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Travel guru Peter Greenberg packs a lot of tech in bag

Travel guru Peter Greenberg roams the globe for his Public Television series The Travel Detective and CBS News, looking for the best deals and places to visit. With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, we got to wondering—what tech tools does he pack before he heads out? What apps does he use (or not use) to book flights and hotel rooms?


Two Hewlett-Packard laptops ("I always have backups"), many batteries, portable power to run his iPhone 4 and BlackBerry Torch on the plane, an iPad, extra USB connectors and chargers, a doodad he picked up in Hong Kong that has AC plugs for international countries and a USB input, a Sony video camera, microphones, duct tape and a portable power strip to power up his devices in the hotel room. "The only time I'm going on the floor to look for an outlet is to plug this in," he says of the power strip.


Answering e-mail. He gets more than 900 e-mails daily, so he makes sure to book flights with carriers that have Wi-Fi. If he doesn't get a flight with Wi-Fi, he has a work-around. He downloads e-mail before he leaves, answers on the plane, and hits send when he gets a connection on land.


•Flightstats (free; Apple, Android). To see if a flight is on time. "If you call the airlines, and ask if the flight is on time, they'll say yes, and that's a lie. They'll interpret the question to, 'Is it scheduled to leave on time?' " The app will "find out what your flight is; they actually track the plane and where it is in the sky."

• Yapta (free; Apple, Android). The best for tracking fares and potential refunds for lower fares. "If fares have changed, they'll let you know." The app "saves you money."

• Seat Guru by Trip Advisor (free; Apple, Android.) "If you go to the airline websites to book a flight, the only seats shown are middle seats, because they want to step you up" (and have you pay extra.) "It's a total scam." The SeatGuru app shows how to find more available seats, without paying the surcharge...