Summer may be halfway over, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to pack up the beach umbrellas and prep for winter just yet. With millions of Americans yet to hit the road this season, it will be quite a while before traffic on highways and in airport terminals begins to thin.
There are some dedicated weirdos out there who genuinely seem to enjoy traveling, but for most, the cramped, claustrophobic airplane cabinets or car seats in which we’re forced to sit for hours on end can be nothing short of miserable. With no way to stretch your legs or get a little fresh air, long-distance hauls can be hideous, migraine-inducing experiences — and that’s assuming everything goes well. When luggage goes missing or a car’s engine starts making funny noises, that’s a solid indication that a trip is condemned to be memorable for all of the wrong reasons.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of gadgets and accessories out there designed to alleviate those transit troubles. From a phone case that can extend your mobile phone’s battery life to a water bottle that will literally make tea for you, there are plenty of products available to frequent travellers which can make long commutes much more bearable. They say that it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey, but anyone who has ever been forced to sleep on the floor of an airport terminal thanks to an unexpected overnight layover will attest that that certainly isn’t always the case.
30 Sandless Beach Mat
Beaches may be a popular vacation destination, but a visit to the seaside is often made memorable partially due to the grains of sand you’ll find embedded in your blankets and towels for months to come. For those who would like to avoid taking half of the beach home with them when they pack up and leave, there’s the sandless beach matt.
A sheet said to be completely impervious to sand build up, users won’t need to worry about unleashing a total sandstorm when they shake it out.
This is an absolutely vital accessory for long oceanside visits.
Snapchat has already revolutionized the way we share pictures, but they’re helping us to change things up when it comes to mobile photography. We’ve all gotten to be very used to our smartphone cameras over the years, and it’s gotten to a point where digital cameras are almost obsolete.
However, for those looking to leave their phones behind, Spectacles — Snapchat’s trendy new pair of sunglasses — have built-in cameras which allow wearers to record everything they see without the use of a phone.
They’re also waterproof — a quality most smartphones still lack.
28 Touchscreen-friendly Gloves
Those new to cold environments quickly learn how tricky it can be to keep your hands warm and use your smartphone at the same time. Unless you’re rocking a pair of fingerless gloves, you’ve probably discovered that typical mittens don’t play well with touchscreens. Fortunately, some bright spark devised a way to interact with your favorite smart devices without the bare-hand prerequisite.
Starting at around $25, warmth and convenience are once again in the palm of your hands — literally.
For those unaccustomed to chilly temperatures, these are absolutely vital.
27 Passport-compatible Wallet
Nearly every international traveler should be accustomed to the pang of anxiety that comes with a misplaced travel document. Nobody wants to clog up customs because they just can’t find their passport, but those little booklets could easily slip from a pocket or purse. However, with the use of a passport-compatible wallet, international travel can become much less stressful. Essentially a giant wallet capable of fitting a traveler’s cards, passport, and other important travel documents, you will never again have to worry over potentially leaving a passport in the cabin of a 747.
26 Smartphone Camera Lens
Digital cameras are so 2009. Ever since Apple and Samsung started rolling out mobile phones capable of taking high-definition pictures, lugging around a separate camera just for the purpose of snapping a few photos seems totally unnecessary. Yet, there are some shutterbugs out there who just have to have the best cameras available. While they still might not quite measure up to some heavy-duty photography equipment, these miniature smartphone camera lenses will help users to take full advantage of photo-ops without carrying around a massive, bulky camera.
25 Pocket-sized Humidifier
Contact lens wearers know all too well the difficulties of dealing with small, dry bits of plastic disturbing their eyes as they go about their daily routines. This problem can be made even worse in very hot, dry locales. While there isn’t much that can be done for contact lens wearers on the go save for a small bottle of eye drops, pocket-sized mobile humidifiers can help decrease a room’s aridity and keep these annoying bits of eyewear from driving you crazy. Simply attach the machine to a water bottle, and you’ll be feeling relief in no time.
24 Removable Door Alarm
For less-trusting travellers, hotel stays can be pretty dubious prospects. There’s nothing like the safety and comfort of one’s own bed, and sleeping outside of that comfort zone often proves to be difficult. For those in desperate need of the peace of mind that they’ll be able to sleep undisturbed, the mobile hotel door alarm may help. This handy, detachable monitor will alert occupants if someone tries to open the hotel room door, which, while hardly a foolproof security method, ought to deter most would-be unwanted visitors.
23 International Wall Socket Adapter
Nothing is more painful than traveling to a foreign country and coming to the terrible realization that their outlets aren’t compatible with any of your chargers. Most savvy travellers should be aware of this before they head out the door, but it could be a common burden for frequent international fliers. However, a handy five-in-one adapter bag should go a long way toward alleviating many of these frustrations. Powerless phones and unknown territories don’t mix well at all, and the difference between a great stay in a foreign land and a miserable experience devoid of tech usage could be this small adapter pack.
22 TSA-approved Luggage Lock
Most aren’t aware that the relatively restrictive Transportation Security Administration can make traveling within and from the United States pretty difficult. All carry-on items must be in compliance with all of the mandates enforced by the TSA, and contraband items will, at the very least, be confiscated. Some heavy locks aren’t permitted, and those looking to keep their luggage safe would do well to travel with a lock approved by the American security administration. Safety is certainly an understandable concern, but those serious about suitcase security need to look into appropriate protection.
21 Pocket-sized Washing Machine
Re-wearing old laundry becomes something of a necessity for most travellers, and many of us simply get used to the Pig-Pen-esque, on-the-go lifestyle. Far from ideal, it doesn’t have to be that way on every trip, and even those roughing it in remote locations can get by with Scrubba’s Wash Bag. Essentially a bag lined with laundry detergent, users need only add their clothes and some water to the bag before rubbing it like a washboard. Convenient beyond a doubt, travellers on a pinch no longer have to worry about walking around in a fog of their own body odor.
20 Portable Iron
If you plan on laundering your clothes on the fly, you’ll also probably want to dry them lest you doom yourself to a life of never-ending T-shirt wrinkles. With that in mind, this portable, pocket-sized iron may be able to work wonders, though I would advise against actually carrying it in your pocket. About the size of a computer mouse, this portable clothing iron will help to keep clothes looking fresh and presentable, even if you’ve been roughing it in the woods for the past couple of weeks. Surprise your fellow campers by keeping your clothes wrinkle-free with this nifty little accessory.
19 Battery-extending Cell Phone Case
The battery life of the average cell phone still isn’t long enough to hold out for the duration of a long trip, and mobile phone charging solutions are at an absolute premium in most airports and highway rest stops. This common annoyance can be fairly easily solved, thankfully, with the use of a battery-extending phone case. Containing a useful backup phone charge and compatible with most phones, users can get so much more from their mobile phones during their travels if they think to equip themselves with one of these. Plus, since they double as phone cases, you’ll be hard-pressed to lose track of them.
18 Waterproof Phone Bag
While waterproof phones are slowly becoming more common, devices of that nature were once very rare and excruciatingly expensive. However, those on-the-go need no longer worry about pricey phone replacements or potential water damage as waterproof bags designed to house mobile phones are cheap and easy to find online. From a lengthy boat excursion to a suspiciously shaky airplane passenger sipping a bottle of water, even the slightest of accidents could result in a ruined phone. With that in mind, waterproof bags will make that particular worry a thing of the past.
17 Portable Tea Infuser
In the past, brewing tea on the go just wasn’t possible. A quality beverage requires hot water, stable ground, and a good amount of patience, and access to those three things isn’t always guaranteed when traveling. However, since water bottles with built-in tea infusers have become a thing, passengers can sit and relax as the tea makes itself. Sure, it may not exactly be the best in-flight beverage available, but it certainly will be the most convenient. You’ll have to remember to bring your own tea leaves, though.
16 Portable Luggage Scale
Overweight luggage is a burden to both the airline and the passenger, and nothing is more annoying than loading your bags onto the airport’s scale only to see that it’s a mere pound or two over the limit. Rather than pay the ridiculous fees associated with overweight baggage, passengers can plan ahead by weighing their luggage ahead of time with a portable scale. This handy device will help travellers to effectively distribute the items in their bags and hopefully dodge a hefty extra fee when it comes times to fly back home.
15 External Hard Drive
Apple’s infamous “storage full” message is the bane of just about every iPhone user’s existence and it can be a real drag to be forced into deleting some photos in order to make room for more. For those interested in preserving every second of their adventures, a mobile-friendly external hard drive can be used to offload some photos and ensure that none ever have to be permanently lost in the name of usable storage space. Hauling around a portable SSD may not be the most convenient thing, but it’s a great option for those who just won’t compromise.
14 goTenna Personal Mobile Service
Nothing is worse than relying on spotty or non-existent cell phone service in an unfamiliar environment. From exploring underground caverns to trekking through some scarcely-mapped terrain, going off grid can become a bit of a problem should you run into trouble. A product designed to help hurricane-relief personnel to communicate in weather-ravaged areas,
goTenna’s bluetooth antenna allows connected devices to contact one another within a fifty-mile radius.
For fans of wilderness exploration, this may be a great way of keeping in contact with others.
13 Mobile Water Purifier
For those headed into environments in which clean water may not always be accessible, a portable water purifier is a necessity. Fortunately, there exists water bottles which come complete with built-in water purifiers. Though it still isn’t likely to be spring-fresh, it’s leaps and bounds above risking it with unclean water. Whether you’re roughing it in the wild or hoping to live off of the land for a bit, this mobile water purifier is an essential item for hardcore travel enthusiasts.
12 Hoodie Neck Pillow
We’ve all heard of the advent of travel pillows, and, while perfectly designed to cushion a wearer's head and shoulders, there’s no denying that these products aren't that great.
If you’re looking to stay warm during a flight or block out some light to catch some sleep, this hoodie/neck pillow is a total necessity for long-distance journeys.
If you’ve found pillows like these to be not quite as comfortable as you would prefer, the added hoodie might make all the difference.
11 Skyroom Solis 4G Mobile Hotspot
Access to the Internet is a major concern for most international travellers, and only finding out that your mobile device isn’t going to work once you’re exiting the airport terminal is never fun. Fortunately, there’s a cheap and effective way to get online without relying on pricey extra plans or new mobile devices. The Skyroom Solis, a compact orange disk, acts as a mobile 4G hotspot and operates on a pay-as-you-go basis. It's $8 for a 24-hour period and it can grant you access to a mobile connection in over 100 countries.
10 Noise-Canceling “Smart” Earplugs
Plenty of people rely on earplugs to sleep, especially if they find falling asleep in crowded areas to be difficult. While generally effective, sometimes dollar-store earplugs just can’t filter out all the noise. For extremely light sleepers, Hush, a futuristic set of noise-canceling “smart” earplugs may make a difference. While they work to block outside noise, they also generate their own soothing sounds, which are meant to enhance the external noise-cancelling effect. If you plan on getting some rest during a long plane ride, these may be a viable option.
9 International SIM Card
ChatSim is a unique prepaid SIM card that allows users of unlocked mobile phones to chat via apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger for a small fee of $10 per year. The features outside of messaging are relatively limited, and you won’t even be able to send multimedia messages, but this little card offers a great alternative to buying a different phone plan all together. The one catch is that the user's phone has to be unlocked, which means that it will cooperate with region-free SIM cards. Still, it’s a nice way of keeping in touch with friends and family back home if you can deal with some of the card’s drawbacks.
8 TSA-friendly Stretching Shoelaces
This may sound like a minor gripe to some, but dealing with TSA security checkpoints can be a real hassle, particularly for those who travel frequently. Sure, there are ways for frequent fliers to make it through the lines a bit more expediently, but it’s an annoying experience nevertheless. One of the most inconvenient aspects of these checkpoints is the removal of footwear, as it’s beyond annoying for anyone not wearing tennis shoes. However, frequent fliers can get their hands (or, more accurately, feet) on TSA-approved stretching laces which allow every shoe to easily slip on and off.
7 Water Bottle with Built-in Organizer
If you are on a strict pill regiment but don’t find traditional pill organizers to be all that helpful, this water bottle/pill organizer combo may alleviate some of the headaches that come with keeping track of your medication on the go. Sure, some people may seem to have it down, but little things like taking pills are always difficult to maintain while travelling. Plus, the added benefit of a water bottle means that you’ll never be forced into dry-swallowing your pills ever again!
6 Travel-size Wifi Router
Though free WiFi has become pretty ubiquitous among lodging accommodations the world over, it is still far from a guarantee, and even places that claim to have it sometimes offer WiFi of such poor quality that there’s no point in bothering to connect to it. However, industrious travellers can purchase a travel-sized wifi booster, which can either boost an existing, yet poor, WiFi signal or generate a personal access point given an Internet connection. It may not be an ideal method of connecting to the Internet, but it’s much better than nothing.
5 Flight Compression Socks
Those with poor circulation in their legs know just how difficult flying can be, and trips can sometimes be so uncomfortable that those who suffer from this issue usually just prefer to skip the trip altogether. Fortunately, there’s a pretty inexpensive solution for this issue in the form of a pair of flight compression socks. These miraculous pieces of footwear are supposed to improve circulation in the legs and thighs while sitting for hours at a time and could make for a much more comfortable traveling experience.
4 Minimergency Cosmetics Kit
Looking fly while flying is pretty difficult: rolling out of bed in a hotel room, packing everything up, and arriving at the airport hours in advance doesn’t usually make for the most user-friendly experience, and few can be bothered to look their best in such a headache-inducing place. However, those who travel as part of their profession are obligated to look the part, and a Mimimergency Cosmetics Kit could go a long way toward keeping your cool while others allow the druthers of mass transit to wear them down. With this kit, a few minutes in the bathroom can fix any travel-based cosmetic wear-and-tear.
3 Luggage Location Tracker
Missing luggage is far and away the most annoying and worrisome aspect of flying, and the fear that your stuff won’t arrive at the airport with you is about as common as stopping by an airport McDonald’s for a quick after-flight pick-me-up. While some travellers have taken to decking out their baggage in really eye-catching stickers to make them instantly noticeable on the luggage carousel, savvy sojourners make use of luggage location trackers, which, by way of Bluetooth pairing, can instantly identify if a bag has made it to its intended destination.
2 Portable Headphone Splitter
Though it can be fun to jam to some music with friends in a car, that’s pretty much impossible on a train, plane, or bus. Given that there’s tons of other people around, blasting your favorite music at full volume won’t exactly earn you any new friends. With that in mind, music lovers can grab a portable headphone splitter which allows up to five headphone users to listen to the same device at the same time. Of course, the same feat can be accomplished via Bluetooth nowadays, though it would also require five other Bluetooth-compatible devices.
1 Pocket-size Selfie Drone
Selfie sticks are so 2016 — not only do you look like an idiot waving one around in public, but the garish silver pole present in all of your pictures will become pretty annoying to look at after a while. For those who really want to take their travel selfie game to the next level, try the AirSelfie Drone which attaches to your phone and makes for some breathtaking shots nobody else could ever dream of getting. Yes, you could slap your phone on the end of a stick, but you’ll be looking way, way cooler with a drone.
References: thepointsguy.com, popsugar.com, buzzfeed.com,