Interactive Traveler: PDAs & Cellphones, Round-the-world Trips

Interactive Traveler: PDAs & Cellphones, Round-the-world Trips

A Marriage Made in Heaven
The PDA and the cell phone, finally in a single package

For a while now, many cell phones have had some capabilities of the PDA (a date book, for example), but there were no true hybrids. Enter the load-lightening PDA phone. For those who still want a full-sized PDA, the Handspring VisorPhone (; Visor from $149, phone module from $199) is ideal; it's a standard Visor PDA, which runs on Palm OS software, simply combined with a special GSM phone attachment. If you don't mind a smaller screen, consider the Kyocera QCP 6035 (; $399) or the Ericsson R380 World (; $600). The former uses Palm software but is clunkier; the lighter, slimmer Ericsson synchronizes only with certain PC applications, including MS Outlook and Lotus Notes. New this month is the stylishly silver Samsung SPH-I300 (; $500), which is Palm-compatible and fits in a shirt pocket. Besides all the usual PDA functions, it comes with voice memo and voice dial features, and a large eight-bit color screen.

When One Stop Is Not Enough
Shopping for plane tickets on-line is usually pretty simple—as long as your itinerary is simple, too. But what if you have major globe-hopping in mind?Two lesser-known Web sites can help. Both specialize in complicated international airfares like round-the-world trips. And both can save you money. lets you custom-build complex itineraries with its TripPlanner software, and gives you an instant price quote for the entire ticket. It also has limited-time discounts on certain routes (a trip from Chicago to Bangkok, Singapore, Johannesburg, Nairobi, Amsterdam, and back was $2,150 at press time).

Log On, Hold The Fee
Sick of paying exorbitant international surcharges when connecting to your Internet service provider from abroad?A new company called MaGlobe ( lets you dial around the problem with prepaid Internet access in more than 5,000 locations. Simply download its autodialer program to your laptop before you leave; when you're traveling, choose your city from the pull-down list and you'll connect to the Internet via a local number. Packages start at $14.95 for three hours, an especially good deal if you're likely to be connecting from more-remote locales.

Explore More

More from T+L