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Travel news, reviews and intel for high-flyers

Takeaway Tech

From the simple to the sublime, travel gadgets can make life on the road easier, or at least more fun

Every kid loves toys, and we big-kid business travelers are no different. Whether these toys fulfill a function or serve to bring attention to their owners, gadgets always manage to find their way onto gift guides and top 10 lists everywhere. Specifically, gadgets for travelers need to fit certain criteria: functionality, economy and novelty.

Skullcandy Crusher ANC

Retail price: $319.99

For a sound choice in gadgets, check out Skullcandy’s newest wireless headphones, the Crusher ANC. This personalized, noise canceling device actually pairs with an app that runs a short hearing evaluation so the auditory technology can synchronize the headphones to the listener’s range of low and high tonal registers. Each headphone can manage several separate profiles, which allows it to be shared in a group.

The active noise cancellation feature enhances the experience, and the Bluetooth capabilities allow the listener to enjoy the “deeper dimension of sound” from any applicable device, such as computer, TV or phone. In fact, if, while listening to your favorite playlist, a call comes in, the headphones convert into a headset to allow wireless, hands-free conversations.

Some of the other features of these cutting edge headphones include:

•Up to a 24-hour battery life

•Rapid charge

•Foldable design with carrying case

•Active assistant

•Adjustable sensory bass


Retail price: $14.99 (about 450 sprays)

Noise canceling headphones might isolate travelers from the sounds of the outside world, but what will protect them from unseen dangers? One answer: PlaneAire surface and air purifying travel mist. Perfect for the germaphobes as well as the brazen traveler, a 2 oz. spray bottle will make it through security. A small amount is all that’s needed to sanitize seats, door handles, kiosk screens, seat belts, light switches and luggage carts.

PlaneAire is made from 100 percent natural ingredients, and – according to their website – has been “laboratory tested to kill 99.99 percent of illness-causing bacteria.” Thanks to six essential oils, PlaneAire eliminates nearly all surface bacteria while leaving a fresh, herbal scent. The non-aerosol, no alcohol, no bleach product is safe on fabrics and around surfaces that come in contact with food, such as tray tables, counters and hotel furnishings.

Peakago 7” Windows 10 PC

Retail price: $299

While on the go, keeping the weight and bulk of carry-ons to a minimum is essential. A good way to start is with the Peakago 7” laptop. Loaded with the Windows 10 operating system and equipped with all the standard peripheral ports, Peakago is a tiny titan choice for your “away” computer. It features a touch screen that can be flipped around as a tablet, 140 hours of standby time, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, tablet or yoga mode, HDMI, headphone, SD and USB ports, and of course a camera. The laptop is WiFi- and Bluetooth-ready, and weighs about a pound and a half – portable, powerful, pragmatic.

Not just a space saver, at under $300, this product could be a money saver as well. However as of this writing, Peakago is still looking for crowdfunding, which is good news and bad news; signing up with your e-mail might get you a big discount, but who knows how soon?

TravelMate Robotic Suitcase

Various sizes and prices

What is the next best thing to having your own private cyborg carry your luggage? A fully autonomous suitcase and robot, that’s what. The TravelMate Robotic Suitcase is certainly pricey, even for the smallest size, but has a wow factor that just might make it worth every C-note.

The suitcase will follow you from gate to gate and just about anywhere else. The TravelMate contains a GPS chip that helps orient the suitcase, and makes it nearly impossible to lose. The battery is fully and easily rechargeable wirelessly. The low energy Bluetooth module allows for consistent and reliable connectivity, and even features LED lighting for on-board signals such as low battery life.

Speaking of the battery, the unit has a removable battery that is TSA approved and able to charge up other wireless devices. In a true robotic style, the TravelMate can be used upright or on its four wheels to haul other items. The little robot can avoid obstacles and even has directional signals to warn of its movements. A loyal device, TravelMate, through its app, can be programmed to lock its wheels should someone dare try to abscond with your luggage, and the GPS feature enables its speedy return.

One of the most alluring features of this device is that while not on vacation, TravelMate can be used around the home for security or for doing simple tasks, such as carrying in the groceries.

Retail Price:

Small 21.7 X 7.9 X 15.7 inches $1099

Medium 27.2 X 11.4 X 19.3 inches$1295

Large 29.5 X 12.2 X 20.5 inches$1495

Muse 2

Retail price: $249

Think of this as a Fitbit for the soul. The Muse 2 bills itself as the Next Generation Meditation Headband. The technology gives you accurate, real-time feedback on your meditation state through four distinct features:

•Body: how your posture brings you physical relaxation

•Breath: learn the proper way to breath to find calm and fight stress

•Heart: tune into your heart rate to optimize performance

•Mind: offers real-time brainwave feedback to help guide your focus

This device is perfect for use on a plane or at any stage of travel. The headband can be worn at home or at work, or even as a sleep aid. With the 100-plus Guided Meditations now available, the art of meditation is at your fingertips – or all over your entire body, actually.

Super-Mini Power Bank

Retail price: $39.99

This credit card-size 10,000mAh power bank packs a wealth of charge into a compact size. At 3.1 X 2.2 inches, this device is 30 percent smaller than the traditional power bank of equal charge. The SuperMini uses two cells providing 5,000mAh of charge capacity each, making them 50 percent more energy dense than the cells used in a typical chargers.

SuperMini also supports up to 18W of fast charging capability through both its USB-C and USB-A port. SuperMini can charge iPhone X up to 50 percent in 30 mins with a USB-C to lightning cable. If style is a concern, the SuperMini comes in black, silver, and the new Blue Horizon. If utility is your thing, the SuperMini has a dual output that allows for charging of two devices at once.

Astrea Water Bottle

Retail price: $50 (includes your first 2-month filter)

No matter where you are, a quality drinking water experience is only a filter away. Using lead filtration technology, the Astrea water bottle delivers that clean and healthy taste you get from a full size filtered pitcher. After you fill the bottle with tap water (even from the funkiest tap), a particulate filter removes the larger particles, as well as chlorine, zinc, lead, copper, mercury cadmium and chromium – nothing left but water!

With a durable stainless steel body, a longer filter life than competing brands, and portability, the Astrea water bottle is the ideal device for travelers.

PowerADD International Charger

Retail price: $22.99

This charging device is ideal for business and leisure travelers alike. It features 2 AC outlets, 2 USB ports and a Micro USB cable to extend one outlet to five. With a compact size of 4.7 x 3.5 x 1. 2 inches, and weighing only 7 oz., the PowerADD charger is small and portable. It even comes with a free travel pouch for storage. With universal dual voltage input 120V~240V, the kit contains five international adapters, making it compatible with outlets in North America, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, Japan, China – in all, 150 different countries throughout the world. (Note there is no plugs for Italy, Switzerland, Brazil, Chile and South Africa).

As the holiday season approaches, these gadgets might just be the ticket to allow checklists to be checked, wish lists to be fulfilled, and travel to be made much easier.