Category Archives: travel accessories

On the lookout for a lightweight and inexpensive carry-on suitcase

Spectra Global Carry On Black

I thought I found my dream lightweight, inexpensive carry-on suitcase about a year ago and I bought it for about $35. For the most part, it was fine – but I discovered the hard way, when I almost dropped the suitcase on a fellow passenger’s head when trying to stuff it into an overhead luggage compartment, that it was missing a crucial side handle. (I’d never realized just how crucial that side handle is for hoisting up a suitcase.) Not to worry – I went to my favorite shoe/luggage repair store and they managed to find material that almost matched the bag (which has a bright red floral pattern reminiscent of a 1960’s slumber party tote) to fashion into a handle. But during my last plane trip to DC last month, I suddenly found as I was approaching the check-in security area that I couldn’t get my collapsible metal handle to collapse. After wrestling with it for awhile, one side of the handle broke off – making it barely, just barely, functional. Oh well. I did read the other day about my dream suit case – the Spectra Global carry-on suitcase from Victorinox, one of those deceptively heavy-looking hard-sided numbers  made of polycarbonate (vs. soft leather or nylon) that actually weights less than six pounds (notice also in the photo the four wheels vs. the usual two. Apparently this is increasingly popular.) Problem is, it costs about 10 times what my cheapo bag from Target cost.

I do see online that Target is selling some hard-side  suitcases for $75 – $100 but can’t tell how much they weigh. May be worth looking into,.

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“iPad compatible” travel clothing – really?

Yes, it’s the SeV Revolution, the first “iPad compatible” jacket with 26 “streamlined pockets” so you can carry your iPad, your iPhone (or other cellphone), camera, keys, pen, water bottle, glasses, wallet, keys and change.  Seems a bit excessive with its “interior clear touch pockets” (all the better to see who’s calling and control your phone through clear fabric) and “patented personal area network” (i.e. hidden conduits that keep your headphone wires tangle-free), although I like the idea of the pocket that keeps your travel documents secure.

It’s all courtesy Scottevest/SeV travel clothing for $150 (with a discount on the company’s website). If that’s too pricey, how about the travel boxers with iPhone pocket – 3 for $15.

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cool gizzmos and gadgets for travel part 2

Here’s some more I read about in the NYT:

– ShaveMate razor $9.99 these razors include shaving cream in the handle so you don’t have to tote along travel-size shaving cream and take it out when you go through security.

-NYRIUS 11 – language translator, $39. This sounds really cool -a talking translator with 11 languages including the usual usefuls (spanish) as well as Mandarin, Russian, Dutch and Swedish.

– Contigo Travel mug 19.99  – or anyone like it that you can use to fill up on free coffee, filtered water or OJ offered at hotels, b&bs and youth hostels at breakfast time. These 16 ounce ones reduce the fear of spilling because they have a top that opens only when you push a button.

– Bheestie, $20 – if you’re vacationing near water or in a wet clime, this is a ag full of moisture-absorbing pellets that you can place your wet cellphone, ipod or  camera to dry off.

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A suitcase full of cords

With each trip, I seem to be carrying more and more charger cords – to the point where I’m having trouble remembering which cord is for what. And I’ve just bunged them all into the front pocket of my suitcase – which has become Cord Central, a tangle of plastic-coated white and black cords. There’s a cord to charge  the ipod, the cell phone, the Kindle and now the Netbook (a particularly clunky one), plus a cord so we can use the ipod in our rental car.   Five in all – kinda crazy. I wondered if someone has come up with a new travel bag that has cord compartments? And sure enough, I found some with a few clicks on google. It’s called a Travel Cord Organizer and Charger and it has six pockets for charger cords and room for a power strip that you somehow use to fire up your gizmos.

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