Because I write about travel, I am often sent samples of travel gadgets and products to review, and a few notable ones have made their way into my life in the past couple of months.
The one I use most is in my car and I donít know how I have lived without it. What makes the SuperTooth Buddy Bluetooth Visor Car Kit so handy is that itís non-handyÖ that is, its completely hands free, but doesnít hook over my ear. It clings to my visor, where it can be moved easily, and itís small so I can pop it into my pocket, glove-box or wallet if I donít want to leave it in the car. Unlike a traditional Bluetooth device that hooks over your ear, it doesn't have little pieces that can get broken or bent when stashed in a pocketbook or briefcase. Its metal clip has soft "grippy" things inside to keep it on the visor, and the device itself is magnetic so it just pops on and off. I traverse some very bumpy and unpaved backroads in my travels, and it has yet to pop off. It "pairs" automatically, without no passwords -- you just have to give it "permission" from your phone so it doesn't link up to someone passing by, and it uses the now-standard charging port that new phones use.
One last question: how does my voice sound at the other end of the line? About the same as On-Star any other hands-free device, I learned when my husband used it to call me. Definitely not to be used with windows down on a highway, but you can't do that with any other device either. I give it five stars. www.hypercel.com
Iím not obsessed with travel phobias Ė I donít get antsy over bedbugs in hotel rooms and I certainly donít wear a ďpersonal air purifierĒ around my neck on airplanes. But I hate being barefoot on a strange floor, and even the slip-on slippers in five-star hotels slip off easier than they slip on. And my feet get cold on all-night flights. So although my first reaction to Snoozies -- the leopard-print fuzzy soft-soled slippers with the non-skid soles -- was to snicker, I soon began to see their charms. A bit bulky, maybe, but they have earned their place in my carry-on bag (and since they are cushy and totally flexible, I can either use them as packing for camera lenses or stuff them in my trenchcoat pocket when boarding). And when I toddle off warm-footed to the ladies room in mid-flight, I get smiles from fellow passengers and flight attendants. www.snooziesforyou.com
I donít use perfume Ė and I wish other people didnít on airplanes Ė but I do use other travel products that come in spray bottles, and they are always too big to carry. I was delighted to discover Travalo, a refillable atomizer thatís barely bigger than a lipstick tube and holds about 65 sprays. It can be refilled from any standard spray can Ė just pop off the plastic nozzle, apply the top of Travalo directly to the can and push down. Safe, shatter-proof and small enough for carry-on bags on aircraft, it allows me to travel with a small amount of any spray product in a very light and compact container. www.travalo.com
Also sized for air travel is the sassy little trio from Poo-Pourri, a resealable plastic pouch containing 2-ounce bottles of Down & Dirty waterless hand cleaner, Slap Happy hand cream with UV protection and a tiny spray container of their signature product, Shhh...It Happens. The latter is sprayed into the toilet bowl before use to seal unmentionable odors out of the air. Unlike perfume, thatís something you wish everyone on an airplane would use. Billed as the ďbefore-you-go bathroom sprayĒ Poo-Pourri products create a barrier to odors, but is environmentally safe and doesnít fill the air with perfumy deodorant smells. They come in larger size bottles, too, but this one is designed for travel. The hand cleaner doesnít smell like disinfectant, either and rubs in instantly. Slap happy bills itself as an anti-aging hand cream, and although I canít vouch for it making my hands look younger (I didnít think they looked old before I used it!), I do like the fact that it has UV protection in it, because my hands get a lot of sun when I travel. It is very mildly scented and rubs in instantly without leaving my hands greasy Ė important since I use a camera. www.poopourri.com