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Video: Gear for safer, stress-free vacations

TODAY
updated 4/26/2006 4:26:26 PM ET 2006-04-26T20:26:26

Retirees today travel more often, go farther, and stay longer than people in any other age group. But before you pack for your next trip, Jim Miller, editor of the "Savvy Senior" syndicated newspaper column, was invited to appear on “Today” to share a roundup of some of the newer products on the market that can make your travels even more memorable. Here's more on the items he discusses on the show:

CAR TRAVEL

Cocoon Sunglasses
These stylish sunglasses cut sun glare while you drive and they fit right over your prescription eyeglasses. No need to constantly change your eyewear every time you get in the car. The optically correct lenses are scratch-resistant and offer total protection from UVA and UVB rays.
Price: $39.85
magellans.com
800-962-4943

Therapeutic Travel Shawl
A lovely way to relax on car trips. This is a cotton flannel shawl that combines a heating pad with aromatherapy. Just pop the shawl in a microwave to release warmth and aromatherapy scents, then drape over the shoulders to provide relief to stiff necks, aching backs, circulatory and arthritis pain.
Price: $45
orvis.com
888-235-9763

Digital map distance finder
Instantly find the shortest travel route the next time you read a map. Simply trace this digital device along the course you’re considering, and it instantly provides a read-out of the distance and estimated travel time. Perfect for travelers on the road, and those without access to an online route planner. It also includes a built-in magnifier and calculator.
Price: $19.95
shopping.discovery.com
800-627-9399

AIR TRAVEL

TravelTow
This ergonomic luggage handle adapter provides an easy and comfortable way to pull your existing wheeled luggage through the airport or anywhere you’re on the move to. TravelTow attaches to the handle of any rolling bag and rotates a full 360 degrees so you can push or pull your bag without twisting your wrist and arm.
Price $9
magellans.com
800-962-4943

21-inch Roll-Aboard  
This tough, light weight bag (7 1/4 pounds) is perfect for older travelers. It's around 40 percent lighter than comparable suitcases thanks to its nylon construction and the main compartment expands, adding 2 inches. It also offers an extra-long telescoping handle that extends a full 23 inches beyond the top of the bag, providing you more rolling comfort. Available in various colors.
Price: $129
travelstore.ricksteves.com

Best Seat Cushion
For travelers who dislike airplane seats, this cushion uses electronically controlled pump-and-valve system to “lift and shift” your weight as you sit, enhancing circulation. The internal battery can last 50 hours before needing to be recharged. Great for car travel too. Weighs 3 pounds.
Price $225
magellans.com
800-962-4943

Lunch Tote
With airlines limiting meal service, and most airports offering unhealthy fast-food options, you need to be prepared if you want to eat right when you fly. The Lunch Tote is the perfect solution. This nifty item has separate insulated compartments to keep hot items warm and cold items cold for hours. It even unzips into a placemat to eat off of and is machine washable.
Price: $19.99
builtny.com

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

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Motorola Talkabout SX700
These handy Motorola two-way radios (walkie talkies) allow you to stay connected to your travel companion with being attached at the hip. A great alternative to cell phones, especially for foreign travel because they work in places where most U.S.-based phones don’t. They’re also much more affordable. The SX700 is easy to carry, weighs five ounces, and has a range of 12 miles and offers 11 NOAA weather alert channels.
Price: 79.99
hellomoto.com
866-289-6686

12-Language Talking Translator
Travel-everywhere pocketsize interpreter translates displays and pronounces words and phrases between and among 12 languages: English, Spanish, German, Russian, Dutch, Swedish, Italian, French, Portuguese, Turkish, Japanese and Mandarin (Chinese). It offers more than 8,400 commonly used phrases — each organized in eight helpful categories, such as sightseeing or emergencies. 
Price: $39.95 
sharperimage.com
800-344-4444

PRATICLE GADGETS

Handheld Weather Forecaster with Alarm Clock
Now you can know the weather forecast wherever you travel! This pocket-sized weather tracker displays current conditions including temperature and humidity readings and forecast so you’ll know when a storm is on the way. Also doubles as a travel alarm clock. 
Price: $39.95
www2.oregonscientific.com

Day/Night Pill Organizer
No need to lug around half your medicine cabinet on your next trip. Instead, pack all of your pills into this nifty organizer and save space in your suitcase for souvenirs. The Day/Night Pill Organizer is compact, lightweight and has 16 individually labeled pouches, which are color-coded for daytime and nighttime use, and slide locks to keep pills and vitamins secure.
Price: $11.85
www.magellans.com
800-962-4943

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