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flightSpeak lets you know what to expect at TSA security lines

flightSpeak lets you know what to expect at TSA security lines

‘Tis the season for holiday travel. But, in many cases, before you get home (or perhaps someplace that’s warm and tropical) for the holidays, you have to fight the Airport Wars.

Everyone who has flown during the holidays knows what this means: long lines to get through security, frantic searches for places to charge your cellphones, dodging other stressed-out travelers dashing to make their flights, maybe missing your own connections, and more — just the sorts of headaches that crush the holiday spirit before you even hit the eggnog.

You may even be at the airport right now as you read this (and, I hope, have your phone or laptop charged enough to do so).

If you’re en route, still packing, or just thinking about an upcoming trip now or any time of year, check out an app called… Continue reading

The Tip 'n Split, calculator and magnifier in one compact motif

The Tip ‘n Split, calculator and magnifier in one compact motif

It’s that season again — when it’s time to stuff the stockings that are hanging by the chimney with care.

The good news: If the stocking you’re stuffing belongs to an ardent baby boomer traveler, there are plenty of new travel gadgets that you didn’t really know you needed until you read about them here. And now you gotta have ’em…

Tip ‘n Split

Our first gadget is called the Tip ‘n Split, invented by a baby boomer named Connie Inukai.

Tip ‘n Split is a compact, multi-use gadget that functions as an easy-to-use tip calculator — and can even split your restaurant bill, if you wish. (It won’t actually pay the bill, however — that’s still up to you and your companions.)

But what I really love about Tip ‘n Split is that it also features a… Continue reading

OK, so it’s still July as I write this. But it’s never too early to start dropping broad hints for Christmas, especially for a super-cool travel-related gift. This one is a jacket with 15 different pockets and features ranging from a built-in neck pillow to drink holder to phone case and much more.

And yet it looks like an ordinary jacket. How do they do it? I have no idea.

It’s currently featured on Kickstarter, the crowdfunding site, and the company (BauBax) has raised more than $3 million for development, out of an initial goal of $20,000. The jacket won’t be ready for shipping until November or so, making it ideal for Christmas gifts.

I like it in blue.

Check it out below.

 

The white RYO adapter and the green Kushi flash drive, offered as prizes for donations.  Photo from RYO Technology.

The white RYO adapter and the green Kushi flash drive, offered as prizes for donations. Photo from RYO Technology.

A reader from New Zealand alerted me to a new travel gadget — so new it’s still on the drawing board — that you can help fund on Kickstarter if you wish.

The gadget — which can be used at home as well as on the road — is a reversible USB adapter that plugs in to any USB port and works with all types of existing cables, whether for a laptop, a smartphone, a tablet, a portable hard drive, or what have you.

It’s called an RYO Adapter and it’s from a company called RYO Technology.

Why would you need a reversible USB adapter?

Well, how many times have you tried to plug in a USB cable and realized you had it in backwards so it didn’t fit?… Continue reading

The Tablift lets you read your tablet lying down or sitting up. Photo from Tablift.

The Tablift lets you read your tablet lying down or sitting up. Photo from Tablift.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll confess: My wife can always tell when I’ve been drinking out of a particular glass by whether or not it has greasy fingerprints all over it (mine).

Same with who used our tablet last — my fingerprints are everywhere. Maybe it’s the chips I like to snack on. Maybe it’s because I have long fingers. Maybe it’s…well, who cares, I leave fingerprints. Fortunately, I’m not a burglar by trade.

But I do like to read, look at photos I’ve taken, and write and watch things, etc., on our tablet, and I especially like to do these things when I’m traveling, which I do for a living, so if I can spare getting fingerprints all over… Continue reading

The Drifter from STM -- an especially good pack for carrying a laptop. Photo by Clark Norton

The Drifter from STM — an especially good pack for carrying a laptop. Photo by Clark Norton

Last week, while on a cruise along the Mississippi River with American Cruise Lines, I brought my laptop along to get some blogging done (which, oddly enough, I managed to do — the results will start showing up next week, as I chronicle my time aboard the Queen of the Mississippi).

But first, I wanted to put in a plug for a very good backpack I carried my 15-inch laptop in, along with my rather bulky laptop charger cord and what must have been dozens of sheets of random papers, notebooks, manuscripts, and — as I traveled and accumulated stuff — sightseeing brochures, cruise dinner menus, receipts, used airplane boarding passes, etc.

And that was just in the top-loading zippered main compartment. (The inner area contains extra padding to… Continue reading

The foldable front cover of the "studio" iPad Air case converts to viewing as well as typing modes. Photo by Lia Norton.

The foldable front cover of the “studio” iPad Air case converts to viewing as well as typing modes. Photo by Lia Norton.

The "studio" iPad Air case comes in a variety of colors. Photo by Lia Norton.

The “studio” iPad Air case comes in a variety of colors. Photo by Lia Norton.

If you’re like a number of other baby boomers I know, you’re trying to keep up with the latest generations of iPads and iPhones. (Yes, it’s true, baby boomers are big consumers of all things Apple.)

You might even get a free upgrade — but you still have to buy new protective cases. 

Perhaps knowing that I’m always dropping my smartphone and tablet and generally treating them roughly when I travel, STM Bags asked if I’d like to review a couple of their cases. I wasn’t familiar with STM, but that’s all the more reason to see what they had to offer, and I’m always glad to keep up with the… Continue reading

This 5-ounce container holds a full-sized beach towel, from Lightload. Photo by Clark Norton

This 5-ounce container holds a full-sized beach towel, from Lightload. Photo by Clark Norton

 

The Blackout Pocket from Scottevest is, appropriately, black, and protects your digital data. Photo by Clark Norton

The Blackout Pocket from Scottevest is, appropriately, black, and protects your digital data. Photo by Clark Norton

With just a week to go before Christmas, it seems like a good time to mention some gadgets and smallish travel items that are easy to carry but can come in useful on a trip — and which make great stocking-stuffers for the baby boomer traveler on your list.

These items all have a few things in common: they’re compact in size, they meet travel needs and wants, and they’re all nicely designed and packaged. In short, besides being useful, practical or in one case just enjoyable, they’re well-marketed.

If you have a hiker or camper or other kind of outdoorsy person in mind, this full-size beach towel from Lightload comes in a small 5-ounce waterproof container (pictured)… Continue reading

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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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