Most travelers today are focused on the volume and weight limitations imposed on us by the budget airlines. Many of the super six featured here try to tackle this issue. Others are here because they’re incredibly useful. Last but not least, we allowed ourselves a couple of indulgences just because they’re so darn cute or incredibly innovative.
1. Handy footwear
Many of us plan on tucking a few miles under our belts in a sightseeing fest, especially when we’re on a city break. The problem is that most sneakers are bulky, heavy and not particularly suited to city wear.
Check out the great Travel Walker II range of walking shoes from Propét . Not only are they stylish enough for the city, they come with a guarantee and, most importantly, they fold down or roll up to take hardly any space in your luggage. FootSmart has them in 11 colors for $55.99, but check the deals on Amazon with the women’s model starting at $14.99 and the men’s starting at $21.99 depending on the color and size option.
Who is Propét? The company has been providing footwear for hard-to-fit feet or feet in need of special care for nearly 30 years, so they certainly know a thing or two about the misery that comes with shoes which don’t fit properly, that you can’t wait to whip off at the end of the day. The company works with podiatric advisors to “enhance natural gait.”
2. Lighter luggage
We’re always on the quest for that perfect piece of hand luggage, trying to find a case that is light, but sturdy; something that will survive more than a quick weekend in Rome, you know the drill.
This Aerolite suitcase is available in a ridiculous number of colors and this 21” model is approved by Ryanair for hand luggage use. Buy it on your next trip to the UK from Amazon for £21.99 with free UK delivery (around $38) and travel your way around Europe without having to pay extra to check luggage into the hold or wait for it on your arrival. This model weights 1.75kg (3.8lb) and there is a choice of 5 sizes: 18”/21”/26”/29”/32”.
It has a convenient push button feature to release the retractable sturdy handle and comes in a sturdy, but light jacquard fabric.
3. Point and print
Light years away from those huge, bulky Polaroid cameras that your parents lugged around, Fuji has brought out a range of instant photo cameras, called the instax. A guaranteed crowd pleaser, even in today’s digitally obsessed world. There are several models, some of which weigh in at less than a pound.
The cutest has to be the Mini 8, available in black, white and three other pastel shades. The pink model is available to buy on Amazon for $66.50, including free shipping and weighs in at just over a pound, so you’re always ready to point, shoot and print.
4. Quiet please
An essential piece of kit for planes, trains and budget hotels is a decent pair of noise-cancelling headphones. As you’ll be wearing them, they won’t be counted as part of your luggage allowance.
We like this SE-NC21M model from Pioneer, as they have a great battery life and shut out up to 90% of noise. You can concentrate on your favorite entertainment instead of the noise around you. Buy on Amazon for $49.99.
With 120-hour battery life, it will pretty much outlast other models on the market. Even when the batteries finally go dead, the headphones continue to play your music. They come with a carrying case, if you decide not to wear them and weigh in at 1.3lb.
5. Shower power
If you’re heading to a summer festival, or off the beaten track, the Seattle Sports Solar Camp Shower could be a life saver. Fill it up with five gallons of water and leave the insulated pouch to warm up in the sun.
It might not exactly be a power shower, but it will help you feel human again after a hard day of festival going. Plus, it only weighs 14 ounces and measures 20” x 14”. It folds virtually flat when not in use, so takes up hardly any space in your luggage. You can get it from Amazon for $14.99. If you find yourself in Europe, you can buy a similar model, the Blue Mountain Solar Shower, for only 8.50 Euros.
6. Stay in touch
There’s no need to stress about the hassles of staying in touch or making reservations when you’re on the road. TravelSim brings you a simple solution – a prepaid SIM card for cheap global roaming calls. Just buy your TravelSim prepaid SIM card for 75 euros, including 50 euros airtime and top it up as needed online. Use a handy interactive map on TravelSim’s website to check coverage rates in more than 190 countries.
By using partner networks, TravelSim can save their clients up to 85% on roaming charges. And by prepaying, there are no nasty call bills waiting for you when you get home from your trip.
A great bonus is that calls made by Viber and Skype users to TravelSim numbers are free for the user.
Learn more about TravelSim’s global roaming sim card on www.travelsim.com