Best New Travel Gadgets
Find out what tech-savvy
travelers are taking on the road this year.
Last week, more than 140,00
attendees and 2,700 exhibitors from around the world descended on the Las Vegas
Convention Center to fill up every last inch of floor space—some 3.2 million
square feet—for the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), arguably the place to see what’s coming out, gizmo-wise, in 2011. With mobile phones and
tablets increasingly becoming the essential go-to gadgets for any traveler, CES
is also where to find out what to pack on trips this year.
Based on five days of scouring
CES 2011, Travel + Leisure editors have come up with 15 favorite new
travel gadgets—selected for their innovation, utility, power, and portability.
The good news is that all of them are either out now or slated for release in
the next 12 months.
The iPad may have come out less
than a year ago but the tablet has already become a must for any trip—it’ll
hold maps, guidebooks, navigation services, translators, novels, music, and
movies in one carry-on friendly device. Not surprisingly, more than 80 tablets
were launched at CES, all of them promising full connectivity and convenience
while at home or on the road. Manufacturers are obviously trying to capitalize
on the Apple tablet’s success; after all, 1 in 5 Americans will own a tablet by
2014, according to Harris Interactive. Among the iPad’s competition is the
Motorola Xoom, designed to run on Google’s Android platform.
Cameras also made a strong
showing. Shutterbugs will revel in the better and more portable 3-D that’s
showing up in camcorders, such as the new Sony Bloggie. Travelers can now
literally add an extra dimension to their vacation movies.
Another trend was gadgets with
dual or multi purposes. Take the rugged waterproof Eton Raptor, which delivers
many devices in one neat package: an AM/FM/wideband radio, an LED flashlight,
an altimeter, a barometer, an alarm clock, a bottle opener, and more.
Perhaps the ultimate travel
technology debut came in the form of transportation itself. The zero-emissions
Ford Focus Electric car—with its MyFord Mobile, a smartphone app that can find
your car via GPS and tell you where the nearest charging stations are
located—made waves at the show.
Read on for the top gadgets you’ll want to pack in your bags
Tom Samiljan is Travel + Leisure’s Digital