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Pick the right gadget to take on a trip

Q. My husband is preparing to go to Japan and four other countries for work! In 21 years of being together, we have never been apart longer than a weekend. We have three children who will miss him like crazy! He needs a device to stay in touch! Not sure which would be best - an iPad or a laptop? We have heard different things about both! My mom said to ask you because you're the best at this kind of stuff! Please help!
-Lynn, from White Bluff, TN, listens to my national radio show on WTN 99.7 FM

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A. Lynn, I remember your question from a show not too long ago! I told you I would expand it out and give you a full answer in a tip, so here it is. I really think your situation can help many people.

These days, work-related travel is common, especially overseas. It's a big reason why keeping in touch overseas has become easier in the last decade.

You've identified two obvious solutions in laptops and tablets, Lynn. But I'm going to throw smartphones into the mix - they don't call it "calling home" for nothing!

Of course, if he wants to take just one gadget, it has to be enough to communicate in all the different ways most families do.

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