Gadgets that prevent holiday travel headaches

LOS ANGELES Traveling long distances with the kids, whether it be in the car or in the air, can be a real pain. So why not tote along some tools to make the trip easier or at least more enjoyable? So here are some travel must-haves.

When Michael Rand hits the road, he's happy whenever he gets to skip driving duties and take to the passenger seat. To keep himself occupied he says, "I always have either the DVD player or I'll be on the laptop or headphones on listening to the iPod or iTouch."

DVD players and iPods are great, but they're not the only travelling companions this holiday season.

"There's so many gadgets that help people travel either to get their trip off to a great start or to keep them entertained," explained Stirling Kelso from Travel and Leisure Magazine.

Whether you take to the road or skies, Kelso says for less than $25 there's this new scale to help make sure your bags don't exceed airport weight limits.

"Sometimes you end up at the gate just stuffing your carry-on full of clothes but in this case you can weigh your luggage at home and then travel stress-free," said Kelso.

Travel and Leisure suggests the Swiss Gear Zurich Rolling Duffel Bag because it can be carried over the shoulder or rolled. Plus, "not only is it very durable but it has a 10-year warranty and is made by the makers of the Swiss Army Knife," said Kelso.

If you're looking to tune out other travelers, Kelso says the high-tech earphones by Klipsch Image may be music to your ears because they "really improve your hearing experience both tonally and dynamically," explained Kelso. "They also have ear buds that shape your ears so they fit right in there, blocking out any external noise."

If books are more of your thing, check out the new Sony Reader. It runs about $200. But Kelso says it's a good deal.

"It stores 350 books and has a two-week battery lifespan. It's also lightweight and it also has a partnership with Google so you can get over a million free eBooks," said Kelso.

Travel and Leisure thinks the most talked about gadget of the season could be the Cinemin Swivel.

"It's a pocket projector so you can project movies or photos on any surface. It's got this great 90-degree hinge," said Kelso.

Mike thinks that sounds pretty cool and could see packing many of these must-haves on his next trip.

"The gadgets for me just make the time go quicker," said Michael.

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