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Great gifts for road warriors on your list
By Jane Lasky | Business travel report
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Published: 11/17/2007 8:32 PM

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Stress and strain seem to be the bywords of today's American business traveler.

I definitely fit the bill, which is probably the reason why I was recently gifted with the Mindspa.

Though I thought the present odd at first, I changed my mind as soon as I checked it out in proper fashion -- and I do mean fashion as this is not a device that can be camouflaged. For Mindspa to work you need to wear it on your ears and on your eyes, since the special headphones and giant goggles meant to nudge you into a deep, relaxed state are used as transmitters.

A bit skeptical but so stressed I couldn't sit still, I swore off vanity and tried them on a flight that took me from one continent to another. I did what the Mindspa's instruction pamphlet said to do and reclined my seat, plugged the "visual stimulation glasses" into the compact unit that also accommodates the headset and closed my eyes, breathing in slowly.

White light invaded my senses shortly after I pressed the start button. So did what I can only describe as a pulsating sound. Between what I dub the two "invasion techniques," I was distracted from whatever else was bothering me and slowly succumbed to a state very close to sleep.

At first I thought the reason I was able to fall under the Mindspa spell was because I was, well, ripe for a release of this sort. But then I considered that maybe this new idea of combining auditory and visual stimulation to bring peace of mind and improve mental focus really works.

I was sold after reading more from the Mindspa literature that told me about the decade of dedicated research that went into the product. It also said that the goal of the product was to help ADD and ADHD candidates live better lives.

Mindspa also works for me in my hotel room after a hectic day and even sometimes when I must face a long car ride during a business trip.

I am very happy my friend saw through my tough veneer and introduced me to this helpful device.

For information, go to www.avstim.com.

That said, following are some other travel-related products that make good gifts for business -- or frequent -- travelers:

• The Sidewinder (www.istdesigns.com): This unique cell phone accessory lets you manually charge your mobile by hand-cranking the lightweight device. Doing so allows about six more minutes of talk time, which I find is more than enough time to get me out of a tough spot when I need to make a call from a dead phone and I am not near an electrical outlet for traditional charging. If it isn't enough time, I just need to crank again and then redial.

• AirTamer (www.filterstream.com): This device is worn around the neck (or clipped to your shirt) so that you can breathe more easily in places that might not exude as healthy an atmosphere as you would like. With no filters to buy and the ability to run continuously for 20 days, Airtamer, which uses the principal of ionic/electrostatis purification, is perfect for road warriors looking to steer clear of airborne pollutants, smoke, mold, dust mites, bacteria and the like. At night in a hotel room, you can place the unit on your nightstand.

• Hotty Hoody (www.hottyhoody.com): Before discovering this great invention, I never knew what to do with my hot curling iron if I used it shortly before packing. Hotty Hoody solves that problem as it is a protective cover designed for hot irons and other such items to be stored safely and immediately.

• Tao Digital Picture Keychain (www.taoelectronics.com). Say cheese! Everyone who has ever traveled with me knows I like to carry pictures of my family. Sadly, my little red photo album is full of shots that date back at least 10 years, made when I was still using my Nikon F2 that requires 35 mm film that in turn needs to be developed before being viewed. Now that I have switched to a tiny digital camera, the results are instant thanks to this mini picture frame measuring about 2 inches square (which is both PC and Mac compatible). The Tao keychain, a really cool accessory I wear on my purse, accommodates about 30 digital photos for immediate viewing.