Chances are you’ve never heard of Injinji, Just Ducky, Owie, Scruble and Zoobies, but they all have something in common: Each was invented by people who like to travel but felt something was lacking. These folks saw a need and filled it.
Some of their products are functional; some are fun. All are meant to enhance your journeys and your lives, so take a look:
The Perfect bungee: Whoda thought you could improve on a bungee, but Just Ducky has done just that. Made of super-strong polyurethane construction, they come in bright colors and more importantly, are resistant to saltwater, oil and a whole bunch of household chemicals. They are great for strapping anything to your car, boat, bike or whatever your mode of transportation. And how many products are guaranteed for life? (This one is.) The bungees have plenty of at-home uses, too. See sizes and types at justducky
Injinji Toesocks: They feel funny at first but not for long. And they look kind of funny, too (a sock for every toe?), but Injinji Toesocks are not only comfortable but ideal for long flights. The weave prevents swelling, reduces muscle fatigue and enhances circulation, according to the company. The fabric also contains silver, which naturally inhibits the growth of bacteria by keeping your feet dry. Check out the Travel Series, as well as many other versions for everyday wear, athletics and other activities. The cost is about $24. Visit injinji.com.
Owie Pillow: Leave it to San Diego mother of two Kristine Currier to figure out how to make car travel more comfortable for the pregnant, the post-surgical and the pot-bellied. It’s called the Owie Pillow and it prevents the cutting and binding that seat belts sometimes cause. The pillow works by spreading out the force of the lower lateral lap belt against the person’s belly, which reduces stress and pain in this area.
“During my pregnancies I experienced a lot of discomfort from seatbelts while driving or riding in the car, and I realized I can’t be the only person…” Currier said.
Owie Pillows come in a variety of sizes and colors (including sparkly) and cost about $35. Visit owiepillow.com.
Scruble Cube: As if the Rubik’s Cube and Scrabble aren’t enough of a challenge, let’s combine the two games and what do we get? A Scruble Cube and hours of fun and competition — and an alternative to Angry Birds.
If you’re searching for a little cerebral activity for yourself, traveling companions and/or kids, Scruble might be the ticket. Dubbed a “word game and puzzle on steroids,” the cube has a possible 7,401 septillion configurations. (Who figured this out and how many is that? Never mind. Save your brain for the game.)
Other great Scruble features: It’s only one piece and portable. Good for ages 8 and up. About $25. Visit scrublecube.com.
Zoobies Pillow/Blanket: Zoobies are a three-fer: a cuddly stuffed animal that morphs into a pillow and/or a blanket. Since every little kid has a security issue with one or all of the aforementioned, the trick here is to get your child hooked on a Zoobie early on. For this, there are Zoobie Blankie Babies for newborns. If you play it right, you’ll never have to schlep around with full-sized bed linens in tow. See the entire menagerie and prices at zoobies.com.
Affordable family fun
If you’ve always wanted to go to Catalina Island or have yearned to return, don’t miss these super deals, based on a two-night stay:
— Family Adventure Package (Atwater Hotel) starts at $78 per person/per night. Includes round-trip transportation on the Catalina Express, a one-hour kayak rental, Glass Bottom Boat Tour and a round of miniature golf. Visit visitcatalinaisland.com/avalon/pack_family.php.
— Family Unlimited Package (Pavilion Hotel) starts at $112 per person/per night at this beautifully renovated property. Includes unlimited access to the island’s most popular tours, half-priced rides on the five-segment Zip Line Eco Tour, and preferred seating at the nearby Avalon Grille. Visit visitcatalinaisland.com/avalon/pack_unlimited.php
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