22 things that make traveling way less stressful | Popular Science
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22 things that make traveling way less stressful

Don't let dead batteries, dirty socks, or bad headphones ruin your vacation.

After all the planning, the anticipation, the arguing with your boss that you submitted that PTO weeks ago, the time has arrived: your vacation. There's no right way to travel, but a lot of people lie back and accept that getting from point A to point B is miserable. It doesn't have to be—even for us coach-flying peons. Find below a spate of goods that'll make your next flight, train ride, or traipse through Europe's sketchiest Airbnbs way more comfortable. (By the way, here are ways make your flight cheaper, too.)

The more prepared you are, the more you can truly escape and unwind. Enjoy Vienna without freaking that your phone's going to die. Is it just me, or does everything seem to double as a power bank these days?

Small duffle

Baboon

Baboon go-bag

Baboon

The bag is the foundation for all your travel gear. It doesn’t matter that you’ve got the best noise-canceling headphones money can buy if you’ve got a suitcase with a loose wheel, zero bonus compartments, and scant protection for your belongings. Your suitcase should reflect how and with what you travel. Does your bag have enough room for two pairs of shoes or a side compartment to store all of your cables and chargers? Does it fit within the ever-shrinking confines of the carry-on dimensions? Your ideal travel bag is a very personal choice. My favorite: Baboon. It was love at first sight. The outside is minimal, but inside hides a colorful, decorative lining featuring dinosaurs and flowers.

Baboon has two sizes of weekender bags—a smaller size that holds 45 liters and a larger, 60-liter version. The smaller smaller bag measures 12.5” x 20.5” x 12.5” and has a waterproof shell. It can hold enough clothing for me to travel for up to a week and boasts four storage pockets—three internal organization pockets and one outer pocket for easy access to smaller items like your passport or charger. It weighs 3.5 pounds, fits in airline overheads bins, and features comfortable, detachable shoulder straps, which means you can use it as a duffle or as a backpack. Did I mention that it comes with a lifetime warranty? Well, it does, so that’s also pretty sweet. $175.

35-liter travel pack

Cotopaxi Allpa Travel Pack

Cotopaxi Allpa

Cotopaxi

The Cotopaxi Allpa Travel Pack is—I’m going to say it—the best carry-on. The bag can hold 35 liters, opens from the front like a suitcase, and is sturdy enough to withstand harsh weather, with got tough ballistic nylon paneling and a smooth waterproof coating on the front. It will keep you organized with zippered mesh compartments sleeves that keep clothing and accessories separate. There are also quick-access zippers along the sides of the bag to more easily access the padded laptop section or the main compartment. For extra security, the bag features YKK security zippers that can be tucked under built-in loops, making it hard for pickpockets to unzip your bag. The Allpa Travel Pack also comes with a bright yellow rain cover, a mesh laundry bag, and a smaller day-pack for shorter trips. $220.

Shammy Towel

Rumpl Shammy Towel

Rumpl

Amazon

The super absorbent Rumpl Shammy Towel is crucial for beach getaways. It’s soft, stain-resistant, and doesn’t hold onto smells or sand. It measures 30” x 55” and weighs less than a pound. The best part: the polyester and spandex fabric dries quickly, so you won’t have to stuff a damp towel back into your suitcase. $89.

SleepPhones

AcousticSheep’s SleepPhones

AcousticSheep

Amazon

AcousticSheep’s SleepPhones are some of the most comfortable headphones I’ve ever put on my head. The reason? Flat 4mm speakers make the set compact and easy to sleep in, plus the it’s all encased in a soft, cool “SheepCloud” (made of polyester and spandex). You can even pull the headphone over your eyes to help shield out light. They come in three sizes—extra small, medium, and extra large—and multiple color options. The speakers are detachable from the headband, so you can wash the latter when it gets sweaty. These can be plugged in via a 3.5mm audio cable, but a Bluetooth version is available, too. $100.

Jaybird X4

Jaybird X4

Some really good wireless headphones

Amazon

The Jaybird X4 Bluetooth headphones have 8 hours of battery life and are IPX7-rated water/sweat-proof, which means they’re well-suited for sporty travelers. Sync them with the Jaybird App to customize your sound preferences. To ensure a secure fit, the headphones come with silicone ear fins—small, medium and large sizes included—that help lock the earbuds into place. They are small enough that they can fit underneath a helmet, so feel free to use these while you are snowboarding or biking. The X4s come in two finishes—black and “storm.” $130.

1MORE Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones

1MORE Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones

A wired choice.

Amazon

For those of you who haven’t switched over to wireless headphones yet—don’t worry airplane entertainment systems haven't either—the 1MORE Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones let you plug in and enjoy clear, hi-res audio. The headphones have a lightweight aluminum body, four drivers (the elements that make the sound), and a kevlar, tangle-free cord. A diamond-like carbon driver delivers the midrange and bass and three armatures help produce clear higher frequencies. The in-ear headphones come with a leather traveling case, nine silicone ear tip sizes, and a quarter-inch adaptor. $160.

Foldable travel keyboard

Jelly Comb foldable travel keyboard

Jelly Comb

Amazon

If you’ve got work to do on your trip but don’t want to take your laptop with you, a foldable Bluetooth keyboard will keep your load light. This compact Jelly Comb keyboard has a two-hour rechargeable battery and works with laptops, tablets, and smartphones. $30.

Korg nanoKEY2

Korg nanoKEY2

Korg

Amazon

And now for a different type of keyboard. The Korg nanoKEY2 is diminutive, but reliable. The 25-key USB MIDI keyboard has buttons that bend pitches, shift octaves, and sustain notes for more control over your playing. It’s also portable, requires no separate power supply, and has improved velocity control that allows you to play notes bolder and softer, rather than at one consistent volume. $55.

Attachable smart bike compass

Beeline

Beeline

Amazon

There is no better way to discover a city than on a bike. You can cover more ground faster, park anywhere as long as you have a lock, and get a workout in while sightseeing. The one problem with biking around a new city is you probably have no clue how to get around. The Beeline is a smart compass—with a four week battery life—that helps take care of that. Put in the desired destination on your smartphone (there’s an app) and the waterproof and wireless device gives you two navigation choices. The Route Nav option will send you on a bicycle-friendly route and the Compass mode just shows you an arrow on the screen pointing to the location. $137.

Flight 001 Go Clean Laundry

Flight 001 Go Clean Laundry

Keep your dirty clothes separate.

Amazon

Yes, you could use a Hefty bag, but those are ugly and prone to getting holes, granting your dirty underwear permission to mingle with your clean shirt. Gross. This laundry bag will keep things nice and sovereign. Nothing ruins a laid-back vacation vibe like facing the stinky results of living without a laundry machine. $18.

Anker PowerCore 10000mAh

Anker PowerCore 10000mAh External Batteries

Stay charged.

Amazon

This compact power bank can charge your smartphone more than three times. It's smaller than your phone and weighs less than half a pound. Micro USB cable and travel pouch included. $24.

PowerCore+ 26800 PD

Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD

Anker

Amazon

If you're traveling for business, take a portable battery pack that can recharge both your laptop and your smartphone. Anker’s PowerCore+ 26800 PD has two three-amp USB ports and a 30-watt USB-C port capable of powering your laptop. It can charge your smartphone more seven times or a laptop twice. $130.

This Is Ground Genuine Leather Cordito

This Is Ground Genuine Leather Cordito

Leather cord organizer.

Amazon

The Leather Cordito from This is Ground helps you wrangle all your cords in a way that looks sophisticated as heck. The case is 100% leather, with a snap to keep it closed. Simple but brilliant. $55.

PORS-ELA International Travel Power Adapter

PORS-ELA International Travel Power Adapter

One adapter to rule them all.

Amazon

Unless you're well and truly, literally unplugging, you'll need [travel adapter]https://amzn.to/2pWkFbS){rel=nofollow} for your devices abroad. This PORS-ELA adapter has got a "no-fry" fuse system and strong polycarbonate shell. Charge up to three devices at a time with the two USB ports and AC socket. It can be used in over 150 countries, weighs a quarter of a pound and includes a travel pouch. $16.

Ventev 3000c Chargestand

Ventev 3000c Chargestand, Backup Battery and Dock

A 2-in-1 phone stand and charger.

Amazon

The Ventev 2-in-1 charger and phone stand will keep your phone upright and full of juice. It is compact and works with both micro USB and lighting charging cables. While it isn't the largest power bank out there, the material is super lightweight and sturdy. $48.

Joto waterproof case

Joto

Take your phone with you everywhere

Amazon

Diving between tectonic plates in Iceland? You’ll want some photos of that. The JOTO waterproof case can fit pretty much any phone, with extra room for bonus items. The case can survive underwater up to 100 feet and does a stellar job keeping out dust and dirt. There’s also a neck strap for easy carrying. It’s clear, so you can take photos and text without exposing your phone to the elements. And it’s only $6.

OAXIS AirScale Digital Luggage Scale with Power Bank

OAXIS AirScale Digital Luggage Scale with 6500mAh Fast Charge Power Bank

No more overweight fees.

Amazon

If you aren't in the market for a new smart suitcase but still want to be able to protect yourself against fees for heavy luggage, grab a OAXIS AirScale, which can measure up to 80 pounds. Oh, it also has a power bank that can charge your phone more than twice. $60.

Iblue Canvas Travel Toiletry Organizer

Iblue Canvas Travel Toiletry Organizer

A place for your toiletries

Amazon

There's something oozingly sophisticated about a fancy dopp kit. The Iblue canvas and leather dopp kit zippers shut and measures 10.4" x 4."1 x 5.1". Also it's only $10.

Malin + Goetz Essential Starter Kit

Malin + Goetz Essential Starter Kit

Travel size goodies for your dopp kit.

Amazon

This kit of travel essentials by Malin + Goetz is A-OK by the TSA and provides everything you'll need for your vacation to keep your hair and skin feeling fresh. The six-bottle kit comes with a grapefruit face cleanser, a vitamin E face moisturizer, bergamot body wash, a body moisturizer, peppermint shampoo, and a cilantro conditioner. $32.

Hero7 GoPro

Hero7 GoPro

Record it.

Amazon

The Hero7 by GoPro records stabilized 4K video, can take 10MP photos, and has a touchscreen on its back so you can monitor or take a look in your photos or footage. There are three photo modes: Single, Burst, and Time Lapse. The camera is waterproof up to 33 feet and can be controlled with your voice by saying things like "GoPro, take a photo." Once you have recorded the videos or photos, connect to WiFi and upload the media to the GoPro cloud account. Access the footage from your phone to make it easy to share your exploits with your friends and family. $299.

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean Rechargeable Toothbrush

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean Rechargeable Toothbrush

A darn good toothbrush.

Amazon

Do: neglect your inbox. Don't: neglect your teeth. The Philips Sonicare is a great toothbrush that happens to come with a charging travel case. The brush itself has five cleaning modes: a standard "2-minute Clean" mode, a natural whitening mode, sensitive gum and teeth mode, a gum care mode, and deep-clean mode for harder-to-reach areas. $190.

Twone Unlined Travel Journal

Twone Unlined Travel Journal

Write it all down.

Amazon

You can get three Twone notebooks for $8. If you use one to write down your adventures on vacation, you're guaranteeing an incredible souvenir (and the capacity to enjoy your trip for years to come) for... $2.67. Each notebook has 60 pages made of 50% post-consumer recycled paper. $8 for 3.


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