Yatta! Even if you can't manipulate time and space like Hiro Nakamura, the holidays present an excellent opportunity for you to travel and visit with relatives. During this festive time of the year, you may be inundated with cranberry sauce and awkward hugs from your old aunt Ruth, but this does not mean that you have to leave your love for technology behind. Come on. You know that it's simply not possible for you to disconnect from the Internet for the entire holiday season.
In order to keep up with your techie gadget obsession, some serious planning may be needed. The airports are going to be pretty crowded, the roads might be a little slick, and you don't want to be left without access to all your favorite electronic goodies. With this in mind, allow me to present you with my humble holiday travel guide for techie types. You can bring your laptop with you to grandma's house, but you need to be prepared.
Surge Protection on the Go
If you plan on packing your notebook PC, you'll want to remember to bring your power brick. That much is obvious. An area that some people may sometimes forget, however, is to bring a proper surge protecting power bar. This is especially true if you're going to be bringing a few different items, like your cell phone, digital camera, portable GPS navigation device, and so on. Just because you're at the bus station doesn't mean that their wall outlets are immune to inexplicable surges and power outages.
You probably don't want to bring along a giant Monster Cable power strip, so that's why you should consider a more portable solution like the appropriately named Targus Travel Power Outlets with Surge Protection.
I wrote about this back in the summer, but it's just as useful in the winter. You get four surge protection power outlets, so you can feel pretty safe on the road. I really like how the power cord can be plugged into the other end of the power strip and then there's a Velcro strap to tie it all together. This makes it really easy to toss into your backpack. Seriously convenient.
Better still, you can consider something like the Belkin Power Surge Protector with USB Charger. It functions in a similar way, but instead of four power outlets, it has three power outlets and a pair of USB ports. This makes it really easy to charge things like your iPhone and iPod, as well as regular stuff like your laptop. It's only $25, so you're not breaking the bank on something like this either.
Packing the Portable Power
While the surge protecting power bars described above are a must for any technologically-inclined traveler, you may not always have access to a power outlet. What can you do when your BlackBerry or iPod runs out of juice? Perish the thought of being stuck without mobile email and portable music enjoyment, because you can easily invest in some quality battery-topping solutions like the Ecosol Powerstick shown above.
The eco-friendly Ecosol Powerstick can get loaded up from any available USB port, giving you enough power to top up a cell phone, BlackBerry, or iPod in need of some extra juice. The second generation version is a little more aesthetically pleasing, so you may want to go with that one.