MP3 Players and Other Tech Toys for Travelers

by Ian MacKenzie Oct 22, 2006

Forbes recently published a story about a few various electronic devices that travelers are starting to pack with their luggage, from Blackberry’s and high-end stereo headphones, laptop’s and even LCD projectors. Why the rise in tech toys on the road? They give two reasons:

First, the seemingly inexhaustible ability of the electronics industry to cram lots of processing power into tiny products has created items that are small and actually useful – there are notebook computers as powerful as desktops and phones with much of the functionality of PCs.

Second, the swift expansion of high-speed wireless technology across the country and around the world has made it easy to remain connected on the road.

I have yet to meet a traveler with their own LCD projector, though it’s rare to meet one without some sort of music player. This is either an “old-school” walkman or more likely, an MP3 player filled with tracks from home.

Music is no doubt the easiest way to combat uncertainty and loneliness when venturing into new lands, especially when rattling through the backcountry of Mongolia or surrounded by inexplicable Japanese pop in Tokyo. It’s also a great way of introducing new artists to your friends you meet on the road, who would never have found them otherwise.

What tech toys do you find yourself unable to travel without? Or alternately, what gadget do you find most annoying on fellow travelers?

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