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2005 was another year full of new gadgets and travel related products and services.

With so much to choose from, the winners of our 2005 Travel Product Awards must clearly have been outstanding.

You can buy these products and services with confidence.

 
 
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2005 Best Travel Technology Product Awards

Results of Reader Voting
 

Travel Insider readers are savvy people.  They're better educated than average, and consider themselves technically proficient, early adopters of new technologies and gadget lovers.

Having these well informed readers vote for a product is strong praise indeed for the winners of our 2005 awards.

 

 

Travel Insider readers tend to be early adopters of new products which make life on the road easier or more convenient, and just as quick to reject those which don't.

There were a lot of remarkably innovative products and services to consider over the past year, so their selections truly represent a sophisticated appreciation of value.


Reader Voting

Our favorite products from reviews during 2005 were presented to readers to vote on.  Readers could rate each of the offered products from 0 (meaning 'strongly dislike' to 4 (meaning 'strongly like') and could also indicate if it was a product they knew nothing about or had not opinion on.

Products were grouped in two major categories - those that were primarily technology driven, and everything else.

In each category readers could also submit a 'write in' recommendation, and then, after appraising all the individual nominees, were asked to choose an overall favorite.

Voting was held between 13 and 25 January 2006.

Interpreting the Votes

Almost 2400 votes were cast.

As in past years, some anomalies were spotted in the results, which meant a simple automatic tabulation of answers was unlikely to be accurate.

Some votes were internally inconsistent.  For example, on occasion, readers would check the box that indicated they knew nothing about a product, but would also then give the product a rating on the 0-4 scale.  You can't proceed to rate a product if you know nothing about it!

Other people would give a very low rating (or none at all) to the product that they then voted for as best in its category.  This also clearly made no sense.

A few people would rate very many products as 0.  It strained credibility to believe that these people had personal experience with all the different products and hated them all, and we ended up deciding that these people were giving a 0 rating instead of indicating they had no experience.

A simpler matter to resolve was the number of people that cast incomplete ballots.  This was only to be expected - few people would have personal experience of the entire range of product candidates.

Overly enthusiastic voters?

Voting was much more honest this year than last year, although one person chose to vote eight times for his favorite products.

We also noticed some 'strategic' voting where people were clearly biasing their answers in a manner unrelated to their probable perceptions of the items.

It is encouraging that some people value these awards so very highly.  But these, ahem, 'inconsistencies' have not been included in the final vote tallies.

The Results

Reader voting clearly established a winner for the two main categories.  We then allowed for some editorial input to decide which of the two category winners should be given the grand prize as 'Best of the Best'.

Each award includes a link to the original review with information on how to buy the products.

And, lastly, some other interesting results from the voting are also noted.

 

Grand Prize - The Best of the Best
and
Best Technology Product

Solitude Active Noise Cancelling Headphones
 

The company making these headphones - Plane Quiet - is now a three time winner of this award.

When a product line wins so convincingly and consistently, plainly it is high quality and good value.

 

When awarding the 2004 Grand Prize to the Plane Quiet NC-6 noise cancelling headphones, we noted the concurrent release of the new Solitude headphones and wondered if they'd win a 2005 award.

Wonder no more.  By a convincing margin, the Solitude noise cancelling headphones trounced all other contenders, both in terms of reader satisfaction and reader favorite scores, making it both your choice for the Best Technology Product and deserving of the Grand Prize.  It scored 3.19 for satisfaction (out of a maximum of 4.0) and was the choice of 31% of voters as best product.

David Dillinger, Executive Vice President of Outside the Box (the company that designed and distributes the Solitude headphones) said, 'We're very appreciative of winning your Grand Prize award three years in a row.  I've nothing much more to add that I haven't said in the last two years, and we'll continue to do our best to win your reader's appreciation and business with quality products at good value pricing'.

Runner Up (for Best Technology Product)

Skype's VoIP service won a few more votes and a very slightly higher satisfaction rating than Roboform's password manager software, earning it the Runner Up position, although Roboform came so close to Skype's scoring as to be almost an equal runner up winner.

 

Best Travel Product

Discount Airport Parking Service
 

These days, airport parking costs can exceed the cost of your flights.

 This web site provides a good service and solution.

 

You can spend as much as $20 a day to park your car at the airport.  While airfares have stabilized and even decreased, parking rates have skyrocketed, forcing many of us onto inconvenient airport shuttle services.

Sure, discount parking lots still exist, but the problem is how to conveniently find one and make a sensible value judgment about its location, hours of operation, service standards, and rates.

This is where AirportParkingReservations.com can help.  They conveniently display rates and even availability information for a selection of parking lots at 88 US airports (and some Canadian and UK locations too), making it quick and convenient for you to choose a lot and book a reservation.

They also offer information on stay and fly hotels, where buying a hotel room for a night gets you lots of free parking included.

An attractive easy to use website that truly saves people hassle and often money, too.  A deserved win.

Max Hartshorne, their VP of Business Development said 'Airport Parking Reservations is proud to have won this award, and we hope that travelers will continue to remember: You've got your hotel, your airline tickets, now reserve your airport parking and you're ready to go!

Runner Up (for Best Travel Product)

Same as last year, a product introduced to us by the knowledgeable folks at Magellan's came in at second place, and was almost a tie for first place.  Come to think of it, we've yet to see any product on their website we don't like!

This year the runner up (and almost winner) is the Eton/Grundig Emergency Radio.  This unit scored very slightly higher than the Discount Airport Parking on the satisfaction scale, but received fewer votes for favorite.

The Strongest Love-Hate Dichotomy Award

Most products show a general consensus of opinion, with people generally trending to giving similar scores.  But there is always a product or two which rates highly in both the highest and lowest scores.  This year, like the first year, it is a cell phone, with a surprisingly equal number of people scoring is 1, 2, 3 or 4, with a slightly lower number scoring it as zero.

We feel this shows, again, how some people struggle to come to grips with new technologies while other people love the extra 'bells and whistles' that devices such as Motorola's V3 Razr phone offers.

Write In Voting

Readers could also submit their own suggestions for other notable products in 2005.

The Palm Treo 650 was the most frequently mentioned write-in product last year, and was a prominently mentioned product this year too, but the most frequently mentioned product, by a large mention, were various models of Apple's iPod range of MP3 players.

Thanks also to the two people who wrote in our website as the best item for 2005!

Summary

Our 2005 Best Travel Technology Product Awards have been given to two outstanding products which offer significant improvements to all people's traveling experiences.

They all carry the recommendations and endorsement of both ourselves and our readers.

If so, please donate to keep the website free and fund the addition of more articles like this. Any help is most appreciated - simply click below to securely send a contribution through a credit card and Paypal.

 

Originally published 27 Jan 2006, last update 19 Dec 2013

You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.

 
 
 
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