Christmas is just around the corner and stores are bursting with last-minute shoppers. Not sure what to buy for that avid traveler on your list? We’ve gathered 9 travel gadgets that are sure to please.
1. THE SOFA SUITCASE
Traveling with your family during the holiday season and want to avoid tiresome shifting from side to side while waiting in the check-in lines? Gather your bags together to form a sofa seat and relax in comfort. You’ll get some looks, but they are looks of jealousy — probably. More info on the official website.
2. THE INTERNATIONAL VISUAL TRANSLATOR
These colorful cards make it easy to communicate when traveling. Buying groceries, finding a hotel or asking for help in a foreign land has never been easier — as long as you don’t mind excessive hand gestures. Buy them online here; €16.
3. THE WEARABLE LUGGAGE JACKET
Ever since a few airlines started charging for check-in luggage, people have been looking for creative ways to beat the fees. This wearable luggage is one of the more inventive ideas, just don’t expect to make any “Best Dressed” lists while hauling around your socks and spare cables. Buy it online at Jaktogo; €80.
4. MINI TRAVEL ALARM
Traveling alone or with pricey equipment? Simply place this alarmed door stop behind the hotel door while you sleep or work. If an intruder attempts to come in, the wedge-shaped design will prevent the door from opening and activate an alarm. Just remember to put the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door the night before, or you’ll have one very frightened housekeeper the next morning. Buy it online at Amazon; €3.
5. THE OSTRICH PILLOW
Burrow your head and arms into this cozy cocoon and you’ll be in dreamland before you know it. This durable pillow makes it possible to nap anywhere: against a bus window, on a desk at work or in the airport waiting to catch a flight. You may look ridiculous, but you can have the last laugh after you’re well-rested. Buy it online at Studio Banana; €90.
6. TRAVEL DIVERSION SAFE
Need a place to hide your money or valuables? Store your treasured items in one of these diversion safes. These containers weigh next to nothing and look like an average container of Pringles — and who’s going to try to steal a tube of potato chips? Buy it online here; $23.99.
7. THE LUGGAGE TRACKER
The palm-sized device slips discreetly into your duffel bag or suitcase. If your bag is stolen, don’t panic, you’ll receive updates on the location via app, SMS, email or the TrakDot website. Nice try thieves, but you won’t get far. You can buy it here; $80.
8. THE WORLD’S SMALLEST WASHING MACHINE
The Scrubba Wash Bag is the lightest and most compact “washing machine” in the world. It has a flexible washboard where you can hand wash your clothes in just a few minutes. Your fellow travelers will thank you. Buy it on the official website; $55.
9. THE SOLAR BACKPACK
If you want to charge your laptop or phone while riding your bike or walking around, then a solar-powered backpack is for you. Buy online at Amazon; $129.
Bonus: HOP, THE LUGGAGE THAT FOLLOWS YOU
This is still just a concept, but it’s worth checking out. Madrid-based designer Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez has come up with an ingenious idea: a small suitcase named Hop! that follows the traveler around.
Check out Hop! in action here.