Slideshow: The 13 Silliest Travel Gadgets Ever Created
April 11, 2017
From wearable luggage to portable chopsticks, these are the most ridiculous travel items out there
The 13 Silliest Travel Gadgets Ever Created
People are continuously trying to find ways to make the chaos and discomfort of travel easier. They’re also trying to make life easier with tech gadgets and functional gear, but at what point does the innovation become silly? Just because an idea sounds clever doesn’t exactly mean it’s necessary.
There are plenty of bizarre travel items out there, but here are a few more of the absolute silliest:
Airline Seat Covers
These seat covers are also made for movie theater seats, but the idea as a whole just seems ridiculous. The work of covering your seat with one of these is a waste of energy, and you end up touching the dirty seat you’re trying to protect yourself from anyway. Not to mention, once you take it off you’ll have to put it back in your bag, so essentially you’ll be toting that dirty flight seat with you all day. What’s the point? It wastes space in your carry-on, and taking a small box of wet wipes to clean your airplane area is just as effective and less annoying to everyone around you.
Although it's unnecessary, I respect the need for this one. When you’re taking a road trip and pick up food from a drive-through, you’ll usually go for easy finger foods that aren’t going to be too messy — fries, nuggets, a burger you can keep wrapped up as you eat — but the sauce situation can sometimes be fraught with peril. Hit a pothole and the food goes everywhere. So yes, if you’re a super-messy eater, this might call to you, but you can also just take a five-minute pit-stop to eat calmly, and even use the time for a quick bathroom break too. Ultimately, these seatbelt-attachable bibs are simply not necessary, and it seems like many people agree — the item is no longer available for purchase.
Handheld Hotel Room Black Light
This product is designed to reveal stains and contaminants in a hotel room that might not show up under normal lights. But if you’re this big of a germophobe, how did you make it through that three hour flight in a seat that hasn’t seen a wipe-down in who knows how long? People are gross, hotels are gross. You don’t need a black light to know that.
In theory this idea sounds great — no bulky bags, just an item of clothing that fits everything — but the vest ends up making you look like the bulky bag, and it will probably weigh you down. Also, the vest is incredibly awkward and unfashionable. You’ll probably call more attention to yourself in the airport security line with one of these.
An adult on a scooter just looks ridiculous. We understand that it might be easier, but how many adults truly use this function? It’s a fun concept, but watching full grown adults weave around people in an airport on their luggage scooter is a bit silly.
Metal-Detecting Flip Flops
Unless you’ve stumbled across a map to a pirate’s secret stash of booty, you shouldn’t waste any time on a tropical beach treasure hunting. Instead, look for interesting shells and feel the soft sand between your toes. Enjoy your vacation! Stop worrying about what you might find and spend your downtime relaxing with family and friends.
On the Cuff
We’ve all experienced water dripping down to our sleeves after washing our hands, but would you wear bright yellow cuffs on your wrists to keep this from happening? A company has created cuffs designed to keep the water from dripping further down your arm — but that would require you to fumble through your bag every time you go to the airport bathroom (which is already a pain, since the stalls are too small for you and your luggage).
At $99 USD, this pillow is truly unnecessary. The product fits over a traveler’s entire head to block out noise and enable the wearer to lay forward on an airline tray table. However, sometimes the tray table is too close for you to comfortably put your head down, and it means you won’t be able to catch some Zs until you’re already in the air (which can sometimes be a while as your flight waits in line to take off). A standard neck pillow is cheaper, takes up less room, and is more manageable all around.
We get that you want to be clean on long trips, and most places probably won’t have a bidet, but do you need one so urgently and so often that you have to carry a portable one with you at all times?
Seatback Travel Organizer
If you need your things close to you, just keep your carry-on under the seat in front of you. Most planes have enough room in their chair pockets for what you need, and the ones that don’t typically don’t carry long enough flights for it to matter much. This will just take up more space in your carry-on, and likely make it heavier on your shoulders as well.
Stainless Steel Travel Chopsticks
Just like you wouldn’t walk around every day with personal cutlery in your pocket or purse, you don’t need to walk around with travel chopsticks on your vacation. If the restaurant’s food calls for chopsticks, they’ll have some on hand. If you don’t want to use the ones provided, ask for disposable chopsticks. You’ll definitely look like a tourist if you start pulling out your chopstick kit at the table and screwing the pieces together.
Most hotels will have an iron you can request, or maybe there’s already one in your room closet. If you’re really in a pinch for a wrinkle-free wardrobe, take a hot shower with your clothes hanging in the bathroom and the steam will loosen the big wrinkles. The extra weight of traveling with a portable iron is a waste.
This one isn’t only silly, but it’s also pretty gross — a pre-stained pair of underwear with a hidden pocket for your valuables. The idea behind these is that a thief isn’t going to check through a dirty pair of underwear in search of money. Although probably true, it’s still a pretty unappealing security system.