My story for CNBC this week highlights some of the cool gear and gadgets that will be on display later this week in Las Vegas at the annual industry-only Travel Goods Show.
Carry-on bags and checkable suitcases seem to make up the bulk of the products vendors bring to the show. But there are also oodles of travel accessories on display, and many of those are quite useful and clever.
Here are just a few of the items that caught my eye:
Luggage that weighs itself
If you shop for shoes, clothes or books or liquor when you travel, your suitcase will weigh a lot more on the way home. A new suitcase from GetSet Luggage has a built-in battery-powered scale that weighs the bag as you pack.
This product is sort of puzzling: tranparent luggage.
At least three companies are planning to display their versions of transparent or translucent luggage at this year’s Travel Goods Show. Traveler’s Choice calls their version The Millennial, so maybe see-through luggage has a generation-specific appeal.
Socks with pockets
My household has a variety of clothing with hidden pockets. These snazzyPocket Socks are getting added to the collection.
Gear for your Grab ‘n Go
We thought attachments for carry-on bags that let you tote coffee cups were pretty cool, but Hontus Milano Group is bringing out a carry-on bag with a built-in insulated pocket for keeping foods (or medication, cosmetics and other temperature-sensitive items) hot or cold.
There are more items in my full story on CNBC – but these are definitely my favorites. Which of these new travel products would you buy?
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
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.)
Whether or not you’re flying on an airline now required to make passengers check electronic devices larger than smartphones on planes headed to the U.S. or U.K, it’s a good idea to have workarounds for getting things done.
Paper books, magazines and the seat-back entertainment offerings (if available) are good options, but if you want to work, check email or watch a movie you’ve downloaded before your flight, gadgets and tools like some of those in the photo above might help.
For example, ZAGG has a Bluetooth pocket keyboard that can be used with both smartphones and small tablets (Apple & Android) and – to keep seatmates from looking at your screen – the InvisibleShield Glass + Privacy screen protector.
And, if you’re going to have to rely on your smartphone for extended hours, Ventev’s chargestand 3000c, is both a portable charger and a phone stand.
I’m checking out these and a few other gadgets this weekend and reworking my accessories kit to accommodate a few more useful-in-a-pinch items.
There are gadgets galore out there promising to make life easier on the road.
Some work. Some don’t.
Here’s one, called the Airhook, that just got funded on Kickstarter.
The inventor, Craig Rabin, describes it as “an easy tool that allows airline travelers to use their seat’s tray table to securely hold an electronic device and beverage—all while allowing for maximum legroom.”