With spring break travel season nearly here, it’s time to uncover novel gadgets and gear for trekkers. Whether you’ll be jet setting around the globe or hitting the highway for a good old fashioned road trip, here are some travel finds that designed to ease, expedite or entertain as you embark on your journey.
Joy Mangano TravelEase Luggage (www.HSN.com) - $69.95-$89.95
In the travel industry there is no shortage of designer luggage. Among my favorites is the Joy Mangano’s TravelEase suitcase line that not only looks the designer part, but duly lives up to its name by making packing and travelling ever-so-easy. Joy Mangano’s Clothes It All TravelEase Light 22" Carry-On Mobile Dresser is a particular favorite. This stylish, cleverly-constructed case functions as a compartmentalized mobile closet. Forget about unpacking! Arrive at your destination, check your luggage in and go! The Joy Mangano TravelEase Light Double Decker Wheeled Duffle is equally ingenious in design. As with the mobile dresser, this incredibly expandable, organization-driven case also features a lightweight waterproof exterior along with multiple pockets and ample room for your belongings. Both, of course, have wheels and handle for easy transport. So, whether it's a car drive across state or jet-setting for the weekend, this Joy Mangano TravelEase line will get you there with a truly smart luggage design that's simple, organized, durable and fashionable.
Joy Mangano Hanging Travel Organizer (www.HSN.com) - $9.95
How simple traveling could be if you only had to pack (and unpack) once! With the Joy Mangano hanging travel organizer, you can! Just fill this lightweight travel organizer, which resembles a garment bag, and quickly drop or hang it in your hotel room when you arrive. There's no need to unpack because your undergarments, socks and toiletries will already be organized in the 4 large zippered pockets. Clear windows let you easily see the contents. After you arrive home, just wash and repack this organizer for your next trip or, better yet, use it to organize items at home, too.
The KYSS (Keep Your Stuff Safe) Lock-Safe Bag (www.KyssBags.com) - $45
Travel security at your fingertips! The KYSS (Keep Your Stuff Safe) Lock-Safe Bag is a high-quality, affordable and stylish tote bag with the integrated Safe-Tote security system. A security chain and attached combination lock pull from the bag to keep it safe and secure! Wrap the chain around an armrest, lounge chair or other anchoring object and lock the bag zipper closed in one easy motion! Great for keeping your devices, purse, cell phone and other personal effects safe on the beach while you go for a swim. The Kyss Lock-Safe Bag provides peace of mind any time you need to leave your valuables unattended or if your attention may be diverted elsewhere! The KYSS tote bag, which is also available with high-quality custom embroidery, comes in two sizes include and a variety of colors: Black, Raspberry Pink, Sky (Light) Blue, Red and Midnight (Dark).
Clipa Instant Handbag Hanger (www.Clipa.us) - $19.99-$39.99
Clipa is a 2-in-1 travel accessory: a clever handbag hanger that also doubles as a bracelet. Made in the USA, Clipa keeps your pocketbook, shopping bag, duffel bag, messenger bag, laptop bag, backpack and similar carrier off the ground and away from germs, water, and dirt. This handy bangle bracelet-like travel accessory can be worn on your wrist for instant use when you need it. Ideal for restaurants, bars and bathrooms, it hangs in just 1/4" of space but is designed for today's larger, heavier handbags, backpacks, and business bags. In fact, Clipa holds a hefty 45 pounds and, through testing, has been proven to last for 10 years. Its sleek, circular design works on rails and stall walls. Available in 18 finishes, it won't tarnish and never needs polishing.
Jet Setter Travel Tag (www.Brighton.com) - $28
Want to travel stylishly down to the last detail? Even a practical item like a travel tag can go from ordinary or extraordinary. The sky's the limit with Brighton’s Jet Setter Travel Tag offering a worldly accent and pizzazz to your luggage. Available in chic black or cherry red, this fashionable travel tag measures 4” x 2 ¾” x 1/8” and is made of high-quality leather. It features an adorable silver metal buckle and charm in the shape of a heart with an airplane in the middle. This travel tag is durable and easy to clean. It makes a great gift whether it is for another travel lover or you want to just treat yourself!
Z Stripe Cosmetic Pouch (www.Brighton.com) - $44
Safari looks are making a splash in the urban jungle, and this chic cosmetic case from Brighton is no exception with its high-fashion good looks. The coated canvas makes it durable and easy to clean while the zip top ensures all your essentials remain secure. Available in leopard cherry or black, this compact cosmetic pouchmeasures 7 3/4" x3 1/2" x1/2" and features one exterior pocket. There is plenty of room to hold your travel make-up supplies while looking trendy as you travel. This cosmetic pouch also features a sweet silver metal charm as part of the zipper as an extra touch.
Magniflex Travel Pillow (www.Magniflex.com) - $99
A travel staple! The Magniflex travel pillow has several unique features that make it stand out among other U-shaped travel pillow options on the market. This pillow has a quilted cover made of temperature-regulating Coolmax fabric. It keeps your skin from getting hot, allowing for a more comfortable slumber while traveling. Under the cover, you’ll find the company’s eco-friendly water based memory foam, which conforms to your body. The removable fabric cover can be washed after each trip. Notably, Magniflex’s products are certified by Oeko-Tex to guarantee the absence of allergens, making this travel pillow ideal for those who are prone to allergies.
Anywhere Comfort Travel Neck Pillow (www.ComfortIdeas.com) - $24.99
Another great travel pillow option is the patented memory foam Anywhere Comfort Travel Neck Pillow, which provides custom comfort for use in planes, trains, cars and hotel so that you are sure to arrive well rested. But, this is no ordinary neck pillow. It is designed to easily form into multiple shapes to provide personalized comfort and support as desired by the user. In fact, this perfect pillow can even provide 360° support by wrapping it around your neck. No more uncomfortable neck bobbing in any direction, whether used as a pillow, neck support, or simply to provide that extra cushioning in uncomfortable sitting positions. The Anywhere Comfort Travel Neck Pillow also comes with a strap that allows it to be secured around a car seat for added neck support. When travelling, simply roll it up for easy portability.
Anywhere Comfort Back Cushion (www.ComfortIdeas.com) - $29.99
Ordinary lumbar supports do not offer many choices. Not so with this patented memory foam Anywhere Comfort Back Cushion, which is designed with a dual pad to provide a more natural form to the user’s body shape. The user can easily create different positions for custom comfort and support for the upper and/or lower back. This versatile Anywhere Comfort lumbar support can be used horizontally, vertically, and folded in half. It comes with an adjustable strap to keep the cushion in place on a chair or car seat. It easily rolls up for portability, making it perfectly suited for travel.
Loaded Questions On The Go Game (www.FamilyandPartyGames.com) - $11.99
Looking to liven things up while getting from point A to point B? Loaded Questions will keep any road trip or jaunt with family, friends and colleagues full of laughter and memorable conversations. And, like all Loaded Questions games, there are never any right or wrong answers. You just have to guess which player gave which answer to questions like “What can make a person instantly unpopular?” and “What super power is not very 'super'?” For Ages 8 to adult, this fun travel game - now featuring 200 NEW Loaded Questions - is based on the best-selling board game with more than one million sold! There will be no shortage of laughs with Loaded Questions On the Go as 200 hilarious, creative questions will give you and your co-travelers hours of unforgettable game play!
Laptop Lunches Bento Lunch Box (www.LaptopLunches.com) – Starting at $39.99
Stay satiated while you’re mobile witha stylish Laptop Lunches bento boxperfect for the working professional on-the-go, those family road trips, beachside brunches and more. Theselead-free, BPA-free, eco-friendly bento boxes also make great airline carry-on companions because they're sturdy, lightweight compact and fit perfectly on a tray table. All models can hold a variety of travel-friendly foods and there is an assortment of cool designs to choose from. Each comes with a stainless fork and spoon and separate microwave-and-dishwasher-safe food compartments with lids. The insulated sleeve on the “Urban Swing” lunch kit, which I have, keeps food fresh for hours, and the collapsible side drink pouch is ideal for your own water bottle, juice box or thermos.
SnoozeShade Blackout Blind (www.SnoozeShade.com) - $34.99
For babies and little ones still in car seats and strollers, SnoozeShade is a great solution to keep the sun out of their face while they slumber. The SnoozeShade blackout blind replaces haphazard drapery-job over the baby’s stroller or car seat. It easily attaches with Velcro straps and blocks out fully 94% of light so babies can stay cool and sleep anywhere. The protective cover also shields baby from weather with sunburn-preventing UPF50+ throughout, and also keeps insects and pests away. Available SnoozeShade products include the SnoozeShade Original, SnoozeShade for Infant Car Seats, and the SnoozeShade Plus, which allows babies to stay asleep and then see out and remain protected from UV rays when awake. The SnoozeShade Original recently won the PTPA (Parent Tested Parent Approved) Seal of Approval.
BubbleBum (www.BubbleBum.us) - $39.99
BubbleBum, the first-ever inflatable booster seat, has made family traveling easier - and lighter -than ever. It’s a fantastic solution for car rides and fly-ins with car rentals. Weighing in at less than one pound, BubbleBum can inflate and deflate in just seconds, making it simple to throw in a backpack or large purse. It includes belt positioning clips in place of arm rests so it’s possible to fit as many as three BubbleBum boosters across the back seat of a car, minivan, or SUV. BubbleBum received the PTPA Media Award, JPMA Award, and a "Best Bet" for safety by the IIHS (Insurance Institute of Highway Safety) evaluation report.
When You Arrive…
Blacktop 360 Party Hub Grill Fryer (www.Blacktop360.com) - $249
The award-winning Blacktop 360 Party Hub Grill Fryer is the first portable outdoor cook top of its kind, allowing tailgater’s endless menu possibilities with one unit. It has four distinct, porcelain enamel cooking areas, including the grill, griddle, warming plate and fryer, making it possible to make burgers and fries, chicken wings and poppers, and just about anything else all at the same time. It also features an accessories rail that comes with a tool holder and cutting board. Serious BBQ-ers will love the 24,000 BTU’s of cooking power, infrared burner capable of 450-650+ degree temperatures, independent fry, grill and griddle control. The grill fryer is portable with a storage/carrying bag included. The best part of all is that there’s no assembly required, which means you can get cooking right out of the box!
Motorola Talkabout FV300 Two-Way Radios (www.MotorolaSolutions.com) - $29.99
Motorola Talkabout FV300 Radios are ideal for use when cruising, travelling, camping, hiking, paddling, visiting the zoo and even spending a day at Disney. They are a must when you expect to be out of cell phone range. These two-way radios keep you connected with one another for safety and peace of mind. The devices feature reliable two-way radio communications up to a 10-mile range, 10 call tones, 22 channels, scan feature and ultra light-weight compact design, making them perfect for worry-free spring and summer adventures. They also have an accessory connector, permitting the use of an audio accessory headset for easy hands-free operation and a rugged structure designed to survive tough treatment.
LUXE City Guides (www.LuxeCityGuides.com) - $9.99-$110
LUXE City Guides have quietly changed the face of travel guides by rethinking the whole concept of why and how we all travel, what we need when we get there, and, most importantly, what we don't want. LUXE is famous for its super-svelte format devoid of all the padding, photos, graphics and “blah” found in other guides. The result is an ultra-smart advisor stacked with priceless information for the discerning, value-conscious and busy traveler. Available as individual guides or beautiful gift box sets, these make the perfect travel companion not to mention gift for the travel lover in your life.
PAK BARA (www.PakBara.com) - $32.99
PAK BARA is an all-in-one, patent-pending carrying case for busy lifestyles. The cases are a versatile, uniquely-designed, hands-free solution, offering several attachment options. They are also lightweight and convenient for all types of activities, including travel, sports and sporting events, concerts, theme parks, casinos or just quick access out the door. PAK BARA cases have a sewn-in, secured belt loop for extra protection that will keep valuables and personal items safe. It can also eliminate long lines and waiting time for security check points. Other features include four ways to wear it (sewn-in belt loop, removable clip, or arm band and leg band), customized spacious internal pockets, four built-in cord ports for electronics and medical devices, reflective piping, hassle-free phone access and an external pocket to grab your must-haves.
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***