Travel-friendly products that make for the perfect travel companion on your next holiday!

I love traveling! And although I may not be able to do much of it during this pandemic, that doesn’t stop me from daydreaming about it or planning my next vacation in my head. My travel bucket list is brimming to the top with exotic holiday destinations. And, as any experienced traveler (not that I am one…YET) will tell you, having a set of handy and trusty travel accessories is essential! These are the nifty little gadgets and products that can help you out in the most impromptu and sudden of situations, and you’ll never regret having packed them in your suitcase. So, we’ve curated a bunch of travel accessories that we think you will absolutely need in your travel kit when you’re jet setting across the globe next! They’re sure to make your next vacation much more comfortable and easier.

Designed as a pair of pretty massive earmuffs that also double up as a neck-support, the Sleepmuffs can be worn in bed or while seated, making them perfect at home or while traveling. Made with high-quality foam (among other materials), the Sleepmuffs aren’t just comfortable to wear, they do a pretty remarkable job of blocking sound too. With as much as -33 decibel attenuation, the Sleepmuffs are arguably better than a pair of earplugs, or even your passive noise-canceling headphones. The foam helps conceal you in a bubble of quiet, allowing you to easily sleep in most noisy conditions – whether you’ve got a flatmate who decides to play Cyberpunk 2077 at 3am, or whether you’re on a plane or bus right next to a two-year-old.

The TIC Travel Bottle comes from a realization that those miniature shampoo and conditioner bottles you pick up at hotels are never safe in your suitcase. A little manhandling by airport staff and the bottles open up inside your bag, potentially ruining your clothes and your belongings. The TIC Travel Bottle holds all those liquids inside separate containers that sit inside the bottle’s hard outer shell. Designed to be much more than an organizer, the TIC actually lets you easily access your toiletries too, with a pump mechanism that is as easy as pressing a lever to dispense your shampoo, conditioner, or body-wash. Perfect for using in the bath when your hands are wet and you can’t really see well enough to fiddle with bottle caps, TIC lets you access everything in one solid avatar.

There’s a rustic charm to Luft’s travel-friendly version of chess, which involves not precisely carved wooden, ivory, or plastic pieces, but small rocks with position-specific headgear on them! Drawing back to chess’s roots (in the Indian subcontinent), Luft explores playing chess with rudimentary objects rather than with fine, finished models. The board is a flexible leather mat, while the chess pieces are, in fact, tiny pebbles that you collect from around you while you’re outdoors. Just put the silicone bands around the pebbles and you’re ready to play crude, creative chess!

In every way, the Voyager is what the Google Glass project should have aimed at becoming. Designed to enhance the tourism experience by augmenting it with everything the internet has to offer, and to make you self-sufficient in a foreign city so you don’t have to awkwardly ask people for directions, the Voyager is a goggle-shaped mixed-reality headset that lets you explore new cities like never before. The Voyager connects to your phone, bringing elements of smartphone functionality to the mixed-reality space. This means you can navigate cities by seeing directions projected on the road ahead of you, can click pictures and capture videos of everything you see through the glasses, and can interface with real-world objects and buildings like your hotel, restaurants, tourist spots, and heritage monuments.

The Travel Decanter was built for two things. Travel, and taste-preservation. A specially-crafted hand-blown decanter holds 500ml of whatever you pour into it, be it a special spirit, or a cocktail of choice. Unlike metal or polymer-based containers, the glass decanter doesn’t alter the taste of the drink within. The result is a truly well-preserved libation that doesn’t have any plastic-y taste or metallic notes. A wide neck on the decanter allows you to easily pour drinks into it, and even add a few ice-cubes of your own, while a stainless steel stopper with a silicone seal ensures your liquids are preserved in a spill-proof, air-tight environment. The decanter then slides into a double-walled stainless steel outer casing that keeps your drink chilled as well as protected from accidental bumps and spills courtesy the butter-fingers that handle our luggage at the airport.

Edge is a compact 2-in-1 appliance that gives you more than your toiletries. It consists of three parts: ‘Multi Handle’, ‘Edge Hairdryer Module’, ‘Edge Iron Module’. ‘Multi Handle’ has a button to control the product for using and both modules work with ‘Multi Handle’. Specifically made for those who have meetings on-the-go, the hairdryer and iron help to wash away the weariness of travel and smoothen the wrinkles so you look fresh (or should I say profesh?). “We have adopted a slide structure for intuitive and easy combination of each module. This not only allows the user to easily combine the modules but also reduces the risk of the module being easily detached while using the product” says the team.

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Designed like a backpack but with the spirit of a briefcase, the Flypack is a travel-carry with a touch of professionalism. Built with a custom-engineered fabric exterior that lends a firmness to the backpack, the Flypack isn’t a flimsy laptop bag that you stuff your clothes into. It comes with a luggage compartment that was designed to resemble the way you’d store luggage in a suitcase. Within the luggage compartment also lies a series of toiletry and accessory pouches to make travel easier. Adjacent to the luggage compartment is the storage compartment for all your work essentials. A padded laptop slot, individual pouches for your chargers, peripherals, cables, etc.

How many of us have travel anxiety? It could be restless tapping of your feet while waiting at the boarding gate or in-flight fidgeting with the controls, we have all been there. This cool conceptual tool is not only a travel essential but also a fidget spinner that doesn’t look like it came with a happy meal. While most multipurpose tools are a combination of cutters, this titanium variant brings a lot more functionality than opening up like Wolverine’s claws! I am sure we have all gotten beers or wine from a local shop only to come to our room and find that we don’t have a tool to open either – that’s when Tspin comes to the rescue. Or the time when we remember to buy the international sim card but forget that little pin to open the slot – another worry that is taken care of by Tspin with its dual nano-Sim card-holder and yes, that little pin!

The Genius Pack Supercharged basically builds on Genius Pack’s idea of the ideal bag. You’ve got a hard-shell suitcase made of PolyCarbonate, the same material used in riot gear, so it can quite literally withstand the abuse luggage usually sees at the hands of airline ground staff. The Supercharged also comes with a TSA-Approved combination lock and packs eight 360° spinner wheels, forming its robust outer build. The Supercharged, as its name suggests, also packs an integrated, removable 10,000 mAhpower bank. It also features perhaps the greatest innovation of all time… An embedded checklist with all possible products listed on it, so you remember what to pack.

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This little device, Langogo, aims to be the ideal solution to this problem, as it houses the ability to translate 60 languages in less than one second, and allow the traveling experience to be even more enjoyable! Packed within its compact exterior is an AI Assistant that learns the way the user speaks; this is with the aim of ensuring that the translations are as natural and as accurate as they can be. Not only is Langogo a pocket translator, but it also features a second, arguably equally as important feature… Wi-Fi!

Air Cage was created to ensure your pet’s safety and ease your mind when you’re traveling with them. The concept was designed to be a rent-as-you-go service but it can also be opened to buying. You get your carrier in advance so your pet can familiarize themselves with it and have lesser anxiety during the flight. On the day of departure, your pet will be comfortable in the Air Cage which you can then handover to the attendants without any worry because you will be able to monitor your pet throughout the journey thanks to an in-built device. Apart from the real-time camera monitor, the carrier has many features to keep your pet comfortable – a water bottle, a pet bowl, and a bowel pad too!

The Cliffset tackles both these issues with equal importance. Designed to be a reusable travel cutlery set with a difference, the Cliffset doesn’t just focus on portability, it focuses on maintenance too, by being perhaps the only cutlery set I’ve seen that comes with its own cleaning tool to clean up after you’re done eating! Everything fits in a portable pouch that’s small enough to fit in your pocket or slip into a backpack, and is designed to be carried everywhere you go and be cleaned and reused over and over again, giving you the comfort of knowing that you’re using your OWN cutlery (as opposed to using cutlery in restaurants) made from reusable materials, which you don’t need me to tell you is a much better option compared to the use-and-throw plastic cutlery that pollutes our planet and oceans.

Air Deck 2.0 is a deck of of travel-optimized playing cards, and is the successor to the wildly successful Original Air Deck… and it brings with it some improvements! These changes center around the three new eye-catching designs, which consist of Classic, Warp Speed and Astronauts themed designs. Despite their compact dimensions, these cards are easy to work with; they each feature a slightly textured finish for better handling and a more enjoyable playing experience! Like the original Air Deck they are waterproof, making them resistant to spills and allowing them to be washed… however, they have now been designed to be even more resistant to wear and tear… perfect!

The Nissan Caravan Office Pod is a portable workstation + camper to help retain your work-life balance

One of the most surprising trends of 2020 has been the demand for campers and trailers in the market that vouch to enhance your adventure experience while providing you with a cozy space to sleep at night. Not only that, you can carry loads of gear and other luxuries like a full-blown kitchen to always feel at home while out in the majestic natural settings. So, what about professionals who are workaholics – craving a personal space while experiencing the most beautiful landscapes? After all working from one place all the time can be downright boring, isn’t it?

Nissan NV350 Caravan Office Pod Concept is your ticket to freedom when it comes to working productively after witnessing the most mesmerizing sunset from your favorite picturesque location on the outskirts of the city or maybe even on an adventure trip. The mobile office pod housed inside the back of the electric van is something you’ll be so desperate to jump right into. In ways, it can rival the most jaw-dropping work from home setups without a semblance of doubt. The smartphone-controlled office pulls out from the back of the van out in the open and is for sure a dope for people who love working amidst natural settings. It has one button touch retracting or expanding motion for the whole office pod, electrically actuated shades, and a glove box loaded with UV antibacterial lamp for hygiene. For working comfort, there’s a Herman Miller Cosm chair, a polycarbonate floor embedded with a display to set a naturally liberating screensaver, and an ambient light setting that can be toggled according to your liking. They say inspiration is the requisite for unleashing your creativity and we see no better way to get inspired and remain inspired by than to drive to your favorite location or camping grounds and make the most of our current work from home situation.

When you’ve worked enough for the day or simply want to take a short break between work, just climb on top of the luxurious roof balcony with a rooftop deck for relaxing in style. This area can be accessed from inside the vehicle for that much elusive personal freedom and solitude. This caravan has been released at the Virtual Auto Salon 2021 as a part of the new avenues for electric vehicles. The Office Pod Concept on the Nissan NV350 Caravan is one of them, and boy is it impressive. I’m already getting imaginative with the scenarios this caravan can bring to the fore. Working was never this much fun and exciting!

Designer: Nissan

Microsoft and Oracle are working on digital COVID-19 vaccine cards

Starting later this month, the US will require international air passengers to show evidence of a recent negative COVID-19 test or proof that they have recently recovered from the disease. Alternatively, now that COVID-19 vaccines are being administe...

These Balinese cabins use natural materials and minimal design to immerse guests in the environment!

We are out of 2020, but since things are more or less the same with the gloomy global mood I have continued to find cabins that can uplift us all – this one quite literally will! The Eibche by Shomali Design takes the cabin game to a new level by incorporating the best of Balinese culture, modern architecture, and cozy interiors.

The elevated structure weaves concrete and bamboo into its design. The team has used locally sourced building materials – wood for the structure and a brick-stone combination for the foundation. The frame is then ‘cemented’ by concrete which brings in a hint of modern minimalist architecture. The designers chose organic materials in order to create harmony with the environment so Eibche showcases a lot of bamboo poles, woven bamboo, coconut wood, and teak wood in both the interior as well as exterior.

“As Balinese people traditionally use tripartite divisions, we tried to hold the spirit of this format and use it in a modern way. On the other hand, splitting the cabin in half with the separating walls allowed nature to move inside. Using natural materials encouraged us to hold their color. No natural colors were altered and the only addition we made was a white wash to make their harmony and contrast pop more. Residents can now be immersed in the scenic setting even if they are indoors,” says Yasser Shomali. The Eibche cabin has managed to blend the contrasting aesthetics of a tropical mood board with contemporary architecture and has not disturbed the delicate balance between them – it all looks like it was born from the Balinese land.

Designer: Shomali Design Studio

These customizable backpack grid organizers are every stationery lover’s best travel partners

We all have our own personal checklists while stuffing our backpacks before leaving the house. I know I can’t leave without the paperback I’m currently reading, my writing pad, wallet, point-and-shoot, hand sanitizer, chapstick, keys, cell phone. And that’s just for my walk to the grocery store. I mostly rely on those free tote bags you get with magazine subscriptions – they get the job done, but by the time I get home, digging for my keys buried underneath everything else gets tiring. Fritsch-Durisotti, a creative studio based in Paris, launched their line of backpacks and companion organizers, Fil & Fog so that we can bring our own “little universe of personal items” with us anywhere we go, leaving the hassles of clutter and disorganization at home.

The designers behind Fil & Fog set out to construct a backpack built to last and accompanying organizers that can keep up with our passions, no matter where they might take us. For Fritsch-Durisotti’s Fil & Fog, passion is found in its construction. TPU coating is applied to every backpack and organizer, which enhances both products’ impermeability factors and also allows room for untraditional, but effective textile assembly methods. High-frequency welding, for instance, a plastic welding process that relies on high-frequency electric fields, gives Fil & Fog’s backpack and organizers their high resistance threshold and water-tightness. Elastic bands come with each organizer so that they are completely customizable for each user’s needs – just weave the elastic bands through the laser-cut grids found inside each organizer and store all your items.

Once every organizer is finalized, they easily slip into a Fil & Fog backpack’s bottom compartment, which has enough room to store multiple different sized organizers at once. The backpack itself is manufactured using polyester for the bag’s fabric and recycled nylon for its lining, giving the backpack an entirely waterproof edge. An expandable top compartment can also be joined with the backpack’s lower compartment, giving the backpack an overall, generous volume of 24 liters. Like a Russian doll, the backpack holds so much more than meets the eye. Whether you’re gearing up for that solo camping trip you’ve been looking forward to all quarantine or just hitting up a local beach to spend the day, Fil & Fog is designed to make the act of carrying our passions feel a lot lighter – “Fil & Fog offers agile solutions to organize, pack, and carry the stuff we need and the stuff we love. A timeless companion that invites us to go back to what is important to us.”

Designer: Fritsch-Durisotti for Fil & Fog

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Cadillac’s single-seater eVTOL drone unveiled at CES is the closest thing to personal jetpacks

Unveiled alongside quite a few other automobiles from General Motors, the Cadillac eVTOL really stood out as the company’s first attempt at air-based transportation. It also falls squarely under GM’s new motto moving forward of the 3 Zeros – Zero Crashes, Zero Emissions, and Zero Congestion.

The Cadillac eVTOL is best described as a flying taxi made for quick commutes between landing-zones. Running on a 90kWh motor that powers 4 propellers, the eVTOL seats one person (sort of like a jetpack albeit much bigger, and with fans instead of thrusters) and transports them autonomously while simultaneously juggling air-to-air and air-to-ground communication so you, the rider, don’t really have to do much aside from program your destination and then admire your city from up above. I don’t need to tell you that it would also make for some stellar aerial photos for the ‘gram.

Designer: Cadillac (General Motors)

With detachable storage units and a lightweight frame, this e-bike design looks to the future for inspiration!

Electric bikes have hit a stride in cities across the globe, promising eco-alternative modes of transportation to practically every street corner. Capable of turning a 40-minute walk into a 10-minute ride, e-bikes save both time and energy for a lot of people who live in larger cities. GEO, a new e-bike design from a trio of creatives based in South Korea, looks to futuristic electric bike frames for storage, structural, and functional inspiration. Cheolhee Lee, Dahae Lee, and Hyewon Park designed GEO based on the geometry of a typical bicycle.

Looking at GEO head-on, three circles catch the eye – the bike’s two wheels and round middle area that doubles as a storage unit and might also contain the e-bike’s power supply. The e-bike’s center circle manages to store a lot of the magic. Narrow in width for smooth pedaling, the center storage unit is completely detachable so riders can easily pack a lunch and bring an extra bathing suit for rides to the beach on those summer Fridays. Adding to the bike’s slender body, its dual-spoke wheels and sparse tubing give the frame a casual and approachable feel. The wheelset’s spokes meet each wheel’s central hub, connecting the bike’s chainstays to its pedals and gears, which join at the base of the bike’s center of gravity. The creative team’s decision to make the top and down tubes of GEO run parallel to one another gives the e-bike an unconventional, slim frame, evoking ideas of how a future electric bike’s structure might look years from now. Another nod to the world of future e-bikes is found smack dab in the middle of GEO’s handlebar, where riders will find the e-bike’s minimal digital interface that indicates riding speed, driving mode, battery level, along with the date and time.

For all the bike-buffs out there, GEO’s structure might get confusing when it comes to analyzing different measurements like fork rake, but the beauty of the e-bike’s design is that it lives somewhere in the future, far away from the constraints that might come with modern design. The slender e-bike packs a lot of power into its narrow and lightweight frame, which only adds to the bike’s overall portability value. In the 21st century, with getaways like tiny homes surging in popularity, and eco-tourism becoming the new golden standard for traveling, GEO joins the growing movement of a greener lifestyle with a simple bike frame that recycles all the clutter for a more agile and balanced electric bicycle.

Designers: Cheolhee Lee, Dahae Lee, & Hyewon Park

A piece of chili, a keyboard’s spacebar, and a Zoomer inspired this retro-futuristic electric scooter design!

Inspiration for scooter designs sometimes takes shape in far-reaching, epiphanies, and big ideas, but then other times what’s right beneath our fingertips is all we need to get creative. Jakarta-based design studio Katalis, in collaboration with Kamengski, found such inspiration for their latest scooter concept on a laptop’s keyboard. Joseph Sinaga of Katalis says, “When we are typing on a computer or laptop, the way we open up space in between texts is by pressing the spacebar.” Both the act of and the need for creating space is what ultimately gave way to Spacebar, a compact and foldable electric scooter designed to weave in and out of the busy traffic on the streets of Jakarta.

Spacebar’s imaginative body and design are laden with retro-futuristic accents like its split, saddle-tan leather seat and off-road tires reminiscent of the chunky, rough, and rowdy scene from the 80s. In fact, generations both past and present helped conceptualize Spacebar. For instance, it seems the subtle stylistic parallels in common between Generation Z’s clunky outerwear and the 80s’ cassette-futuristic sense of fashion also helped drive home Spacebar’s visual concept. While Spacebar’s overall rogue look draws inspiration from varied sources, the aim of both design studios has always been to provide young people with a mode of transportation to reach previously inaccessible spaces. Whether riders are taking Spacebar off-road to some faraway mountain top, or just weaving between cars on a work commute, Julian Palapa of Katalis says, “Spacebar is able to maneuver through the busy streets of the capital city, to support its rider’s daily commute. Yes, it is small but fierce, like a piece of chili. We designed Spacebar specifically for youngsters who desire agility in their daily activities.”

Production for Spacebar’s full aluminum body, leather accents, decals, and paint job ended up being a two-city job split between Jakarta and West Sumbawa. Cool, white lights gleam from Spacebar’s headlights, and round, classic mirrors atop black steel rods provide riders with rearview access. Around the scooter’s backside, a circular brake light and adjacent turn signals are located just beneath Spacebar’s aluminum storage basket. Spacebar’s handlebar stem entirely folds down to meet the control panel, so that the electric scooter downsizes to the height of its seat. Constructed by one of Katalis’ engineers in Jakarta, Spacebar carries ten-inch wheels and a 1200W/48V lithium battery for a tiny, but powerful ride. Dubbing it, ‘their way of making way,’ Spacebar, inspired by a piece of chili, a keyboard’s spacebar, and a Zoomer, was designed by Katalis and Kamengski in anticipation for the design of future mobility solutions.

Designers: Katalis x Kamengski

This sustainable cabin glows like a candle & was built using cross-laminated timber!

It is my first day back at work after a long weekend that I spent cabin hunting to alleviate my urge to travel. I found this sustainable wooden one called Kynttilä by Ortraum Architects which is Finnish for ‘candle’ – makes sense because it instantly gave me the warm cozy cabin vibes! Kynttilä’s linear shape with its triangular roof is pretty much like a geometric candle adaption in itself.

The cabin is built on Lake Saimaa and is right on the border of lush woods and endless serene water. The prefabricated cabin only takes one day to be assembled. Helsinki-based architecture firm constructed Kynttilä from cross-laminated timber (CLT) with the exteriors featuring larch board cladding. CLT is a wonderfully eco-friendly construction material that offers high strength and structural simplicity for cost-effective buildings. It has a much lighter environmental footprint than concrete or steel. CLT is also quicker to install, reduces construction waste on-site, improves thermal performance, with light handling duties making it better for health and safety, and is versatile enough to be molded according to different designs.

Kynttilä has a 15-square-meter floor space which is optimized for a short stay. It includes built-in furniture like the bed that is fitted on one glazed end and a ladder that leads up to a bunk bed above the door. The sweeping glass windows add openness to the small space and give a cooling visual contrast to the otherwise warm wooden aesthetic. Eaves overhang at both ends of the cabin to provide a sheltered, raised platform for sitting on or storage while also protecting the woodpile kept beneath.

“The space is strongly linked to nature, as the large window creates direct and intimate contact and communication with the surroundings. In the night time, like a candle, Kynttilä shines as a warm light on the lakeshore,” said Ortraum Architects. When you turn on the lamp at dusk, the cabin truly does glow like a candle in the untouched forest and that is why the team planned the most low-impact construction process they could to preserve the stillness of the environment. It is exactly the kind of off-the-grid spot we could all use to recuperate from 2020.

Designer: Ortraum Architects

A Nordic architectural gem hides under this lush green carpet!

Looking for an escape from your apartment and dive into nature? The Øyna Cultural Landscape Hotel in Norway is your destination. This hotel is wrapped in a lush green carpet and is hidden away on a hill with the sweeping views of the Trondheim fjord – a Nordic landscape with a long, narrow, deep inlet of the sea between high cliffs formed by submergence of a glaciated valley. Øyna’s location is right out of an enchanted forest storybook.

Designed by Green Advisers AS, the hotel’s unique layout maximizes the guests’ connection with nature. All 18 rooms are built inside an existing sloping terrain with a cantilevered design so every person staying gets an unobstructed view of the cultural landscape. The rooms are primarily crafted from timber which is the regional raw material and a nod to the Nordic building heritage. The light timber interiors are a contrast to the exterior’s dark wooden cladding. The overall aesthetic and colors are contemporary yet cozy – a balance between the cabin feeling and the luxury of a hotel room. They are covered with green roofs so the hotel, as well as the guests, are immersed in the scenic setting of the Golden Road, Fosen Alps, and the Trondheim fjord. There is plenty of indoor and outdoor shared spaces and each has a breathtaking view. The hotel is naturally ventilated and lit due to its height and the waterfront location.

The property is owned and operated by the Sakshaug family and it originally served as a restaurant + events venue, but given the location, there was an increasing demand for overnight stays which led to the expansion of the site into a hotel. Since the restaurant was the conception point of the hotel, it was imperative to preserve panoramic views for the loyal patrons, therefore the reception, conference area, and the hotel rooms were placed on a lower level of the slope – a win-win for everyone. The lower levels can be accessed using an elevator and are interconnected via an underground corridor that conforms to the shape of the hill. “Although the extension of the facility was carefully adapted to the topography, it creates new landscape accents through its formal language and fits in well with the owner’s overall concept,” said the architects. Green Advisors AS did an exemplary job of giving us absolute Pinterest cabin feels on modern hotel property and burying all of it under a green carpet like a secret gem!

Designer: Green Advisors AS