Contact Us   Site Map
Travel Planning and Assistance
Road Warrior resources
How to Book and Buy Travel
Scary, Silly and Stupid Security Stories
Airline Reviews
Airline (Mis)!Management
Miscellaneous Features
Reference Materials
About the Travel Insider
Looking for something else? Search over four million words of free information on our web and blog sites.
Custom Search
Free Newsletter

In addition to our feature articles, we offer you a free newsletter with a mix of news and opinions on travel related topics.

Click here to choose between a daily or weekly or instantaneous newsletter edition.  All are free.

View Sample
Privacy Policy

Help this Site
Thank you for your interest in helping this site to continue to develop. Some of the information we give you here can save you thousands of dollars the next time you're arranging travel, or will substantially help the quality of your travel experiences in other, non-cash ways. Click for more information

Noise Reducing Headphones

One of the greatest fatigue factors on a long flight is the omnipresent background noise of the engines.  You might think your mind can ignore it, but your body does not.

Noise reducing headphones make you feel much less tired and drained at the end of a long journey, and also allow you to enjoy very much better quality audio.

A series of articles that explain the technology and review the best (and the best value!) products currently for sale. More

International Cellphone Service

Can you imagine life without your cellphone?  Go overseas and you'll soon find out!

This four part series - featured in the Wall St Journal and many other papers around the country - tells you how to buy a cellphone that will work in 174 different countries - including the US - and also tells you how to avoid paying as much as $6/minute for calls.

Iinstead, following our advice, maybe you can receive calls totally
for free!

GSM cell phone unlocking FAQ

Everything you always wanted to know about GSM cell phones and how to unlock them. 

Unlock your GSM Cell Phone

If you have a GSM cell phone, the chances are that it is locked and can only be used with service from the network that sold the phone to you.

For only $5, you can unlock your phone and then enjoy massive savings, using it on any compatible network, anywhere in the world. Here's how.

(Note - we no longer offer this service.  Most wireless companies will now unlock your phone for free.)

How to Backup and Copy your GSM SIM's Phonebook Data

You backup your computer data, don't you? Well, so too you should with your phone. And if you're changing wireless providers (eg from AT&T to T-mobile) you'll need to copy all your phone book data from one SIM to the other.

Here's a very simple, easy, and inexpensive way to back up, copy, and transfer the phonebook data off your GSM mobile phone's SIM card.

(Note - we no longer sell these devices.  Modern phones have much better phonebooks "in the cloud" and you no longer need to manually back them up or copy them over.)

GPS Articles

A series of articles explaining what GPS is, how it works, what it can do for you, and how to choose the best GPS unit, plus reviews of selected GPS units.

2005 Best Travel Technology Awards

Over 2000 Travel Insider readers voted from a short list of travel and technology products that had been featured during 2005, choosing two winners.

See which items were chosen as the 2005 winners.  Links on the page also take you to the 2004 and 2003 award winners.

Replacing the Battery in an iPhone 3G or 3GS

Slowly but inexorably, the battery in your iPhone 3G or 3GS is holding less and less charge each time you recharge it.

Here's a great convenient service to make it easy for you to replace the battery and enjoy full battery life again.

(Note - does anyone still have an iPhone 3G or 3GS?  We suspect not!  So have removed this page, too.)

Should You Choose an iPhone or Android Phone

A detailed seven part series that examines everything to do with these two different approaches to state of the art smart phones.

After reading through, you'll be able to decide with certainty and confidence which is the better type of phone for you.

All About Satellite Phone Service

Satellite phone service is at times inconvenient and 'old fashioned' seeming in terms of the size and weight of the phones it uses.  As such, for the ordinary user, most of the time, there's little reason to change from using a regular cell phone.

But for those people and those times when you absolutely must be able to make and receive phone calls, no matter where in the world you are, satellite phone service is your only choice.

This article tells you all about satellite phone service and helps you choose the best service for your needs.

Netflix Video Streaming

This is - we suggest - a new 'killer app' for the internet that everyone should have.  What is it and why should you have it?  Read our two part series to find out.

Sharing Internet Access

Sometimes a hotel will charge you not just for using internet, but more for each different device you wish to use on the internet.

This four part series tells you all you need to know about how to avoid getting unfairly charged, and gives you simple easy solutions for how to share a single internet access point.

Microsoft OneNote Software

This excellent software allows you to store all sorts of different types of information together, and subsequently find and retrieve it again.  It gives computers the intelligence and power they have always needed and long lacked.

Easy to use, very versatile, and best of all, available with a 60 day free trial before buying, this is software we all need and can benefit from.

SteriPEN UV Water Purifiers

This series reviews three different models of the SteriPEN UW Water Purifier plus the companion solar battery recharger.

You need one of these devices anytime you're traveling somewhere that doesn't give you the certainty of pure drinking water.

Home Security Video Monitoring Systems

Everything you always wanted to know about how to set up a home security video monitoring system.

Cellboost Emergency Cell Phone Battery Charger

A simple and small lightweight gadget that promises to give you an extra 60 minutes or talk time or 60 hours of standby time if your cell phone battery goes dead on you.

Incredibly, testing shows that it works even better than promised.  At only $5 or so each, this is a must have gadget for all cell phone users.

Third Rail External Battery System

This is a very flexible way of providing emergency extra power for an iPhone 4/4S and for many other mobile devices too.


Joby Gorillapod review

A clever flexible mini tripod that enables you to position your camera in all sorts of new places to take pictures of you or other things.


Quik Pod camera extender Review

A portable, simple and inexpensive gadget that helps you take better pictures.


Apple iPhone Review series

A five part series analyses the new Apple iPhone and iPhone 3G, highlighting its strengths and weaknesses of each, discussing competing phones, and giving you the information you need to decide if you should buy one of these expensive phones for yourself.

Apple iPad Review series

Should you too rush out and buy a new iPad?  This series of articles discusses what the iPad could (and could not) be used for, its strengths and weaknesses, and most of all, attempts to answer the question - should you buy one or not?

The Google Nexus 7 Tablet Review

After some successes (and failures) with mobile phones, Google now enters the tablet market.  Many reviewers have acclaimed the Nexus 7.  But do we agree?  Go see for yourself!

All About Speech Recognition Software

It has been a long time coming, but Speech Recognition Software is almost ready for prime time.  Should you start using speech rather than a keyboard on your computer?

T-mobile/Google G1 phone review series

A three part series on the first phone to be released using Google's Android mobile phone operating system.  Is it a worthy contender to the Blackberry and iPhone competitors?

Blackberry Review and User Tips

A three part series that reviews the Blackberry 8700, compares it to the Palm Treo and other devices, and gives suggestions to help you decide if you should buy such a unit, and, if you do, how to get best use from it.

Sugarsynch Software review

A two part review of this excellent software and how it can help you manage your data across multiple computers.  Recommended.

Logitech Squeezebox Duet Network Music System

A wonderful way of listening to music from the internet or your computer, anywhere in your home.

Easy to set up and use.  Read our two part review.

All About Intelligent Interactive Internet Radio Services

These amazing services magically create personalized streams of music to closely mirror your likes and dislikes.

They are often free, and can be heard not just on your computer but possiby on your phone and on other devices too.

iPad and Tablet Buying Guide

An encyclopedic compilation of everything you should consider prior to buying a tablet type portable computing device, spread over 10,000+ words and also including a downloadable Excel spreadsheet to help you tabulate comparisons between different iPad and other tablet devices.

AViiQ Laptop Computer Stands

Two lightweight tiny devices that claim to make it easier and more ergonomic to type on your laptop while also helping its cooling.

Do they really do what they claim?  Ready our review for more information.

Aviator Laptop Computer Stand

A simple but useful solution to the problem of never having enough space when flying coach class to use your laptop.

If you're one of the 92% of business travelers and 51% of leisure travelers who take their laptop with them, you'll probably find this invaluable.

Clipper Gear Micro Light

This handy little gadget can be kept anywhere and even conveniently mounted to the back of your cell phone.  Its long lived batteries provide a powerful light through twin LEDs, ideal for emergencies when you need light and don't otherwise have one.

At only $4.95 each, shouldn't you get two?  Or three!

(These were nice little things, but also superseded these days by better technology.)

Nectar BlueClip Bluetooth Headset Holders

Two reviews on the two series of wonderful Bluetooth headset holders offered by Nectar Accessories.

Whichever style you prefer, you'll for sure find this a wonderful way to carry your Bluetooth headset (other than in your ear all the time).

ScanGaugeII OBDII Vehicle Monitor review

This is a lovely little unit that easily installs in your car and gives you a lot of useful information about your vehicle's performance and fuel economy.

It also can be used to determine why the Check Engine light has switched on, and to switch it off again if appropriate.

SafeDriver OBDII Monitor review

This simple and affordable unit provides you with a basic set of data that tells you how your vehicle is being driven.  Use it, for example, to keep an eye on how safe and sane your teen's driving is.

Xingtone Ringtone Maker review

A simple and inexpensive program that allows you to make your own ringtones and send them to your phone, from just about any type of music or other audio content.

Petzl Zipka Plus Nightlight review

Not only miners and watchmakers wear lights on their heads.  Here's a very convenient, small sized, light weight, and long lasting light with a thousand and one uses.

In particular, it makes reading a book in the dark without disturbing other people (eg on an overnight flight) practical.

Satellite Radio Service

Old fashioned AM and FM radio services have been obsoleted by this amazing new technology.

Offering more choices, fewer commercials, better coverage, and lots of clever extra features, all in an easy to enjoy form, there's nothing to dislike and lots to love about satellite radio.  Read why there should be a satellite radio in your future.

Personal Radio Service

FRS, GMRS and MURS - no, not strange medical degrees or airline/city codes.  Instead, these are some of the names of the new inexpensive personal radio services available to you.

This four part series explains the different services available to you and helps you choose the one that is best suited for your needs.

Radio Repeaters and Range Extenders

Everything you ever wanted to know about radio repeaters and related devices, what they are, how they work, and how to use them.

Amazon's Wand review

An interesting unit, albeit somewhat limited, but with it currently being essentially free, who wouldn't choose to get one!

Amazon's Kindle Fire eBook reader/tablet review

A detailed two page review of the new Fire eBook reader; best read in conjunction with the earlier article series immediately below.

Amazon's New (Sep '11) Kindle and Fire eBook readers

Three pages of analysis, review and commentary about Amazon's new Kindle and Fire eBook readers, and how they compare to other products currently available.

The Amazon Kindle 2 eBook reader

An earlier series in  three parts, reviewing Amazon's interesting Kindle eBook reader, with an extra page on the Kindle 2.

The Sony PRS-500 e-Book reader and e-Books in general

A two part series about e-Books in general and the Sony PRS-500 e-Book reader.

Boostaroo Portable Amplifier and Splitter

An affordable compact and lightweight device that allows three people to share one music/sound source, and/or increases the volume level from personal music players.

Easy and simple to use, and effective in operation.

Portable MP3 Players

Imagine a unit no larger than a typical portable CD or cassette player, but which holds almost 300 hours of high quality music.

Impossible? No!  Amazing? Yes!  MP3 players are no longer impractical and complicated devices for 'nerds' and now are a vastly superior replacement for portable CD and cassette players, suitable for all travelers.

Barracuda Spam Firewall Review

Here's a product that seems like a great idea in theory, but which ended up as an example of the solution being worse than the problem in practice.

No matter how much we hate spam, sometimes it is better just to live with it than to fight it.  As witness our experience with this unit.

Palm Tungsten T3 PDA review

I review Palm's latest PDA and contrast it with my ancient Palm III. The new Tungsten T3 has a fancy color screen, and many more features.

But is it still easy to use and truly functional for the road warrior? Read my surprising findings.

Evac-U8 Emergency Escape Smoke Hood

DuPont's Evac-U8 could save 3000+ lives a year in the US alone.

This review tells you what it does, why it is best, and why you need one.

Emergency Self-Charging Radio

The Grundig/Eton FR250 emergency radio can be powered four different ways, including, if all else fails, by a hand crank generator that gives you 30+ minutes of listening per minute of cranking.

It also includes a flashlight, siren, and cell phone charger.  Good radio reception and great value, this is a must have in your at home emergency kit.

Audible Digital Talking Book review

Representing the modern update to an old technology (talking books recorded onto cassette or CD), the Audible downloadable audio book service gives you an interesting new way to fill in free time when you can't read but want something to do (eg driving, exercising, or traveling).

A good concept, but more expensive than seems necessary, and copy protection interferes with what should otherwise be a convenient simple process.

Motorola V3 Razr Cell Phone review

Motorola's distinctive new styling on its Razr V3 flip phone sets new ground and succeeds brilliantly from an appearance point of view.  But underneath its new appearance is the same old interface that has been around for too many years, with no new features.

Recent price reductions make it very affordable, though, and if you don't need the absolute latest and greatest features, you will likely find it a phone that you're very satisfied with.

Motorola V600 Cell Phone review

Motorola's top of the line (as of the time of writing!) cell phone is compact and fully featured, with Bluetooth, quad band service, and camera (as well as all normal phone features too).

The flip phone is stylish and attractive, and should be on your short list next time you're considering a phone upgrade.

Nokia 3650 Cell Phone review

Cell phone technology is changing amazingly rapidly. Even if your cell phone is only one year old, the chances are that it has become technologically obsolete and can't take advantage of all the new services offered by the cell phone companies.

Here is one such advanced cell phone for you to consider, crammed with extra features, while remaining easy to use.

First Class Sleeper review

A simple but brilliantly effective device that makes a coach class seat very much more comfortable and easier to sleep in.  Designed by an airline pilot.

SuddenStop License Frame

Add this to your rear license plate on your vehicle and get extra protection against being rear-ended.

Easy to install and inexpensive.

CoolIT USB Beverage Chiller

This clever gadget uses a Peltier Junction and power from your computer's USB port to provide a cooling plate on which you can keep your beverage of choice chilled while working on your computer.

But does it work as well as claimed?  Read the review to find out.

Nice Flights Jet Seat Airplane Seat Cover

Slip this cotton/spandex cover over your seat before flying next time you board a plane, and protect yourself against dirt, grime, grease and germs.

Expandable and Collapsible Bags for Traveling Convenience

Here are two options that give you more convenience and flexibility when choosing what type of luggage to take with you.

Both have unusual (= good) features, and both are very affordably priced.

Roboform Password Manager Review

Here's a simple solution to how to create and remember user names and passwords for all the different websites that require them.

Easy to install, easy to use, and affordable.  Don't believe me?  Check out the 30 day free trial and decide for yourself.

Securikey USB Computer Protection Key Review

Protect Your Laptop Against Data Theft : An FBI study suggests the average loss, due to misuse of corporate data, when a laptop is stolen, exceeds $89,000.

Here's a $100 item that reduces your risk. Consider it cheap insurance.

USB Flash Drive

A simple easy way of storing files off a computer, and transferring files between computers.

Reliable and inexpensive, and with no software to load and no programs to learn.  Recommended.

PicoPad Wallet Notes

A credit sized tiny notepad and pen that you can keep in your wallet.  Very clever, and very useful.  Recommended.

Dry Pak Protective Pouch

This is a waterproof and dirt/dust proof pouch that you can place a cell phone or PDA.  The electronic device (or anything else you put in the pouch) is then protected from environmental harm.

It is simple, elegant, functional and inexpensive.  Recommended.

SearchAlert TSA Approved Suitcase Lock

A combination lock the TSA has now approved for locking suitcases.

They can use a master key to open it themselves.  But if they do this, an indicator changes color from green to red, so you know they've opened your bag.

Inexpensive, and useful.  Recommended.

Boom Noise Cancelling Headset Review

This amazing device enables you to speak quietly into your cell phone, even in the noisiest of environments.

Use it in a normal environment to have a private conversation with no-one overhearing, and in a noisy environment to have a conversation that would be impossible otherwise.

A very impressive device.

Ety-Com Noise Cancelling Headset Review

A very different style of phone headset compared to the Boom (reviewed above) but in some ways better.

A good alternative to the bulkier Boom when you don't need quite so much noise cancelling, or if you'd prefer the lower cost of the Ety-Com.

Skullcandy Link Headset Mixer

A clever device that enables you to use one set of headphones to both listen to music and with your cell phone, too.

Convenient, effective, simple and inexpensive.

The Times Electronic Crossword Puzzle Game

A small gadget that stores 800 of the UK's famous The Times newspaper crossword puzzles, plus some extra features to help you solve the puzzles.

Lingo Pacifica Talk 10 language translator

This small unit will translate words and phrases from any of ten languages to any of the other languages.

But can it replace an old fashioned low-tech phrase book?  Read the review!

High Speed Hotel Internet Access

The latest generation of in-room high speed internet services are now offered by increasing numbers of hotels.

Do they work? Are they worth their up to $11/day fee? Read this week's column for the results of my testing one such service.

Connecting to the Internet

This article evaluates seven different ways you have for connecting to the internet while you're traveling away from your main connection.  Some are fast, some are slow.  Some are good, and some are, well, not!

Read more in this special report.

iTwin Remote File Sharing and Access Device

Here's a new and easy way to share files between any two computers, anywhere in the world.

See our two part review for full details.

Wireless Internet Wi-Fi Everywhere

Already in over 2000 Starbucks stores, plus AA airport lounges, and in increasing numbers of other places, too, short-range high speed 'Wi-Fi' wireless networking makes it easy for your laptop to connect to the internet.

Read more in this special report.

Finding Wi-Fi Hotspots - Canary Wireless Hotspot detector review

Sadly, and notwithstanding the previous topic, Wi-Fi is not absolutely everywhere.

This ingenious device quickly and conveniently tells you where Wi-Fi is and even gives you the information you need to know so as to understand if you're likely to be able to use the connection or not.

Warning :  The End of the Internet As We Know It

As we about to suffer the end of the internet as we know it?  And, ummm, exactly what will this cataclysmic event be, anyway?

Please read this article for a better understanding of what may well be in all our futures.

Bluetooth Wireless Internet Explained

Harald Bluetooth was a Viking king who joined two Scandinavian kingdoms peacefully.  Bluetooth wireless networking is designed to quickly and conveniently allow different devices to communicate together.

Our special report describes what Bluetooth is and what it does, and compares it to other forms of wireless connectivity.

How to Choose a Bluetooth Headset

Bluetooth headsets can be very expensive, but can be reasonably priced.  They can also be very useful and helpful, but they can also be clumsy and dysfunctional.

Our guide tells you how to make an informed evaluation and decision about the Bluetooth headset that will be best for you.

Sierra Wireless Aircard for Wireless Internet Connectivity

This device is a PCMCIA card that acts as a cell phone/modem for your computer.

But these days this expensive device merely duplicates the functionality contained in most modern cell phones.  Do you still need to buy an Aircard too?

Vonage VoIP Phone Service

Join the telephony revolution and use your internet connection as a regular telephone.

Unlike other specialized software programs with limited realworld use, Vonage gives you full access to the traditional phone system for sending and receiving calls, and can massively lower your monthly phone bill.

Packet 8 VoIP Phone Service

A review of a competing VoIP phone service with better value plans.

Packet 8 offer unlimited calling, anywhere in the US and Canada, for as little as $20 a month! Does that sound too good to be true? Read the review and find out.

Nexcell Ni-MH Rechargeable Battery Kit

These high capacity rechargeable batteries often outlast regular alkaline batteries, and save you huge amounts of money over their extended reusable life.

Using rechargeable batteries is sensible, convenient and inexpensive. Here's how.

Laptop Screen Privacy Filter

People are using laptops more and more in public places, ranging from airplane seats to Starbucks stores.  And surveys suggest that other people are increasingly snooping at the screens they can see around them.

Here's a gadget from 3M that claims to make it impossible for other people to see what is on your screen.  Does it work?  Read the review.

No Luggage Worries When Traveling

For many of us, the most inconvenient part of traveling is managing our baggage, especially with new airline security rules and crackdowns on luggage allowances.

Here are details of a wonderful service that makes your traveling carefree - and luggage free, too.

SlimCam 300 Micro Digital Camera

The same size as a credit, and not much thicker, this is described as the world's thinnest digital camera.

Alas, its software is buggy and its picture quality poor.  But, at only $45, maybe this isn't important.

MyTag Luggage Tags

These are simple, inexpensive, and wonderfully functional.

They are a great way to minimize the danger of having your bags lost or stolen, and make it easier for you to find your bag as it comes off the carousel.

Beware of Checked Baggage X-ray Machines

The new X-ray machines that inspect checked luggage can destroy most normal film.  And that's not all, the new experimental anti-anthrax Post Office irradiation won't just zap your film, but may also kill computer chips and even regular CDs and DVDs.

Plus, the nation's air safety is held hostage in a crude and crass bit of politicking.

Jet Lag Causes and Cures

Jet lag is very real and can have a major (negative) impact on your business judgment and vacation enjoyment, as well as making the 'back home blues' even worse upon your return.

Find out how to plan for and minimize jet lag on your long distance travels in this two part series.

Travel ID and Document Pouches

You've probably noticed an increasing number of people at airports who carry their ticket, boarding pass and Photo ID in a special holder around their neck.

Find out what these things are, where you get them, what they cost, and if you should have one too.

Protect Yourself Against Document Loss

What would you do if, in a foreign city, you suddenly had your wallet and all the vital documents inside it stolen?

Imagine yourself - suddenly with no cash, no ID, no credit cards and no passport.

In part one, I list 30 different types of documents you need to protect.  In part two, l offer 11 different strategies for how to minimize the impacts of any unavoidable loss, and in part three I provide further strategies to protect yourself and minimize your risk.

BottleWise Bottle Carrying System

Nowadays with the TSA forbidding the carry on of bottles onto planes, the need to protect bottles (of wine, spirits, etc) that must be checked has become increasingly important.

Here's a good way to do just that.

Stopping - or at least Reducing - Spam

Spam is always unwelcome, but especially when you're traveling.

The time and money cost of downloading spam when you're out of town and using a slow, dial-up connection can be crippling. Here are three ways to keep spam under control.

Back to Top