So what does the launch of the new (some say brutally-named) iPad mean to travelers?  I’m eager to get my hands on one to official test it out, but according to Apple’s marketing madness machine, the tablet computer joins the list of helpful devices tourists can use when traveling abroad.

Light weight and small enough to fit in your carry-on bag, the iPad means portable wi-fi access for instant flight bookings, the ability to download restaurant reviews, guidebooks, ibooks and general country info.

It’s another step in the growing ‘electronification’ of travel, where gadget geeks, such as myself, take a backpack full of plug-in products to help them on the road.

When I travel, here are my top five gotta-have gadgets:

1)  Laptop: Since travel writing is my main profession, I absolutely can’t live without my MacBook. I’ve put in some great mileage on that puppy.  It’s seen some 23 countries, been X-rayed, scanned, swabbed and manhandled more times than the girls from Jersey Shore.  It keeps on ticking, letting me watch DVD’s on the plane, chat to family members through Skype and maintain my ever-growing Twitter addiction.

2)  iPod: Another “can’t live without” item. In addition to music, I’m a big fan of listening to NPR Podcasts while I travel. I also pack noise-canceling headphones and a set of mini speakers I can set up in my hotel room.

3)  Camera: While the new iPod comes with built-in camera feature, there’s no substitution for a high quality digital camera. I take two with me when I travel. An SLR with extremely high resolution and a tiny cam that I can slip in my purse for impromptu shots.

4)  Converters, plugs, cords, universal power adapters and surge protectors for all my gadgets, which I like to keep in a plastic bag (in case any of my cosmetics explode in my bag…which they typically do.)

5)  Obviously I don’t use the following but they’re pretty hilarious gadgets from the site Vagabondish, so I thought I’d include them:

– The Beer Belly is a weird and likely effective way to sneak booze into events around the world.

– The Shower Shock is a vegetable-based glycerine travel soap that contains jolt-inducing amount of caffeine to be absorbed through the skin.

– BriefSafe is an unusual way to secure your valuables. Hide your junk in a faux pair of stained, dirty underwear. Burglars won’t dare touch that!

What are your “must pack’ or most hilarious travel gadgets?  What do you think of the new iPad and how it will change travel?  Post a comment below!