Sunday, May 23, 2010

My favorite travel gadget

My Energizer battery charger is one item I never leave home without. I go through batteries like crazy in my digital cameras. Because I shoot high resolution photos, I can get 10-15 pictures before regular batteries die. (My husband shoots low res photos and gets 200-300 photos per battery set.) On a trip I might shoot 2,000 to 5,000 photos, so rechargeable batteries and a charger are a necessity if I want to avoid bankruptcy. OK, so maybe I wouldn't go through batteries so fast if I didn't walk around with the camera on all the time.

I tried a couple of different rechargers before I found this Energizer, pictured above. It's small, lightweight, and will charge both AA and AAA batteries. The tray retracts when the batteries are removed. Best of all, it works on international current. Just plug it in, pop the batteries in after a day of sightseeing and they're ready to go the next morning when I am. I just plugged the charger right in when we were in Beijing -- China has about five different plug types, so I was lucky. I did have to get an adapter to use it in England.

I paid about $10 for it at Wal-Mart. Rechargeable batteries cost about another $10 for four. I have eight batteries because I travel with two digital cameras plus my husband has a camera. I always carry spare batteries with me in case the ones in the cameras run out of juice. I find I can get about 300 photos on a single charge. This charger paid for itself abut halfway through the first trip I took it on.

If you're planning a trip to China, please check out my website about travel in China, especially Beijing. For a list of my China guidebooks, please check out Cheryl's Guides. Or you can go direct to and buy them there. If you have questions about travel in China or my guidebooks, please feel free to email me.

The fine print: When bloggers endorse a product now, the FTC requires them to disclose if they make any money from the endorsement. I don't. This battery recharger is such a great product, I think everyone should have it!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

UK Motorcycle Museums

We interrupt this blog about travel in China to bring you news about . . . travel in the United Kingdom.

The latest addition to my line of travel guides, Cheryl's Guides, was released this week. It's about British motorcycle museums. Motorcycle Museums of the United Kingdom is my first non-China travel guide, and contains information about every museum in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland I could find that has at least one motorcycle on display. The book's table of contents is almost two pages long, so you know I found a lot of museums! The book also gives tips on other things to see and do when you're in the area.

The book is a result of the two-week trip my husband and I took to England last year. He is a motorcycle afficionado so this was his dream trip. And we saw our share of them, visiting five museums over the course of our trip.
For several decades, the British manufactured the best motorcycles in the world, and we went right to the heart of the industry: the West Midlands where we visited three museums: the National Motorcycle Museum, (pictured above) which is the world's largest; Coventry Transport Museum which features all transport modes; and Black Country Museum, a living history coal mining town that has an excellent collection of vintage British bikes made in the area.
The book is available in both electronic and print formats at GuideGecko, the same publisher of my Beijing travel guides.

If you're planning a trip to China, rather than Britain, check out my website on China travel. And please feel free to email me if you have any questions about traveling in China, especially Beijing.