The 10 Gadgets To Pack Before Getting On A Plane

aeroplane seat

Photo: Frank Gruber

It can be tough to remember what to bring when packing for a business trip.So we came up with 10 travel gadgets to bring on your next trip that will get you through security faster, keep you productive, and connect you to the internet no matter where you are.

Note: We took many of the prices listed here from Amazon. Be sure to check there and Google Checkout for the best deals.

Breeze through security with a checkpoint-friendly laptop bag

It's tough to comply with the TSA's ever-expanding list of rules and regulations. Save yourself some time going through security with a checkpoint-friendly laptop bag. These bags are designed to give TSA screeners a clear X-Ray view of your laptop without having to take it out.

Price: Pricing varies. We found this bag from Targus for $54.

Avoid paying for hotel wifi with a USB 4G modem

With the introduction of 4G networks, USB modems have seen a new surge in popularity.

Each carrier has its own device(s) to offer, so it's a matter of finding the one that suits your needs and budget. If you're looking for speed, go with a 4G USB modem from Clear or Verizon. Both will give you faster-than-3G speeds, but based on the spec sheets, Verizon's network is faster.

Verizon's modems cost $99.99 with a two-year service contract. There are two service plans: $50 per month will get you 5 GB of data, $80 per month will get you 10 GB.

Clear's USB modems start at $80. Service plans start at $45 per month.

Don't blow fuse: Get a universal power adaptor

If you're travelling internationally, make sure you have the proper power adaptor for the country you're visiting. It's easy to find an all-in-one adaptor so you'll be ready no matter where you go.

Price: Pricing varies, but you should be able to find one for less than $20.

Use your flight to catch up on some reading

There's no use trying to get work done on the plane (unless you're on one equipped with wifi and AC outlets), so use this as an opportunity for some pleasure reading. Kindle is the obvious choice. There are over 800,000 books and periodicals to choose from, so you'll never be bored.

Price: $139 for the wifi-only version. $189 for the 3G version.

Pack a battery booster

If you're out all day, avoid risking a dead battery and bring along a battery booster for your phone. These devices usually charge from your computer's USB port and provide some extra life for your cell phone.

If your phone charges via a micro-USB (BlackBerrys and many Android phones) check out the Technocel Battery Boost. It also includes a micro SD card reader, so your booster can double as a flash drive when it's charging in your computer.

For iPhone owners, Mophie is a popular choice. The company's battery boosters double as a case for your phone without adding too much extra bulk. You can also try one of their traditional boosters if you already have a case.

Prices: Technocel Battery Boost: $23.99 from Sprint. Mophie Boosters start at $40.

Why pack a charger for each device?

Power mats like these from Powermat USA will charge all your gadgets without a cord for each one. They're compatible with every major device like iPhones, iPods and BlackBerrys and fold up nicely to fit in any computer bag.

Price: Starting at $59.99

Leave your netbook at home and pack a tablet instead

Tablets make excellent travel companions. They're thin, light, and can do almost anything your netbook can do. Obviously, the iPad is the dominant tablet right now. But a few solid competitors like Motorola's Xoom and RIM's Playbook are right around the corner.

Price: iPads start at $499. Expect to see the Xoom and Playbook this spring.

If you have to bring laptop, try the MacBook Air

At just over two pounds, the 11-inch MacBook Air is perfect for plane travel. Because it uses Flash storage instead of a hard drive, it boots up quickly and is incredibly power efficient. Apple says the battery on the 11-inch Air will last over five hours. You could probably squeeze out more than that if you turn off wifi while on the plane. Even if the plane isn't equipped with AC outlets, you'll have plenty of juice to get work done.

Price: MacBook Airs start at $999

Listen to your tunes in peace with noise-cancelling headphones

The Bose QuietComfort 15 headphones aren't cheap, but they'll let you enjoy tunes on the plane without being bothered by aeroplane noise.

Price: $299.95

Turn your phone into an instant translator

There are several translator apps for iPhone, but we were impressed with SpeechTrans. It's not the prettiest app, but it has excellent voice recognition. It will instantly translate spech to text and vice versa. It's very useful if you need help ordering lunch or finding your way around an unfamiliar city.

Price: $19.99 for the Ultimate Edition that includes nine languages.

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