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Gear, Guides & Technology

I must confess, I am a full-blown techno geek, always looking for the next gadget or gizmo to make my life run more smoothly. The aim of this column is to help provide you with ideas to make your travel experience more enjoyable and productive. The object here is to provide something for everyone. If you have any gear that you feel you can’t live without or have any suggestions on products, or questions or comments please email ggt@Where2NowMag.com. We always look forward to hearing from you. Travel safe!

Make Your Luggage Stand Out!

My worst fear when flying is losing my luggage. I often think of the scene from Meet the Parents, between Ben Stiller’s character and the stewardess, when he tries to shove his carry on into the overhead bin and she asks him to check it down below. His response is that the only way she will succeed is if she “tried to pry it from my dead lifeless fingers.” Even if you are forced to check your luggage, you can make it stand out from the rest and prevent others from walking off with it at the baggage carousel. Whether you go with Vera Bradley’s bold & colorful designs or Lug luggage tags or belts, you’ll be able to say, “This is my bag, not yours!”

Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Bags

Last year the TSA asked manufacturers to design x-ray friendly laptop cases, or sleeves, that can produce a clear unobstructed image of the laptop. These sleeves protect our precious devices from scratches and scuff marks that can easily occur during the screening process. The TSA has not endorsed any single product and purchasing one will not guarantee that a TSA agent will not ask you to remove it from the sleeve. However, our friends at See Jane Work found these fantastic neoprene sleeves from Built, which meet the TSA guidelines, and come in a variety of colors to suit guys and girls alike.

The Go Anywhere Tripod

Looking for a way to get great shots, but you don’t want to carry around a heavy tripod? Meet the Joby Gorillapod. Weighing a mere 1.6oz (5.8oz for the SLR model) it is equipped with flexible joints that can bend 360° and wrap around stationary objects. A must have for outdoor enthusiasts or just anyone on the go.  And look how adorable he looks!

Forgot Something At Home?

Next time use these neat list pads from Knock Knock. They cover just about everything you will need, with space to add your own items. Give them to your kids, and who knows, they may actually remember everything!

GeoTag Your Digital Photos

Have you ever looked at a photo and wondered where you were when you took it? Now, you don’t have to wonder anymore. The technology, known as “Geo-tagging,” is the process of “tagging” your location, or GPS coordinates, to the data stored with your digital photo. Take your photo album to the next level and re-create your excursions as map routes, with each photo representing a point on your journey. Then share them with friends and family by uploading them to your Facebook or MySpace page.

While more digital cameras with built-in GPS are on the horizon, the iPhone 3G and Nikon Cool Pix P6000 ($499) are the only ones available now. For the rest of us, we can purchase a separate unit, like the Gisteq PhotoTrackr Lite. Or if you want to be the envy of every geek in town, try the Eye-Fi Explore wireless SD memory card. This card stores your images, automatically geo-tags them, and wirelessly uploads them. How is that for instant gratification?

Scuba Anyone?

If you’ve sworn off snorkeling because you’ve found it difficult to breathe or even felt claustrophobic, the Kapitol Reef Snorkel may be for you. It works by regulating the pressure when you exhale and it efficiently prevents snorkelers from breathing in CO2. The end result is a new underwater breathing experience.

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By Christine Atanasio

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