but the gentle wake up can make a big difference in how you feel for the morning. Circadian rhythms lull you into and out of deep slumber, and when you wake up in the middle of that deepest slumber it leaves you feeling more tired. This can easily be the feeling you have if you are also suddenly awakened by an annoying alarm or blaring music.
This Super Shaker is designed for home or travel use and involves placing the vibrating pad underneath your pillow. Most peoples’ pillows are thick enough to hardly notice it is there. At the preset time on the familiar alarm clock (which is connected by a white cord to the vibrating pad), subtle vibrations begin to wake you from underneath your pillow. One of the primary benefits of this clock, however, is that it can awaken one person without disturbing another as music or a normal alarm might.
There is a standard alarm if that feature is needed, and volume control allows you to adjust it to your preferred decibel. An ever-popular snooze function is perfect for those who like to procrastinate on the pillow. Light sleepers will also appreciate a dimmer switch on the face of the clock to keep the glow at a minimum.
Non-U.S. travelers will probably opt for the international 24-hour clock mode making this a great gift for the global nomad. It can operate on a battery or with electrical outlets and sells with foreign power supply accessories. For many, the apparatus may be a bit clunky to carry around, but it is lightweight and easily squeezes into any corner of your suitcase. I have visited many hotels in Europe and Asia where the clock (if there were one at all) was a small digital screen under the TV screen, which I could hardly see from my pillow.
Rugged, yet elegant, this Columbia-branded Skyline watch is an all-around favorite for its stylish leather wrist band and large watch face. I have been searching for a replacement to my metal Fossil watch, which is still in excellent condition, but may not always present the finest impression in professional business settings. While the Columbia Skyline model does not scream expensive Rolex, it does convey a younger, reserved image that fits almost anytime whether working or playing. It demonstrates a creative, eclectic image that younger folk may appreciate.
I was originally worried that the leather strap would quickly become scuffed with marks and scratches from regular wear. It does succumb to minor abrasions, but it only adds to the character and does not give it the appearance of being old or ratty.
The stainless steel casing around the watch face is thick and shiny enough to provide a nice contrast to the woodsy, almost rugged, leather band. Within the larger face of the watch are three smaller clock faces giving military time, the day of the month, and the day of the week. With a light color surface, the numbers stand out easily, and the hour and minute hands are darker in color helping them to have a nice contrast. Their large size makes it even more feasible to tell the time for those with weaker eyesight or in dim light.
With an adjustable band, it can fit any wrist, and I don’t see why someone with a really small wrist could not poke a hole through the band for an even more tight fit. Personally, I would not think of taking this watch into the water, but it is water resistant for up to 30 meters.
Watches can be expensive, and male travelers have fewer ways to accessorize their look than women. That’s probably why it is worth it to have a few watches in your wardrobe for the right occasion. Columbia’s brand appears on many high-quality watches, and they are available for purchase at numerous retails stores including Zappos, Cabela’s stores, and Columbia’s own website for a fair price of $150.
This casual shoe from Birkenstock’s well-known footwear line is perfect for a day out on the town or for an easy slip-on in the hotel room or for strolling the neighborhood. Its easy on and off usage makes it great for TSA security rules although any business traveler will find these shoes are best used for leisure wear. Traveling these days (especially if seated in a premium cabin) has become far too out of control in terms of apparel.
As a constant road warrior, I have found that these shoes make a great addition to my carry-on only apparel because they squeeze tightly into my bag without taking up a lot of space and are great to use in a jiffy. They are especially ideal for long-haul international flights where I want to remove my dress shoes but would prefer not to step around the dirty cabin in socks. They are just a grab and go from a convenient pocket compartment.
With long pants, these shoes switch from convenient in-flight gear to more useful casual wear for an evening out. They have a distinctive boat party look, but are great for any night out on the town.
A cork footbed makes them very comfortable to walk long distances around a city or even traipsing through an airport. They make a great swaparaoo for long terminal walks when I just don’t care what I am wearing.
A canvas upperwear design makes them easily stain-resistant as long as they are washed quickly with water (even with a damp cloth). This is a great feature especially when traveling as spilling things can happen easily without much recourse for thorough cleaning until arriving at one’s hotel.
A variety of other colors and styles are on offer, but I found the camel color to be the most attractive. Most colors go well with jeans, khakis, or dress pants, but one’s individual use will verify depending upon their destination. Business dinners in Hawaii will certainly require different attire than a breakfast meeting in Frankfurt. These Birki shoes are available on numerous websites including Amazon for the affordable price of around $100.
See other reviews of good travel shoes from this gear blog.
This power-packing case from G-Form is sturdy enough for everyday use without looking too out of place. Its colors may be a bit too wacky for some people intending to use the case in a business office, but the protection the case provides is worth the embarrassment.
This company is known for its unique composite blend material in products that protects our oh-so-important personal devices from sure demise if they fall. With a dual-layer protection and a rigid, multi-layer exterior (it’s not just for show), the case can protect the phone from every angle.
It is both shockproof and abrasion-resistant giving it an extended life. While the case does not take the entire impact of any fall, it certainly does a fine job of keeping internal bits in their place. While I was fortunate enough to not drop my phone (yet) while using it, the added protection is certainly a positive.
What is important to me is the rubber exterior, which if you notice is a wraparound case that is full of holes and openings to take as much of the shock of any fall as possible. I have dropped phones that had a shell or hard exterior, and the so-called guarantee was not very thorough leading to all kinds of internal battery problems later (despite the screen being protected and not broken). The softness of the rubber exterior actually absorbs much of the shock that occurs on any fall making the G-Form family of cases so popular and worthy.
I did notice that the case was a tad loose around the phone, but chalked it up to my own phone’s constant use and the business card sticker that I keep on the back of it with my name and address.
There are spaces for users to press down on the appropriate buttons when needed (and an opening for a camera lens as expected), and the color patterns vary (including an all-black option) for those with more conservative style preferences. The case is available on the company’s website for about $30.
As someone who travels to Europe almost twice a month, this shoe is certainly of interest to me as I am almost always inundated with European fashion and styles that are truly foreign to Americans. It is actually commendable when Americans can eschew the American stereotype of tennis shoes with jeans (or egad!, business suits, yes, I sadly see it often). It may seem comfortable and acceptable to us, but many Europeans are laughing behind our backs. Tourists probably needn’t care (even though they are furthering this image of Americans), but business travelers should beware as it sets a tone among foreign counterparts.
Dressing the part, even fitting in whether with foreign language skills or similar clothing style, is an important part of many business programs protocol. This Aalto Chukka shoe from Kuru Footwear fits the part for such a need if not for any stylish American in the U.S. Since my role is to share business travel-friendly gear, this post will follow that model.
This shoe has the most comfortable sole ever thanks to cushioning that is soft without being too thick. Looking like you are wearing an orthopedic shoe is never a good way to begin a business meeting, and this shoe is soft on the bottom (although is not meant to replace a business loafer). The laces on this shoe give it another dimension of style keeping it from looking like a simple slipper despite it feeling like one.
Admittedly, the company is quick to admit that the rubber sole can get dirty quickly (as is the case with any light color-bottomed shoe), but this should only be a concern if you plan on lifting your foot over your knee in a casual meeting, which in many foreign cultures can be a taboo-inducing experience. It can also wear through quickly as well, but this is being corrected with the shoe’s next incarnation since it was not developed for so much traffic, but customers found it so comfortable it was being used in that manner.
Since I wore this shoe on 48-hour travel jaunts with lots of walking in between, I found the interior to hold up extremely well. It must be because of it s anti-microbial insole custom mold that adjusts to your feet and an interior that keeps it from smelling.
An integrated arch is intended to boost a healthier stride when walking, which for me is important, and I did notice a more comfortable fit underneath my heel. What I did notice is that the moisture-wicking liner kept any smells from forming. The suede holds up well even when it gets wet in precipitation and does not stain from moisture.
While these shoes may not be for everyone, the style is a perfect fit for the foreign business person who needs to use the same shoe for business or casual wear. The science behind the shoe keeps it sturdy, protective, and comfortable. It is available from the Kuru website (and nowhere else it looks like) for just over $100.