Photo of the Day (12.7.10)

I love travel gear shots. I’m always curious to know what people consider essential items & what tech gadgets people can’t live without on the road. This photo was taken in 2005 and at first glance, seemed pretty outdated.

These days, it’s rare to see a camera that shoots on DV tapes, a Powerbook, or an iPod without a touchscreen (gasp)! It just makes me wonder what we’ll consider outdated in 5 years from now – laptops? Full-sized SLR’s? Guide books / printed materials altogether?

This photo was taken in Canada by Flickr user Jon Rawlinson. Thanks for sharing what was in your bag Jon! If you’d like to share your travel essentials leave a comment below or take a quick photo and post it in our Flickr Group – we may just include it as our next Photo of the Day.

MTrip travel app for iPhone and iPod makes exploring new destinations simple

Planning a holiday trip to a new city or country? Consider making MTrip part of your packing list. Download this new-ish travel app to your iPhone or iPod touch for pick-your-own or full-service planning.

Choose from ciites like New York, Washington, Venice, Munich, Istanbul, Paris, and Bejing for $5.99 each, available for download on mTrip or the iPhone app store. (*As a Black Friday / Cyber Monday special, they’ve lowered the price to $3.99 for a limited time.)

We like the multitude of options available with these guides. Instead of only pre-set itineraries, choose your preferred pace, hotel (to plan the best routes) and add, delete, or shift around activities with just a touch of a button. If you think you’re running short on time, check each destination to see entry fees, hours of operation, and more.

Even better, the guides are 100% offline, meaning you won’t incur extra data usage charges in a foreign country. We think this will soon be a regular part of our trip planning process, particularly when we’re trying to see a lot of sites in a short period of time.

See the demo below for a more in-depth explanation about how to use the service:

Review: Mophie Juice Pack Reserve – compact power for hungry Apple devices

When it comes to powering Apple devices, few companies are as innovative as Mophie. They were one of the first to offer a combination case/battery pack, and now one of their newest products offers one of the most compact ways to get your device powered when you really need it.

The Mophie Juice Pack Reserve is a small 1000mAh battery pack with a few neat tricks up its sleeves. For starters, its connector conveniently slides inside the unit, which protects it, and prevents you from having to carry a plug cover. It also features a built in LED flashlight, hidden charging indicators and can be charged off USB using the included MicroUSB cable.

Included in the box is a carabiner clip, which makes it easy to clip the Juice Pack Reserve to your bag or key chain. The 1000mAh battery is powerful enough for just under one full charge, making it ideal to carry for those times where you really need to check your email, and can’t find an outlet anywhere.

The Juice Pack Reserve works on any Apple device with a dock connector (but not on the iPad). It retails for $39.95 and is available directly from Mophie, the Apple Store or


Langham Hotels International launches voice-enabled iPhone app

We make it a priority at Gadling to ensure our readers are equipped with the best travel advice, travel tips and travel amenities (including gear, gadgets and more) before setting out on their journey. However, we also know that some people just don’t listen. For those people (and you know who you are) technology is a wondrous invention.

Even though we’ve told you over and over again to always include a business card from your hotel, or a matchbook with your hotel’s address on it in case you get lost, you didn’t listen, did you? And what happened? You got lost, and your cab driver didn’t speak English and took you for a bit of a ride, didn’t he? Did you learn your lesson? Probably not, but the Langham Hotels group has created a little ditty that might just help you.

Langham Hotels International recently launched Langham Touch – the first hotel iPhone application that offers voice-enabled travel phrases in a variety of languages so you’ll never get lost again (at least not in a city where there’s a Langham property). The voice-enabled phrases include directions to the hotel from virtually anywhere in the city and if you just can’t make it work, then there’s a hotline to the local Langham property where they will surely help out.

The app includes a mini-city guide of your destination and recommendations to cultural must-do and sees around the city including top attractions, restaurants and bars. Of course, the iPhone app also includes hotlines for room reservations and allows guests to access hotel information, as well as the ability to order room service, ask for a wake up call and make restaurant reservations.

The best part? It’s free, so you really have no excuse for getting lost now.

Griffin Technology PowerDuo Reserve review – iPhone/iPod power at home, in a car and on the go

Here on Gadling, we’ve covered quite a few portable battery packs in the past – and most of them are relatively straightforward (and boring). The new Griffin PowerDuo Reserve is the first truly interesting and innovative power product I’ve seen in a long time. The product consists of three parts – an AC charger (the PowerBlock Reserve), a DC/car charger (the PowerJolt Reserve) and a 500mAh ipod/iPhone battery pack (the Reserve Battery).

The combination of these three products delivers a power solution that can charge your device at home, in a car or on the go. Best of all, the AC and car chargers are designed to charge and dock with the reserve battery.

At home, you can plug your iPod/iPhone USB cable into the AC charger, while charging the battery pack. When you leave on a trip, you can unplug the charger, fold in the prongs and pack it away. Then, if you need some backup power, you simply undock the battery pack and plug it into your device. The same applies to the car charger.

Both the AC and car charger deliver 1 AMP of power – which means your device will charge much faster than many of the low cost (and low power) solutions on the market.

The AC charger is rated for 100-240 Volts, so with the appropriate plug adapter, you’ll be able to use it anywhere in the world.

The 500mAh Reserve Battery is by no means the most powerful on the market, but it’ll be enough to add a couple of hours of use to your device. On the front of the battery is a power status button and 5 green LED’s show the remaining capacity.

The Griffin Technology PowerDuo Reserve is a very well designed power solution – for a single purchase price ($59.99) , you get three chargers in one, with the ability to keep your device going, no matter what kind of situation you are in.

The parts are also available separately, so if you only need the AC or car charger, you can mix and match. The Reserve Battery is also available separately ($19.99) – which means you can order a spare and be sure you never run out of power on the go.

Product links:

PowerDuo Reserve
PowerBlock Reserve
PowerJolt Reserve
Reserve Battery