Forget the Neck Pillow: Travel Better With These Life-Savers
BY CHRISTIE BRYDON
You’re counting down the days until you can set up that Out of Office message and jet to your vacation destination. The only obstacle? Figuring out what to pack, waiting in airport security lines, fighting for the best seat on the train, getting stuck in traffic…you know, all those traveling joys. Plus, while there are many obvious upsides, it can be an adjustment not having all the comforts of your own routine. Before you start dreading mornings without your Vitamix, arm yourself with these ingenious gadgets that will make travel—dare we say—easy.
BODUM TRAVEL PRESS
Maintain your morning routine even during vacation—brew coffee or loose-leaf tea in this Bodum travel press and drink straight from the thermos.
If you're in a vacation rental about 3000 miles away from your usual coffee joint, mornings can be a real struggle. Do your sleepy self a favor and bring your own java fix. This French press makes superb coffee (and loose-leaf tea)—all you need is grounds and hot water. After steeping, you can drink straight from the thermos. (Perfect when you’re in the car on the way to sightsee before noon.) Plus, unlike standard glass French presses, the stainless steel is sturdy enough to withstand being squished in a suitcase.
COLLAPSIBLE WATER BOTTLE
The Vapur rolls up when empty, but expands to hold 18 oz. of water. No more $5 water bottles at the airport.
It’s a conspiracy, really. You can’t bring liquids onto the plane, but flying is seriously dehydrating. And how many times do you want to ring over an attendant just to get another miniature water bottle? (Not to mention all the plastic waste.) You could pull the classic Security Line Water Bottle Chug like everyone else, or you could just bring this collapsible water bottle. On its own, it’s thinner than your cell phone, and fills right up to hold 18 ounces. Plus, when it’s empty, you won’t have to worry about crushing flimsy plastic in the back seat pocket or at the bottom of your bag.
GRID MINI FOAM ROLLER
“I’m going for a run” sounds like code for “anything to get away from family” during the holidays, until you bust out the GRID mini foam roller and show you mean fitness business.
Sure, vacation is about relaxing, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up exercising entirely. Let’s be honest, we could all use a metabolism booster before the breakfast buffet, and that upcoming 5K isn’t going to train for itself. Pack some running shoes and maximize your workouts with this travel-sized foam roller. At a 5.5” diameter, you get serious muscle-repairing action without compromising space in your carry-on.
PORTABLE POWER BANK
Score an extra life after your phone battery dies by plugging in this portable power bank.
Scenario: Your flight is delayed two hours. Not ideal, but you’ll survive, especially because there’s an empty table at Starbucks and you have some emails to catch up on anyway. Then it hits you—your phone charger is stashed in your checked luggage. You could go all old-school and, I don’t know, read a book…or you could bring a back-up battery. Charge it up at home and plug it in whenever your phone is approaching 0%—it’ll add hours of extra screen time.
No excuses—you can officially up your hostess gift game now. Bring olive oil, perfume, or wine in the stress-free inflatable VinniBag.
You’d have to be a real daredevil to pack a bottle of wine in your suitcase. Pantone’s color of the year may be inspired by Marsala, but that doesn’t mean you should risk tie-dyeing all your clothes with the stuff mid-flight. What to do when you want to bring a glass bottle, whether it be Merlot, olive oil, or perfume? Slip it in the inflatable VinniBag and blow it up to create an instant air bubble that’ll protect your cargo from breakage.
ROLO TRAVEL BAG
Goodbye, checked luggage fees. The Rolo travel bag fits several days’ worth of clothing into a very compact space.
There’s the stacking method, the rolling method, and the think-outside-the-box bundle method. Strategize all you want—packing is still a huge pain. Wouldn’t it be nice if your suitcase managed the space economy for you? Enter Rolo, the revolutionary travel bag that is designed to roll into a cylinder about the size of a yoga mat. Since it holds about four days worth of clothing, it’s perfect for long weekends (and saves you trunk space for the good stuff, like presents). Note: This bag is so awesome, it sometimes sells out, but there's always the option of getting on the waitlist.
Stay so fresh and so clean clean with Paper Shower’s portable packet system. Photo courtesy of Paper Shower. Let’s face it. Traveling can leave us all feeling, and smelling, a little funky. The only thing worse than being stuck next to a less-than-fragrant passenger is to be one.
When access to your steamy hotel shower is two layovers away, take a Paper Shower instead. Each towelette packet comes with a wet and dry cloth that will leave you feeling soft and clean without that alcohol-y baby wipe smell. The generously sized wet body wipes are saturated with a moisturizing water-based solution and the extra large dry wipes are designed to pick up all of the travel grit from your skin, leaving you ready to face your next getaway. Hint: Keep these handy after a sweaty workout or anytime you find yourself needing a little freshening up.
SCRUBBA WASHBAG AND TOWEL
Why drag around dirty threads when you can wash ‘em while you trek? Photo courtesy of Scrubba. You’re seven days into your Instagram-worthy adventure in Patagonia, sporting your last pair of clean underwear. The nearest laundromat is hundreds of miles away. Now what? The Scrubba Washbagrequires nothing more than water, cleaning liquid, and a few easy steps to have fresh duds for the rest of your trip. Pay a little more and you can press your clothes dry with The Scrubba Towel. Just think of all the travel fees you can avoid by packing lighter!