12+ Great Inventions For Summer Travelers And Frequent Fliers
If you’re gearing up for your summer vacation, we’ve found a list of some simple, inexpensive items you may want to consider purchasing for your upcoming trip. Technology has made traveling so much more convenient than it used to be. Whether you globe trot regularly for business or you’re just going across the state for a family get together or a little down time at a favorite getaway, here are some gadgets you might want to take with you. A few of them, if not most, will probably find their way into your daily life after using them just once.
1. TrackR Bravo
Okay, who doesn’t lose things? From our keys to our phones to our remote controls and sunglasses, we tend to lose things almost daily. Over the years, cordless phones and some remotes have come with homing devices that make these lost items beep. With cell phones we have to have someone call us, if we don’t use a tracking app from another device. TrackR is a small, attachable tracker you can use in conjunction with your most frequently misplaced items. The device is the size of a coin and perfect for keeping tabs on whatever you’re worried about losing. You can attach them to anything, including your luggage. Now, you can tell the airlines where your bags really are.
Laptops, mobile devices and cameras are constantly in need of a charge. During travels this can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. Now, Aukey has a simple solution with a streamlined, high-capacity external battery charger using a 20,000mAh Lithium Polymer battery to provide you with enough power to charge an iPhone up to 10x over. It features a built-in torch and two USB ports for different output levels, allowing you to charge two devices at the same time. Aukey specializes in a number of convenient travel-size charging systems, so if this particular model isn’t the exact device you need, have no fear: there are plenty of other designs to choose from.
3. The Airhook
If you’re like most of us, you’re usually flying coach, which leaves a lot to be desired. Unless you’re a child, there’s almost no room in the seating situation anymore, even though people continue to expand in size. The situation is so dire just opening your seatback tray table is almost a feat in itself. A few companies have come out with alternative solutions to the problem. One of them is called The Airhook, and it can hold your electronic devices and a beverage in the attached cup holder to keep both of them up and off of your lap while securely mounted to the seat in front of you. It looks a little cheesy, but it’s lightweight and portable, making it easy to travel with.
If you are looking for a super budget alternative, there is also the ziplock bag.
Here’s a variation on the air travel seatback tray table. This one is for automobiles. There are several different manufacturers with a bunch of different designs, depending on whether you’ll predominantly be using it for dining, a mobile office or an entertainment catchall of sorts. They attach to seatbacks so occupants in the rear have their own food tray or work space. If you type in the words “tray back tables” on Google, you’ll come up with a whole slew of them to choose from. You’ll have to decide which is best for your needs and research their quality and worthiness. The Zonetech Car Tray Table gets great reviews on Amazon.
This is so cool! It’s like a caddy for your laptop that can be hung from a seatback and used as a travel office. This collapsible black nylon computer bag zips open and shut while holding everything you need for working on the go, playing games or just watching a movie. Easily attached to the metal bars of the headrest in front of you with Velcro straps, it hangs securely in place and keeps everything neat and organized at just the right level, making it comfortable and convenient for tapping away at your keyboard.
Another seatback-mounted item for organization and convenience, the gaming console travel bag provides space for your Xbox/Playstation console, games, controllers and cords. It features slots for CDs, inner compartments for cartridges, a side Velcro cord flap and an interior mesh pocket. Heat vents allow users to play their gaming systems directly from the pouch, and Velcro straps hold the console securely in place during your travels. Once you zip it up the shoulder strap and/or carry handle make it super simple to transport. Easy to store, it fits most car seats.
7. Sleep Mask with Bluetooth
Getting a little shuteye on a flight or even on a long car trip can sometimes be a challenge. It’s either not dark enough or the noise level of other occupants can be distracting or maybe you’re just used to sleeping with a little white noise or sound spa. Those problems can be solved with the 1 Voice Sleep Headphones Eye Mask. The plush sleep masks block out light and play whatever’s on your playlist via the Bluetooth headphones built into the masks. Super comfy and lightweight, they could be just what you’re looking for in a travel accessory.
8. Sleep Hoodie With Built-in Pillow
More good news in travel sleep accessories comes in the form of a yummy hoodie by Aros. Available in cotton, fleece and nylon in pullover and zip-front styles, these lounging hoodies have small inflatable pillows built into the back of the hoods that can quickly and easily be inflated to cradle your head and keep a stiff neck at bay. Being touted by Aros as "Comfort for the Modern Traveler," their patent-pending support system makes catnapping on the go a breeze.
9. Charging Backpacks & Bags
Looking for a bag to stow your gear for a weekend getaway and a charging station all rolled into one? No problem. We’ve found two great choices for you. The first is by AMPL Labs, and it’s a knapsack called the SmartBag, because it’s purported to be the world’s smartest backpack. The second is by 1 Voice, and they offer a really nice variety of attractive bags to choose from, including mail pouches. Both manufacturers’ products come with enough charging power to satisy the demands of most consumers.
This next travel accessory is perfect for shutterbugs. The Mobi EyeFi SD card and accompanying app makes sending files from your camera to your iOS, Android or Kindle devices a cinch. The product works like a regular SDHC card, but this smart memory card with built-in WiFi pairs your camera with your smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac for an instant transfer of images and video, all without cables. It also features Eyefi Cloud, a private, digital-media focused cloud service free for 90 days, said to guarantee the availability of your pix instantly on any of your Web-enabled devices.
The world is an unpredictable place anymore. That’s why staying connected with travel companions is not only important, but it could be potentially lifesaving in an emergency situation. The goTenna mobile antenna and app let you stay connected even when you don’t have cell service. Using VHF radio waves, it turns your smartphone into an “off grid communication tool” that allows users to map and pin their locations and send encrypted messages. It’s perfect for travelers who have become separated from their party or lost.
Traveling to parts unknown where the water could be dicey? No worries. There’s a product called SteriPEN Aqua that can turn questionable drinking water into safe drinking water. It’s a small water purification system using ultraviolet light to destroy 99.9 percent of bacteria and protozoa in water. While there are a few different models available, the newer SteriPen Aqua purifies roughly 50 liters of water before battery replacement is warranted. All you do is dip the small, portable pen into one liter of water and stir for 60 seconds and viola! Safe drinking water! You can see all the Steripen options here.
A tip for travelers is the use of an app called Bucket. If you're a Facebook user, you may already be familiar with it. It's a free app you can use that allows you to get travel-related tips in a Pinterest-meets-Yelp format that can give you ideas on places to go, stay, see, eat at and avoid based on other users' experiences. Like all the other items on this list, iMend and Bucket could potentially make your next trip that much more pleasant and enjoyable. Bon voyage!
If you want all your travel gadgets in one, you can also try the Travel Hoodie! XY37 makes a travel hoodie that includes tons of pockets for almost everything you would want to carry, together with a built in neck pillow, face/eye mask and hand gloves. For folks who want something different and functional, this hoodie may be worth trying.