Spring has sprung and many are gearing up to get out of Dodge. But before you pack those bags and hit the road, consider these problem solving solutions that can enhance the travel experience in a variety of ways—from hassle-saving luggage to space-saving organization to damage-saving tech to face-saving serums. Here are some downright cool travel tools.
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Bluesmart Suitcase (www.Bluesmart.com) - $399
The Bluesmart carry-on, billed as “the world’s first smart suitcase,” keeps traveler’s belongings tracked, devices charged, bag secure, and trips hassle-free thanks to integrated technology that syncs to the mobile app (iPhone or Android). The suitcase features a built-in battery/charger with 2 USB ports. The substantial 10.000 mAh battery can charge your phone up to 6 times, juicing up this and any other USB-connectable device from the USB port on the back or the inside. The bag also boasts a 3G+GPS tracker with global coverage to track the suitcase anywhere in the world; a scale built right into the handle that interfaces with the app to tell you the approximate weight of your suitcase; and a remote digital lock that can be set up to lock itself when you step away and to unlock when you return. The TSA- approved smart lock provides distance alerts, notifying you if you leave it behind. Of course, the bag needs to carry you belongings, so the main compartment does provide large space for clothes, shoes, and coats, while a secondary TSA-friendly compartment is able to accommodate up to a 15" laptop. Dimensions of the suitcase are 22" x 14" x 9", making it well-suited for almost all airline cabins.
Kolo Parker Canvas Soft Cubes (www.Kolo.com) – Starting at $25
Parker Canvas Soft Cubes are a system of four different sized pouches designed for a Nomadic life. They’re great for storing and transporting everything from jewelry and cosmetics to stationery, clothing and electronics. Made with premium water-resistant #8 Canvas and genuine bridle leather trim, these pouches make it easy to stay organized and have what you need at-hand while on the go. Choose from ten colors to match your personal style preference.
weBoost eqo Booster (www.weBoost.com/us) - $349.99
Communication is a necessity in today’s world but, unfortunately, not all cell-coverage is created equal. This can be a huge annoyance for those traveling to their vacation homes where coverage might be spotty—particularly those in more remote locales. It’s also problematic for those who participate in home “swap” vacation programs and need to ensure guests will have the caliber of connectivity they need and desire. Happily, weBoost has created the eqo (pronounced like "echo" or (/ˈekō/) Booster to those struggling with poor coverage a simple plug-and-play solution to boost, and increase the reliability of, spotty cellular connections throughout an entire home or other structure. Working across all major U.S. and Canadian carrier networks, the eqo includes two components that can be set up in under a minute–a discrete, stylish signal booster and an antenna to send that signal throughout the building. Simply place the eqo Booster in an area where signal is available, plug it into an electrical outlet and connect the antenna, then watch the signal strength and reliability improve. It offers up to 4G LTE coverage, supports all carriers, and amplifies voice and data signal for spaces up to 1200 square feet.
Evo Endurance (www.tech21.com) - $109.95
Many people rely on iPhones to stay connected, and sometimes need an extra charge to get them through those longer or busier days. For this, the Evo Endurance by tech21 is a great, ultra-safe option. tech21 challenged themselves to develop a truly safe battery solution, free from the problems that today's batteries can bring. Using unique technology, specifically designed for maximum safety, the result is what tech21 asserts is “the world's first and lightest ultra-safe charging case.” Using ceramic battery technology, it suffers from none of the problems traditional batteries face. For example, the Evo Endurance does not emit heat, leak toxic chemical or become flammable when damaged. The Evo Endurance also provides 60% extra charge. This case also uses FlexShock to absorb and dissipate shock away from your phone when dropped from up to 6.6 feet. The Evo Endurance is easy to install and starts at the touch of a button. It provides precise access to all ports and function buttons to ensure uninterrupted use of your iPhone device throughout the day and night.
Cabeau Evolution Pillow (www.Cabeau.com) - $34.99
Commuting during travel is usually rife with those suffering stiff necks, bobbing heads, and cramped, uncomfortable sleeping positions. But thanks to the Cabeau Evolution Pillow we can travel in far greater comfort. Made with world class responsive memory foam rather than the cheap polyfill material used in other products, the Cabeau Evolution Pillow has a patented ergonomic design and incorporates 8 unique features, including 360° head and chin support, a washable velour cover, and a travel bag that compacts the pillow down to 1/4 its size. This is a worthwhile solution for throngs of people who don’t purchase travel pillows because “they don’t work.” According to a Cabeau spokesperson,” Of the thousands of travel pillow owners surveyed at airports throughout the world, “over 80% of them said the reason they used a travel pillow was because ‘it was better than nothing.’ When those surveyed were also asked to compare the Top 5 travel pillows currently on the market, every single one of them voted the Cabeau Evolution Pillow as ‘the most comfortable travel pillow.’” Seems you have little to lose and much to gain here.
Skechers Game Kicks Sneakers for Kids (www.Skechers.com) – $65
If you are old enough to remember the game Simon you will love these shoes, and your little one surely will too. It is a shoe that doubles as an interactive, electronic game for kids, serving as instant source of entertainment for your kids when you go places like the airport or a restaurant. At the push of a button, the game turns on and challenges kids to a quick memory game for endless entertainment. For the Girl’s style, four colorful flowers light up and make sounds in a classic “match the pattern” game. The Boy’s style features color blocks that light up. Both styles have a sound on/off switch for silent play.
Palette of Perfection (www.Skinn.com) - $42.50
Who says speedy can’t also be fabulous? Convenience is essential for the girl-on-the-go, but a fresh face cannot be compromised. Keep your look and makeup together with the perfectly organized, portable, convenient and elegant Palette of Perfection from Skinn cosmetics. It has everything every woman needs for a complete makeup application including: blush, a translucent powder, concealer, eyeliner, eye shadows, lip color and lip gloss. Purchasing these items separately is pricey and involves all forms of packaging to transport, while the Palette of Perfection gives you beauty made easy in one single, perfectly-designed palette. A must-have addition for any makeup bag, the Palette of Perfection is also packed with anti-aging formulas and talc-free treatment colors designed to create a beautiful face at any age.
Out Of Africa Shea Butter Lip Balms & Skincare (www.OutOfAfricaShea.com) – Starting at $2.99
Traveling, especially via airplane, can be especially hard and dehydrating on the skin. Then there’s the additional sun exposure commonly experienced while on vacation that can leave skin dry and vulnerable. To keep your skin and lips in tip-top shape during travel, I’ve found two great products from Out Of Africa. Dry, chapped, wind or sun-burned lips will definitely benefit from the Out Of Africa Shea Butter Lip Balms, available unscented and in a multitude of flavors like Pomegranate & Acai, Peppermint, Orange Cream, Vanilla, and Strawberry. They deeply moisturize for long, lasting smoothness and are small enough to carry pretty much anywhere. You can also treat skin all over your body with nourishing Shea Butter formulas from Out Of Africa that are made from 100% pure unrefined shea butter that’s guaranteed fresh and authentic. Appropriate for all skin types, this natural shea butter can readily rejuvenate and soften skin on the face and body and also combat premature aging. Available unscented and also in soothing scents such as Grapefruit, Verbena, Lavender, and Vanilla. They come in intricately designed tins well-suited for on-the-go skincare.
CerumWORX Rejuvenation System (www.DermWORX.com) - $75.00 - $105.00
Speaking of anti-aging skincare, here’s a super-portable option that packs a powerful punch. For those who are starting to see fine lines and wrinkles and want to get back their healthy glow, but don’t want to carry heavy and bulky containers of lotions and serums while traveling, the CerumWORX Day & Night serum capsules are a great solution. The super small and lightweight capsules proffer effective and convenient antioxidant therapy for skin renewal and repair. Traditional liquid serums can be oily, messy and quickly degrade, but CerumWORX is a silky cream delivered in convenient single-use capsules that ensure you get fresh Vitamin C every time. CerumWORX Day protects and fortifies with 10% Vitamin C, Biopeptides and Phytonutrients, while CerumWORX Night enhances and restores with Retinol and Resveratrol in Microsponge—a DermWORX global exclusive. Just grab as many capsules as you need for the trip and you’re good to go.
New Salonpas Pain Relieving Patch (www.Salonpas.us) - $10.99
Whether from an over-zealous excursion, an extended walking or biking tour or another cause, muscle and joint aches and pains are never fun to deal with—especially when you’re trying to have a fun holiday. To get spot-targeted relief for specific areas in need, just apply a Salonpas Pain Relieving Patch instead of taking oral pain-relieving pills. Salonpas, a world leader in over-the-counter topical analgesic pain relief and pain patch technology, recently introduced its new and improved pain patch featuring beige stretchable fabric with rounder corners, a 60 percent larger size, enhanced adhesion, peel resistance and improved effectiveness. With three active ingredients, camphor (3.1%), menthol (10%) and methyl salicylate (15%), the patch provides temporary relief of minor aches and pains of muscles and joints associated with simple backache, stiff neck, sore shoulders, strains, bruises, sprains and even arthritis. These patches are great for those seeking alternatives to systemic pain pills containing acetaminophen, naproxen and ibuprofen—a great alternative for pain management in a safe and effective manner.
"The Luxe List" Executive Editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury marketplace for exemplary travel experiences, extraordinary events, and notable products and services. Submissions are accepted at www.TheLuxeList.com. Follow her on Twitter here: www.Twitter.com/LuxeListEditor and Facebook here: www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList.
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***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided and/or sponsored to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***