Toothbrush? Check. iPod? Check. What else are you forgetting? Well, chances are, you haven’t thought to bring along any of the items on this list. None of them are over-the-top expensive — and all are highly useful for today’s traveler.
Avenger Bed Bug Travel Kit
Why it’s great: Look, we’d love to tell you that the worldwide bedbug scourge has been completely eradicated and infestation-free slumber awaits you wherever you go. But bedbugs are a universal problem, and populations have actually gone up in recent years (particularly stateside). To ensure you won’t be crawled upon when you’re at your most vulnerably, pack along a vial of this wonderful concoction from Avenger. A few spritzes is all it takes in order to kill any existing bedbugs – and stop new colonies from infiltrating your bed, luggage and/or person. It’s also child- and pet-safe, chemical-free and, most importantly, kind to your nostrils.
How much: Starts at $16.50
Franklin 14 Language Speaking Global Translator
Why it’s great: Even the worldliest globetrotters will tell you that international travel is often limited (if not downright ruined) as a result of the language barrier. While we shouldn’t expect every resident of our foreign destination to speak fluent English (that’s called jingoism, and it’s a bad thing), nothing can be more aggravating than trying to negotiate taxi prices or locate a serviceable restroom with someone who just plain doesn’t understand you. Enter Franklin, with this compact electronic translator that can help you translate 14 different languages. Before you scoff that it’s only 14, keep in mind that the languages included in the device are officially spoken in 158 different countries (more than 80 percent of the world’s independent nations). And for added convenience, the database is broken down between “everyday phrases” and “travel phrases”.
How much: Starts at $188.99
Kensington ComboSaver Portable Notebook Lock
Why it’s great: Just as computer manufacturers have succeeded in producing travel-friendly laptops, thieves have become more adept at swiping them from unsuspecting tourists. According to FBI statistics, a laptop is stolen more than once every minute – and that’s just in the United States. This elastic little angel is retrofitted with a customizable four-digit combination and a 6-foot cable that will secure your computer to any table surface. Here’s a tip: if you register it online, you’ll be able to retrieve the combo if you somehow forget it.
How much: Starts at $24.99
Moleskine Passions Travel Journal
Why it’s great: Perhaps the notion of keeping a vacation journal is somewhat antiquated (especially these days, when you can simply tweet your experiences). But for those of us who still enjoy documenting our overseas excursions, you can’t do much better than the Passions Travel Journal from Moleskine. The introductory pages have space for trip itineraries, item checklists and other preliminary concerns. The rest of the 120-page journal is devoted to daily (even multi-daily) entries, and more than 200 transparent adhesives for photographs are also included. The rear index includes facts and tables pertaining to temperatures, time zone conversion, airport codes and other important data.
How much: Starts at $19.95
Why it’s great: In a perfect world, we’d all live within driving distance of beautiful wine country. But the reality is that most of us must travel by plane to Napa Valley, the South of France or any other region that produces noteworthy selections – and ‘the broken bottle in my luggage’ is an age-old complaint among oenophiles. Now, thanks to the Wine Diaper, fliers can transport their precious fermented grape juice without worrying about spillage; the bag features an airtight seal and absorbent interior padding, just in case tragedy strikes your newly acquired varietal. Lest you have any environmental concerns, rest assured – the Wine Diaper is 100-percent biodegradable. And don’t feel limited to wine – these babies are also ideal for perfumes, liquor, candles or any other purchase that poses potential damage to your clothes and other belongings.
How much: Starts at $11.86 for a three-pack.
By Brad Nehring