College is a whirlwind of homework, internships, part-time jobs and memorized bus schedules. Looking back, I wish I had access to the innovations of our modern day, because they certainly would have helped ease my stress.
Here are three products I'll be giving to new college students this fall:
Portable smartphone chargers: We are living in a landline-less world. This is especially true for college students who leave home with a smartphone as their primary connection to their parents. A busy schedule leaves little opportunity to head home and plug in for a charge, but a mid-day juice up is now possible thanks to these smart plug and power devices. The Innergie 2.1 Amp Pocket Cell Portable Pocket Rechargeable Battery and Charger for USB devices works with a wide variety of tech, including iPhone, Kindle and any smartphone with a Mini USB plug. It's currently available for $67.78 on Amazon.
Subscription to TunnelBear: Want to watch a British show, but can't access the player because you live in the United States? TunnelBear is a program that allows you to surf and stream the web with a private IP address — so you can see anything, anywhere. This is truly a great gift for anyone, but college kids without cable will love having access to more programming online around the world.
For $4.99 a month or $49.99 per year you get access to unlimited streaming. There's a free version too, which gives you 500mbs of data each month, and Twitter users can get an extra 1 GB a month by giving a shout out when they're using the app. TunnelBear gets extra points for being so darn cute.
Plug-in Phone Handset: Want your college kid to check in regularly? There's no better reminder to pick up the phone than a neon colored handset just waiting to be plugged in. My flip phone days are long-gone, but I dropped at least one in the dorm toilet trying to talk to my mom with the phone nestled between my ear and shoulder. I could have prevented that disaster with a plug-in handset.
I'm a fan of the wild designs over at Native Union. The Pop Phone comes in a wide range of colors and designs, so you can match it up with any student's style. They start at $29.99 and are available for as little as $18.32 on Amazon.
(Images: Small, Cool Dorm Rooms, Amazon and TunnelBear)