Face it: we all need a little help on vacation. Even if we’re weekend warriors primed with a double miles card, or a Monday-Friday business person perpetually living out of a suitcase – we need innovative products to help make our travels a little less stressful. We compiled a list of our favorite new travel products that will make any trip easier. Some help with flights, some help when you’re on-site and others even work if you’re just hanging at home. After reading about this list of unique, game-changing products you won’t be able to stop yourself from booking your next trip, and buying some of these award-winners.
Blah. Blegh. Blerch. That’s how you feel after flying for more than a couple hours. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but it’s a stale feeling you can’t seem to shake for a few days. 1Above wants to combat those flying ailments with a new aerotonic flight beverage. This security compliant drink and/or dissolvable tablets helps support your circulation, fights jet lag, props up your immune system and delivers the essential nutrients your body needs all throughout your flight (not to mention it is low-cal and highly refreshing.) You can purchase different amounts of 1Above depending your flight length so you can ensure you’ll be hydrated throughout. For even better results, drink some a few days before and after your flight. Tablets cost around $18 and the concentrated bottle is $9.
Look awesome while getting some shut eye with Blackout Bands. Whether you’re on the bus, a plane, or chilling on the beach and nursing a hangover, Blackout Bands will make you feel like you have complete solitude. The lenses are between 95% or 98% tint giving the user total solitude while eyes are closed and allows for only shapes when open. With a “flat-to-the-face” design, Blackout Bands are trying to do away with those old, scratchy, for-your-grandma sleep masks. They’re created with a noble mission in mind too, understanding and intaking information on eye diseases with Photophobia’s. A portion or profits is donated to charities to help blindness. These glasses retail for $25-$50.
Remember those old spongy dinosaur toys you’d soak in water and they’d grow to 10x their size? The Compressed Towel Tablets by Prospector Co. are created with the same concept in mind, but they’re actually useful. These travel friendly, cotton fiber compressed pills decompress with water and expand to a dish towel size rag for convenient personal care when you don’t have the conveniences of home. I can’t think of a scenario where these wouldn’t be useful. Cleaning off mud-caked hands while camping, doing a quick wash up after a long flight, wiping down a table after a messy meal, cleaning up the face/hands/torso/feet? of a baby after a long day of being a baby. At a price point of six tablets for $5, you’re basically stealing them.
Let’s be real: weathermen are unreliable. Even your favorite weather-tracking website isn’t always 100% sure when there’s a 100% chance of rain. Be prepared with the Davek Mini Umbrella. There’s nothing worse than looking your best, ready for a big night out on vacation, when it starts to downpour and you look like a drowned rat. The Davek Mini is unbelievable compact, so it fits in most hand bags, purses or pockets – which is wonderful – since all three of those things keep getting smaller. It measures less than seven inches but looks stylish for such a small accessory. Never be caught in the rain again with this extremely useful umbrella. Currently retailing for $49 and available in four colors.
Staying dry when on vacation can be quite the challenge. If you’re camping alongside a flowing river or laying out by a tropical pool, you should be using a top-of-the-line item to stay dry. The DryLite Towel is the perfect travel towel: it’s soft, compact and quick drying. It doesn’t smell, it doesn’t transmit germs and it stays fresh after multiple uses. Take it to the beach, pack it in your bag, and move along to your next destination with ease. Don’t let your next trip leave you feeling all wet. You can purchase the DryLite Towel online from $15-$40.
The perfect vacation picture is hard to come by. Someone usually is giving “bunny ears”, someone is usually blinking, or you just don’t have arms long enough to capture the sunset properly. If you’re a traveler seeking adventure, it can be even harder to take a flawless shot without a little assistance. The GorillaPod by JOBY is here to help you grab an iconic image from your trip. Whether you’re lugging along your iPhone or a more professional camera, this bendable, magnetic stand can be manipulated to attach to any surface, creating a unique photo angle you would not have achieved alone, or even with someone else holding the camera. If you take your travel photography seriously, then you should show up for your next trip with some serious help from these tripods. A GorillaPod for a smartphone or normal sized camera is around $25.
Shark Tank (ABC) lovers will remember the Hoodie Pillow fondly. A super-comfy, oversized hood that blocks out light and has a convenient pocket for your smart phone with a headphone opening. There’s the Inflatable Hoodie Pillow, which easily deflates and stows for travel use. The HoodiePillow pillowcase for more home usage, and the Memory Foam HoodiePillow for those cross-country flights. HoodiePillow products provide comfort wherever you are. Whether you’re a light sleeper, college student, night-shift worker, frequent traveler, looking for added warmth or privacy, or just trying to catch some shut-eye. Retailing for $20 to $25 the HoodiePillow products are an affordable way to keep comfortable when abroad.
If you tell me you sleep comfortably on a plane, I’ll tell you you’re a liar. Even those darn horse collar type pillows aren’t enough to keep neck crinks at bay on a red eye. Catching some z’s anywhere while traveling is a pain (literally) which is why J-Pillow might be here to save us from crazy high chiropractor bills. Retailing for $60 on Amazon and its own website, J-Pillow gets its name from the unique shape. Cradling both the side of the head and UNDER the chin, this plush accessory will leave your entire neck and head supported avoiding any uncomfortable sleeping positions. It also makes an ideal life-style pillow and is great to use around the home when relaxing on the sofa or reading in bed. The J-Pillow is available in regular, inflatable, and kid-size options.
LifeStraw® is an idea so genius, yet so basic, there was no way it could be excluded from our list. Fresh water is the #1 source of life. In an emergency situation, or even a remotely inconvenient situation where tap or bottled water is not available, you need LifeStraw. These water filters make water contaminated with bacteria and protozoa safe to drink. Some LifeStraw water purifiers also remove viruses. All LifeStraw products are durable, lightweight, and require no electricity or batteries to operate. Your options for purchase are the titular straw itself (best for individual use), a rather large bucket (think family camping trips), a water bottle (perfect for your desk at work) and a roll bag (for more remote destinations) Here’s a final bonus: For every LifeStraw product you buy, one school child in a developing country receives safe drinking water for an entire school year. The price is very affordable with the original LifeStraw retailing for $20 and the biggest purifier, LifeStraw Family, at $75.
Don’t let your coffee habit take a vacation. Instant coffee or drippy, watery sludge from a gas station shouldn’t be your drink of choice to stay pepped up when you’re on-the-go. Minipresso by Wacaco offers you a delicious espresso shot in a container no bigger than a smart phone. You can fit it into your suitcase or backpack, the Minipresso is portable and leak-proof. The device is hand operated which means Minipresso doesn’t require compressed air, N2O cartridges or electricity for its operation. It also uses different water tanks so you can prepare your favorite types of espresso without changing anything. With a retail price of $49 it’s an affordable option too. Now you can get your coffee buzz even when you’re way out in the wilderness, you’ll need it for those long hikes.
The sharing economy now comes to parking spots. Find or rent parking in cities around the world with MobyPark. It can be a real pain finding parking at a busy urban or even vacation destination. Parking spots are also expensive for their owners if not wrapped into their mortgage or rent. MobyPark solves both those problems with online booking for parking spaces, helping car park owners as well as private home owners. Save time, money, and aggravation by using MobyPark instead of driving around endlessly, all to put your car in a $25 per hour lot. MobyPark is only available in Europe at this time.
There seems to be a semi-monopoly on headphones between two companies. Let’s allow a third worthy contender into the race, shall we? Shadow Wireless Earphones by Sol Republic are lightweight and fit your ear like an old pair of tennis shoes (they don’t smell like an old pair of tennis shoes, though.) The fully flexible design allows the headphones to rest comfortably on your neck (like a small horse collar style) even when you’re moving quickly. Since it is wireless and connected via Bluetooth, keep your phone in your pocket all day while you listen to music and chat on the phone with Shadow. The sound is powerful and the minimalist design fits with any outfit. Ideal for plane rides, walking around a new city or taking a run on the beach. These headphones retail for $100.
Safe, innovative, environmentally friendly, convenient, and affordable To-Go Ware offers bamboo or silicone kitchen products like utensils and pans meant for outdoor use. Perfect for camping, general travel, and even in-home use, they have a whole suite of products for online shopping. The utensils are especially awesome. Super lightweight, they come in a convenient package WITH a carabiner that you can attach to things when on-the-go. The bamboo isn’t flimsy at all and you can even cut apples without worrying it might break. To-Go Ware items range from $8 to $50.
In the airport or on the road traveling, you’re always on the move. You need your coffee to keep you pepped up, or you need some type of liquid to stay hydrated. It’s impossible to zip through the terminal with a drink in one hand, two carryons, a stroller and whatever else you may be pushing. The tugo® is an ingenious cup holder that keeps your drink suspended between the upright handles of your rolling bag. Its unique design keeps your cup level to prevent sloshing. Easily attached and removed, tugo collapses to fit in any pocket of your carry-on luggage. This way, you’ll keep spills at bay while you cruise through to your layover gate. tugo cups are $10-12.
Nothing improves a long flight or a stressful vacation like getting drunk. Unfortunately glass bottles break and plastic bottles leak if not stored and shipped carefully. Enter WineSkin, a transport bag is the first and only way to safely and securely transport wine and other bottles no matter where you go. Created with two strong brand-name adhesive seals, WineSkin secures 750-ml (or smaller) bottles for the trade and public by incorporating strong, shock-absorption materials with leak-proof confidence. Certain options have handles for easy carrying, and you can buy a skin in your favorite color. WineSkin is available at fine wine and spirits retailers worldwide, as well as wineries and tasting rooms. A 2-pack of this super charged bubble wrap retails around $6.
Zolt Laptop Charger Plus is the world’s smallest, lightest and smartest laptop charger that delivers streamlined, intelligent, multi-device charging for life on the go. Four times smaller and three times lighter than traditional adapters, Zolt allows users to simultaneously charge their laptop and two additional devices – such as tablets, smartphones, digital cameras, portable speakers and more. The innovators at Zolt have blended revolutionary design with trusted engineering – such as Zolt ERC™ (Efficient Resonant Control) technology, which prioritizes and analyzes each device to provide optimal charging delivering a new breed of power adapters to today’s always connected consumers. The Zolt retails for $100.