Rhapsody Music Service for Unlimited Tunes on the Go

Rhapsody Music Service for Unlimited Tunes on the Go Practical Travel Gear 1

In evaluating whether music subscription service Rhapsody is right for you, are you a renter or a buyer? Would you rather have access to a million songs at any time, or own a small fraction of that because you've purchased each song or album?As a guy with shelves and shelves of CDs in the living room and another hundred or two albums in digital form, it's kind of hard for me to get my mind around Rhapsody. You don't buy music from them, but if you pay $10 a month for one device, or $15 a … [Read more...]

A Windows Smart Phone Worth Buying: Samsung Focus 2

A Windows Smart Phone Worth Buying: Samsung Focus 2 Practical Travel Gear 1

This downright great new Windows phone can duke it out with Apple and Google and in some respects is better than the latest iPhone or Android alternative. At $50 (or sometimes less) with a 2-year contract from AT&T, the Samsung Focus 2 is  also quite a bargain.Microsoft often doesn't get it right the first time, or even the 10th time, but their formidable war chest of cash allows them to keep at it long after most others would have to admit defeat. So while Palm faded away, Nokia went on … [Read more...]

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...]

Motorola Atrix Smart Phone: Small Cost, Big Features

Motorola Atrix Smart Phone: Small Cost, Big Features Practical Travel Gear

When I finally broke down and got a smart phone upon returning from living in Mexico for a year, two of my traits made me get this Motorola Atrix Android phone instead of an iPhone.1) I'm a value shopper at heart and 2) I've always rebelled against doing something just because it's the popular thing to do. I didn't want to be one of the iSheep.I've got an iPod Touch and except for the horrible battery life, I like it. So I'm able to do a reasonably fair comparison. I'm totally digging … [Read more...]

Pelican i1015 Smart Phone Case

Pelican i1015 Smart Phone Case Practical Travel Gear 1

It wasn't until my friend dropped her phone into Lake Union that I came up with a great use case for Pelican's i1015 iPhone case. It's not that there's anything wrong with the case, nope, it's sturdy, waterproof box with a headphone jack, a carabiner, and slots that I suppose you could run a belt through. You put your phone in voice control mode, plug in your headphones, and seal the case around the phone. Now, your phone is protected from weather, falls, being smashed in your pack, whatever. … [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...]

IPod Touch Great For Travel (Except for One Thing)

IPod Touch Great For Travel (Except for One Thing) Practical Travel Gear

This past spring I gifted myself a 32GB iPod Touch. For the most part, I've been quite happy with it and think it's a good tool for travelers. It's great fun to play games on, I can surf the web or check e-mail at a Wi-Fi hotspot, and I can make Skype calls with it using the earbuds with a mic that came with it. It's also been great carrying around a currency converter, several Spanish language learning programs, various dictionaries, and a weather report all in one little device.The Touch … [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...]

Review: CoPilot Live GPS for Smartphones

Review: CoPilot Live GPS for Smartphones Practical Travel Gear

If you're still using your cell phone just to make calls, it's time to say goodbye to the '90s. And if you're directionally-challenged like me---and your phone has a GPS---CoPilot Live mobile navigation from ALK Technologies can make your travels easier.It works on the iPhone, Windows Mobile and Android phones as well as notebooks and netbooks. CoPilot Live will give turn-by-turn directions to just about any destination and also includes an extensive points-of-interest database to help find … [Read more...]