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slotRadio: The Best Music Player for Rugged Travels

Every time I whipped out my iPhone in Thailand the locals said the same exact thing: Want to sell? I quickly realized my precious gadget was an easy target for pickpocketing and I needed to make sure I knew where it was at all times. Look, I loved Thailand, but scams and theft are a reality there.

The kicker was, I hadn’t brought my iPhone to Thailand so I could use it as an emergency phone. If that had been the case, I could have left it locked up in the safe in my hotel room and never worried about it again. No, I brought it with me because it’s my music player. And I think you’ll agree with me that I’d rather tour the world with Rachel Ray and listen to her say, “Yummo!” on repeat than travel without music.

Problem: I need a cheaper, lighter music player for my rugged adventures.
Solution: slotRadio

slotradio player

The Sansa slotRadio player is made by SanDisk. You know them. Just open up your digital camera and you’ll probably find a teensy tiny memory card with their name on it. Each slotRadio comes with 1,000 free songs from Billboard. The songs are arranged in seven playlists (Country, Contemporary, R&B/Hip Hop, Alternative, Rock, Workout, and Chillout) and loaded onto a tiny little mix card.

What kind of songs are we talking about? There are awesome oldies in each genre–The Oak Ridge Boys’ Elvira brought a smile to my face–and of course chart-topping latest hits. You can also copy music from your computer onto a blank microSD card and insert it into your slotRadio or buy more genre-specific cards, each loaded with 1,000 songs for $40.

And did I mention how tiny the slotRadio player is?  Here, check this out.

tiny slotradio

Yup, that’s a AA battery. The slotRadio is about the size of a matchbook and weighs less than a AA battery. Plus, it boasts 13 long hours of battery life and you just plug this sucker into the wall when it’s time to recharge it. It even has an FM radio.

The slotRadio retails for $99–slightly more than Apple’s bare-bones Shuffle at $79. But the slotRadio comes with 1,000 free songs. When you factor in that most songs on iTunes are a dollar a pop, the slotRadio is a better value. Plus–and this is huge–the slotRadio has a display screen so you can easily move from one song to the next and from one playlist to another.

slotradio screen

All in all, I think this little gadget will give the Apple Shuffle a serious run for the money and the Travel Gadget Guru has the perfect music player to take on her upcoming trip to Cuzco, Peru.


My name: Alison Presley

Nickname: Presbo, because I'm good police.

How I earn my keep: I'm the manager of Travelocity's Travel for Good program. Visit Travel for Good to learn more about our green travel and voluntourism initiatives!

What kind of traveler am I: I'm an intrepid food explorer. I usually starve myself on the plane (not that that's too hard to do) so that the moment my toes touch foreign soil I'm ready to sample new and exciting cuisine. I like to dine everywhere from hole-in-the-wall local secrets to Michelin Guide gems. Cannelés, poi, boiled peanuts, oxtail soup, poutine--there's no stopping this adventurous palate.

Greatest travel lesson I've learned: It doesn't cost a lot of money to do good. Offsetting your carbon impact only adds a few bucks to your trip, green hotels are very affordable, and volunteering locally during your vacation is a great way to give back and learn about the culture.



That’s great! I’m game for anything that will lighten my carry-on/backpack/purse while traveling.


Wow, this looks pretty cool.

Nothing But Bonfires

This is AMAZING! When I was traveling in Asia for six months, the thing I worried most about losing was my iPod; I was constantly patting myself down to make sure I had it. And since I stayed in the sort of places that only charged me $5 a night, there was never a safe in my room, so I had to be incredibly vigilant that I didn’t lose it. Of course, this is back when iPods cost $300 or so, and I would have been DEVASTATED if I’d lost it (particularly near the beginning of my trip — I would have been stranded without music!) So this seems like the perfect solution — small, compact, and not likely to make me inconsolable if I lost it or it got stolen. Genius!


This is a little musical gem. The size is perfect, and the features are great for travel. In addition to all the song lists that are preprogrammed, you can put your own songs on, too. All in all, a really cool little gadget.


This slotRadio will come in handy when doing a lot of land travelling, especially when travelling from one palce to another. I will keep you company and at the same time, enjoy the scenary.

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