I’m always on the lookout for things that make traveling easier and more fun. Here are some products that fit the bill.
The Style Rx 7-Day Designer Pill Box Case is not your mother’s — or your grandmother’s — pill box. The attractive containers, which currently come in two bright patterns, are 6 inches long and made of coated cotton canvas. They are designed for easy opening but prevent accidental opening. You can interchange the interior plastic pill box, so if necessary, you can set up pills for weeks ahead. The pill box is small enough for convenient travel purposes, but large enough to get the job done. $34. Visit www.InspiredbyDawn.com
Call it the Charger Extreme. The Six-in-One Car Charger from Secur not only gives you a way to charge your cell phone on the go, but is also potentially life saving. The charger also features a high-power LED flashlight, flashing red emergency light, emergency window-breaker and emergency seatbelt cutter. The Six-in-One also has a battery charge-level indicator and shock-resistant case, and weighs only 3 ounces. About $35. Visit www.securproducts.com
Staying clean and doing laundry while traveling can be a challenge as well as expensive (I once paid more than $40 for two loads of laundry in Paris), so here are some products that can help:
If your goal is to pack light, it means you have to get the most use from the fewest articles of clothing. So keeping them stain-free is necessary to extend the life of that blouse or pair of slacks. The Dreft Pre-Treater Pen can do that. It’s effective, convenient and the right size for travelers. Less than $10. Available in many stores and from Amazon.
When you’re done pre-treating your laundry, you can use this nifty take-along “washing machine.” The Scrubba Wash Bag is a lightweight, sturdy, waterproof bag into which you place your dirty clothes with just a small amount of water and soap. Squeeze for a minute or two. Tiny interior nubs help release the dirt. Replace the dirty water with clean and voilà! Sweet smelling clothes again. Clothesline included. Ideal for touring, camping and road trips, and folds flat to fit nearly anywhere. $55. Visit www.thescrubba.com.
And for those long travel days and nights when you can’t wash your clothes or take a shower, there are Goodwipes. These oversized, soft handy-wipes are made of eco-friendly ingredients that include cooling tea tree oil, chamomile, lavender and peppermint. It’s probably not necessary but nice that Goodwipes come in versions for men and women. Pop them into a purse or backpack; they take up a little space. Great for long road trips with messy kids, too. $6 for 10. Visit www.goodwipes.com.
Remember the days when you could carry home several bottles of that wine or olive oil that you discovered far from home? That all ended after 9/11, and since then, oenophiles and olive oil connoisseurs have been wrapping their bottles in dirty laundry, stuffing them in suitcases, and hoping their prized souvenirs make it home intact. Enter VinniBag, an inflatable bag that protects liquids, delicate gifts and any breakable item that is 4 inches or less in diameter and under 14 inches tall. Kayakers can use it to keep their keys and cell phones afloat, and worse case scenario: Fill it with ice and put it on that sore knee. About $28. Visit www.ellessco.com.
When it’s time to carry just the essentials, do it with the EyePockit. The hard-shell case is perfect for protecting glasses and has a room for the most important items like keys, cell phone and ID. Small enough to carry in a larger purse if you want to. $25. Visit
Healthy Back Bags by AmeriBag combine style and practicality, and are designed with more compartments than you’ll find in any other bag of similar size. There’s even a protected, padded place for your tablet or small laptop. Several pockets feature magnetic closure snaps. The ergonomic, unisex bags are a hybrid of handbag and backpack, and come in several vibrant colors. $65 to $85. Visit www.ameribag.com.