Americans are expected to take more than 2 million trips this year. That’s 2 million opportunities to see and do new things — and 2 million opportunities to make the most of the newest travel-friendly technology.

Today’s technology is nothing to be intimidated by. Here are some high-tech gadgets that are user-friendly, ultra-portable and simplify life on the road.

It’s easier than ever to capture the magic of your trip with great pictures and videos. If you like the ease of a point and shoot camera but want more professional quality photos, you can find advanced digital cameras, like a digital SLR with interchangeable lenses, that are easy enough for anyone to use. For capturing all the action, a digital camcorder with a built-in hard disk drive can let you shoot hours and hours of video and deliver beautiful photos. It also eliminates the need for lugging along extra tapes or DVDs.

If you want to venture off the main road to see the world’s largest ball of twine, but want to find your way back quickly, you’ll need a personal navigation system to keep you on track. The technology in today’s GPS devices can give you turn by turn directions, information on nearby attractions and check for traffic or construction — something your atlas could never do.

When you’re content to be a passenger on your trip and let someone else play Christopher Columbus, spend the time catching up
on your reading. With an electronic book, you can bring dozens of books and personal documents to read while in the air or on the road without adding any bulk to your suitcase.

For those who have a teenager who can’t bear the thought of being offline for more than a few hours, then a mobile Internet device is just the solution. When the family stops for food or checks into the hotel, your teenager can search for a Wi-Fi hotspot and get online to check their social networking sites and surf the Web.

No matter what your travel needs, there is technology designed to make the trek more pleasant or productive. Gadgets with small footprints and lots of capacity, like the Buyers Guide gadgets from Sony, are ideal travel companions. For a list of other travel essentials, visit

Tips for Traveling With Technology

Get Comfortable
Familiarize yourself with any new or infrequently used devices prior to your trip. Browse the manual and practice using the device. Make sure you have adequate memory and storage capabilities (or the ability to download images or videos and clear the memory card) before you leave home.

Don’t Forget to Accessorize
Be sure to bring all accessories, cases, chargers, cords, memory cards, etc., that you’ll need on the road. For easy access, put all items for a particular device into a sealed, clear plastic baggie and label appropriately.

Bring a Backup
Wondering what your Web-dependent kids will do if Wi-Fi coverage is sparse? Toss in a board game, puzzle or activity book. While you can’t pack for every contingency and don’t want to negate the positive aspects of traveling light with technology, having a few simple backups (in case of a lost, damaged or uncharged device) can never hurt.

Buyers Guide to Getting There

Looking for a way to make life easier when traveling? Here are some great gadgets to consider as you shop around for travel-friendly, tech-savvy devices for you and your family.

Digital Books
One of the newest ways to take reading material with you is an e-book reader. Books from every genre can be stored in one device that is thinner than a paperback. To reduce eyestrain, make sure our reader uses an electronic paper technology that mimics the printed page rather than a back-lit screen like that of a laptop computer. The Reader PRS-505 Digital Book by Sony has a high contrast display that makes for easy reading, even in bright sunlight. It can store up to 160 electronic books in internal memory (hundreds more with the addition of a memory card) so you won’t run out of reading material while you’re on the road. And with extraordinary stamina, you won’t run out of battery even if you have an unexpected layover.

Navigation System
Portable navigation systems can get you from “here” to “there,” and lots of places in between. When choosing a nav system, look for real time traffic capability, Bluetooth-compatibility for hands-free calling, and an easy mounting and transfer system. The NV-U83T nav-u portable navigation system from Sony has these features plus pre-loaded maps and multiple sensors to keep you on track, even when going through tunnels and forests.

Mobile Internet Devices
When you travel, you want to stay connected in the simplest way possible. Find a device that serves multiple functions so you don’t have to juggle electronics. The Sony COM-2 mylo communicator is a mobile Internet device that gets you online via Wi-Fi and lets you surf the Web, IM friends, take photos and update your Facebook page. Especially helpful while traveling is mylo’s Skype feature that lets you make broadband voice calls to any other Skype user, anywhere in the world, for free. With internal memory and music and video playback, you can use it when you’re offline to play flash based games or tune out with your tunes. It has a Lithium-ion battery for hours of usage. Sony also gives you free access to participating Wayport locations.

High-Definition Camcorders
To capture vacation memories, you want to have a camcorder with high resolution. With its new Handycam HDR-SR11 high-definition camcorder, Sony gives you video with the highest HD resolution available and 10-megapixel photos. Its 60GB hard drive can record up to seven hours of HD video so that you’re sure to capture the moment. It also features face detection technology so that the people in your video will look their best, with focus, exposure, color control, and in the case of photos, flash automatically applied. Handycam camcorders are compatible with a wide range of solutions for playback and storage.

Digital Camera
For the best travel photos, you want a camera with high resolution and fast auto-focusing so that you can easily capture fast action. The Sony (alpha) DSLR-A350 Digital SLR Camera features 14.2-megapixel resolution, giving you high-resolution, professional quality pictures. It has Quick AF Live View so you can frame photos on the camera’s 2.7-inch LCD without sacrificing auto-focusing speed. Distinctive tilting LCD frames scenes from high or low positions that are difficult to reach when using an eye-level viewfinder. An added bonus with this camera is the ability to shoot continuously while viewing your subject.