Just in Case
Airlines are clamping down on the size and number of carry-ons. Fortunately, the luggage industry has risen--or in this case, fallen--to meet the challenge. Atlantic's Upright Virtual Office is a wheeled business case, computer case and overnighter in one. After 9/11, designers reduced its size so it can fit in even the tightest overhead compartment.
- Price: $169
Another innovation: Tumi's Expandable Carry-On with Suiter,
a compact carry-on with storage for hanging clothes and a back
sleeve that slides over a wheeled bag. The bag features two outside
pockets, a front storage compartment and a back compartment with a
removable suiter with zip mesh pockets to let you get into and out
of the luggage faster.
- Price: $365
A new hands-free device is liberating business travelers from the handset. Plantronics' MX100 headset for mobiles phones uses new technology called "Flex Grip" so the unit won't slip off your ear. The company has also upgraded its noise-reduction technology so the person you're talking to can hear you even if you're sprinting through a terminal.
- Price: $39.95
|10th Annual Business Travel Awards|
· Best Hotels
· Best Airlines
· Must Have Travel Gadgets
|ONLINE EXCLUSIVE:Travel Trends for 2003|
Travel can be a pain. That's why Dr. Scholl's introduced a line of cushions designed with travelers in mind. They're all made from high-density foam that responds to your body's heat and weight, then "remembers" its original shape. Among the new pillows are a U-shaped neck cushion for long flights and a lumbar cushion designed to fit behind your back on marathon car trips. If you're looking for more high-tech relief, try the battery-operated lumbar cushion with a massage motor that keeps a gentle, consistent vibration on your back.
- Price: $14.95-$24.99
Ever been stuck at a hotel without a screwdriver? Or needed a pick to remove a phone line stuck in a jack? The McGuyver XT from Topeak is a new 16-function stainless steel tool in a magnesium body that includes a fork, bottle opener, screwdriver, can opener, scissors, saw, knife and tweezers.
- Price: $39.95
Swiss Army also offers a comparably priced tool, the
SportRatchet, which features a bottle opener, screwdriver, wire
stripper and toothpick. It also comes with several sizes of
wrenches. Though these gadgets can be useful, check them with your
luggage, or they'll get confiscated.
- Price: $49
As far as wireless devices go, Hop-On's new disposable cell phone isn't much to look at. It's small, doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, and could almost pass for a toy. But the real beauty of the Hop-On is unseen: With 60 minutes of prepaid calling time, you get to skip the contract, plus avoid long-distance and roaming charges and other fees. Early reviews say despite its somewhat awkward appearance, the Hop-On is as easy to use as any portable phone. Once you're done, you can return the unit for a $5 rebate certificate, or just throw it away.
- Price: $40