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TRAVEL TIPS - ELECTRONIC GADGETS



Computer Accessories

If you've ever looked at all of the different adapters necessary just to get across Europe, you'll understand just how crucial, and confusing, traveling with the correct adapters can be. At the bottom of this page, we've included links to several suppliers where you can research and buy just about anything you'll need.

On just about every trip you take, you'll need the following: a long telephone cord, a modular telephone adapter, and a plug that provides two - and three-prong adapters. Add to these three items a 3-to-1 power plug (for plugging in a printer and/or external modem along with your computer), and you'll be covered in most circumstances.

Electrical Converters

Here's where it gets tricky. First, you need to consider international differences in voltage; then you need to deal with the different sizes and shapes of the plugs. Almost every country has one or more adapters that may be unique to it, or that it shares with a few close neighbors. If you're traveling far and wide, you'll need a veritable motherlode of adapters, plugs, phone jacks, attachments, and the like.

You'll need an adapter for the ubiquitous 220-volt current. It turns out that the USA and Canada, which use 110-volt current, are the odd countries out in this realm; most of the rest of the world runs 220 volts.

Non-Standard Phone Jacks

The familiar, US Standard phone jack is RJ11. It's becoming ever more of an international standard, and if it's available, you're set if you simply have a phone cord and jack in your computer. If not, good luck finding an adapter at the local hardware store. There are about 25-30 countries that still haven't converted to the RJ11, and then there are the hotels that have phones that are wired directly into the wall with no jack connection. In these cases, you'll want an acoustic coupler to allow handset to handset connections, and a patch cord kit.

Dial Tones

Dial tones can vary from country to country, and your modem may not recognize the tone at your new destination. You can get around this by adding a command to your modem setup string telling it to ignore the dial tone.

Surge Protection

You have a surge protection electrical strip on your desktop computer; you should have the same for your portable. In countries where electrical delivery is less reliable, this is all the more important. You'll need one for whichever voltage you'll be using; surge protectors for 110 and 220 volt currents are not interchangeable.

Modem Protectors

Modems are designed to connect to analog telephone lines, like the ones in your home. Some telephones installed in businesses and hotels are digital. Because the jacks are identical, you may not be able to tell the difference. Many digital lines carry too much current for modems; so if you plug in your modem to one, you may ruin the circuits. With a modem protector, you can avoid this risk.

If you frequently need to work from a location with digital phone lines, you can buy a digital phone adapter for about $125.

Carrying Case

No matter how careful you are carrying your computer around, it's going to take a few hits while you scurry around airports, hop in and out of airport shuttle buses, pile stuff into overhead bins, fall asleep slumped over your work on the plane. A sturdy, padded carrying case can save you a lot of aggravation and even more money.

Extra Battery

You'll be doing most of your work in the hotel, right? Think you won't need it? Guess again. A second battery is an obligatory traveling companion; get one now.

In the Air

Most major airlines now provide access to GTE Airfones, to which you can connect while in the air. This is great in an emergency, or if you need to quickly check your e-mail; but don't plan on using it as a primary means to get your work done. In addition to the fact the connections are slow, calls on domestic flights cost about $15, for only a few minutes online.

Cellular Connections

A cellular data connection can save you much hassle, if you're willing to pay the price. Hooking up to a cellular connection may also require additional hardware. Never assume that your modem will be compatible with your cellular phone; many are not. The best bet is to buy a cellular-ready modem; and get a cellular phone with a built-in data connection.

Check out these websites for a variety of travel gear:

www.etravelergear.com

www.walkabouttravelgear.com

**Companies or websites listed above are for reference only. We do not endorse them or make any promises about their services.**
 

 


 










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