Telestial International Cell Phone for No-Roaming Calls

Telestial International Cell Phone for No-Roaming Calls Practical Travel Gear

Unless  you've been living under a rock or never read financial or travel advice, you should know by now that using your regular cell phone overseas can cost you a small fortune. Some unlucky travelers have found their data bill to be even more than their vacation cost them. Even with data turned off, making a quick "I made it" phone call home can cost you $3-$4. Try to take care of business or close a deal over several days and voice calls alone can cost you $100+ before you know it.There … [Read more...]

Goal Zero Guide 10 Adventure Kit and Solar Charger

Goal Zero Guide 10 Adventure Kit and Solar Charger Practical Travel Gear

What’s the most irritating thing that can happen to you when you’re on the road? Okay, well there can be lots of answers here. But, one of the most irritating things that can happen to me is not having a place to plug in my iPhone charger when the batter is running low.I often find myself in foreign countries without the proper adaptor (as was the case in Nigeria last month) or squatting on an airport floor because all the outlets are taken (as was the case in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, … [Read more...]

P-Flip Foldable Solar Power for iPhone

P-Flip Foldable Solar Power for iPhone   Practical Travel Gear

It's a drag to find yourself hunting around for a place to charge your phone when there are no outlets in sight, when you should have known better and charged up before you left the house. And while I'm not so phone dependent that I freak out when juice is gone, I do enjoy all the stuff my phone does for me when I travel -- it helps me find my way, it knows where there's good food, it's a pocket still/video camera, I can check email, and, I'll admit it, I'm a Twitter junkie, so I can use it for … [Read more...]

PodFlexPro for Watching Video on Small Screens

PodFlexPro for Watching Video on Small Screens Practical Travel Gear 1

Want to watch video on your small media player in multiple places and positions?Sure, there are already all kinds of accessories out there that will hold your iPod, iPhone, or Touch on a little stand, but this new PodFlexPro holder is a different animal. The "flex" part has a double meaning here: the case itself is flexible, plus the way you can use it is quite flexible.Basically this is a holder at the top with a plastic cover, then a snaking covered skeleton that can be bent and shaped … [Read more...]

Wrapsol Skins Protect Your Gadgets and Phones

Wrapsol Skins Protect Your Gadgets and Phones Practical Travel Gear 1

Now that you've got that shiny and expensive new gadget in hand, how are you going to keep it from getting all scratched up and smudged? Do you really think your electronics are any match for the rigors of the road? A protective skin from Wrapsol can be a great investment in protection.I haven't jumped on the iPhone bandwagon for a lot of reasons. The main one is that in the U.S. the phone is sold locked into the AT&T monopoly, which is getting ready to drop its unlimited data plan … [Read more...]

Brunton Restore Portable Solar Power Supply

Brunton Restore Portable Solar Power Supply Practical Travel Gear 1

If we're not all charging up our music players and cell phones with solar power, it's not for lack of trying on the part of device manufacturers. Some of these solar devices actually work quite well too, like this portable power supply from Brunton.The first idea here is you can charge it up at home or in a car ahead of time, like the iGo Power Extender and  CallPod Fueltank Charger we reviewed before. Then you take it with you on a trip, using it to charge up your devices when you can't get … [Read more...]

DROID ERIS by HTC Smartphone

DROID ERIS by HTC Smartphone Practical Travel Gear

Here's my disclaimer right off the bat: I'm a relatively new smartphone adapter. I just got a Blackberry in the fall of 2009. I don't regularly review "tech" items; I leave that to my in-the-know colleague John, who is great at writing about phones, apps and netbooks. (Me? I dig covering cute capris and flip flops.) Generally speaking, I'm a luddite -- though my mom thinks I'm a tech genius since I know how to upload photos to Shutterfly. (It's all relative.)That all said, I couldn't resist … [Read more...]

Phone Home, Save Money: Vonage Mobile

Phone Home, Save Money: Vonage Mobile Practical Travel Gear

If you're heading to the Vancouver Winter Olympics and want to make inexpensive calls back to the U.S., the solution could be as near as your portable MP3 player.Vonage Mobile offers inexpensive worldwide calling---anywhere there's a Wi-Fi signal---by turning an iPod Touch into a phone. It also works on the iPhone and BlackBerry models. And the one-cent a minute rate between the U.S. and Canada is hard to beat.Besides Vonage Mobile---a free download from the Apple app store---all that's … [Read more...]

A Cell Phone Booster that Works: Wilson Sleek

A Cell Phone Booster that Works: Wilson Sleek Practical Travel Gear 1

One of the world's most important wetland areas might seem like an unusual place to test a cell-phone booster. But swampy Caddo Lake, surrounded by moss-draped cypress trees and straddling the Texas-Louisiana border, is mighty tough on mobile phones.So that's one of the places I went to test Wilson Electronics' new Sleek Universal Cell Phone Signal Booster. There could be no better test than driving down Pine Island Rd., where I've spent a lot of time and always had trouble making calls. … [Read more...]

Best and Worst Travel Gear of 2009

Best and Worst Travel Gear of 2009 Practical Travel Gear 1

We've been cranking out first-person reviews of travel gear on a daily basis and trying out lots of things as we hike, backpack, explore new cities, and navigate airports. Some items disappoint, some thrill, some defy expectations, so here's a list of what worked and what didn't in 2009. Kara Williams Item I used on the most trips this year These Lucy capris are comfortable and stylish---they can go from the hiking trail to the dinner table. I wore them on the top of the Continental Divide in … [Read more...]