If there's more computing power in my smart phone than in the the first space shuttle, then I shouldn't need a Sherpa to help me lug my gadgets. Still, as our tech gets smarter, our suitcases get heavier. The more clever the device, the harder it is to leave behind. Here are five tips on packing light without a heavy heart.
1. Choose double-duty cases.
As long as you're adding bulk with a gadget case, choose one that does more than protect your gear from scratches. The Logitech Keyboard Case for iPad ($99) is made of lightweight aluminum and includes a keyboard. Suddenly, leaving your laptop at home seems plausible.
The Mophie Juice Pack Plus Case and Rechargable Battery ($76) gives you eight hours of additional talk time or seven extra hours of Web time, built right into the case.
2. Use sleek protective gear.
The 'ONA' Any Bag Camera Bag Insert ($59) is a camera bag in its purest form. Use any purse, or the flimsiest nylon duffel, to stash your camera gear without damaging your lenses.
3. Get organized.
The Cocoon GRID-IT Organizer ($10) reduces bulk by helping you store small gadgets and accessories vertically.
Before you go, download books, renew online subscriptions, and research useful apps. Lingolook Flashcards ($5) are a smart replacement for pocket vocabulary books. Tripit is an indispensable app for organizing travel documents. It does everything automatically via email.
4. Take full advantage of your phone camera.
If you're on a quick trip and don't want to shoulder a heavy-duty SLR, consider extending your phone camera's capabilities. Photojojo offers all kinds of options, including fisheye, macro, and wide angle camera phone lenses ($20-$40), and a the OWLE video rig ($169) that stabilizes your phone while you shoot with the wide-angle lens and high-quality mic.
Crabble ($8) is a tiny phone stand that lets you or the kids watch movies hands-free, and folds down to fit in your wallet.