Jelly Belly

New gear & gadgets from the International Travel Goods Show

The latest in luggage, travel gear and on-the-go gadgets goes on display each year at the International Travel Goods Show in Las Vegas.

It’s anyone’s bet which of the products displayed by the more than 500 brands in attendance will take flight, but some of these new products have a great chance

Luggage scooter

Villagio of Miami’s Transmover 3-wheeled scooter has a TSA-approved detachable, rechargeable battery, a space to attach luggage (even a pet carrier) and may be a harried travelers’ answer to that long walk out to the gate.

And it’s fun. The scooter’s 12 mph top speed and 12-15 mile range can provide entertainment on a long layover inside or outside of the terminal. (MSRP: $550-$595 for the electric model; $250-$295 for the non-electric model)

Window tablet bag

Italian designer Nunzia Palmieri created a clever and sophisticated line of women’s business-style handbags and shoulder bags featuring a front pocket that can be used to store and cushion an iPad or tablet or, with the cushion removed, provide working access to the tablet via a clear window. At this year’s International Travel Goods Show Palmieri is expanding the collection to include a men’s line of leather and fabric travel bags with tablet-shaped windows as well. MSRP: starting at $228.

One bag becomes two

Thule luggage maker is rolling out a new Subterra collection that includes four rolling luggage pieces and four travel backpacks.

The 22-inch 2-wheel Subterra Carry-On (MSRP: $279.95) has a compression panel that makes it easy to pack more items and to keep clean clothes separate from dirty ones. The versatile, 22-inch Subterra Luggage piece (MSRP: $319.95) can be filled and checked as one piece or split into two smaller, independent pieces of luggage that are carry-on compliant.

Luggage tags made from airplane fuselage


MotoArt Studios is well-known among airplane aficionados for the conference tables, office furniture and decorative items, such as mirrors, it makes from old Boeing 747 engine turbofan housings, airplane wings and other bits of retired aircraft.

The company has recently expanded its line of offering to include serial-numbered luggage tags ($25 to $100) made from the skin of retired airplanes.

“We include the tail number of the aircraft so you can look up the history of your plane,” said Dave Hall of MotoArt Studios, “And it will tell you how much the aircraft originally cost, what year it was built and the airlines that flew it.”

Sniff, but don’t eat these purses

For fun – and for candy fans – American Jewel has a line of colorful, scented Jelly Belly-branded purses (wristlets), hairbrushes and bracelets.  Wristlet “flavors” include Blueberry Muffin, Birthday Cake, Rainbow Sherbert, Green Apple Bubblegum, Pink Lemonade, Roller Rink Pink and Tutti-Frutti.

Drink and Twist

Buying bottled water on the road at $5 (or more) a pop can get expensive, but packing an empty reusable water bottle to fill at the airport or in the hotel gym can take up valuable suitcase space.

A good fluid-carrying solution? Collapsible bottles, such as HydraPak’s clever 1 liter Stash model (MSRP: $23) which twists and crushes down to an easily-packable quarter of its size and comes in outdoor-inspired colors such as Malibu, Mojave, Mammoth and Sequoia.

Sit on this


Toronto-based Airopedic, which has been making ergonomic office furniture since the mid-1980s, has created a self-inflating, portable ergonomic seat to take to sports arenas, into airports, onto airplanes and to other places where comfortable seating isn’t reliably available.

The seat weighs in at 1.6 pounds, has carrying straps and mesh side pockets for storage and a pressure control button to enable seat density adjustments that the manufacturer suggests will make sitting on the Airopedic Portable Seat (MSRP: $65) feel like “sitting on a cloud.”

(My story about accessories and luggage from the 2017 International Travel Goods Show appeared in a slightly different version on CNBC.)

Souvenir Sunday at Milwaukee’s General Mitchel Int’l Airport

Happy Souvenir Sunday!

On Sunday here at Stuck at the Airport, we take a look at some of the fun, local, inexpensive and, ideally, somewhat offbeat things for sale at airports around the country.

This week, the folks at General Mitchell International Airport (MKE)  in Milwaukee, Wisconsin sent over some suggestions:

MKE jelly belly candy

First up: Jelly Belly candy.

Sure, these treats are are  for sale in lots of places, but you have a good excuse to buy ‘em here because the Jelly Belly Center – a candy warehouse with a factory tour – is in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, about a half hour away from the airport.

No time for the tour? Check out the on-line Jelly Bean Museum of Bean Art, which is filled with big, colorful jelly bean portraits of Elvis (three versions!), James Dean, Larry King, Laurel & Hardy, George Clooney, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II, and others. The gallery also includes this jelly bean portrait of Amelia Earhart:

MKE - Amelia Earhart Jelly Bean portrait

OK, back to Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airport and Souvenir Sunday…

Not a sweets fan? Well, cheese and beer are big in Milwaukee, so it makes sense that this Cheddar Beer Soup is for sale a the airport. The instructions seem simple enough: add water and beer!

MKE - Chedder Beer Soup

So… thinking of doing a little shopping at MKE?

Keep in mind that in addition to a used book store – a rarity at an airport – MKE has a great aviation museum on site and, befitting the city that’s home to Harley Davidson, there’s free parking for motorcycles in the airport parking garage. (Four-wheeled vehicles get a good deal too: the airport offers $5 supersaver  parking.)

Souvenir Sunday one

Have you found a great souvenir at an airport lately? If it’s under $10, “of” the city or region and, ideally a bit offbeat, snap a photo and send it along. It might show up in a future edition of Souvenir Sunday.