Even for the most seasoned of travelers, air travel can be a nightmare at the best of times. For some, the loss of mobile connectivity can spell complete disconnection from their world. For others, the stress of leaving their home or pets unsupervised leads to a more strained time away than they would have had at home. Lost or stolen baggage is a fresh kind of hell and a dead smart phone battery means you can become lost in an instant. All of this is made worse, of course, by the George Clooney-type who breezes through check-in without a care in the world and knows exactly where he’s going once the wheels touch down. With just a few simple and elegant new gadgets, you too can travel like Ryan Bingham in Up In The Air, and with only a smidge of the pretension.
Give yourself a genuine James Bond experience with these cufflinks that provide both a personal wireless hotspot and 2GB worth of portable USB storage. Definitely more in the business travel court, these stylish bad boys are discreet and convenient, perfect for meetings on the go or last minute work at the airport. As an elegant bonus they come with the option for custom engraving.
2. Wallet Titan Power Card
Sliding into a normal credit card sleeve in your wallet or purse, the Wallet Titan is the solution to all of your mobile device power issues. Utilizing a folding USB port, the power card works with smart phones, digital cameras, mp3 players and more. It holds the equivalent of up to 60% of an iPhone charge, more than enough to get you out of a jam when you can’t get to a power outlet. Compact and ridiculously simple to use, it’s also extremely affordable at around $35; a bargain if it means the difference between meeting up with your local contact or becoming hopelessly lost.
For a more fashionable alternative, preorder the QBracelet.
Nothing puts the kibosh on a business trip or holiday quite like lost luggage. Historically, the airlines have not always been the most caring or indeed the most swift when it comes to rectifying the issue so now it’s time to keep track of your own luggage. The Trakdot Luggage Tracker is a small plastic box that sits in your luggage, designed to give you the specific, up to the minute location of your belongings. With the smart phone app installed, all you’ll need is mobile phone coverage or Internet access and the Trakdot will provide you with the status and location of your luggage. You can even program the app to send you a text or email on landing to set your mind at ease upon reaching your destination.
The Trakdot rings in at about $65, well worth the price for guaranteed peace of mind. Find it on Amazon.com
For those of us who need our morning espresso hit, wherever we may be, the Wacaco Minipresso is the lightweight, hand-powered answer. Whether you’re hiking in the Rockies or getting ready for an early meeting in your hotel room, all you’ll need is a little hot water and either some coffee grounds or a Caffitaly capsule and you’re good to go. The Minipresso works entirely off piston generated pressure so there’s no need for a bulky motor or pipe system and it comes with the cup built in, making for a compact and easy to maintain package. Weighing in at less than two kilos, the Minipresso is perfect for hostel living, hotel rooms, camping or hiking.
Localeur uses the two-pronged approach of a website + smartphone app in an attempt to provide travelers with something that is “more than a guide book.” Its focus is on local experiences in destinations, submitted, suggested and recommended by people living in that city. Every contributor has a profile page and a photo with a brief description about their interests and favourite activities in their city. This allows travelers to not only have local insight into their destination but also choose several different insights or local personalities to follow and help tailor their trip to their liking.
The majority of the posts arrive in the form of lists, ranging from “5 Great Secret Speakeasies In Downtown Manhattan” to “4 Portland Brunches Worth The Wait”. Before you get caught up in the whole ‘everyman helping out his or her fellow man’ feel of the website/app, its important to note that each contributor is paid. The site/app’s founder, however, insists the goal of Localeur is to have each recommendation read like a text or email to a friend, something they achieve rather well.