Portable Travel Buddies You Can’t Live Without

I have things I usually bring with me that I can’t live without. I’ve been a fan of new technologies, and everything is constantly improving. The scientists invent these gadgets to make our lives so much easier. They make everything in smaller package but with all the necessary features that a person might need. It all depends on every individual needs.

Now we can even fit everything in a bag – from a telephone to a mobile phone, a radio to an mp3 player, and analog camera into digital camera. I, myself can’t live without certain things in my bag. I always see to it that I have everything available when I need it. Here are some of the gadgets I always have with me. I call them my “travel buddies”.

Ø Credit Card and ATM Card

I find that bringing ATM and Credit cards much safer than bringing a big amount of money with you. Credit card is very convenient to use and it is very accessible when ever we need it. You can use your major credit cards to shop anywhere in the world. It also provides an easier way to track your expenses.

Ø Cellular Phone

I just bought this amazing phone, the Sony Ericsson K850i cyber shot; it is a true digital still camera with a 5-mega pixel power. What amazes me most about this phone is the automatic lens cover, with auto-focus so you don’t have to worry about the sharpness of the picture, and it also has xenon flash for poor lighting conditions. You can even print the pictures directly from the phone, no need to transfer it to your computer. I just plug it in any printer and pick the picture to be printed and BOOM!, I have my picture printed. You can even have a quick and easy access to the internet. With my new phone I am able to do video calls, audio and video streaming, internet surfing, and email on the go, who could even ask for more? I don’t even have to bring my laptop with me, making my life much easier.

Also watch out for these phones, Sony Ericsson C702, Samsung Soul U900, Nokia N96, Giga-byte MS820, and Android OS SDK. Let me give you a bit of information about these phones. Maybe one of these phones would be compatible to you.

o Sony Ericsson C702

This phone has face focus function. The C702 will automatically detect and focus on the face when the view finder detects it. With this feature, you don’t have to worry that you not being in the picture. It also has a built-in A-GPS which guides you to your destination. It actually leads you to where ever you want to go. Hmm, maybe I should get one too, so I won’t get lost when I travel. Instead of asking around where to find a certain place, I’ll be able to track it myself – pretty clever!

o Samsung Soul U900

Same as Sony Ericsson C702, this 5 mega-pixel camera phone also has a face detection function. You can enjoy super-fast internet access with its 7.2 Mbps High Speed Downlink Packet Access browser. This phone is perfect for people who love to listen to music because of its music library navigation feature and a digital power amplifier. The digital power amplifier actually uses special switching circuits that will minimize the voltage that is dropped in the output semiconductor devices, giving you a higher efficiency.

o Nokia N96

This Nokia phone has a built in DVB-H receiver for digital TV signals in Europe and Asia, and a kickstand for desktop viewing. It is truly an optimized TV and video phone.

o Giga-byte MS820

It is a 3.5G smartphone at 3GSM, and it has a TV and a GPS feature. The motion-sensing G-sensor and UI feature manages the phone’s activity which is based on your activity.

Ø Digital Camera

Not that I don’t enjoy the camera feature on my phone but of course to take a better picture, one has to own a digital camera. Since I travel a lot, I take lots of pictures as souvenirs. I have the newest edition of Casio’s EXILIM, the EX-V7, which is best for travelers like me. Because it is very slim and exceptionally portable, has a very powerful zoom lens and it’s also great looking too. With those features, it’s so easy for me take quality pictures anywhere without any hassle. This 7 mega-pixel digital camera has the four blur reduction technology of Casio that mechanically compensates for any camera shake. Then automatically analyzes the velocity and vector of a moving object setting the appropriate ISO sensitivity and a faster shutter speed. What actually eliminates the blur is the electronic camera shake compensation function. These features are actually great for me since I like to capture beautiful scenery even when I am in a moving vehicle.

Ø Play Station Portable

The newest version of PSP was made to be slimmer and lighter making it much easier to bring. You can have access to your games anywhere you are, as well as an internet browser, and you can also store videos.

The fact that I love video games, PSP gives me the option of getting to bring my favorite games while I’m on the go. And since I get bored easily, if I’m not listening to music, I’m most certainly playing my game.

Ø iPod

This was actually designed for music lovers like me at first. Then after awhile many variations of iPod came out. There is the iPod classic, the high-end touch screen iPod touch, iPod Nano, the screenless iPod shuffle, and the iPod mini.

I personally have the 32-gig iPod touch; I preferred this one because of its great features. It is Wi-fi capable with Safari and Apple browsers. This is the first iPod generation to have wireless access to iTunes Store. It can even detect the last 10 songs that were played in Starbucks café within the vicinity. Pretty cool!

Since I am a music lover and all, it is great for me. I don’t just get to listen to my favorite songs; I can also watch movies and catch up on my favorite TV shows. With my iPod Touch, I need not worry.

How about you? What are the travel buddies you can’t live without?

The Beauty of My iPod Shuffle

There are many iPod mechanisms that millions of people like. But when you think about what you really like you find one that works for you and your stick to it. For many people it is the iPod that also plays videos (I have that one too) because it can do so many things and if you are a traveler like I am you can use it while on the plane to entertain yourself. But for me, for my everyday use, I LOVE the iPod Shuffle.

This tiny little device (no bigger than a matchbook and really light) holds between 250 to 500 songs depending on gigabytes that the device has. I have the 2 GB one so I have a lot of songs on mine. It has this little clip (like one of those big black work paper clips) that you can use to clip the device right on to your cloths and then g about your business. For me I clip it on, put in my ear buds and go jogging. It is the best.

Music is an important part of my workout, I love listening to the playlist that I put together just for the purpose of jogging and they all fit on my tiny iPod shuffle. This little baby comes in a multitude of colors although I prefer the pink one that I have. But if you like blue, silver, green, purple or ice blue you can find one that you will like. And if size is what you are looking for you will absolutely love this one.

Now granted, the only thing that the IPod Shuffle is good for is playing music and has a great size but if you want more functionality than that you need to move up to another device. I like the classic iPod because I can also record on it and listen to video on it. But for everyday bopping around and having some musical company, I will always choose my shuffle.

Traveler’s Foot May Be Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is a fungus that is easily transmitted among unwary travelers. By following some simple advice, you can make sure you don’t contaminate your feet in your hotel room or the barefoot extravaganza known as the airport security checkpoint.

Athlete’s foot is the most common fungal infection of the feet. Every day, podiatrists see people with feet that are burning, itching and peeling. Although many different species of fungus and yeast can cause the problem, the ways that you as a traveler can prevent it are simple and effective.

The fungus that cause athlete’s foot thrives in places that are dark, warm and moist. Shoes are the perfect habitat for fungus. Unfortunately for business travelers and vacationers, there are many places in airports, hotels and vacation spots that are covered in fungus just waiting to infect your feet.

Whenever living foot fungus or fungal spores (which are basically seeds for fungus waiting to sprout) stick to bare skin or enter through tiny little openings in the skin, it can take hold and start to grow. As the fungus grows, it pulls water from the surrounding skin.

This causes peeling and itching of the skin as the fungus does damage and causes delamination or peeling away of the skin’s outer layers. Frequently the infection starts in the moist area between the toes of on the bottom of the foot.

Foot doctors often describe a “moccasin distribution” pattern with athlete’s foot infections. This means that the areas of the feet that turn red and start peeling are usually those that would be in contact with moccasins. The tops of the feet and ankle don’t usually become involved.

Fortunately for you, the most effective prevention measures are also very easy… don’t step in the fungus! When you are traveling, you just have to know where not to step.

You have to make sure to guard your shoes against fungus. The shoes need to be a safe haven for your feet. Any time you get live fungus or fungal spores in your shoes, you run the risk of getting fungal toenails or an athlete’s foot infection.

No matter what you do, when you travel, your feet will prespire. A hurried stressful pace in airport terminals, trying to make that connection while toting a laptop and carry-on bag will make you (and your feet) sweat like crazy.

Since fungus needs moisture to live, you want to do anything you can to reduce the moisture in your shoes. A good place to begin is with well ventilated shoes that breathe while you are on your trip. Shoes that have breathable mesh uppers made of nylon, mesh, or cotton breathe fairly well and let the moisture escape. Leather, plastic and rubber tend to hold the fungus in your shoes encouraging fungus to grow.

Make sure you rotate your shoes during your trip. Have at least two pairs of shoes so you can wear them on alternate days. This will allow them enough time to fully dry out before you wear them again.

If you are very active or if your feet sweat a lot, try changing your socks half way through the day. This is one of the easiest ways to keep your feet dry and fungus free. Wear synthetic socks and avoid cotton to keep moisture away from your feet. There are also newer socks available that have copper fibers woven into them. Copper seams to decrease the likelihood that fungus will take hold in the sock material.

Because even the most relaxing vacations involve lots of walking through airports, hotels and site-seeing, choose comfortable walking shoes for your trip. Many vacationers opt for sandals or flip flips when on vacation, however these can lead to friction blisters that let the fungus in and start the infection.

Make sure you avoid the fungus hotspots. The carpet you feel under your sock-clad feet while waiting to get through security is a haven for athlete’s foot-causing fungus. All day and night, sweaty feet emerge from their shoes and shuffle along the carpet. Everyone steps and stands in this continual stream of perspiring feet and shedding foot fungus. As you trudge through the line, your sweaty socks pick up fungal spores. Then you put your feet back in your shoes that act as incubators to start your own little foot fungus farm.

Unfortunately most airport security checkpoints now require that every pair of shoes goes through the xray machine. But this doesn’t mean you can’t protect your feet. One simple solution is to wear an old worn out pair of socks to the airport. Carry a clean pair in your pocket. Take of your shoes, and go through security wearing your old worn out socks. After you get through the checkpoint, take off the old socks and put on the clean ones before you put your shoes back on. Throw the old socks away. Now you can start your vacation fungus-free!

The next place to avoid is the hotel carpet and bathroom. You never know how clean those places are, regardless of how expensive the hotel is. Just because it costs as much as a hospital room, doesn’t mean it is just as clean. If you wear socks in the hotel room, just don’t put your shoes on until you change socks.

Make sure you also step on the terry cloth mat when you step out of the shower. If possible, get a clean mat with clean towels every day. If you go down to the sauna in the athletic facility, make sure you wear shower shoes. All of the heat and moisture creates the ideal fungal environment. Fungus can also grow on the tile around the pool and hot tub, but the chlorine in the water actually helps keep it from being as big of a problem.

If your trip takes you to someplace where you can head to the beach, make sure you wear sandals to protect your feet. Don’t forget that any tiny little cuts or abrasions are the best way for fungus to get in and start an athlete’s foot infection.

Now that you understand the basics about foot fungus and where it tends to thrive, you can easily side-step it. Between the airlines and security, travel has enough aggravation. You certainly don’t need anything else getting under your skin.