Living: Small Comforts for the Road

Compact travel gizmos are soaring sellers

Finance Company Manager Frank La Barba, 30, packs more than his American Express card when he leaves his home in Long Beach, Calif., these days. In his luggage are twelve compact life-style support systems, including a 1/2- in.-thick electric shaver, a book-size radio, an even smaller iron, a collapsible fishing rod and a 5.3-oz. rechargeable power pencil sharpener. "They let me concentrate on the job," he explains, "instead of running around frantically trying to resolve a minor problem that could become a major one."

La Barba has lots of company. A few years ago the only accessories travelers needed were some...

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