Looking for a stocking stuffer for the traveler in your life? Look no further. None of these items cost over fifty dollars, and they’re all light, useful and small enough to fit in even the most over-stuffed carry-on.
Whether it's dealing with liquids or frustrating coathangers, slimming down wallets or fixing broken cables, there's something here for every vacation.
Let’s face it, transporting drinks through an airport these days is a hassle. Sure, you can throw out your disposable bottle before going through security, and buy another one on the other side–but that’s a lot of unnecessary hassle and expense, not to mention being bad for the environment. If you use your own bottle, you’ll end up carrying it round empty, taking up space until you can find somewhere to refill it.
Enter the Hydaway, a collapsible BPA-free silicone bottle that comes in 12oz and 21oz sizes, yet folds up to a mere 1.25” high when not in use. Use it like any other bottle, then drink the contents, collapse it, and drop it in your pocket in the TSA line.
The Hydaway range includes a carabiner-friendly hook for clipping to a backpack, and the larger size also fits in the cup holders of most vehicles. Food-grade seals mean it won’t leak, and you can just throw it in the dishwasher when you’re back home to keep it clean. Easy.
Let’s face it, big, bulky wallets are a hassle at the best of times, and a real problem while traveling. The more obvious it is there’s a wallet in your pocket, the more likely it becomes that someone will try to relieve you of it. Reading credit card and other details via RFID is also an issue, especially in airports and other crowded spaces.
Enter Big Skinny, with its range of slimline wallets and card holders. Boasting of a 50+ percent size and weight reduction over standard wallets, the company offers bi-fold and tri-fold options, made from leather or nylon microfiber.
You've got the choice of RFID-blocking or without, in dozens of colors and styles, all much slimmer than the competition. As the company says, there's no need to feel like George Costanza any more.
Have you ever been frustrated by those theft-proof coathangers in hotels? You know, the ones without a proper hook–they can’t be stolen, sure, but they also can’t be hung up on shower rails to dry wet clothes, or used to steam your suit that got wrinkled on the flight.
The ConvertAHanger does as the name suggests, turning a theft-proof coathanger into a normal one just by slipping over the top. It also accepts the smaller 5/8” hooks used on cruise ships, again allowing you to use the hanger anywhere in your cabin.
Sometimes it’s the simplest inventions that make the difference.
Speaking of simple, wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to worry about broken charging cables while traveling? Apple’s Magsafe and Lightning cables in particular are expensive and prone to breakage, but wear and tear on any cable quickly leads to it splitting and failing–usually at the least-convenient moment.
Rather than having to hunt down a replacement cable in the middle of nowhere, use Sugru to protect the one you have. Coming in a small sachet, the substance is soft and pliable when first exposed to air, curing overnight to a hard rubber that’s waterproof, UV-resistant and electrically insulating.
Just mold it around the joins near both ends of the cable, smooth it out, and the following morning you’ll have a far stronger version to take with you.
It’s also worth throwing a sachet in your luggage, for emergency repairs on the road. It’s not just for cables, either–after you’ve used Sugru once, you’ll have a dozen other ideas about where it might come in handy at home and on the road.
If your travels tend to take you off the grid, check out the Luminaid PackLite Nova USB. This innovative solar lantern is a little under 5" square when in use, but has a depth of under an inch when packed away.
You have the choice of charging either via USB (1-2 hours), or the attached solar panel that takes around 10 hours of sunlight to top up the inbuilt battery. Either way, you'll then get up to 24 hours of illumination in low-light mode.
It’s ideal for camping trips, remote destinations or when visiting parts of the world with unreliable power grids. The PackLite Nova USB has five different brightness settings, including flashing in an emergency, and can light a 125 sq. ft. room. It floats, is waterproof to three feet, and weighs just five ounces.