Slideshow: 11 Must-Try Travel Products for 2017
March 8, 2017
Our picks for some of the best new travel accessories of this year
Maya Chia Super Blend Pressed Serum Moisture Concentrate - $105
Keeping skin moisturized is a travel necessity, especially in dry environments (like an airplane cabin). When I try a new skin care product, two questions stand out to me: Does it smell nice? And how does it feel on my skin? The Super Blend Pressed Serum Moisture Concentrate from Maya Chia passes both tests brilliantly. Despite its unwieldy name, this blend has a subtle, fresh scent and is instantly absorbed into the skin.
The product contains two antioxidant powerhouses — chia seed oil and astaxanthin — to scavenge free radicals, as well as sweet white lupin seeds to restore resiliency and natural plant extracts to heal the skin. The round jar fits easily into my liquids bag for air travel and is a welcome addition to my daily skin routine. — Nancy Stern
SCOTTeVEST Women’s Trench Coat - $195
As anyone who has traveled through an airport can relate, the experience can be quite stressful. Long wait times, bag fees, and checking your items through security can all take their toll.
Savvy travelers, however, are learning how to pack more efficiently, and the SCOTTeVEST women’s trench coat is an apparel item that serves double-duty as supplemental luggage. With 18 pockets, this coat can carry all the essentials I typically need, including an inflatable pillow, slippers, snacks, water, a cell phone, reading material, and my personal electronics.
Even better: because it is considered clothing rather than luggage, I can save money on baggage fees. The coat is stylish, well made, and comfortable, and it conceals everything that I might need — whether I’m walking on the Left Bank in Paris or touring a cheese factory in Amsterdam. — NS
Helly Hansen W Odin Flow Jacket - $250
Known for their top-quality ski, sailing, and workplace apparel, Helly Hansen has been an innovative leader in Scandinavian gear for more than 140 years. Not surprisingly, when I tried their Odin Flow Jacket, it was comfort at first fit. There were no tight pulls in the underarms, the jacket lay smooth, and the size was just right for my frame. The matching heavy-duty zippers on the front also created a seamless look.
A lot of tech is thoughtfully built into the Odin Flow. This includes their patented “H2FLOW” adjustable ventilation system; the “Polartec Power Shield,” which maintains flexibility; an open mesh interior design to maximize air flow and protect the material; and a polyester outer shell that maintains interior warmth.
Overall, the Odin Flow is perfect as an everyday lightweight jacket that can also be layered for colder climates. — NS
Emma Workbag from JEMMA Designer Handbags - $398
Designed as a solution for busy working women, the Emma handbag was created by a banker who wanted a stylish, elegant, and functional handbag that could manage all the needs of the workplace. I found that this bag serves double duty as the perfect travel fashion companion.
The leather bag is as gorgeous as it is practical. Made using top-quality materials from Italy, the Emma can be carried in hand or worn across the body, which is ideal for airports or walking around a large city where you want the extra security of a cross strap.
The real secret of this bag, however, lies on the inside — the capacious interior is divided into individually organized pockets for items like a 15-inch laptop, cell phone, makeup, glasses, a water bottle, reading materials, and even a pair of shoes. What’s even better for travelers is that it fits easily in overhead aircraft bins or under the seat. — NS
Slim Sonic Classic Electronic Toothbrush - $15.95
Keeping your teeth clean while on the road just got a whole lot easier with the Slim Sonic Classic Electronic Toothbrush. The efficient design takes up very little space in your toiletry bag, and the bristles vibrate at an amazing 22,000 strokes per minute, leaving your teeth feeling fresh and clean.
The toothbrush comes in a variety of styles and includes a free replacement head. Instead of seeing tooth-brushing as a daily chore, I found myself actually looking forward to using this device on the go. — Ron Stern
Travel Smart by Conair Convert-It-All Converter and Worldwide Adapter Set - $59.99
If you’ve ever blown a fuse in a foreign hotel bathroom by plugging in a high-wattage hair dryer, you understand why travelers need a power converter. Conair claims its Convert-It-All is the world’s first and only converter meant to work with the advanced electronics contained in many modern styling tools and hair dryers.
A convenient wattage switch on the device allows you to adjust between devices like shavers, straighteners, and hair dryers, converting the electricity from 220/240V for 110/120V single-voltage appliances. The package includes four worldwide adapter plugs that will handle most outlets worldwide. — RS
Picture Keeper Photo Backup - $29.99 and up
For most travelers, photos are the key to revisiting experiences or relating them to friends at home. Unfortunately, travelers can be especially prone to running out of storage space, leaving them unable to capture those valuable memories. Cloud backups can offer some relief, but they can be technically tricky and usually require a monthly fee.
Consequently, I am always searching for simple, non-technical ways to save photos from my phone or my computer. Enter Picture Keeper, a flash drive designed for smartphones, tablets, and computers and available in various memory configurations from 16 to 500 gigabytes.
When I first got this device, I wondered if it was really as easy to use as it seemed. I simply plugged it in and clicked “start backup.” I am happy to say it was effortless, and it quickly and automatically searched through my phone for the photos, backing up 737 photos in under five minutes. Voilà! — RS
Travel Remedy by H. Gillerman Organics - $48.00
Let’s face it: Airplane travel can be, well, unpleasant. Being crammed into a narrow seat on a long flight can disrupt your sleep, cause sore muscles, and leave you feeling fatigued. Travel Remedy roll-on is one of a line of products produced by Certified Aromatherapist Hope Gillerman that uses organic essential oils from wild plants to combat the negative effects of travel.
Simply roll it onto your neck, shoulders, and chest, and the therapeutic essential oils — litsea, lavender, palmarosa, bitter orange, Atlas cedar, and birch — will help you feel refreshed and invigorated. Other products include remedies for sleep, muscle tension, and stress. — RS
Digital Luggage Scale, Power Bank, and Flashlight by Loop Electronics - $17.95
The last thing you want to hear at an airport is that your bag is overweight and you will be charged a hefty baggage fee. This digital luggage scale from Loop Electronics allows you to weigh your luggage before leaving your house (up to 110 pounds) to make sure you are in compliance.
The small and compact device provides information via a backlit LED display, and includes a flashlight, thermometer, and even a power bank to recharge your smart phone. — RS
REI Co-op Men’s Down Vest - $79.50
When packing travel clothing, I am always on the lookout for apparel that is lightweight, comfortable, and well-designed. In this case, I was searching for an ideal warmth layer that I could quickly grab from my day bag and wouldn’t take up much luggage space.
The REI Co-op Vest fit my needs perfectly as it was lightweight (7.5 oz.), contained highly compressible 650-fill-power down, and was surprisingly warm — not to mention stylish. The fabric also repels light rain and snow and did an effective job as a windbreaker. What’s more, the entire vest can be folded into a tiny, built-in pocket, saving valuable luggage space. — RS
Rick Steves’ Convertible Carry-On - $99.99
Rick Steves' has been offering his own line of travel bags and accessories for many years. Although I have tried many types of luggage, I have personally settled on lightweight backpacks. The reason is that they can be used as carry-ons with most airlines, are less conspicuous than roller boards or bulky suitcases, and are easier to negotiate on all those stairs that you encounter in Europe.
Personally, I love Rick’s bags, and his Civita Day Pack has served me well for 20 years. His convertible carry-on has a simple yet practical soft-sided design for travelers. The bag fits within most airlines’ size guidelines, has generous outside pockets and interior space, and converts to a suitcase when needed. I was able to put an amazing amount of clothing in this bag — including shirts, pants, shoes, a jacket, outerwear, and toiletries — and still had room to spare. — RS