Friday, May 10, 2013

My Favorite Things, Volume III

In my travels from country to country, there is one device that I consider an absolute essential:  the TALUS international adapter/converter.  All of us have an international adapter in the back of a drawer or on a closet shelf which serves to remind us that, just because the plugs match the outlet doesn't mean the current won't FRY a hairdryer or curling iron!  In addition to distinct plug/blade configurations, the electric current itself differs between countries.  Hence, the importance of the converter function (a 110v appliance does not thrive with 220v flowing through it)!

The TALUS converter/adpater offers a fairly compact, self-contained package for addressing both sides of the electricity issue.  In addition to the traditional Western Hemisphere 3-pronged grounded receptacle, it also offers a USB port for use with all of the current generation of portable electronic "must-haves" like smart phones, tablets, etc.  Just a word of caution:  the converter/adapter is meant for short-term use...hours NOT days!  It is noticeably warm to the touch while in use which is kind of a common sense warning not to leave it for too long.  

For practical packing & space conservation, I place the converter/adapter in a zip-lock bag and it fits perfectly inside the stainless steel tumbler of my Black and Decker Brew N Go Coffeemaker.

I found the TALUS converter adapter for around $50 (including shipping) at  In my research, that is a reasonable price for the device and it is well worth the investment!

Now that you know my secret for plugging in my coffeemaker anywhere in the world, I want to switch gears with another word about healthy habits while traveling.  The single, most important word to remember in your travels is HYDRATION.  Water, water, WATER!  My partner, Philip, is a little bit of a fanatic about it so I will use him as an example:  in a typical 8 hour US to Europe flight, Philip will easily drink 2 x 1 liter bottles of water and take a third for his layover (24 hours).  He may seem an extreme example (he is to me, at any rate) but Philip will likely never suffer the common side-effects of what I call "travel dehydration"; extreme fatigue, dizziness, headache, exacerbated arthritic processes.  Adequate water intake also serves to keep one looking better.  

So many of our body's functions are tied to adequate hydration and 21st century travel serves to do nothing as well as to dehydrate the human body.  As an example, Death Valley in California is only SLIGHTLY more arid than a typical jet aircraft cabin!  Only recently, with the introduction of the Boeing 787, have production methods been developed to allow greater, more natural humidification of the aircraft cabin.  But even in light of this development, adequate personal hydration remains a critical factor to feeling good (and looking good) while traveling.

Interestingly, while in the Atlanta Airport earlier this week, I passed a concourse boutique whose window declared "Hydration Secret Discovered".  I've got your hydration revolution!  It's called:


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