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Travel

Simplify Your Life on the Road

Accessories to pass the time and make the right connections.

Easy listening

Like audiobooks but lose patience with cassette, CD and MP3 players? Consider a Playaway self-playing audiobook, which comes with one AAA battery and earbuds. All you have to do to listen is press play. There are currently 32 popular titles, such as The Da Vinci Code, available at Barnes Noble, Borders and OfficeMax stores, starting at $35 each.



Get a grip

Is your luggage hard to steer when you make sharp turns at the airport? Simply hook the TravelTow ($13 at Magellans.com) to the handle of your wheeled suitcase. The device hinges, swivels and pivots in your palm as you pull on it, just like the handles on some types of high-end luggage. Available in black only. This summer, TravelTow will debut a line of budget luggage (roughly $90 to $110) with its maneuverable handle built in.



Skip a step

Memory cards for digital cameras, PDAs and other devices seem convenient, until you can't find a cord or card reader to move the data to your PC. But the SanDisk Ultra II SD Plus card sprouts its own USB plug, so you can transfer files directly. Pictured: a version with 512 megabytes of memory for $80. A version with one gigabyte of memory is available for $135. When we tested the card, it let us easily move data between a digital camera, a PDA and a PC.

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Foreign friend

Tumi's USB Travel Charger kit ($95 at Tumi.com) allows you to recharge your laptop, PDA or camera in 150 countries. The kit also has a connection cable that is compatible with the most popular cell phones, such as those from Nokia. A cigarette-plug adapter lets you charge devices from many rental cars, too. And with the modem adapter, you can connect your laptop to the Internet in 80 countries.




Small wonder

Casio's Exilim EX-Z120 ($300 at RitzCamera.com) is about the size of a box of Altoids, measuring roughly 3.5 inches wide, 2.4 inches high and 1 inch thick. But it captures enough detail to make good 8-by-10-inch prints -- 7.2 megapixels' worth, to be precise. In our tests, the camera snapped about 170 shots on one charge (from two AA batteries). And we found it easy to control the flash, zoom and other features by selecting settings from the camera's on-screen menus.